Farmington United senior Nathan Arnold shoots on net Jan. 9 against Bloomfield Hills High. At press time, United had a 10-2-1 overall record.

Farmington United senior Nathan Arnold shoots on net Jan. 9 against Bloomfield Hills High. At press time, United had a 10-2-1 overall record.

Photo by Sean Work

Farmington United hockey off to hot start in first season

By: Zachary Manning | Farmington Press | Published January 16, 2019


FARMINGTON/FARMINGTON HILLS — When Farmington High, North Farmington and Farmington Hills Harrison merged to form the Farmington United hockey program in the summer of 2018, nobody knew what to expect.

There was a worry that it would take some time for the team to come together as one. However, that worry would soon vanish as the players got on the ice.

With everyone working together and building chemistry, United was off to a 10-2-1 start overall and a 2-2 record in the Oakland Activities Association at press time. The team was ranked No. 8 in Division 1, according to Michigan High School Hockey Hub.

“The process, for one, is to get better every day, obviously, and to play as a unit no matter what. Whether we’re down three goals or we’re up three goals, always compete and play as a unit, because as soon as you get away from the things that you do well, mistakes happen, problems happen,” co-coach Chris Gendron said. “We just make sure to tell them, ‘You guys are one team; we play as one; you have fun and play Farmington United hockey.’”

Gendron and co-coach Brad Levick said the strengths of the team are experience, scoring and goaltending. However, for the team to reach its potential, the coaches want to see players avoid complacency and get better defensively.

Experience has been a huge factor in the hot start to the season. United has 11 seniors on the roster, and that made the merge smoother and took some pressure off the coaching staff.

United has two captains in North Farmington senior Ben McColl and Farmington High senior Collin Rea, along with two assistant captains in Farmington junior Kyle Jackson and Farmington senior Ben Jugan.

McColl leads the team in goals with 19, while Rea leads in assists with 16. Jackson and Jugan have combined for four goals and eight assists. The four have combined for 60 points.

In net, North Farmington junior Bryn Sommerfeldt has a 5-0-1 record, while holding a 1.78 goals-against average. Farmington High senior Nick Rogers has a 5-2 record with a 2.80 goals-against average.

“We finish very well. We can score a lot of goals, and that’s helping us,” McColl said. “The best thing we could do to help us is just make sure we get it out of our zone and win the battles at the blue lines.”

As the season goes along, United wants to remain focused on one game at a time. However, the coaches and players know they have the potential to achieve something great with the group of guys they have.

Winning the OAA and making a run in the playoffs is a goal that the coaching staff said isn’t out of the realm of possibility.

“That’s what we’re working towards, and we just got to keep our head down and keep working towards all that. With hard work and everything like that, we can get there if we put the hard work into it,” Levick said.

Catch United on the ice at 6:45 p.m. Jan. 17 at Farmington Hills Ice Arena against Rochester United (7-0 OAA).