By Matthew Bartow / WLAA
As the cliché goes, all good things come to an end.
And the 2019 Skyline’s boys’ lacrosse team experienced plenty of good things. But the Eagles’ season came to an end in a 12-4 loss to top-seeded Saline Wednesday in a MHSAA D-1 Regional Semifinal at Hillside Middle School in Northville, ending their season. The Eagles finish with a 15-5 overall record.
Greg Normand, Skyline’s head coach, said that despite the loss, this season was their best in school history.
“We had our best record in Skyline’s 10-year history,” Normand said. “We only lost five games all year, with three of them to one opponent [Saline].”
The Eagles got off to a furious start against the Hornets. After a great save by goaltender Kaelan Bonner on Saline’s opening possession, the Eagles quickly carried the ball into Saline’s defensive zone. A few passes later, senior captain Cam Newton snapped the ball past Saline’s goaltender, giving Skyline a 1-0 lead just 1:04 into the game. Finn Kilbride assisted on Newton’s goal.
The Eagles struck again just 29 seconds later. They forced a turnover, leaving Saline out of position. Isaac Lippert seized the opportunity and fired the ball past Saline’s goaltender, giving Skyline a 2-0 lead.
Both teams traded chances for the next few minutes, until the Eagles took a one-minute slashing penalty at 7:35 of the first period. The penalty would prove costly, as Saline’s Tanyr Krummenacher scored his first of five goals on the power play to cut Skyline’s lead in half with 6:46 remaining in the first quarter. Gavin Klaassen assisted on the goal.
Saline scored two goals late in the quarter to take the lead. After a near miss by the Eagles at one end, Krummenacher scored again with 1:28 remaining in the quarter to tie the game. Saline struck again only 11 seconds later. The Eagles found themselves out of position after Saline won a ground ball, and Saline’s Chris Peters shot the ball past Bonner to give the Hornets their first lead of the game. Connor Martin assisted on Peters’ goal. The Hornets held a 3-2 lead after the first quarter.
Saline expanded their lead early in the second quarter. The Hornets controlled the opening faceoff, and once again the Eagles were caught out of position. Bonner made one good save, but Saline’s George Gatecliff fired the ball past Bonner to give the Hornets a 4-2 lead.
The Eagles were not about to go quietly. After a great save from Bonner a few minutes earlier kept Skyline in the game, Newton scored a highlight reel goal, juking a Saline defender to get to the net unobstructed, and he beat Saline’s goaltender to trim the Eagles’ deficit to 4-3 with 7:41 remaining in the second quarter. Newton, Skyline’s leading scorer for the season, finished the game with two goals, giving him 66 for the season.
Saline padded their lead going into halftime. After the Eagles turned over the ball seconds earlier, Peters streaked to the goal with little resistance and scored his second goal of the game with 5:08 remaining in the half. Following another Skyline turnover soon after, Peters scored his third goal of the game with 3:46 remaining in the half to give the Hornets a 6-3 lead. He finished the game with three goals. The Eagles had a great scoring opportunity to cut into Saline’s lead going into halftime; however, the bid by Lippert was turned aside by Saline’s goaltender in the final seconds of the half. Saline led 6-3 at halftime.
Normand told his team at halftime that if they cleaned up a few mistakes, they could hang with Saline.
“You guys are in this game,” Normand said. “Minus two or three mistakes here and there, we’re right with them.”
Like in the second quarter, Saline gained control of the opening faceoff and scored in the first minute of the third quarter. Krummenacher scored for Saline just 51 seconds into the second half to give the Hornets a 7-3 lead.
For much of the third quarter, Skyline and Saline traded chances, but neither team scored. The Eagles had two power play chances in the period, but were unable to take advantage, and the game remained 7-3 for over 11 minutes of action in the quarter.
The Eagles had an opportunity to narrow Saline’s lead going into the final quarter. Following another great save by Bonner on a penalty kill, they forced a Saline turnover and which led to a shorthanded opportunity at the other end. However, Skyline’s Stephen Wright was turned aside by Saline’s goaltender, and the Eagles were unable to trim the deficit. To make matters worse for the Eagles, Krummenacher scored with 25 seconds remaining in the third quarter to give the Hornets a five-goal lead heading into the final quarter.
Bonner made a few good saves during the final quarter, but the Hornets jumped all over Skyline, scoring three times in the quarter to put the game away. The Eagles scored one more goal, when Lippert snapped the ball into the net for his second goal of the game with eight seconds remaining in the contest. He finished the season as Skyline’s second-leading goal scorer, with a total of 49 goals for the season.
Saline will advance to the regional final, which will also be played at Hillside Middle School on May 29. They will face Plymouth.
Saline 12, Ann Arbor Skyline 4
1 2 3 4 T
Saline 3 3 2 4 12
Skyline 2 1 0 1 4
10:56 – Skyline – Cam Newton (1) assisted by Finn Kilbride (1) – Eagles 1, Hornets 0
10:27 – Skyline – Isaac Lippert (1) unassisted – Eagles 2, Hornets 0
6:46 – Saline (PPG) – Tanyr Krummenacher (1) assisted by Gavin Klaassen (1) – Eagles 2, Hornets 1
1:28 – Saline – Tanyr Krummenacher (2) assisted by Gavin Klaassen (2) – Eagles 2, Hornets 2
1:17 – Saline – Chris Peters (1) assisted by Connor Martin (1) – Hornets 3, Eagles 2
11:26 – Saline – George Gatecliff (1) unassisted – Hornets 4, Eagles 2
7:41 – Skyline – Cam Newton (2) unassisted – Hornets 4, Eagles 3
5:08 – Saline – Chris Peters (2) unassisted – Hornets 5, Eagles 3
3:46 – Saline – Chris Peters (3) unassisted – Hornets 6, Eagles 3
11:09 – Saline – Tanyr Krummenacher (3) unassisted – Hornets 7, Eagles 3
0:25 – Saline – Tanyr Krummenacher (4) unassisted – Hornets 8, Eagles 3
10:51 – Saline – Tanyr Krummenacher (5) unassisted – Hornets 9, Eagles 3
3:46 – Saline – Gavin Klaassen (1) unassisted – Hornets 10, Eagles 3
3:08 – Saline (PPG) – Gavin Klaassen (2) assisted by Tanyr Krummenacher (1) – Hornets 11, Eagles 3
2:16 – Saline – Jakob Torzewski (1) unassisted – Hornets 12, Eagles 3
0:08 – Skyline – Isaac Lippert (2) unassisted – Hornets 12, Eagles 4