GLADWIN – On Saturday Nov. 2 the Gladwin Gladiator Peewee Hockey Team faced the Tawas Black Hawks at the Gladwin Arena. These two teams have had many exciting battles back and forth over the past several years. “Our best games have come from both wins and losses against the Black Hawks,” said Head Coach Bill von Matt. “It’s always been a great rivalry between the two teams. We were really excited to have an early season game against a good team like Tawas to help us see what we need to work on.”
Gladwin took control of the game early by keeping the puck in the Tawas end. They outshot the Black Hawks 14-2 in the period. Payton Freeman scored 4 minutes into the game on a sweet pass play started by Ike Wheeler. Wheeler fed a pass from the corner to Ashton Reinke who was open in the high slot. Reinke moved the puck low to Freeman who slammed it home for a 1-0 Gladwin lead.
Gladwin did a great job in the first period of cycling the puck in the offensive zone, which allowed them to capitalize on open lanes to the net. Andrew von Matt set up several plays from the blue line recording three assists in the game. Two came in the first period, which helped stake Gladwin to a 4-0 lead after one.
Gladwin kept the pressure on in the second period outshooting Tawas 19-1. “Our defensive game was at its best during the second period,” said von Matt. “We completely shut down Cody Primm one of the most deadly shots in the state.” Preston Willert and Jacob McKinney split the goal tending duties and shared the shutout.
Wheeler finished the game with four goals and an assist. Freeman had two Moe Newman, Brea Guzman and Clark Lux each scored one.
Lux played his “best game as a Gladiator,” according to von Matt. “His checking pressure was immense.” Jeffrey Zeitz, MJ Oshentoski and Newman all added assists.
“I think we caught a very good team on their heals early in the season,” said Van Matt. “This was their first game with only several practices under their belt. We will definitely see a stronger Tawas team later in the season.”
Gladwin will step outside their league next weekend as they travel north to Petoskey. They will play a double header against the Petoskey 07AA travel team.