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Walled Lake Northern scoring leader puts Central on ice in Division 2 pre-regional

Hockey   | Ben Szilagy

Walled Lake Northern scoring leader puts Central on ice in Division 2 pre-regional

Novi — Kyle Boemer, a senior forward for Walled Lake Northern, did what he does best to break open Tuesday night's matchup against Walled Lake Central.

The leading scorer for the Knights produced a pair of goals late in the second period that propelled Northern to a 4-3 victory in the opening round of the Division 2 pre-regional at Novi.

He recorded his 23rd and 24th goals of the season just 34 seconds apart, which came on a rebound in front of the net and off the face-off in the slot, respectively, for a three-goal lead.

“Kyle is one of our horses," Northern coach Tim McGraw said. "He and David Markley and Brendan Sorrels are our captains and we rely on them. We ride their backs a lot. We expect a lot of those guys."

The double shot of Boemer helped Northern (16-7-2) hold off a late Central surge to preserve the one-goal decision.

Senior Kevin Calcaterra scored Northern's fourth goal with 11:38 remaining in the final period.

The teams combined for 17 penalties, including five-minute majors for both sides. Central had nine penalties and Northern had eight.

“We have to play more efficiently and more smart. We took penalties in the offensive end, and that shouldn’t happen,” McGraw said. “Some of those penalties were because we were lazy and we stopped moving our feet. When we play more of a finesse game, we’re more effective.”

Some finesse was on display when Northern took the lead early on a shorthanded breakaway. Senior forward David Markley pushed the puck ahead to junior Brody Dorner, who buried it for a 1-0 lead with 1:56 left in the first period.

The Vikings (12-11-2) capitalized of a five-minute major penalty to jump start their offense with four minutes left in regulation. They trailed 4-1, but got a power play goal by Justin Orman with 10:24 left in the third period.

“We made some adjustments in our power play after the second period and we were able to create more shots on net,” Central coach Gary Quitiquit said.

Next, Junior Brandyn Belevender cut into the lead, 4-2, with a deflection in front of the net with 3:41 left. Alex Kocoves fired a wrist shot from the slot to trim the margin to one goal.

“We almost win every third period we play in,” Quitiquit said. “We knew there was going to be a surge at the end because our boys are well conditioned. We just didn’t need to dig a hole that deep to climb out of.”

Northern faces off against West Bloomfield on Thursday for a spot in the regional final.

McGraw said his squad would need to clean up its play to advance further in the postseason.

“We didn’t give up too many quality shots tonight and we won two out of three periods,” McGraw said of holding off Central. “We’re just going to have to be much more efficient against West Bloomfield, and we should be ok.”