Boys Varsity Hockey · United Hockey Upends Troy

Article and photos courtesy of MIPrepzone
By Michael Wallwork

TROY – Rochester United overcame an early deficit to claim a 4-1 victory over Troy Untied in a key Oakland Activities Association game Saturday night.

Austin Streng got what proved to be the game winner midway through the second period. With the game tied 1-1, Streng went to the net and tipped in a shot off the stick of Kyle Crutchfield to make it 2-1 with 8:39 remaining in the period. The goal was Streng’s second of the game; he had tied the game 1-1 with exactly 4:00 left in the first period when he scored on a breakaway.

Troy United had come out strong and taken the early lead on a goal by Adam Ricketts with 8:52 remaining in the opening period. Just under one minute later, Troy United went to the power play with a chance to stretch the lead. But Rochester United’s penalty kill shut the power play down, holding Troy United without a shot. That seemed to turn the tide in the game, as Rochester United would go on to close the period strong and gradually assert control of the game with their superior depth.

“We were on our heels the beginning of the game. They (Troy United) came out firing on all cylinders. Killing penalties is a huge part of this, and that allows you to get momentum swings,” Rochester United head coach Bryan Kowalski said. “I think that is exactly where we kind of started to take over.”

Rochester United’s penalty kill would be tested a few more times as the game wore on, but each time it proved to be successful, holding Troy United to 0-5 on the power play.  Eventually, Rochester United’s own power play would put the game out of reach when Caden Ebinger rammed home a one-timer from in tight on a five-on-three power play. That goal made it 3-1 with just 5;10 remaining in the game.

Troy United got solid effort throughout the line up led by the play of Quest Bigelow and Jack Kotas. Goaltender A.J. Moceri was strong in net, finishing with 26 saves. That disciplined play kept Troy United close even as Rochester United asserted control of the game, but ultimately Troy United just could not find enough offense as Rochester United’s backchecking choked off any transition attempts by Troy United.

“I thought we played really good position,” Troy United head coach Tim Zimmerman said. “They (Rochester United) can move the puck. They’re physical with the puck. They retrieve possession of the puck once they lose it. They’re the best team in our league.”

With the win, Rochester United improves to 6-2 overall and 4-0 in the OAA. Rochester United will be back in action on Friday when they host Bloomfield Hills in another OAA match up.

“Obviously, any time you can get a win within the conference, whenever you play an OAA game, so I’m proud of the guys tonight,” Kowlaski said. “I’m really happy with how all those guys worked from top to bottom,” he added. “I had contributions from all four lines, all six defensemen. The goaltending was there. It was really a good program win.”