Boys Varsity Ice Hockey
Game Summaries & Headlines.
- Game Date
- Feb 15, 2021
- EAGLES: 0
DAKOTA HIGH SCHOOL: 1
Preston Stenzel scored the only goal of the game in the third period to lift Dakota to a 1-0 victory over rival Eisenhower in a MAC Red Division hockey game at Suburban Ice Macomb on Monday morning.
A small group of socially distanced fans attended what ordinarily would be a game with a pitched atmosphere, but both sides said there was no lack of ferocity in the first half of a day-night doubleheader between the Macomb County powers.
“Waking up, you had the jitters, you were ready to go and you just wanted to start playing,” Stenzel said.
“It’s going to be high energy (for both games).”
The teams skated at Mount Clemens Ice Arena, the Cougars’ home rink, in the evening.
The doubleheader, the limited audience and face masks everywhere were all concessions to the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced a late start to the season and condensed the schedule.
Junior Jeffrey Buckley won a goalie duel with sophomore Evan Hays.
Stenzel’s right-handed shot found its mark with 8:48 left, after senior Ethan Julin slid the puck to Stenzel, who shot from a step inside the blue line.
“It felt good, especially against Eisenhower, our rival for a few years,” Stenzel said. “It felt amazing to bury that one and then hold them out at the end.”
Eisenhower pressured the Dakota net in the waning moments, but couldn’t slip a shot past Buckley.
“It was a good, back-and-forth game,” Eisenhower coach Bob Hall said. “I was intense, the players were intense. They felt my intensity in how I was fired up.
“It was a battle. There were a lot of hard hits. There were guys crawling back to the bench. It was just one of those games where bodies are going to fly.”
Jim Andonoff, the Dakota coach, called the doubleheader “a big thing.”
“The kids have been excited for it,” he said. “It’s always a rivalry, no matter when we play. The kids are psyched, the coaches are psyched. It’s just a big rivalry. It’s fun.”
The night game was the fifth of the season for both teams in a schedule that was squeezed into five weeks.
“I’ve got a list of about 100 things we need to work on, but I don’t have any time to work on them. That’s the hard part,” Hall said.
“We are so jam packed with games, we’re lucky if we get one practice a week, and that hurts. It’s not an easy task.”
Eisenhower was 1-3 after the morning defeat.
“We can’t find our rhythm offensively,” Hall said.
Dakota was 2-2.
“I believe we’ve done well in all of our games,” Andonoff said. “Today, I noticed that mistakes we made earlier have been corrected.
“We’ve got to start scoring goals.”
Eisenhower skates against Romeo and Dakota meets L’Anse Creuse Unified in MAC Red games Friday.