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Royal Oak High hockey tops Walled Lake Western in overtime

Herbert's goal wins it for Ravens

By: Alex Tekip | C&G Newspapers | Published January 6, 2016


ROYAL OAK—Royal Oak High hockey opened 2016 with a 3-2 overtime win against Walled Lake Western on Jan. 6 at home. 

“It’s always fun to win in overtime,” said Royal Oak coach Craig Ward. “They’re a good team. They play hard. We played physical; we moved the puck. It’s a good start to January, to 2016.”

Wade Herbert scored the winning goal for Royal Oak (2-1) 30 seconds into overtime.  Max Gabriel and Clay Kosnik also scored for the Ravens. Kosnik’s goal tied the game at 2 with 2:44 left to play in the third period.

With the game tied in the third, Ward said he stressed a “defense first, offense second” philosophy to give the Ravens an opportunity to win.

“They kept their composure,” Ward said. “They played to win. I’m proud of how they played, and I’m proud of the result of the game.”

Walled Lake Western’s (0-6) young team was able to contest the experienced Ravens, namely due to an impressive performance by goalie Anders Elmblad, who held the Ravens to just three goals on 33 shots.

“It’s a rebuilding year for the school,” said Western coach Tommy Mannino. “A much different team than last year’s team, but we’ve got a lot of kids that are developing and working hard.”

The Warriors only had 18 shots on goal, but two of those shots—one from Mitchell Katkin and the other from Cam Newton—came at the right moments, allowing Western to tie the game at the end of the first period and take the lead halfway through the second.

Mannino said the game is indicative of the Warriors' overall improvement. 

“When you look at the game, hockey comes down to Xs and Os, it comes down to skill and it comes down to competing, and we’re getting a lot out of our kids right now,” Mannino said. ”I’m proud of their effort. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the win like we wanted to, but across the board, we’re all getting better.”

Royal Oak’s next game is Jan. 9 against Romeo High. Western faces crosstown rival Walled Lake Central on Jan. 11.