Up next: Brother Rice on Wednesday
Nearly one month after Lake Orion fell to the number four-seeded Rockford in May, the Dragons were given a rematch opportunity in the state quarterfinals on Saturday, defeating the Rams 10-9.
The boys jumped out to a 5-0 lead over Rockford early on.
Two goals each from defensemen Sean Henige on extra man and Cross Popadelis, with one from Caden Loken, gave the Dragons a 5-0 lead 1:15 seconds into the 2nd quarter.
But then Rockford awoke and began a nine-goal run that was interrupted only by a goal from Sam Haynes with just 5 minutes left in the 2nd quarter.
Rockford reeled off 5 goals in the second quarter to close the gap to 6-5 at halftime.
By winning faceoff after faceoff and capitalizing on Lake Orion unforced errors, Rockford scored four more goals in the 3rd quarter to take a 9-6 lead.
Rockford had the Dragons on the ropes until Kade Manzo, with just one minute left in the 3rd quarter, to stop the Ram run.
“I am going to tie the game for you,” said Manzo to head coach Ron Herbert before the final possession of the 3rd period.
Then he set about doing just that. With 8:15 left Freshman Andrew Parker rammed in a goal coming from behind to close the gap to 9-8. Then fulfilling his prediction less than a minute and half later, Manzo sped in and ripped a shot to tie the game with 5:45 left.
Meanwhile, Jagger Sines and Henige and the toughening Dragon defense to shutout the Rams in the 4th quarter. Goalie Noah Parillo saved his best game of the year for the last quarter stopping numerous one-on-one opportunities by the Rockford shooters.
Then with 3:48 Popadelis capped off his hat trick with a blast that somehow dribbled past the Rockford goalie. Barely bouncing just over the goal line.
Parillo needed one more big save and the upset was complete.
Rockford, who had crushed LO earlier in the season 11-6, finished their season 13-5. LO goes on to meet Brother rice Wednesday at Troy Athens, now 14-4 on the season.