It wasn’t an average day for Anthony Louis and Tyler Motte.
The Miami University and University of Michigan forwards didn’t play each other on Saturday, but they shared the same ice, with both earning their respective teams a victory in an odd venue.
Just like the Blackhawks did a year ago, Motte and Louis took to the ice, (yes, ice) at Soldier Field in Chicago, participating in the Hockey City Classic.
Louis and Miami was up first, taking on the Western Michigan University Broncos in the afternoon game. Despite the start time for the game being pushed back an hour, both teams got into a spirited affair.
Miami scored the first four goals of the game, including three in the middle period, two on the power-play. It wasn’t until Sean Kuraly’s goal at the 18:40 mark of the second period that would stand as the eventual game-winner, however.
Western Michigan put the game back in the balance with three unanswered goals in the third period, but Miami goaltender Jay Williams would not surrender a fourth goal from the Broncos, as Miami won, 4-3.
Louis’ only action on the score-sheet was a penalty late in the second period, which the Broncos failed to capitalize on.
As Miami and Western Michigan finished their tilt, two more teams from Michigan were preparing to duke it out; longstanding rivals Michigan State and the University of Michigan.
Motte’s Wolverines also opened the scoring with three unanswered goals, and unlike the game prior, there would be no roaring comeback by their opponent. Cutler Martin’s early second-period goal would stand as the game-winner, as Matt Deblouw’s goal 5 minutes into the third period was the only time Michigan State would get the puck past Michigan goaltender Jake Hildebrand.
Motte recorded an assist on the Wolverine’s third goal by captain Andrew Copp, and registered two shots.
The Hockey City Classic was a success, though it didn’t seem like it would be earlier in the day.
The ice at Soldier field barely held up after the four teams practiced on Friday, causing event organizers to cancel the morning skates on Saturday morning.
Even still, the games were delayed due to the ice, and both teams slogged through the less-than-ideal conditions at multiple points during each game.
The City Classic highlighted two of the Blackhawks’ best prospects, who both made an appearance at the World Junior Hockey Championships earlier this season, both representing Team USA.
Motte has recorded 7 goals and 16 assists in 21 games for Michigan, and is a regular starter in his sophomore season, while Louis has gone 5-14-19 in 22 games for Miami. Both teams are ranked first in their conference, with Miami holding a 16-9-1 record, while Michigan has gone 16-8-0 this season.
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