Written by: Duane Harlick
The Royal Oak Ravens Varsity Hockey team captured its first victory of the season with a 5 – 2 win over the Red Hawks of Athens High school on Wednesday evening before a loud and excited crowd at Lindell Arena.
In a scrappy and – at times – penalty filled game, it appeared that the Ravens carried over their commitment to solid defensive team play from their recent tie with West Bloomfield, while balancing it with timely offense. Ravens attackers were able to take advantage of Athens miscues late in the game that led to key scoring opportunities. With the score tied 1-1 after the first and 2-2 after the second, it was in the third period where the Ravens outlasted the Red Hawks and eventually pulled away.
Reflecting on the win, Coach Ward said, “Overall the game was not the prettiest I have ever seen but you need to overcome obstacles. I believe we took every situation and adapted to it. We worked hard and the results show it.”
Among the “obstacles” Coach Ward referred to might have been the multiple 5 on 3 penalty kills that his team had to weather - including one in the final minutes of the game - to close out the victory. In the end, team defense held strong to the final buzzer.
The Ravens will take their 1-1-1 record into this Saturday’s home game at Lindell Arena against Avondale High School. Game time is 7:30. For more information, go to www.royaloakravens.com or follow the Ravens on Facebook here: www.Facebook.com/royaloakhighschoolvarsityhockeyteam.