Flyers to be tested in final stretch of games leading into playoffs

By: Mike Moore | Farmington Press | Published February 6, 2017

 United’s Jamie Dodd rips a shot against Berkley. The Flyers open the postseason against Novi Detroit Catholic Central.

United’s Jamie Dodd rips a shot against Berkley. The Flyers open the postseason against Novi Detroit Catholic Central.

Photo by Donna Dalziel

FARMINGTON HILLS — This isn’t exactly the way it was drawn up.

Still, as Ken Anderson spoke about the remaining schedule his Farmington Hills United hockey team is about to endure, he also knows there’s not much he can do about it — aside from making the most of it.

“The scheduling conflicts early on kind of forced our hand into what this is,” Anderson said. “I guess you’d rather not play this many games in this few days, but we have a chance to make the most of it.”

At press time, the Flyers were 6-10-0 overall, having played 16 games in 48 days.

Up next is a stretch of six games in less than 11 days.

“We see this as a great test,” Anderson said. “The goal is to win more than we lose and get better along the way.”

After starting the year 3-7-0, the Flyers have leveled off of late, going 3-3-0 in their past six games.

“Things are getting better; they really are,” Anderson said. “The goal is to get more consistent from one period to the next. Really, we want to break it down, all the way from one shift to the next, one period to the next and one game to the next.”

That will be essential now.

The Flyers kick off the streak with a 7:15 p.m. Feb. 8 game against Berkley Unified.

The following night, the opponent is Lake Orion High at home.

Two days later, Grand Blanc High comes to town for a Feb. 11 game.

After a day off, United travels to play a Feb. 13 contest against Rochester Hills Stoney Creek, followed by a home game against Milford High Feb. 15 and a rivalry game against Farmington High Feb. 18.

“Everyone is going to get ice time,” Anderson said. “When you’re playing this much, you have to go deeper on the bench. Your key guys will see more time, especially on the special teams. When that happens, you need the rest of the team to really step up.”

After four days off, the Flyers close the regular season with a pair of road games Feb. 23 at Lake Orion and Feb. 25 at Royal Oak High.

All of this leads into a playoff opener against Novi Detroit Catholic Central, one of the top teams in Division 1.

“At this point in the season, being out of contention in the (Oakland Activities Association Red Division), our focus is on getting prepared for the postseason,” Anderson said. “This is also a chance to get our confidence going. The more confident we can play going into the Catholic Central game, the better we’re going to play.”