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Lakeland takes advantage of Milford penalties

By Jeff Theisen, 12/23/14, 9:45PM EST


The Huron Valley hockey teams met Saturday at Hartland Sports Center for the final battle of 2014 between the schools.

Lakeland took full advantage of a major penalty late in the first period and into the second with three power-play goals to break open a close game and rolled to an 8-0 victory.

The Eagles led just 1-0 after the first period, with Brendan Lemp scoring the lone goal of the first. Lakeland broke in with a three-on-one and Lemp scored off a feed from Matt Kovach.

Milford was assessed a five-minute major late in the first, so the man advantage carried into the second.

Lakeland got its first power-play goal exactly halfway through the penalty, with Blake Kocsis working by a couple of defenders before going top shelf for a 2-0 lead.

Kovach broke in thanks to a long feed from Brendan Lewis and cashed in with 13:37 to play in the second.

Just 25 seconds later, Kocsis scored again on the doorstep for the third power-play goal and a 4-0 lead.

"That kind of opened it up for us," Lakeland coach Tim Ronayne said. "We worked hard and did a lot of good things, but then we resorted to what's been troubling us so far in the early season. We've had a rough start, but we're working hard. We're preaching and hopefully they can execute what we're preaching.

"I know Milford is having a tough year. But when you get a Milford-Lakeland game of any kind, especially hockey, anything can happen at any time."

The Eagles made it 5-0 in the final seconds of the period, with Nick Langley lighting the lamp.

Lakeland scored three more in the third, with the final goal coming with 2:55 to play, ending the game by the mercy rule. Goals came from Nic Fernandez (short-handed), Andrew Lindon and Kovach.

Milford coach Hugh Pobur knows his team has to stay out of the box to have a chance and it was penalties which led to the lopsided score Saturday.

"When you take away probably 20 minutes of penalties, we're good," Pobur said. "Five-on-five is good; five-on-four is not so good."

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