Hancock earns first win, 6-1, over Traverse City
HANCOCK — The Hancock Bulldogs tallied their first win of the season on Saturday afternoon as they beat the Traverse City Central Trojans, 6-1, and moved to 1-4 on the year.
“We finally had a chance to play someone our own size,” said Hancock coach Dan Rouleau, smiling after the game.
He was referring to the fact that Hancock and Traverse City are two young teams full of freshmen and sophomores. Hancock’s losses had come twice in at the hands of Calumet, Houghton and Hartland, all top teams in the state in their respective divisions.
Both teams battled it out end-to-end in the first period to no score. Hancock dominated in the shot department with 13 compared to only four shots for Traverse City.
Hancock put their first score on the board at 13:19 in the second period when senior Trevor Tchida pushed the puck that was loose in the crease past Trojan goalie Grant Neuhardt. The second period saw some tremendous goaltending by Philip Rios who saved at least two goals from going in.
In the third, Austin Salani grabbed onto a loose puck in front of the net and shoved it through traffic to put Hancock up 2-0.
The Bulldogs would score four more times in the third and that put them at three time more goals than they had scored all year. In four games, the Bulldogs had tallied only two goals.
“I don’t know which I am more excited about, the win or the fact that we got more than two goals on the season,” said Rouleau.
Scoring for the Bulldogs in addition to Tchida and Austin Salani were Todd Anderson who put a loose puck in at 7:17 of the third. Thirty seconds later Austin Salani got his second goal of the night as he carried it up the ice and backhanded the puck past Neuhardt.
The Bulldogs’ fifth goal came at 12:31 into the third period courtesy of Colton Salani and Bryce Randall found the back of the net at 13:07 to round out the offense.
The game was not all naught for the Trojans, They did find the back of the net in the third period. Kelly Kuhr slapped a loose puck past Rios.
On the afternoon Rios had 21 saves compared to 23 for Neuhardt.
The Trojans racked up 27 minutes in the penalty box, including a five-minute major for checking from behind by Trevor Schuiling. The Bulldogs only clocked eight minutes of penalties, which Rouleau was pleased with.
“They are a tough team,” said Traverse City head coach Chris Givens who grew up playing hockey and football at Hancock. “We had too many defensive breakdowns and fumbled the puck too much to be able to compete with a team like this.”
Up next for the Bulldogs is Rochester United on Friday.
Traverse City Central 0 0 1 – 1
Hancock 0 1 5 – 6
1, HCH, Trevor Tchida, 13:19
2, HCH, Austin Salani,
3, HCH, Todd Anderson, 7:17
4, HCH, Austin Salani,
5, HCH, Colton Salani, 12:31
6, HCH, Bryce Randell, 13:07
7, TCC, Kelly Kuhr,
TCC, Neuhardt 0 0 0 – 23
HCH, Rios 0 0 0 – 21
TCC: 8/27; HCH: 4/8