Farmington High hockey playing its best at most important time

By: Mike Moore | Farmington Press | Published February 13, 2018

 Farmington High’s Nathan Arnold leads the charge up ice during a recent win over the Farmington Hills Flyers. The Falcons have been on fire of late, hitting their stride with the playoffs approaching.

Farmington High’s Nathan Arnold leads the charge up ice during a recent win over the Farmington Hills Flyers. The Falcons have been on fire of late, hitting their stride with the playoffs approaching.

Photo by Donna Agusti

FARMINGTON — The marathon of the regular season in any sport seems to always give way to the sprint that is the postseason.

But if one can find a team hitting its stride when it matters most, who knows what is possible?

“That’s kind of what we have going now,” Farmington High hockey coach Brad Levick said last week. “The past couple weeks, since Christmas really, we’ve been playing some very good hockey.”

Since a 5-4 loss to Troy High on Dec. 20, the Falcons have lost just once, putting together a 4-1-3 streak as of press time.

After starting the season 4-6-2, this has been the type of turn around Levick was hoping for, and just in time with the state playoffs less than two weeks away.

Levick knew he’d have a team that could put the puck in the net, evident by its 12 goals in the first three games. On the flip side, though, the defense has had to come along.

Those 12 goals, for example, led to just a 1-1-1 record as Farmington allowed 11 in the same span.

But that too has improved of late. During the past six games, the Falcons have allowed just 13 goals.

“Defense is so key,” Levick said. “Playoff hockey is a different animal, and that’s what we’re getting ready for. Every game has that atmosphere, where you won’t have the 6-4 or 6-5 games. We have to be ready to compete and win with low-scoring games.”

While the slow start to the winter certainly wasn’t what the Falcons wanted, it did eliminate them from Oakland Activities Association Red Division contention rather quickly.

“So our focus has been on the playoffs and getting ready for that,” Levick said. His team was 8-7-5 at press time. “We’re using the final games to put ourselves in the best spot possible.”

Farmington opens the Division 3 postseason at 7 p.m. Feb. 26 against Livonia Churchill at Eddie Edgar Arena in Livonia. The winner faces Livonia Franklin in a regional semifinal.

The Falcons lost to Churchill 5-1 and tied Franklin 6-6 earlier in the season.

“We’re peaking at the right time, moving in the right direction,” Levick added. “We’re not where we want to be just yet, but these guys are getting there, and they understand the opportunity we have coming up.”