Encore not in store: Chips fall short in title defense to Flushing

Sam Lipps eyes the puck in Saturday’s championship of the Thanksgiving Shootout. The Manistee co-op hockey team fell short, 5-4, to Flushing. (Dylan Savela/News Advocate)

SCOTTVILLE — Hindsight hurts when on the short end of a one-goal game.

And it didn’t take Manistee assistant coach Jerry Olson long to point to why the co-op Chippewa hockey team fell to Flushing 5-4 Saturday in the championship of the Thanksgiving Shootout.

“Penalties killed us,” he said. “It’s hard to catch up when you’re in the box. (Flushing) is a decent team but they certainly weren’t unbeatable.”

After allowing eight Flushing power plays, two of which the Raiders scored on, the Chippewas felt like they beat themselves.

“There was several chances but we just didn’t capitalize on our opportunities,” said Olson, who was filling in for head coach Jon Raatz Saturday. “We’ll be dealing with discipline issues next practice. They’ve already been warned.”

After defeating the Unity Knights in one of Friday’s semifinals, Flushing was quick to get on the board against Manistee. Forty-four seconds into the game, the Raiders’ Jordy Makranyi found the back of net through a group of Chippewa defenders for a 1-0 lead that would hold up through the rest of the opening period.

The Chippewas’ Jake Thompson, who had a hat trick in Manistee’s semifinal win against Kalamazoo on Friday, knotted the score with his fourth goal of the tournament at 10:29 in the second frame. Thompson, who was assisted by Manistee’s Jordan Truxton on the play, was the lone Chippewa named on the all-tournament team during the trophy presentation that concluded the annual invitational.

Manistee was unable to convert on a pair of power plays midway through the second, and late in the period, Chippewa goalie Austin Wilson fell victim to a pair of opportune rebound goals for Flushing.

After Wilson made a huge breakaway save to keep the game tied, Flushing’s Gavin Williams swooped in to punch a loose puck in the net on the rebound at 2:58 for a 2-1 edge.

Manistee was quick to respond as Kienan Kowalski scored on a feed from Keegan Nowaczyk at 2:24. The second tie of the game, however, would be its last.

On a Flushing power play, the Raiders punched in another rebound on the heels of a Wilson save with just 2:13 left in the second for 3-2 lead.

“They got shots on net, Austin would make a save, but they had guys standing there to put it away,” Olson said. “Three or four of the goals came in exactly that same way.”

Manistee gave up another power play goal to start the third as Flushing scored at 11:10 with the man advantage.

Keegan Nowaczyk cut the Chippewas’ two-goal deficit to one again at 10:36 as the Ludington senior ricocheted a tough-angled shot off the back of the Raider goalkeeper and into the net. Kowalski assisted Nowaczyk’s goal.

Flushing scored again at 5:29 for a 5-3 lead, and although Manistee’s Sam Lipps ripped a goal between the pipes at 1:29 after Wilson was pulled, the Chippewas couldn’t notch a game-tying score to repeat as tournament champions.

The Chippewas were outshot in the final period, 11-5, but Olson still cited penalties as the team’s biggest Achilles’ heel.

“We rectified (being outshot) yesterday, but today penalties killed us. That’s all I can really say — penalties.”

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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.

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