The DeWitt/St. Johns combined hockey team and the Capital Area Patriots earned victories Monday to advance to Wednesday’s Division 1 regional semifinal.
DeWitt/St. Johns shut out the Grand Ledge/Fowlerville team, 4-0. The Patriots defeated Holt, 5-2. Both games were played at The Summit.
The winner of Wednesday’s 8 p.m. game will face either Howell or Brighton for the regional championship.
“We just want to make it to Saturday,” DeWitt/St. Johns coach Matt Schooley said. “We know that the other side of our bracket will be a perennial powerhouse in the state, but we just want the opportunity to play that game.”
Goalie Joshua Tempelman made 26 saves to earn the shutout, and Matthew Beecham had a pair of goals and an assist for DeWitt/St. Johns (12-12).
Their team took an early lead on consecutive goals midway through the first period. Matthew Boynton got the first, assisted by Devon O’Brien and Mitchell Thomas. That was followed almost immediately with another goal by Beecham, again assisted by Thomas.
“Devon O’Brien, defensively, played very well for us today,” Schooley said. “And obviously to get Tempelman another shutout — I think that puts him tied for the lead for shutouts in school history — it’s big to get that for him.”
Beecham scored his second goal off an assist by Boynton a little more than a minute into the third period. Boynton added a 5-on-3 power-play goal with five mintues to play, with assists from Beecham and Connor McKinnon.
“I think we thought we would have gotten out a little quicker, but Grand Ledge has improved a lot this year,” Schooley said. “We had a little lull in the second period, but we picked things up again in the third.”
Grand Ledge/Fowlerville finished 4-21.
In the other game, the Patriots (10-15) scored four of their goals in the second period, coming from Nick Vondra, Jake Szmobati (power play), Kaleb Peterson and Jim Fried (short-handed). Fried also had a first-period power-play goal and an assist.
“Holt has a small squad in numbers, and it showed,” Capital Area coach Don Richard said. “They ran out of gas and we still had some legs, and that was what made the difference.”
Nick Gilbert scored both goals for Holt (3-22).
Richard said the Patriots’ defense ultimately gave them the advantage over the Rams: “They’re mostly sophomores, so it was good to see them play well.”