Mert's Specialty Meats in Okemos is proud to support High School Hockey!
EAST LANSING, Mich. – The Okemos Chiefs (1-0) left no doubts in their season opener on Wednesday, knocking off visiting Jackson United (0-1) 5-0 at Suburban Ice. Okemos opened the scoring quickly as junior defenseman and team captain Casen Faustyn scored from the slot just over five minutes in. A little over a minute later, senior Kurt Sohlden scored from in front to double the Chiefs’ advantage.
The Chiefs netted a third goal seconds before the first intermission off the stick of junior Alex Jager to take a 3-0 lead to the break. Faustyn grabbed a second goal in the second period for Okemos, and sophomore Aiden Song added one for good measure in the third, bringing the final margin to 5-0.
After the game, head coach Bill Sipola said that his team could still improve. “5-0 is a nice victory, but a little sloppy,” he said. “We missed a lot of plays, our passes weren’t as crisp as we’d like, but it’s our first game. Our power play wasn’t really clicking the way it should be, but those are things that we can get better on. So, for an opening night I think we played pretty well.”
Sipola expressed optimism about his team’s chances in a new league. “The first objective is a league championship,” he said. “It’s going to be a struggle, we’ve got a new league this year with five teams and Kalamazoo also in our league, so it’s going to be a little different and a lot of different competition. So a lot of games mean something, versus other years when you have a lot of non-conference games.”
Faustyn, a junior defenseman and team captain, finished with an assist in addition to his two goals.
“I feel like we played a good game,” Faustyn said after the game. “I mean, we came in short on players this year, but all of us battled and overall, it was a good hard win.”
He also shared his coach’s optimism for the team’s chances this season. “We’re looking to win the league, definitely. We’re looking to win our side of the league and then the whole league and make a deep run in the playoffs for sure.”
Sipola noted that Faustyn is a “really good defenseman.” He also praised junior forward Cooper DeRath, who tallied three assists in the game and led the team in scoring last year, saying “he’s going to be good again.”
Sohlden dished out two assists in addition to his goal. Senior Sawyer Walker and junior Max Contraras also picked up assists in the game. Junior goalie Brady Ostrander saved all 14 of Jackson United’s shots on goal. Okemos put 27 shots on goal in the game. Sipola extolled his team’s depth. ” We’ve got about two lines that can really score,” he said. “We’re pretty good in that category.”
Jackson won the White division of the South Eastern Conference a year ago before being knocked out of the Region 3 quarterfinals by South Central champion and eventual Region champion Capital City Capitals.
Okemos will face Flushing on Saturday at 7:50 p.m. at Suburban Ice.
Mert's Specialty Meats in Okemos is offering fresh turkey’s and ducks for your Thanksgiving Dinner. They include Amish Family all Natural turkeys and turkey breast, and in limited quantity Bell & Evans Turkey breast and organic turkey’s.
Orders are now being taken and will be available for pickup Saturday November 23rd. For more details stop in at Mert’s Specialty Meats in Okemos on Grand River east of Meridian Mall, or place your order online!