Coming off a season that saw them reach the Division 1 State Semifinals, the Saline hockey team opened the 2017-18 campaign with a pair of impressive wins last week.
The Hornets opened the season downing Novi 6-3 Tuesday, November 14. Brendan Murphy put the Hornets on top in the first period with assists to Mikhail Lozovyy and Yanic Sadek.
Just 16 second into the second period, Murphy found the net again, with Gordie Niethammer and Alex Birkle assisting. Nick Miller would make it 3-0, with William Wynn and Connor Wright pulling the assists, but Novi would rally.
Novi scored three straight goals to tie the game a 3-3 with 13:02 left, but Logan Djanovich put the Hornets back on top with an unassisted goal.
Lozovyy made it 5-3 with 2:37 left in the game and Collin Clark added a late goal to finish off the scoring.
Cameron Crawford made 19 saves in net for Saline.
The Hornets got a little revenge Saturday, November 18 when they defeated Forest Hills Northern 4-1 in a rematch of last year’s Division 1 state semifinal game that Northern won.
Northern jumped out to an early lead with a power play goal in the first period. The Hornets were able to keep it close in spite of being called for four penalties in the period.
Saline exploded for three fast goals in the second period to take a 3-1 lead after two. Murphy scored twice, while Conner Wright added the third goal of the period.
Niethammer finished the scoring with a breakaway goal in the third to make the 4-1 final.
Jeffrey Gilbert was stellar in net, making 21 saves. He made several big saves when Northern was on the power play. Saline was called for eight penalties in the game to just two for Northern.
Collin Clark picked up two assists, while Wright, Niethammer, and Birkle each had one.
The Hornets improved to 2-0 on the season.