TRAVERSE CITY — No records were tied or broken Tuesday.
But at least fans of Traverse City hockey will get an extra crosstown classic Wednesday.
Rockford shutout Traverse City West 6-0 Tuesday in the semifinals of the Scott Miller Memorial Invitational at Centre Ice. The Rams meet Saginaw Heritage in the finals after the Hawks beat Traverse City Central in the nightcap.
The Rams ended Traverse City West’s season last year in the regional finals. They went on to finish the season as the state Division 1 runner-up, losing to Detroit Catholic Central in the finals.
“We wanted to beat them, especially because we were up 3-1 with four minutes left,” Titans goalkeeper Mason West said. “We really wanted revenge, but it didn’t happen.”
West made 12 saves in the first period before exiting for backup goalkeeper Mac Smith. It marked the end of a stretch of eight periods where the junior made 77 saves — including a penalty shot and five stops on a 6-on-4 at the end of the game Monday to beat the Bay Reps.
“It gives me confidence knowing that they have confidence in me,” West said. “The team makes it easy for me. They’re playing hard. They’re back checking. It’s really fun to play with this team.”
Rockford got on the board first with 11:43 to play in the first period. The Rams held a 10-1 advantage in shots on goal at one point and added another goal seven minutes later in the period.
Tyler Esman had a solid scoring opportunity with about a minute to go in the first period, getting a one-on-one with the Rams goalkeeper, but his shot was saved.
The Titans held off the Rams for the length of the second and had a few scoring looks, but couldn’t take advantage of a power play awarded midway through the period. Rockford managed a shorthanded shot on goal.
“First period wasn’t pretty, we didn’t have many scoring chances,” West said. “It wasn’t our best game.”
The Titans ended with eight shots on goal to the Rams’ 24.
Had Esman scored the early goal, he would have tied the Titans all-time points record at 101. He scored No. 100 against the Bay Reps in the opening round of the tournament Monday, joining TC West alumni Shane Totten (class of 2010) as one of two Titans to reach that milestone for points in a career.
Esman or Michael Schermerhorn — who has 99 points — very well may break the record in the Titans’ game for third place against the Trojans. The two senior linemates frequently assist on each other’s goals, so there’s a chance they can break the record at the same time.
TC Central (5-3-1) and TC West (6-2-1) played to a scoreless tie in their first of two Big North Conference meetings. Wednesday won’t count for league standings or the McCullough Cup.
The puck drops at 1 p.m. Wednesday on the West Rink. Saginaw and Rockford play in the championship at 3:15 p.m.
The Bay Reps (6-6-1) lost to Salem 3-2 in the first round of consolation play.
Drew Hardy scored their first goal in the second period on a two-man advantage, assisted by Aaron Ackerson and Riley Pierce. Ackerson scored on a power play in the third period to tie the game at two, but Salem netted the go-ahead goal with 3:26 to play.
The Reps play Wednesday at 12:45 p.m.