HOUGHTON - For the first time on this young season, Houghton coach Corey Markham put Jonathan Bostwick and Reid Pietila on the same 5-on-5 forward unit.
Houghton’s Jonathan Bostwick scores the second of his three goals behind Farmington Hills Flyers goalie Thomas Bacon during Friday’s 7-2 Gremlin win Friday at Dee?Stadium as defenseman Carlos Tobar comes over. (DMG photo by Brandon Veale)
Like baking soda and vinegar, this combination produced a reaction of goals Friday. Bostwick had a hat trick and two assists, and Pietila two goals and four assists as the Gremlins took down the Farmington Unified Flyers 7-2.
"They're just both real skilled offensive players and they kept their feet moving. They're moving to openings, getting the puck to each other. Real strong effort from those two," Houghton coach Corey Markham said.
The senior had four two-goal games last season but hadn't notched three in a contest since Feb. 5, 2013 vs. Kingsford.
FH Flyers1 1 0 - 2
Houghton1 3 3 - 7
First period - 1, FH, Danny Arnold (unassisted), 8:10 (SH); 2, HOU, Reid Pietila 5(Jonathan Bostwick), 16:45.
Second period - 3, HOU, Bostwick 6 (Pietila), :52; 4, HOU, Bostwick 7 (Cale Markham, Pietila), 5:49 (PP); 5, FH, Carlos Tobar (Joey Lajcaj), 6:49; 6, HOU, Spencer Donnelly (Bostwick), 15:04 (SH).
Third period - 7, HOU, Bostwick (Pietila, Markham), 2:28; 8, HOU, Pietila (Dawson McKay), 13:05; 9, HOU, Markham (Pietila), 14:20.
Power-play opportunities - FH Flyers 0-for-5; Houghton 2-for-3.
Penalties - FH Flyers 3/6; Houghton 6/15.
Goalie saves - FH, Thomas Bacon 21 (9-6-6); HOU, Ryall Purdy 13 (6-5-2).
"I feel like I was set up well by my teammates. I had a lot of ice in front of me and I just took the puck to the net, had a couple tap-in goals. I just drove the puck to the net," Bostwick said.
Pietila had four five-point games last season, but Friday's was his first six-pointer in a Gremlin uniform.
Houghton caught a bad break early when a blocked point shot turned into a shorthanded breakaway buried by the Flyers' Danny Arnold 8:10 in, but the Gremlins responded
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before the end of the period, Pietila popping a puck over Flyer goaltender Thomas Bacon from close range just 15 seconds before intermission.
The combination got firing early in the second period when a Pietila shot led to a huge rebound to Bostwick standing on the other side of the goal. He whipped it into the yawning cage to give Houghton the lead for good at 3:52.
Less than two minutes later on the power play, Bostwick won a race with Bacon to the far post, wrapping around to push the puck past his right skate for the 3-1 goal at 5:39.
"Cale passed the puck to me, and I was on the goal line and I saw the goalie was way out of his crease out by the goal line and there weren't any defensemen on the back side, so I figured it'd be best to take it around the net and try to jam it and hope for the best," Bostwick said.
The Flyers pulled one back on a point shot of Carlos Tobar's that got through Gremlin goalie Ryall Purdy and had a legitimate opportunity to even the game up late in the period when Wyatt Liston appeared to lose his balance in the corner and board a Flyer on the way down, earning a five-minute major and game misconduct.
However, Houghton managed to not only kill the penalty but get a goal of its own. Spencer Donnelly got under a shot from the right face-off circle, but the already-fluttering puck may have grazed at least one more object before getting behind Bacon with 3:37 left in the frame.
Bostwick completed his hat trick with a tap-in from Markham's feed 2:28 into the third and both Pietila and Markham had insurance goals in the latter stages.
Purdy finished with 13 saves for the Gremlins, Bacon 21 for the Flyers (4-2).
"I thought we came with a lot of energy. It was something we stressed going into this game, with our energy level and compete level all over the ice. I thought we did that. We competed for every loose puck, we were very strong on it and it was just a good all-around effort by our team," coach Markham said.
The win ups Houghton's record to 5-0-1 overall ahead of a visit from Rochester United, the No. 2-ranked team in Division 1 in the most recent Michigan High School Hockey Coaches Association poll, today at 1.
"We're starting to compete well, we're starting to play together as a team more. Our passing has improved a lot the last couple weeks. Looks good from here," Bostwick said.