Cats win two-in-a-row

WAYNE — The Michigan Mountain Cats Class B junior hockey team has been impressive in its last two Great Lakes Junior Hockey League outings, including a 6-3 win at the Wayne Community Center over the Michigan Ice Dogs last Saturday. In a contest that saw the Cats get called for nine infractions for 18 minutes in the box compared to 45 minutes on 16 penalties for the Ice Dogs, the two teams battled to a scoreless tie until Cole Heisler finally lit the lamp for the Mountain Cats at 2:21 of the second, which Charles Baudino followed at 13:42 on the powerplay to put the Ice Dogs down 2-0. Baudino then made it a 3-1 game at 15:47 for the Cats, a lead that grew to 4-1 just 66 seconds later off the stick of Zachary Collins with a man advantage.

In the third it was Jared Justice who connected on the Cats’ final powerplay goal at 6:12, setting the scene for the Ice Dogs’ John Deal to close the gap to 5-3 with a pair of net-benders at 12:44 and 16:48 before Kade Morrison knocked home an empty netter to secure the win for the Mountain Cats. With the assists for the Cats credited to Bryant Danielson (2), Daniel Cowan (2), Collins, Kyle Parker, Alec Olson and Dimmitt, defensively it was Charles Rushlow who made 33-of-36 save attempts to pocket the decision in net. The Mountain Cats outshot the Ice Dogs 38-36 for the game, including 14- 13 in the first and 14-7 in the second. The Cats were also 3-of-12 with a man advantage, while the Ice Dogs went 0- for-5.

On Feb. 9 it was Fort Wayne that Michigan was up against, taking a 7-2 home victory after jumping out to a 3- 0 advantage on scores by Collins, Dimmitt and Morrison at 1:09, 13:21 and 16:23 of the first period, respectively. With four goals on the night, Dimmitt then made it a 4-1 game at 9:53 of the second for the Cats, only to see the Federals’ Nicholas Bentz cut that lead to 4-2 unassisted less than four minutes later. That’s as close as Fort Wayne would get, though, as Baudino pocketed a powerplay goal at 1:47 of the third for Michigan before Dimmitt closed out the evening’s scoring at 9:27 and 12:22.

Once again the Cats gave a disciplined effort, only getting hit for six penalty minutes on three infractions, while the Federals were slapped with nine penalties for 26 minutes in the box. In goal Rushlow swatted aside 29 of the 31 shots he faced to get the win and posting the assists for Michigan were Baudino (3), Dimmitt (2), Brendan Olson (2), Alec Olson, Jeffry Ullman, Anthony Gustanski, Danielson, Collins and David Salazar. Offensively the Mountain Cats also outshot Fort Wayne 46-31 on the night, including 21-10 in the first period and 15-11 in the third.

With just six games left in the 2010- 11 GLJHL regular season, Michigan has secured itself a playoff spot at 13-19-0- 2 after 34 games played, placing them fourth in the five team East division behind Motor City (28-5-1-1), the Ice Dogs (26-10-0-0) and Wooster (19-17-0- 0), but ahead of Tri City (2-35-1-0). Also securing postseason positions are West division members Chicago (36-3- 0-0), Wisconsin (28-7-1-0) and Central Wisconsin (18-14-1-1). The Mountain Cats hosted Motor City yesterday at Ice Mountain and on Sunday Michigan is at Canfield Arena for the rematch.

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