TRAVERSE CITY — Not bad for a varsity debut.
Sophomore Parker Hebden netted three second-period goals Friday night as Traverse City Central hung on for a 6-4 win over Warren De La Salle in the opener of the Traverse City West Thanksgiving Hockey Tournament at Centre ICE.
The host Titans dropped a 3-1 decision to Lake Orion in the nightcap. West will play De La Salle at 1:30 today in the consolation game. The Central-Lake Orion clash will follow at 3:30.
Central is the defending champion after beating De La Salle 8-2 in last November’s final, ending the Pilots eight-year run as tournament kingpins.
“That’s a quality program,” Central coach Chris Givens said of De La Salle. “You can tell they’re a well-coached team. Any win over De La Salle is big.”
Cam Givens, one of four seniors on the roster, enjoyed a four-point night for the Trojans. He set up the lone goal in the first period when he took a pass from Alex Oliver and fired a shot that Rhys Adle re-directed past Pilots goalie Joshua Wilk.
Givens assisted on two of Hebden’s second-period tallies, one on a perfect give-and-go that the sophomore cashed in to make it 3-0.
“All three (goals) came right to me,” Hebden said.
That 3-0 lead was established just four minutes into the second period. But the Pilots fought back, breaking the ice with a power-play goal at the 9:19 mark. The goal by Mario Ruggeri came with just five seconds left on the man advantage.
“We had our forecheck established, especially in the first period, and then we take a penalty,” Chris Givens said. “You stifle your own momentum that way. Now you’ve got to be a little more passive. They shifted momentum there.”
Central was able to regain momentum briefly on Hebden’s third goal, a shorthanded tally that Givens assisted.