By Mike Moore (Photo By Ryan Kerwin, JTV Sports)
Jackson — Andy Sinkovitz has had goal scorers before, and he’s coached the Jackson United hockey team to plenty of wins.
But this year is something altogether different.
And Sinkovitz has no problem with that at all.
“This is probably the most prolific offensive team I’ve had, spread across several guys,” he said. “One of the main things is we have a lot of offensive power, and not just from one or two guys.”
The formula has worked for the United squad, too, which was 14-2-0 following a 7-1 victory over Lumen Christi last weekend.
A program that’s won 20-or-more games in each of the past three seasons, winning is nothing new. But winning 14 of the first 16 games is the best start Sinkovitz has ever had.
“The skill set is so key,” Sinkovitz said. “We have five guys who’ve played together on travel teams, and they’ve really helped with the depth of this group.”
Jackson is averaging an astounding 6.4 goals per game.
Bode Buseth is tied for the team lead in goals with 18 and leads the team with 40 points.
Dakota Hitt (17 goals, 38 points), Matthew Bradley (13 goals, 37 points), John Kucharek (18 goals, 35 points) and Chris Martin (16 goals, 30 points) round out the five travel kids leading the way.
“When you have what we do, we can roll with three lines, with two of the scoring at a tremendous rate,” Sinkovitz said. “And our third line can defense the other team’s top line.”
In the win over Lumen, each of the first two lines accounted for three goals, and the seventh came from the defense.
On the flip side, with freshman goalie Barrett Roe, Jackson is allowing just 2.5 goals per game.
“With a young goalie, our hope is to play 200 feet from our net,” Sinkovitz. “We want to keep the pressure on the other team and the puck out of our zone.”
With the season roughly half over, Sinkovitz said the goal remains focused on improving before the postseason begins.
Jackson is in the same regional with Brighton High, the defending state champ.
“Absolutely, we can compete with a team like that all day,” Sinkovitz said. “Whether we’re that deep to win, we will see. But we know what’s in front of us. The Lumen game was big, but now we have to move on. We’re going to be ready for Brighton. We’re not playing teams like that right now, so we have to stay focused, stay interested and be ready for that challenge.”
Mike Moore is a play-by-play commentator and Sports Writer for JTV Sports.
He’s also a Realtor with Real Estate One, specializing with buyers and sellers throughout Michigan, from the Jackson area to metro Detroit. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (313) 770-6365 with any inquiries.