Northville faces tough challenge, passes test by defeating Cranbrook Kingswood, 3-1
Trenton — Northville coach Jon Gates believes in three things: competing, having a strong work ethic and doing things the right way.
All three of those things manifested themselves during Friday afternoon’s 3-1 win against Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood in the MIHL Showcase.
“We try to do three things: We compete, we try to have a strong work ethic, and we try to do it right. What we’ve been doing lately is playing the game the right way. We stay out of the box, keeping our mouths shut, and things like that,” Gates said.
“If you do all those things, good things happen.”
Good things started to happen for Northville (14-5-1) when junior forward Dan McKee was in the right place at the right time 1:49 into the first.
While on the power play, sophomore Nick Williams held the puck near the point waiting for a shooting lane. As one appeared, Williams ripped a shot as McKee screened the net and deflected the puck downwards for a 1-0 lead, and his ninth goal of the season.
Then, it was senior Kyle Dann’s turn to lead by example the rest of the way.
Dann entered the showcase tied for second in goals scored. Even though he doesn’t put any stock in it, he left Friday’s game the team’s leading scorer.
“It’s not really about the goals. It’s just about going out there and working hard. I can’t do anything on the ice without my teammates. We all came in here and worked hard for a big win,” he said.
Sophomore Jimmy Dales fed Dann the puck from the red line into the Crane zone. Dann walked the puck along the boards and fired short side for a 2-0 lead with 10:01 remaining in the second period.
In the third period, Dann was on the receiving end of a one-timer from Anthony Solack that gave the Mustangs a 3-0 lead 48 seconds into the period.
“Kyle came in as a sophomore and his feet never stopped moving, and they still haven’t,” Gates said. “At practice and every shift I see him play, he never takes a second off. His work ethic is impeccable, and he leads by example. Always has.”
Cranbrook Kingswood (11-8) was stifled most of the game by the Mustangs’ smothering defense. When Cranbrook Kingswood had a 5-on-3 advantage in the third period, the Cranes cashed in.
Junior defensemen Dawson Zahorian cradled the puck in the left circle, and found senior C.J. Regula on the far side of the net for 3-1 power play goal.
“We’re really good from the goal line out. (Brett) Miller has been great for us, and so has Darsh (Dholakia). You always have a chance with those two in net,” Gates added.