Freshman Brendan Maly scored 1-second period goal, and another 2-goals in the third period for a hat trick, while helping his FNV Griffins (11-3) to a 6-3 victory over its rival, the Tri Valley Titans (3-6) at Saginaw Bay Ice Arena tonight.
The Griffins jumped out to an early lead when sophomore defenseman Aidan West fired a wrist shot from the left point, beating Tri Valley goal tender Chase Mendoza on the stickside to give FNV a 1-0 lead, with an assist coming from fellow sophomore Trey Morgan at 13:48 of the first period.
With just 28-seconds left in the first period, FNV senior Sean Nowosatka gave the Griffins a 2-0 lead with his ninth goal of the season with assists from seniors Tanner Hare and Kenny Kujawa at 16:32 of the opening period.
Tri Valley answered just a few seconds later when junior Hunter Windy took it himself and beat Griffins' senior goal tender Ben Younglao with an unassisted goal, cutting the FNV lead to 2-1 heading into the first intermission.
With the Griffins killing a penalty early in the second period, Kujawa reached his stick in front of a Tri Valley player, intercepting a Titans' pass at the FNV blue line, while (in one motion) chipping the puck up to Maly, who raced the length of the ice and beat Mendoza with a shorthanded goal, extending the FNV lead to 3-1 at 6:05 of the second period.
The Griffins opened up a 3-goal lead early in the third period when junior Adam Rivette weaved his way from the left circle, through the high slot, drawing the attention of three defenders, while patiently waiting for Maly to set up on the left post, before sending a laser pass to Maly, who buried a one-timer into a wide open net for his second goal of the night to give FNV a 4-1 lead just :44 seconds into the third period.
Tri Valley would answer just over 2-minutes later when sophomore Ara Nab scored his third goal of the season, with assists coming from Windy and fellow sophomore Chase Schmitz to make it a 4-2 game at 2:57 of the third period.
The Titans battled back to within a goal when junior Trevor Achtabowski scored his fifth of the season, with assists from sophomore Jacob Shinaver and senior Matthew Summerfield to cut the FNV lead to 4-3 at 12:13 of the third period.
However, the Griffins would put the game away just a couple minutes later when Maly completed his hat trick on his third goal of the night, with assists from Rivette and sophomore John Paul LeFevre, giving FNV a 5-3 lead at 14:06 of the third period.
Just over a minute later, Kujawa buried an unassisted empty-net goal, sealing the victory (6-3) over the Titans at 15:41 of the final period.
Maly (3-goals) paced the Griffins with the hat trick, along with Kujawa (1-goal, 2-assists) who also had a 3-point night, followed by Rivette's 2-assists to round out FNV's multi-point leaders, while Windy (1-goal, 1-assist) led the Titans with 2-points.
Younglao stopped 16 of the 19 shots he faced in net for the Griffins tonight, while his counterpart, Mendoza turned in an impressive 32-save performance, turning away 32 of the 36 shots he saw between the pipes for Tri Valley tonight.
The Titans will try and get back on track this Sunday against South Lyon Unified for a 4:45 pm face off at Midland Civic Arena this weekend, while the Griffins travel to take on SCF (swartz creek, Clio, Flushing) the same day for a 1 pm face off at the Flint Iceland Arena on Saturday afternoon.
On Wednesday Feb. 8, Tri Valley will be the home team, when the two teams meet for the second time this season at Saginaw Bay Ice Arena next month.
Tri Valley and FNV players shake hands after the game: