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4 months ago

Coyk-ing in Fear

The article below was written by Regan Cleves of .

Game Date
Feb 22, 2020


Feb. 22, 2020

By Regan Cleves

BYRON CENTER, Mich. - Catholic Central ended its regular season in style  on Saturday, eliminating a two-goal deficit with four unanswered goals en route to a 6-4 victory over Byron Center. Grant Coykendall single handedly spurred the comeback with a hat trick in the first half of the third, while Harvey Holleman helped out with a goal and an assist.

Catholic Central, finishing out the season with a record of 12-10-3 and an OK Rue Conference championship, will take on the Mattawan Wildcats, 17-8-0 in the regular season, in a rematch of the Regional Quarterfinals of last season's playoffs. The Cougars came out on top of that one with a decisive 5-0 victory.

It didn't take long for the seniors to get on the scoresheet in their final home game in a Cougar uniform. Coykendall steamed down the wing and sent a feed right into the slot for a wide-open Holleman, who redirected it through the five-hole of Levi Sall, to give Catholic Central a 1-0 leadat 4:28. That goal marked Holleman’s third of the campaign and his second in as many games, as he scored in Friday’s defeat to Forest Hills Northern/Eastern.

Byron Center answered quickly, though, when Ryan Pratt jammed home a rebound off of a scramble in front with 10:35 remaining to collect his first of the campaign and tie up the game, with assists going to Luke Nicholas and Nik Shepers.

Byron Center took the lead on a power play when Carson Vincent popped home a rebound of Nicholas’ shot from the left wing circle at 14:28 of the second. Fireworks erupted 30 seconds later when Ben Clay cross-checked a Bulldog into the net, drawing a crowd. Connor Middleton drew an unsportsmanlike conduct minor, saying one too many things and canceling out the Catholic Central penalty.

The Bulldogs pushed their lead to two goals 2:22 into the final frame, when Joshua Froysland let it fly from the left point, beating Ryan McClelland over the blocker to make it 3-1 in favor of the visitors.

Catholic Central responded 32 seconds later, when Coykendall found a loose puck along the left side of the net and stuffed it through a gap in Sall’s pads as he tried to seal the post.

Coykendall tallied his second of the night when a Kevin Patterson shot took an odd carom off of the end boards. Coykendall poked away at it and eventually put it into the net, pushing Sall’s pad behind the goal line and tying up the game at three apiece 6:13 into the third.

The sophomore forward gave Catholic Central the lead a minute later with the Cougars’ third unanswered goal, picking up a loose puck at the line and streaking in on the left wing. The left-handed shot let it go from the left wing circle and beat Sall by the blocker short-side, making it 4-3 in favor of the hosts.

Clay extended the Cougar lead three minutes later, firing a shot from the right wing circle to give Catholic Central its fourth unanswered goal at 10:07 and make it 5-3.

Byron Center wasn’t done yet, as shortly thereafter, the Bulldogs were brought back within one thanks to a Josh Froysland goal, as he put home a shot on the left wing to beat Catholic Central’s senior netminder by the blocker.

The Cougars iced the cake with 52 seconds remaining in the game, as Jacob Onstott picked up the puck in his own zone and fired it the length of the ice and into the empty net, making it six on the night and giving the cougars the 6-4 victory and the OK Rue conference championship

Three Stars: 1. GRCC Coykendall (3 goals, assist); 2. BC L. Nicholas (3 assists); 3. GRCC Holleman (goal, assist)

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