Ending on a high note

The Alpena High School hockey team sent its seniors out on a high note on Wednesday.

Reed Hamp and Chris Modrzynski each scored twice and five different Wildcats lit the lamp as Alpena topped Gaylord 9-1 at Northern Lights Arena on Senior Night.

The Wildcats (14-10-1) set the tempo early and kept Gaylord netminder Gage Andrews busy all the night. Alpena scored twice in the second period before unloading five goals in the second period against the reeling Blue Devils.

“That’s one of the great things about our team. When we’re playing well it’s a whole team effort,” Alpena coach Pete Doubek said.

It was the final home game for 10 Alpena seniors and they responded with a solid effort. Alpena’s seniors are Evan Hamp, Reed Hamp, Jesse Boilore, Cole Cosbitt, Jared Plume, Cade MacArthur, Brandon Ciupka, Shane Dawson, Jay Dutcher and Tait Froggett.

Playing with only 10 skaters, Gaylord was outmanned and outplayed from the beginning. Alpena outshot the Blue Devils 14-2 in the first period and didn’t allow Gaylord much room to maneuver.

Dutcher, both Hamps, Froggett, MacArthur and Plume started the game for Alpena, but the Wildcats’ younger players got things going offensively. Nick Baranyai scored with 10:55 left in the opening frame on assists from Plume and Reed. Jensen Saddler put the Wildcats up by a pair a short time later, scoring despite heavy traffic in front of the net. Baranyai earned an assist on the goal.

Plume finished with four assists on the night.

After Reed’s first goal gave Alpena a 3-0 lead with 13:03 left in the second period, Gaylord tallied a goal when Blake Miller beat Dutcher for a score with 12:20 left.

The Blue Devils’ goal seemed to awaken the Alpena offense as the Wildcats controlled the rest of the period. Modrzynski scored the first of his two goals 10 seconds after Gaylord’s score.

Reed tallied his second goal of the night on the power-play with 9:28 left in the frame. Zack Kendziorski fed Reed a backhand across the slot and Reed buried the shot to put Alpena up 5-1. Brody Nowak lit the lamp just 24 seconds later, scoring with an assist from Ryan Spencer.

Modrzynski scored his second goal of the night with 7:08 left after he grabbed a rebound and dangled the puck over Andrews to give Alpena a 7-1 lead.

Alpena earned the win by mercy-rule late in the third period after Ryan Spencer and Cole Cosbitt scored for the Wildcats.

Alpena finishes out the regular season on Friday at Bay City Central, a game that Doubek hopes will be a good test for his team before the playoffs start next week.

“They’re supposed to be pretty good. It should be good competition to get us ready for Cadillac,” Doubek said.

James Andersen can be reached via email at sports@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5694. Follow James on Twitter @ja_alpenanews.