Gaylord, Mich — Hockey’s post-season is officially underway. Alpena’s first playoff game was delayed one day due to weather, but the Wildcats showed no signs of rust against Sault Ste. Marie.
Alpena defeated the Soo 5-1 earlier in the season. This is also the third consecutive year that the two programs have been matched up in the post season. The Wildcats defeated the Blue Devils in regionals during 2017, but lost to the Soo in the same round during 2018.
Following a slow start, Alpena Captain Kyle VanDusen started the scoring off with a top shelf shot to give the Wildcats a 1-0 lead. Colby Plowman assisted, and added a short handed goal of his own to make it 2-0.
VanDusen scored again while Alpena held a 5 on 3 advantage in the second period. Anthony Berg scored Alpena’s final goal in third during another 5 on 3 power play.
Cooper Black held a shutout until he was pulled with 3 minutes to go in the game. Black saved back-to-back shots multiple times throughout the game. The defense also performed well during the game to help Black. Owen Limback, Brett Cuipka, and Matt Thompson all laid out to prevent shots from getting to Black.
Following their 4-0 win, Alpena will travel back to the Ostego County Sportsplex on Thursday for a match up against Gaylord. Tawas and Cheboygan play first at 6:00pm, while the Wildcats and Blue Devils are scheduled for 8:00pm. The winners of these two games will face off for the regional final on Saturday at 1:00pm.
Alpena, Kyle VanDusen, assists Colby Plowman and Owen Limback 1-0
Alpena, Plowman unassisted, 2-0
Alpena, VanDusen, assists to Plowman and Limback, 3-0
Alpena, Anthony Berg, assist Limback, 4-0.
Alpena Wins 4-0.