BOYS HOCKEY: Rochester United skates to revenge of Macomb Dakota |
BY DAN STICKRADT
MACOMB — Revenge can be ever so sweet. Even sweeter in the state tournament.
Rochester United has chance to avenge its postseason death of a year ago Thursday night and seized it, as second-ranked United skated to a 4-1 victory over host and 12th-ranked Macomb Dakota in a Division 1 regional semifinal at Suburban Ice-Macomb Arena.
Dakota edged Rochester 4-3 in overtime a year ago in a pre-regional contest and the two tied three weeks ago, 4-4.
Marshall Bowery and Max Harper were electric again on the ice for United this time around, combining for three goals and four assists in the win, which vaults Rochester into Saturday’s 6:15 p.m. regional final at The Onyx against OAA Red Division rival Lake Orion.
Bowery netted a goal and an assist and Harper had two goals and two assists — but more importantly kept constant pressure on Dakota’s defense the whole night. Harper has 64 points and Bowery 59 points on the year.
“They are, without a doubt, two of the best juniors in the state,” noted RU coach Craig Staskowski. “They are two of the best, unnoticed juniors in the state.”
Dakota (15-10-3) took full notice of the talented duo and Rochester’s whole team. The Cougars simply couldn’t slow down United, which is having its best season to date.
“We were aware of them,” said Dakota coach Mike Jakubik. “They are very fast, handle the puck well and they can create. We knew we had to (defend) them.”
Bowery staked Rochester (21-3-3) to the 1-0 lead just five minutes into the contest, as he beat Dakota netminder Adam Bryant to the near side. Harper picked up the assist.