Alpena Warriors Hockey
The Alpena Warriors girls hockey team overcame adversity to claw their way to a 3-3 tie with the Port Huron Lady Prowlers in their recent meeting and iced Port Huron 7-0 in their second contest.
While traveling four hours on icy roads to Port Huron, Alpena’s goalie and leading scorer ended up in a ditch on I-75. Although everyone was fine, Alpena had to call on Tatum Moran for her first ever game as a goalie.
Alpena’s Gabby Smith jumpstarted Alpena’s offense as the Warriors rode Smith’s two goals to a first period lead. Moran stopped everything that came her way until early in the second period as the Lady Prowlers made the score 2-1 going into the final period. Port Huron’s Ally Fetterly completed her hat trick and gave her team the lead with less than two minutes to play.
Alpena’s Assistant Coach Shannon McGrattan, also pressed into a new role as head coach for the weekend, pulled Alpena’s goalie with less than a minute in the contest. The strategy paid off as center Erin Bailey found the back of the net with 38 seconds left in the contest to knot the game at 3 apiece.
“When we heard our goalie was in an accident, of course our first concern was her safety,” McGrattan said. “Then we asked for a volunteer and Tatum Moran took one for the team. It’s one thing to know you’re going to play your first game in the net and have time to prepare–as a former goalie–I can tell you what we asked Tatum to do and how she played was truly remarkable.”
“Good teams overcome adversity, everyone committed to playing defense and protecting our goalie. To be honest, to not have a starting goalie and one of our top two scorers and still come away with a tie shows you something about the Warriors,” McGrattan said.
Defenseman Lexie Gries added two assists in the effort. Emily Vivian and Bailey tallied one assist each. Moran turned away 15 shots in the game while earning a tie for her efforts.
With a full squad, game two started like game one as Vivian scored two goals less than a minute apart to put Alpena in the lead. Bailey added two more goals to give Alpena a 4-0 lead less than halfway through the first period. Emily Vivian completed her hat trick and Hunter Lundquist added two goals to give Alpena a 7-0 lead and domination of the opening period.
In the second period, McGrattan shuffled the lines which allowed newcomers Kennedy Ellis and Maddie Ellis to get valuable ice time. Tatum Moran pulled off a rare feat, as she played goalie, forward and defense all in the same weekend.
Lexie Gries added two more assists in the second game along with a point each from Lizzy Heath, Lundquist, Moran, and Gabby Smith. Regular Goalie Emma Fraser earned her 10th win off the season and fifth shutout of her year.
“We came out flying in the first period and found the net early and often,” McGrattan said. “It allowed us to play Maddie and Kennedy on regular shifts and on some special teams. We learned this weekend you must be ready when someone goes down with an injury or, in our case, a car accident. Kelly Watson, Tatum Moran, and Lizzy Heath played on the penalty-kill and earned valuable experiences.”
Alpena enters Christmas break with a 10-5-2 record.
“We’ve enjoyed a great first half of the season. Over the break, we’ll keep working on our individual and team skills. We open up the second half against Midland and then head to the Traverse City Showcase in January,” McGrattan said. “We have lofty goals and need to continue to work hard in practice to achieve them.”