Livonia Franklin’s hockey team failed to light up the scoreboard Friday night against visiting Walled Lake Central, but the Patriots managed to brighten the night for several people battling – and conquering – cancer.
Vikings goaltender Sam Woznicki turned away 28 Patriots shots to lead his team to a 1-0 victory over Franklin, which slipped to 6-5-1.
The game served as the backdrop for the inaugural “Purple Out” fundraiser for Franklin, which wore specially-ordered purple uniforms (purple is one of the colors noted for cancer awareness) and held a pregame ceremonial puck-drop that starred 10-year-old cancer survivor Jake Pesta, who is the cousin of Franklin goalie Matt Monendo.
Cancer survivor Jason Bruce was also honored – and participated in the pregame ceremony – for his heroic battle against the relentless disease.
The fundraiser – which included a bake sale and 50/50 raffle – was orchestrated by Franklin junior captain Brendan Whitney and the school’s National Honor Society.
Monendo continued his exemplary season-long play against Central as he stopped 39 shots and “kept us in the game,” Franklin head coach Dennis Gagnon said.
“Even though we lost, it was a great night thanks to the awesome cancer awareness event Brendan Whitney and the National Honor Society organized,” Gagnon said. “It really was a feel-good night for everyone involved.”
The game’s lone goal was scored at the 6:44 mark of the second period, when the Vikings’ Ryan Kalis snuck the puck past Monendo.
“It was a great defensive hockey game, all around,” Gagnon said. “The boys really busted it tonight; the effort was there. The puck just didn’t bounce our way.
“Whenever you play a team from KLAA, you know you’re going to be in for battle against a well-coached team and tonight was no exception.”
Gagnon praised the play of Chase Wallis and Whitney, the Patriots’ leading scorer who missed the previous two games with an injury.
Patriots edge Richard
On Wednesday at the University of Michigan’s Yost Ice Arena, the Patriots edged Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard, 6-4.
Brian Hubbard earned the win between the pipes for the Patriots as he turned away 14 shots. Julia Chenoweth made 38 saves for the hosts.
Trevor Lassaline and Zack Nelson both scored a pair of goals for the winners, while Nic Anderson and Brendan Nutting contributed one goal each. Anderson’s goal was his first as a Patriot.
Wallis added two assists, while Justin Makowski, Quinn Shine and Lassaline chipped in with one apiece.
“We were sloppy and undisciplined in our defensive zone and didn’t seem to get our boots moving, but when it was all said and done, we won and outshot them by a wide margin,” Gagnon said. “It’s nice to get the win, even though I felt we didn’t play up to snuff.”