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(Photo: JTV File Photo)

By, Gabriel Schray | JTV Sports | December 5th, 2018

Jackson, Michigan — Just a year ago, Jackson United had one of the better seasons in program history. The team finished 21-2-0. The Vikings and Head Coach Andy Sinkovitz will be looking to build off of that success here this season.

Coach Sinkovitz says that the team has a shorter bench than in past years, which allows for more ice time for Viking players. “This leaves it up to the players to seize the playing time,” said Sinkovitz. “It’s still early, but a couple of the guys are already starting to develop into key players.”

After five games the team stands at 2-5. A power outage occurred just before the team played Kalamazoo Portage Northern. A transformer nearby the rink went out and killed the power to the Oshtemo area around the ice arena- so the game was cancelled.

The Vikings have been potent on offense, scoring 21 goals in seven games (three goals per game on average). JU has struggled defensively however, allowing 28 goals over the same span (four goals per game on average). It’s a narrow enough margin that the program could easily correct their problems and get hot down the stretch.

Many of the Viking players have played hockey for their entire lives. Dakota Hitt is now a four year player on the Jackson Area team. “Not many guys can play as a Freshman, but Dakota did when he was a Freshman and was a factor,” said Sinkovitz. The Viking’s Coach called Hitt a natural leader as well.  Now as a Senior, he is one of the top players in the area. He is also the first consecutive year captain that the team has had. A title which is voted on by the players themselves. Dakota Hitt already has 25 shots on goal through the first 3 games. Numbers that for the high school level are astounding.

Jackson United won the CAAC the past two years. This will be the team’s first year in the SEC (Southeast Conference). “The goal is the same,” said Coach Sinkovitz. “Win the league and go as deep in the state playoffs as possible.”

You can see the Jackson United Vikings in action again today, as they play host to the Chelsea Bulldogs. Puck-drop will be at 6pm. The contest will be played at Optimist Ice Arena at 544 Wildwood Ave.

#JTVSports #JacksonVikings #MichiganHockey

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