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Starting Six: Westside Week

By Craig Peterson, 12/18/19, 8:00AM EST


Grand Rapids standouts headline this week's Dream Team

Who’s ready for some Ho-Ho-Hockey!? It’s the last full week of action before the holiday break, and final games of 2019 for most of the teams around the state. 

I’ve got a special edition of the Dream Team of the Week, as we’re going with an All-Westside lineup for Week Five. If you don’t know by now, I’m spending the entire upcoming weekend in the Grand Rapids area, taking in as many games and practices as I can get to over the next couple days. Lots of great programs, coaches and players along the left side of the state and I’m excited to see them in action!



Austin Combs, Milford

6 G, 4 A

16 FPS


Doug Wood, University Liggett

3 G, 8 A

14 FPS


Mason Kelly, Forest Hills Central

4 G, 3 A

11 FPS


Andrew Potyk, Lake Orion

4 G, 1 A



Dylan Dooley, Detroit Catholic Central

3 G, 3 A



I am pumped! I am excited! Lots of these teams will be on the east side for the quickly approaching MIHL Showcase and Public School Showcase coming up in February, but just like those people who open presents on Christmas Eve, I CAN’T WAIT that long! So let’s key in on some of the top players ready to light it up this week.



Week Five

Monday, December 16th - Sunday, Dec. 22nd

FORWARD, Senior Benj Bultema, Grand Rapids Christian

SCHEDULE: 12/18 @ Lowell-Caledonia, 12/20 vs. Grand Haven, 12/21 vs. Byron Center

Guy posted back-to-back hat tricks last week with three goals against Wyandotte in a 4-3 win and then another trifecta as part of a seven-point effort against East Kentwood. Bultema started out the season a little slow with just one point in his first four games but is red hot in mid-December! The senior has 11 points in his last three outings and with a fantastic trio of games this week, I’m looking for Bultema to continue this hot streak he’s on for the Eagles.


FORWARD, Junior Tyler Nickelson, Forest Hills Northern-Eastern

SCHEDULE: 12/20 vs. Byron Center, 12/21 vs. Grand Haven

Another forward who was a little slow out of the gate in November but has ripped off four, count em, four consecutive multi-point games for a total of three goals and 10 points. Nickelson has great size and is the spark behind FHNE’s offensive attack; when he scores, this team wins. Both matchups should be evenly matched and I think BC on Friday could be a high-scoring affair. Nickelson will be a key factor in both games, as he looks to close out 2019 in style.


FORWARD, Senior Ryan Jeffreys, Forest Hills Central

SCHEDULE: 12/20 @ Birmingham Unified, 12/21 @ Northville

The 6-foot-1 forward has eight points in the last four games including a three-point night against Lowell-Caledonia last week. The Rangers have been on a tear as of late, scoring seven goals in four straight games and Jeffreys has been at the center of that offensive surge. As FHC heads east for the weekend, I don’t anticipate them reaching the seven-goal mark but Jeffreys will have to factor into the offense significantly if the Rangers are to return home with a pair of wins. 


DEFENSEMAN, Junior Josh Froysland, Byron Center

SCHEDULE: 12/20 @ FHNE, 12/21 @ GR Christian

I like the way the left-handed defender can really dictate the flow of the game when he’s on the ice. Froysland has a goal and three assists this season and the Bulldogs are 3-0-1 in those contests. The three-year junior has just one assist in three career games against GR Christian and the last time Froysland played FHNE was February of his freshman year, so the track record may not be there against this week’s opponents. However, he’s been a major contributor in BC’s special teams and playing a significant role in the Dogs’ lineup, with all four of his points coming on the power play. 


DEFENSEMAN, Junior Dayton Perroud, Rockford

SCHEDULE: 12/20 @ GRCC, 12/21 @ Grandville

The Rams have played just three games, meaning they’ve had plenty of practice and prep time during the early stages of the season. In those three games, though, Perroud has led Rockford in scoring with a goal and four points including a two-point outing on opening night. The junior D-man runs the risk of starting game action out a little slow, due to the lack of game speed to this point in the year but I expect both of these games to be tight contests and Perroud’s performance should feed into the outcome of the game.


GOALIE, Senior Gavin Brady, Forest Hills Central

SCHEDULE: 12/20 @ Birmingham Unified, 12/21 @ Northville

The 5-foot-10 netminder is riding a four-game win streak with a .941 save percentage over that stretch. Brady has also made starts on consecutive days on two separate occasions already this season, which isn’t an easy task. The schedule this week goes Friday-Saturday and I don’t know if Brady gets the cage on both nights, but he’s done it before and the junior is on a roll. I’ll hop on the bandwagon and see if FHC can keep it going during their Eastside trip. 

Love the picks? Let’s have some fun on Twitter and tell me who I should be taking in the Dream Team of the Week.