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.
De La Salle, though, continued to apply pressure and it paid off with two goals in the final 5:14 of the period, setting the stage for an intriguing third period.
Cam Givens opened the scoring in the final period when he zipped a rebound just left of the crease past Wilk.
Less that two minutes later, the Pilots clawed back to within a goal at 5-4 when Antonio Tijerina wristed a shot that eluded Central’s freshman goalie Darrell Carlisle.
The Pilots nearly tied it when the Trojans took two penalties and played two down for 33 seconds. During that span, Carlisle made two big glove saves. He made another glove save when Central still had one player in the box.
“He gave up those three goals in the second period, and I know he would like to have that one (Tijerina goal) back,” Chris Givens said. “But I’m proud of the way he came back. He had a couple big glove saves on some good opportunities (for the Pilots) that could have changed the game. He was big.”
Central clinched the win with 25.4 seconds remaining when Andrew Froese banked a perfect clearing shot off the board and down the ice into an empty net.
West wasn’t as fortunate. The Titans fell behind 2-0 in the first period. They scored a power-play goal a minute into the second period by Erik Anton off assists from Jake Saxton and Jacob Benker, but that was all they could muster in a penalty-filled contest.
Lake Orion scored with about eight minutes left in the third period to regain the two-goal edge.
West was whistled for 16 infractions, Lake Orion 13.
“It was either power play or penalty kill for the majority of the game,” West coach Jeremy Rintala said. “It was tough to get any flow going.”
“They have a good skating team. They’re fast, tough to handle. Our guys played hard, played physical. I was proud of the effort. We just didn’t generate many scoring chances.”
West was held to 12 shots on goal.
Brendan Lacharite stopped 22 shots for the Titans.
WYANDOTTE ROOSEVELT 1, BAY REPS 0: Wyandotte Roosevelt defeated the Bay Reps 1-0 in a shootout in the opener of a tournament at Big Rapids.
The teams played an eight-minute overtime before the outcome was settled in a shootout.
“We’re not disappointed,” Reps coach Todd Spaulding said. “They’re a good team.”
The Reps will play in the consolation game today.