Livonia Churchill’s hockey team proved Wednesday night that it’s pretty good at bouncing back from adversity.
Exactly one week after suffering a 9-2 loss to Livonia Stevenson, the Chargers shifted into overdrive during their 8-0 triumph over visiting Notre Dame Prep.
Churchill improved to 3-1 while the Irish slipped to 3-3.
The game ended in mercy-rule fashion when Tyler Haydu scored the winners’ eighth goal just 1:25 into the third period.
“I liked the way we came into tonight’s game with a positive attitude, all things considered, after our last difficult game against Stevenson,” Churchill head coach Jason Reynolds. “It’s good to see that we have a team that can bounce back from a defeat like that and come out with some energy.
“We took a couple days to re-focus and get our priorities in order as a team. Hopefully, the loss to Stevenson will be the best thing to happen to us.”
Reynolds said he has learned a lot about his young team (the Chargers’ roster is peppered with just four seniors) during the season’s early going.
“Even though we’re still in the midst of a youth movement, I think we’ve experienced an upgrade in talent. We’ve added some strong sophomores and our core group of returners is another year older, which is nice.
“It’s exciting because we have a lot we can build on the next couple of years. I think this team is proving that it is ready to compete at a higher level than we have the past couple of years.”
Churchill goalie Chris Sergison made his first start of the season a memorable one as he turned away all 14 shots he faced.
Nolan Cioch and Josh Friend paced the Chargers’ offense with two goals a piece. Cioch broke the scoring ice with a net-finder just 14 seconds into the contest to set the tone for the hosts. Friend assisted.
Sam Spayd helped the Chargers keep the heat turned up by filling the net two minutes later with a goal assisted by Matt Gibboney and Spencer Kovacs.
John Doyle then got into the scoring act for the winners when he lit the lamp at the 11:06 mark. Haydu and captain Joe Wozniak registered helpers on the play.
Churchill put a strangle-hold on the outcome when it ramped its advantage up to 5-0 before the first intermission thanks to goals from Cioch (from Seth Kucharczyk and Wozniak) and Friend, who was assisted by Cioch and Gibboney.
The Chargers’ sixth net-finder will never be forgotten by Zack Vendittelli, who notched his first high school goal with 8:40 left in the second period (Zach Flynn and Dane Allen assisted).
Friend then lit up the scoreboard again with a power-play goal from Michael Papioannou and Conor Burnette.