TRAVERSE CITY — Patrick Rogowski picked the right time for his first hat trick.
Heck, it was his first multi-goal game for Traverse City, and propelled the Hounds to an 8-0 shutout win in Game 2 over Sault Ste. Marie to force a decisive contest today in the Midwest Junior Hockey League championship series.
Game 3 is today at 1 p.m. at Centre ICE.
“It was a great bounce-back game for us,” Hounds head coach Scott Gardiner said. “Losing (Friday) night, coming back (Saturday) was very important, obviously to keep the series alive. Now we’ll have to see if we can muster up the same type of intensity we did.”
The game was a scrappy one. Traverse City dominated the scoreboard, but both teams spent plenty of time in the penalty box.
The game featured 33 penalties — 26 of those in the final two periods — which dragged the affair out to nearly three hours.
Those infractions included four misconduct penalties, three game ejections and four five-minute majors. Gardiner said he doesn’t expect that testiness to spill over into this afternoon’s game, which become a winner-take-all contest for the Veteran’s Memorial Cup.
“These two teams don’t like each other,” Gardiner said. “But we both want to win. I don’t think (today) will see nearly the stuff that went on Saturday. Both teams want to win that Cup.”
Both teams could be a little short-handed today. TC defensemen Kenny Simmons, Kevin Hansen and Alex Grizzel were both given misconduct penalties, as were Firehawks defender Kevin Killps and forward Nate Fitzpatrick. Simmons said he was cleared to play today, and that he didn’t know of any other players who had to sit out.
Traverse City’s eight goals came from just four players.
Aside from Rogowski’s three, Scott Luca and Austin Flores had two each, while Josh Smith added the game’s first tally.