From staff reports
MUSKEGON — Traverse City Central was unable to make a 2-1 lead entering the final period stand as Muskegon Reeths-Puffer scored twice in the final five minutes to upend the Trojans 3-2 in a pre-regional hockey contest Tuesday night.
Josh Smith tied the game for Reeths-Puffer with 5:17 remaining and Riley Draper scored the game-winner on a power play with 35 seconds to go.
“There was a penalty on Reeths-Puffer with 3:35 to go, and as soon as that penalty was over they called one on us,” said Central coach Chris Givens. “We had some really good chances on the power play, but their goalie came up big. We weren’t able to convert and they converted on theirs.”
After a scoreless first period, Central took the lead on a goal from Rhys Adle at the 6:38 mark of the second period. Buddy Rose and Joe Videki added assists. Reeths-Puffer tied the score two minutes later on a goal by Kyle Kendra, assisted by Smith.
Central (13-11-1) went in front a second time at the 13:13 mark on a power play goal from Cam Givens, with assists to Alex Oliver and Derek Schrank.
Darrell Carlisle was in goal for the Trojans, who outshot the Rockets 40-24.
The win advances Reeths-Puffer into the semifinals on Thursday against Muskegon Mona Shores, which mercied Petoskey 9-1 in the first game of the night.
Bellaire wrapped up the Ski Valley Conference boys basketball championship, beating Mancelona 53-42.
After a tough battle with the Ironmen in the first half, with Bellaire clinging to a 26-23 lead, the Eagles took over in the third quarter and established a double digit lead.
Denny Hall had 18 points for the Eagles (19-0, 15-0 Ski Valley), while Hayden Niepoth added 10, and Adam Underwood and Hunter Rowe eight apiece.
Mancelona was led by Brandon Dingman with 16 points and Griffin Borst with 15.