Nick Lefebvre might see pucks in his sleep for weeks. Pinkney’s junior goaltender faced 65 shots and kept his team close in a 5-2 loss to Okemos Saturday at the Arctic Coliseum in Chelsea. The Chiefs dominated play in the regional final and were led offensively by senior captain Jake Faustyn.
Okemos went on a five minute power play early in the first period and capitalized. Faustyn passed the puck to defenseman Clay Bullock and slammed home the rebound of Bullock’s point shot. The Chiefs had several good scoring chances before the penalty expired, but Lefebvre kept the puck out of the net. Another Pinkney minor penalty gave Okemos a man advantage later in the first. Mark Luoma sent a pass to Ryan Bradway whose blueline slap shot was deflected by Anders Staky to make the score 2-0. The Pirates escaped the period without further damage, although the shots were 30-1 in favor of Okemos.
The second period looked much like the first with the Chiefs carrying the play and firing pucks toward the Pinkney net. A blocked point shot led to a 3-on-1 for the Pirates which ended with senior Cooper Jenkins beating Okemos goaltender Cameron Zisholz to cut the lead in half. The Chiefs regained the momentum when Clay Bullock fed Faustyn in the neutral zone creating a 3-on-1 for Okemos. Faustyn used Luoma as a decoy and ripped the puck past Lefebvre high on the stick side.
Faustyn scored a similar goal in the third period to push the lead to 4-1. Bullock again sent Faustyn into the Pinkney zone where he walked the defenseman and scored. Midway through the period sophomore Jack Desautel skated from his own zone up the left wing, cut to the middle and slid the puck underneath Lefebvre to give Okemos a four goal lead. Pinkney continued to battle and junior forward Connor Smith jumped on a loose puck in the Chiefs’ zone to score an unassisted goal with just over five minutes remaining.
Zisholz made 11 saves in a winning effort that improved the Chiefs’ record to 25-3 and earned the team’s first regional championship in 15 seasons. Okemos advances to the quarter finals where they will face Riverview at Yost Ice Arena on Wednesday.