Emeralds start new winning streak

After su_ering a pair of recent losses, their first since back before Thanksgiving, the Emeralds Varsity Hockey team is back on track. The Emeralds went below the bridge and brought back a pair of wins, defeating the Cadillac Vikings 5-1 Friday Night before blasting the Lakeshore Badgers Co-Op 9-1 in a Saturday Afternoon mercy. The wins started a brand-new winning streak for a team that was unbeaten in 9 straight contests.

It was the second straight grueling week for the Emeralds, who followed up a three-game-in-three-day stretch two weeks ago with a 1,000 mile journey that included three more games in four days starting in Houghton last Wednesday Night (a 3-2 loss to Je_ers) and ended with the team travelling in the opposite direction to Cadillac and Manistee over the weekend. The Emerald’s came out composed and focused, possibly fired up by a team meeting prior to the Cadillac contest aimed to get the team back on track. Whatever was said it certainly worked as the Emerlads came out strong controlling Cadillac in a 5-1 win.

Blake Walther got the team o_ to another blistering start, scoring less than three minutes in on an assist by Matthew Rahilly. The Vikings came back quickly to tie it a 1-1 but it was all Emeralds after that. Gavin Nutkins set up Stephen Allen to make it 2-1 at the end of the first period. They picked up right where they left o_, scoring three times in the second. Rahilly deflected home a shot by Nutkins, Carte Miller blasted one home, and Carsyn Hinkson finished it o_ and the Emeralds hung on for the win.

The momentum carried over to a win over an overmatched Lakeshore Badgers team on Saturday. The Badgers entered with a record of 0-11-0 on the season, and had only scored three times all season coming in. The goal for the Emeralds though was simple. Don;t play down to the competition, execute their advantages, and get home healthy. It was an all around success with a 9-1 win that was stopped after just two periods of play. It was all Emeralds right from the start as they scored more goals in the first period than Lakeshore had total shots. Carter Lavigne got the domination underway with a goal 34 seconds in and the Emeralds never looked back. Carsyn Hinkson continued his strong weekend making it 2-0 just a few minutes later. Austin Hinkson added a little flare with a tumbling backhand shot making it 3-0. Miller made it 4-0 midway through the first. Despite the lopsided score, Lakeshore battled tough and got a goal in the second period but it was already 7-0 at that point. Stephen Allen added another goal, Gavin Nukins got on the board, and in one of the ultimate highlights of the season, Ryan McEvers got his first career varsity goal that brought fans and teammates to their feet! McEvers started the season with the JV team and earned a call-up while playing as much as possible between the two teams. Players and coaches made it a part of their weekend mission to set McEvers up, who delivered the memorable moment.

After the Lakeshore goal, Manistique made sure to finish the job, getting a pair of scores in the final minute of the second to gain the eight-goal mercy advantage. Matthew Rahilly and Zach Burton added their names to the crowded scoresheet, with Burtons coming just in time. There was less than a second remaining in the period.

The Emeralds will return home to the Little Bear West Arena on Saturday for a rematch with Cadillac. Game time is set for 1pm. The program will celebrate Parent’s Night as part of the game day festivities.