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January 22, 2014

Strong finishes have Mott hockey team off to steaming hot start

By Jason Carmel Davis
C & G Sports Writer

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The Warren Mott hockey team has already eclipsed its win total from last season and has 10 more regular-season contests remaining to add to that total. Pictured is Marauders senior forward Shane Mackin notching a goal in an early season matchup against Royal Oak High.

WARREN — Warren Mott hockey coach Rob Pomaville said he knew heading into the season that “scoring would not be a problem.”

So far, he’s absolutely right, as the Marauders were leading the entire MAC in scoring.

The Marauders were 12-2 overall, 1-1 in the MAC Blue, at press time. In 10 of its wins, Mott has scored at least five goals. The Marauders, who have also won two tournaments this season — in Birmingham and Grand Rapids — have tallied at least seven goals five times and lit the lamp eight times in three games. In total, Mott has notched 82 goals, one more Romeo (MAC White). The next closest teams — Macomb Dakota, St. Clair Shores United and Marysville — all had scored 55 goals at press time.

Pomaville said a big reason for his team’s success is the addition of seven new players, which has given the Marauders depth on its lines. With 10 games left in the regular season, Mott has already surpassed last season’s win total of eight.

Pomaville said a great group of seniors has led the way, including forwards Brandon Mezuk and Shane Mackin. Pomaville called them two of the most talented and hardest working players he’s ever coached.

“Last season, (Mezuk and Mackin) were among the leaders in the state as far as scoring goals, and they’re on pace to score even more points than they did last season,” Pomaville said. Pomaville also said senior defenseman Troy Ross, and senior forwards Tyler Combs and Colin Richtarcik have also exhibited the will to win.

“Those guys have worked their rear ends off for this team to win this year. I hope this senior leadership rubs off on the underclassmen for the future success of the team.”

While Mott’s ability to score was never in doubt, Pomaville said stopping the opposition is something that needs to improve. The Marauders have allowed 62 goals through 14 games.

Mott has started slow, Pomaville said, and it shows, as the team has been outscored in the first and second period this season.

“(Coming into the season), I knew we needed to work on our team defense,” Pomaville said. “With the amount of goals we’ve given up, it’s hard to believe we have improved on the defensive side of the ice, but we have.”

Defense will be key if Mott is to continue its winning ways, Pomaville said. He said every player — not just defensemen — must step up his play on the defensive end. Pomaville said his team right now makes too many bad passes, which lead to turnovers in their end. Turnovers put more pressure on goalkeepers — junior John Chmielewski and sophomore Kevin Lalik.

Mott is eyeing a division title, which would be the program’s first since the 2010-11 season. Pomaville said Anchor Bay is the class of the MAC Blue. Anchor Bay (2-0 in division play press time) knocked off Mott 9-1 Dec. 18 at Anchor Bay. The teams’ second meeting took place after press time.

“It was a close game through two periods, but we fell apart in the third,” Pomaville said. “We’re going to continue to work hard and try to compete in every game. We’ll give it our best shot at competing with Anchor Bay for the (division title).”

Mott next hits the ice for a matchup with Troy Athens, set for 6 p.m. Jan. 24 at Viking Arena in Hazel Park.