Comets strike quickly, down Chips

Manistee’s Casey Kelley (right) battles for the ball against Leland’s Pete Fellows during the first half of Monday’s game. (Dylan Savela/News Advocate)

MANISTEE — The sky was overcast, the showers sporadic and the field muddy.

Manistee’s game ended 20 minutes early Monday, but unfortunately for the Chippewas it wasn’t weather related.

Despite scoring first, Manistee suffered a 10-2 mercy-rule loss to Leland which ended the game with 19:49 remaining in the second half.

“It wasn’t for lack of effort,” Chippewas coach Rudy Guillen said of his team. “They came out playing hard. They played really hard the first half, and came out in the second half determined. (Leland) just out-possessed us. They pass the ball really well and got some really good shots on us.

“Again, it’s just how they played us, not a lack of effort on our part.”

The Chippewas were very quick to get on the board, but the Comets were even quicker to respond.

As an apropos start to Manistee’s senior night, Casey Kelley and fellow senior Martin Nelson found themselves on a two-on-one breakaway less than a minute and a half into the contest.

Kelley crossed to Nelson who punched in the game’s first goal at 38:48.

A mere nine seconds later, Leland knotted the score when Ian Duvall scorched a shot past Chippewa goaltender Brian Fisk.

Fisk stayed busy in the net throughout, getting looks at 20 shots from the Comets compared to Manistee’s five shots on goal.

Leland’s Dylan Jolliffe, who finished with a four-goal game to go with an assist, put his team up 2-1 on an unassisted breakaway score at 31:38.

At 17:35, James Simons scored on a feed from Jolliffe to make it 3-1, and at 16:17, Jolliffe scored on a pass from Eli Saffell, who had two goals and three assists on the night.

Manistee cut into the 4-1 deficit at 5:31 in the first, when senior Todd Struble scored a ricocheting shot off a Leland defender off the feed from Nelson.

But again, Leland was quick to respond.

The Comets scored twice before the break, netting goals at 4:05 and 2:19, to take a 6-2 advantage into halftime.

“Letting them come right back and scoring after we did isn’t a good thing,” Guillen said, “but we didn’t give up.”

A minute into the game’s latter half, Leland’s Matt Fleis was awarded a penalty kick on which he converted to put his team up 7-2. Saffell scored two minutes later at 36:24, Jolliffe punched in his fourth at 31:33 and Saffell again found the back of the net at 19:49 to end the game via mercy rule.

“The one thing that was nice to look at in this one,” Guillen explained, “was I saw a better effort today than we did the other day.

“That’s a big plus. We just still need to work on some things.”

Visit the photo gallery to see more photos from this game.

avatar

Posted by Dylan Savela

Dylan is the county reporter for the News Advocate, he also is in charge of the Small Town Life, religion and senior pages. He can be reached at (231) 398-3111 or dsavela@pioneergroup.com.

Leave a Reply