Foley Shined in the MAC Showcase on MLK Day
M t. Clemens, Michigan January 17, 2022
Could this be the same Port Huron team that Foley defeated by a 9 – 0 score back on December 9th? It didn’t look like it. At the end of the first period, it was a scoreless tie. At the end of two periods, it was a one-all tie. At the end of the game, Foley prevailed by a slim 3 – 2 score.
The contest was played as part of the MAC (Macomb Area Conference) Showcase Monday morning – the MLK Holiday – at Mt. Clemens Arena.
Associate Coach Luke Ortel ran the game bench for Foley today. From his perspective “Really, the major difference in the game is we didn’t get any bounces. There are games in hockey where you don’t get the right bounces, as many pucks as you get to the net, or as much traffic as you get, those tips you get in front of the net just go outside the post. That sort of thing. That happened to us a little bit this morning… It’s good to grind out a win when the bounces weren’t going your way.”
It was the same Port Huron team, but not the same line-up as back in December. The biggest change was in net. Elijah Jones was between the pipes on Monday. He faced a barrage of Foley shots from all angles and was up to the task. Every goal counts, and every player can be the difference in a game. Jones was the difference for Port Huron in this game.
“That goalie, (Port Huron’s Jones). He made some nice saves,” said Coach Ortel. “We got burned a couple times this year with good goaltending. This could have easily been six to one, or seven to one today if a couple bounces go differently.”
Foley platooned their goaltenders for the first time this season. Dominic Carnaghi started the game in net for Foley in the first period. The first period was close to flawless hockey: no goals and no penalties.
The second period had Alex Corrado in the Foley net.
Port Huron opened the scoring in the game two minutes into the period. Trevor Greig got the goal. Foley just failed to clear their zone. They repeatedly passed the puck back and forth along the boards, behind the net and around the corners looking for an outlet. You can only do that so many times before the other guy catches on.
There may have been a benefit to the Port Huron goal. Greig may have shocked the Foley team into a new competitive reality. This wasn’t going to be the same Port Huron team they faced in December. If that was the case, it worked.
A more determined Foley team took the play to Port Huron. Less than a minute later, with the play deep in the Port Huron end, Foley’s Tyler Dempsey fed the puck from behind the Port Huron net to Carter Penn who was perched on the doorstep of the net. Penn buried the puck to tie the game at one-all.
Like the first period, there were no penalties, no power plays in the second period.
Foley went back to Carnaghi in goal for the third period.
Foley took the lead early in the period on a pretty, unassisted goal by Peter Murphy. Murphy skated the puck out from deep in the offensive zone’s corner and dashed across the front of the Port Huron net. He back handed the puck, a play not often seen, through Jones’ five-hole. Foley lead 2 – 1.
The score stood that way until there was 2:49 left in the third period when Foley’s Nick Alter netted bis first goal of the season for a 3 – 1 lead. Tim Martin set-up the scoring play.
Port Huron still had a kick in can coming. You could almost feel it. With just 1:07 left in the period, Port Huron’s Ethan White made it a one goal game, 3- 2.
Foley kept the pressure in the Port Huron end to close out the game and to take the victory. No penalties were called in the third period.
“We did a really good job on the backend today,” complimented Ortel. “Our defensemen, this may have been one of their best games of the year, especially with our break-outs… Those defensemen were willing to jump up in the play a little bit because Port Huron was clogging the neutral zone, making it tough for our forwards to come back, and regroup. It’s the responsibility of the defenseman to jump up there. So, I thought they did a good job of that today.”
MVP medals were presented to both teams after the game. Alter got the MVP for Foley for scoring the game winning goal. For Port Huron, there was only one choice for the MVP, the goalie Elijah Jones.
Foley’s next game is Friday at Lindell Arena as the team faces-off against University Liggett School as part of the Catholic High School League Showcase.