Berkley-Ferndale Unified Hockey Team Falls 5-2 to Auburn Hills Avondale
Yellow Jackets take advantage of Bears' mistakes, spoil home opener.
The Berkley-Ferndale Unified hockey team dropped its season opener 5-2 to rival Auburn Hills Avondale in front of its home crowd on Tuesday. The Berkley-Ferndale Bears (0-1-0) captured the early momentum, but critical mistakes in the second and third periods were too much to overcome.
Avondale Yellow Jackets (1-0-0) scored two short-handed goals in the second period. Yellow Jackets senior Derek Piercy scored on a breakaway and then just a minute later sophomore Ian Raber hit a slapshot just over Bears goalie Tyler Mikalonis' glove.
"Two bad turnovers there," Bears coach Jeff Fleming said after the game.
Just 40 seconds into the third period the Bears tied it up on a goal from junior forward Luc Hammerle, but another costly turnover lost them the lead. Two more goals by the Yellow Jackets and one empty-net tally by junior Steven Carter, and the Bears were done for.
Looking at the game's stat sheet, Fleming said he was disappointed with the 12 turnovers and five breakaways the Bears allowed.
"I think we quit moving our feet," Fleming said. "They didn't stick to the system, didn't stick to the forecheck ... you can't have part of the machine working and the other part not."
But things weren't all bad for the Bears.
They were able to get into their offense, especially in the first period, and create some excellent scoring chances. The Bears were also aggressive on the six power-play opportunities they had.
"I think we outshot them pretty good, we had our opportunities to score some goals and their goalie played well," Fleming said. "I think we were a couple passes away from putting the puck in the net."
The Bears killed all five Yellow Jackets' power-play chances, including a five-on-three situation midway through the third period.
The Bears will have a couple of days off to work on things before one of their longer road trips of the season. They visit Northern Lights Arena in Alpena for games on Friday against Holt and Saturday against Cheboygan, and then take on Troy at the Troy Sports Center next Wednesday.
Fleming said the trip this weekend would be good for team chemistry.
"I think that going to Alpena is going to be good for the team," Fleming said. "We have nine or 10 new players and I think it will be a good bonding period for them, getting to know one another a little bit more. We're looking forward to the trip, hopefully we perform a little better than we did here tonight."
They don't return to the Berkley Ice Arena until Dec. 3 for a game against West Bloomfield.
Notes – Forward Ian Kobernick had the Bears' first goal with an assist from Danny Fryc.