Attention Readers
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, C & G Newspapers has temporarily suspended its print publications. We look forward to resuming our print operation in the coming weeks. In the meantime, continue to find local news on our website and look for us on Facebook and Twitter. We hope you stay healthy and safe.

Ike hockey finds new challenges leading MAC Red

By: Brad D. Bates | Shelby - Utica News | Published February 9, 2011

 Utica Eisenhower junior Aaron Schnieder and the Eagles will look to get back on track in the MAC Red against Utica High at 8:30 p.m. Feb. 19 at Macomb Suburban Ice Arena.

Utica Eisenhower junior Aaron Schnieder and the Eagles will look to get back on track in the MAC Red against Utica High at 8:30 p.m. Feb. 19 at Macomb Suburban Ice Arena.

Photo by Erin Sanchez

Advertisement

FRASER — In high school sports, there are always going to be days like Feb. 4 was for the Utica Eisenhower hockey team — especially when everyone is gunning for you.

The first-place Eagles fell to Utica Stevenson 6-3 at Great Lakes Sports City to move to 6-2 in the MAC Red, 15-4 overall, and got a taste of what it’s like to be a marked team.

“We’ve got to show up and play better, because right now everyone we play is going to do that,” coach Bob Hall said. “That’s the challenge we have right now, and it’s up to the boys to decide whether or not they want to meet it.”

Against the rival Titans, that challenge came in the form of the third period, during which Ike was outscored 4-1.

“It’s hard to beat any team twice, and there are a lot of good teams in the MAC Red,” Hall said referring to Ike’s 6-1 win against Stevenson Dec. 11 and its 5-0 start to the league.

“Everyone in the league wants to beat Eisenhower right now too, so we’ve got to do a better job matching their energy level.”

The Eagles continued their way through arguably the toughest portion of their schedule with a 6-3 loss to Farmington High in the MAC/OAA Showcase Feb. 5.

And they will further that test when they face Novi High at 4:45 Feb. 9, Escanaba High at 6 p.m. Feb. 10 and Brighton High at 8:30 p.m. Feb. 13 as part of the Public Schools Showcase at the Chelsea Arctic Coliseum.

“You’ve got to be able to forget and walk away from games like this,” Hall said Feb. 4 after the loss to Stevenson. “We’ve got to focus on preparing for Farmington, then it’s time for Novi, Escanaba and Brighton.”

While tough, this run of games could be the most valuable experience the team can get before the state playoffs get started Feb. 28.

“The playoffs are a unique ordeal,” Hall said. “You get one shot. You win, you go on. You lose, and you’re out. So you have to be at your best for every game.”

While the loss to Farmington marked the first time this season that the Eagles lost back-to-back games, Hall said he still has faith his squad can turn things back around.

“We know we have a talented group of players,” Hall said. “And I’m a firm believer that the players have to motivate themselves.

“It’s the coach’s job to get them ready and give them all the tools they need, but it’s the players that have to decide they want it more than the other team and go out and execute.”

 

Advertisement