DETROIT — Friends, rivals and frozen.
The Rochester United and Rochester Hills Stoney Creek hockey teams had plenty in common Monday afternoon, most notably a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play at Comerica Park.
“It’s just so cool, for us, for the guys, for all the people involved,” United coach Craig Staskowski said after his guys won 5-4 in a shootout.
“Awesome,” said Stoney coach Ian Smith. “An experience everybody here will never forget. For these kids to be down here and with their families and playing against guys they know and are friends with, it’s something pretty special.”
Comerica was outfitted with a rink last week in preparation for the Hockeytown Winter Festival, which begins after Christmas.
Stoney and United kicked off a four-day event of high school games.
Stoney struck first in the game, getting power-play goals from Ian Lustila and Cam Scharrett roughly three minuets apart in the first period.
United then took the momentum right back, getting a goal from Frank Scheff with 8:13 remaining in the first frame, and then consecutive goals by Mershall Bowery, Jimmy Pittel and Luke Brunson in the second period to take a 4-2 lead heading into the third.
Stoney wouldn’t go quietly, though, as Ryan Madek scored with 1:39 remaining in regulation, and then Ryan Matusik tied the game with 3.7 seconds remaining.
United forward Max Harper scored the only goal in the five-man shootout.
“Awesome,” Harper said with a smile. “I’ve never done anything like that.”
United is now 6-2.
Stoney falls to 5-3.