Hartland rolls over Trenton for second straight D2 state title
Hartland’s 4-0 domination of Trenton at the Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 2 state championship Saturday basically came down to an eight-second stretch late in the first period.
Hartland senior Owen Pietila scored twice in that span to turn a 0-0 game that could go either way – despite the Eagles’ onslaught from the beginning – into a 2-0 contest that put the Trojans in a deep hole.
“I was just in the right place on the first one,” said Pietila, whose team recorded its second straight state title at Plymouth Township’s USA Hockey Arena.
Pietila took a pass at the bottom of the right circle – from Joey Larson, who was in the right corner – took a couple of strides cutting across the crease and slid the puck past Trenton goalie Joey Cormier, who was heroic in the loss, making 40 saves.
And right after the ensuing face-off, Pietila swooped in off the right wing – his off wing – and beat Cormier again, this time with a backhand shot.
Pietila said he really didn’t remember a lot of the eight seconds.
This is the senior’s first year of High School hockey after playing AAA with Compuware. He said this was his seventh state championship.
With the momentum rolling all Hartland’s way, Trenton coach Chad Clements called a timeout. But the damage was done, and the Eagles (27-4) were well on their way to being Michigan High School hockey’s cream of Division 2 again.
“It just felt good to see the team execute the way they did,” said Hartland coach Rick Gadwa, who watched his team outshoot Trenton (25-5-1) 44-13.
Adam Pietila and Gabe Anderson also scored for the Eagles. Goalie Brett Tomé didn’t have to do a lot for the shutout.
“I stopped the shots I had to stop,” he said.
Hartland victimized the Trojans in the state championship game for the second straight year, winning 4-2 in 2018.
“To get close, so close … it’s disappointing,” Clements said. “We were prepared, prepared as we could be. We just didn’t execute.”
Trenton actually defeated Hartland this season 2-0 during the MIHL Prep Showcase, on its home ice of Kennedy Arena.
“We beat ’em this year, but not when it counted,” Clements said.
The Eagles outshot the Trojans 18-3 in the first period as the Trenton didn’t manage its first shot of the game until around the six-minute mark. By that time, Hartland’s shot total was well into double digits.
Trenton had killed off more than a minute of a two-man disadvantage before the two quick goals.
Adam Pietila made it 3-0 with 3:13 left in the second period when he tapped in a rebound after Cormier had stopped Benny Tervo on a breakaway.
Gabe Anderson’s power-play goal with 4:33 left completed the scoring. He put in rebound off the end boards behind the net.
Hartland beat Brother Rice 6-2 in the semifinal on Thursday, while Trenton defeated Marquette 4-0 in Thursday's other semifinal game.