Trenton scores twice in the first period, gets 53 shots and defeats Bedford 5-0 in a Division 2 pre-regional
Trenton — All season long Trenton has struggled to play with the consistency and poise you’d expect from a defending state champion.
On Thursday at Kennedy Ice Arena, however, the Trojans played like a team that has been there before.
“Tonight was a relief,” Trenton coach Chad Clements said. “We played a pretty good game, but we had a hard time finding the back of the net at times. When you run into a hot goaltender you just want to get past it. Those can be scary games.”
The Trojans embraced that fear and turned it into production as Trenton (16-10-2) defeated Temperance Bedford 5-0 to advance to a Division 2 regional final against Livonia Stevenson (17-5-5), a 7-2 winner over Livonia Churchill on Wednesday, on Saturday at 7 p.m.
Stevenson defeated Trenton twice this season.
The Trojans picked their spots early in the first period out shooting Bedford 18-4, including three shots that rung off the post. Finally, midway through the period, Trenton found the back of the net.
The scoring came from an unusual place. The Trojans’ second line got things going with 9:44 to play in the first period when forward Nick Bondy raced into Bedford’s end and looked for a teammate to crash the net. Bondy found Brandon Morgan waiting in the slot who picked the top-right corner for a 1-0 lead.
“Brandon has been up on the first line, but we moved him to the second to try and get more scoring. As sophomores they have been moving the puck really well. To see the second line come out and get that first goal was nice,” Clements said.
The Trojans struck again with 3:05 left. This time a couple of familiar faces got on the scoring sheet. Senior Quinn Preston dished the puck to junior Griffin Sawyer who offered a deke that forced goaltender Jacob Smalley to commit, and he went top shelf for a 2-0 score.
“Quinn gave me a good play, and he just knew where I was going to be. I made my move and buried it,” Sawyer said.
The dissection continued when Trenton capitalized on the man advantage in the second period, eight seconds into the power play. Preston hooked up with Sawyer on the near side for the junior’s second goal of the night and a 3-0 lead.
“We have a couple of guys on our team that are really dangerous when they move the puck because they’re so quick. Griffin and Quinn fits that mold,” Clements said.
Trenton scored its fourth goal when junior defenseman Jeremy Ross pushed the puck ahead to Kenny Styles. Styles raced the puck into the Mule’s end and scored off a wrist shot with 10:14 to play in the second period.
Senior Phil Pugliese added the fifth goal on the power play with under a minute to play in the game.
The Trojans outshot the Kicking Mules (13-13) 53-11. Despite this unbalance, Clements wasn’t happy the game could have been put out of reach sooner.
“Their goaltender played well. Bedford hung in there the whole game because of him. A couple of bounces don’t go our way, or they get some bounces it’s a different game,” he said.
“It’s a concern for the rest of the season. When you put that many shots on net…five (goals) is still good…but with that much pressure we put on, we need to get a few more.”