Opinion: Skyline hockey has the right mix for a high-scoring season

 

The Skyline hockey team has a certain way of playing the game. And part of that is that they play the game the same way for three periods. There is a consistency to their game, their style, their success.

They seem to have a combination of highly skilled players and tenacious players and that combination has resulted in a lot of victories – 13 to be exact.

The Eagles improved to 13-4 on Saturday with a solid 10-2 win over Huron at the Arctic Coliseum in Chelsea.

After knocking off the rival River Rats, Skyline Coach Jake Stripp couldn’t stop smiling. And it wasn’t just because his hockey team won a hockey game. Or even that they had won 12 before that. It’s the WAY in which they are winning hockey games.

“We’ve put together a nice little stretch,” Stripp said. “We have a couple kids who can really shoot and I think our strength is the ability to put the puck in the net. It’s different than it was for the last two or three years where we would get three or four goals and then just hope to hang on. This year we can get in shootouts and still be able to win games.

“As long as we can put the puck in the net like we did (Saturday) we should be OK moving forward.”

CHECK OUT VIDEO FROM THE GAME WITH HURON: https://weloveannarbor.com/2018/01/21/hockey-skyline-cruises-to-10-2-victory-over-ann-arbor-huron/

Skyline used that combination of skill and hard work to turn a 4-1 lead into a 7-1 lead in less than 3 minutes near the start of the third period against Huron. While the River Rats never backed down and didn’t go easily, the Eagles created too many opportunities with their excellent stick handling, passing and finishing.

Stripp said the Eagles are really looking forward to Michigan Public High School Hockey Showcase in Chelsea Feb. 8-11. The tournament features 27 teams from all over the state and a chance for teams to play competition they usually don’t get a chance to face off with.

“We have three tough teams and we’re looking forward to it,” Stripp said. “It’s great. It’s hockey all day long from Wednesday to Sunday. We play Birmingham, currently undefeated; Farmington, another really good team and Woodhaven who is having a really good year. Those games will show where we are heading towards the end of the season.”

Skyline returns to action Saturday against Dexter in Chelsea. And that game won’t be easy. The Dreadnaughts (12-3 overall) are a solid hockey team with one of the best goalies in the state in Kristoffer Eberly.

“Dexter is always a really good game for us and they match up really well with us,” said Stripp, who has assistant coaches Kenny Longeway and Joe Hume on the bench with him. “They have a strong first line and their goalie is the best goalie in the conference. We beat them 3-0 the first time and one of the goals was an empty net so we got two shots past him on like 45 shots.”

 

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