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WILD WIN! Plymouth coasts to D1 Regional win with 2nd-half surge

 WILD WIN! Plymouth coasts to D1 Regional win with 2nd-half surge

Plymouth junior Jimmy Cleveland races up the field a few steps ahead of a Canton pursuer Friday night.

Trailing Canton 4-3 following Chief Alexander Nielsen’s goal with 8 minutes and 31 seconds remaining in the first half of Friday night’s MHSAA Division 1 Regional game, the Plymouth’s boys lacrosse team’s season was in peril.

Gavin Gallaher’s goal set up by an assist from Sam Plencner two minutes later seemed to light a fire under the Wildcats, who turned a 4-4 deadlock into a 14-6 triumph.

The win-or-pack-up-the-equipment-until-next-season rally earned the Wildcats a Regional semifinal match-up against host Brighton on May 22 at 7:30 p.m.

Plymouth will be looking for redemption after a 17-3 loss to the Bulldogs on April 29.

Plymouth senior Ethan Wendland elevates in an effort to redirect a pass from Canton goalie Samuel Kolodziej
Plymouth senior Ethan Wendland elevates in an effort to redirect a pass from Canton goalie Samuel Kolodziej

Brighton is the 17th-ranked team in Michigan, according to MaxPreps.com. Three of the top four teams in the poll are private schools (Detroit County Day, Birmingham Brother Rice and Detroit Catholic Central). Rockford is the lone public school in the top four.

Plymouth was paced by the energizing Plencner, who piled up three goals and three assists. Plencner punctuated his third goal with a Tiger Woods-esque fist bump.

Griffin Gallaher added three goals and Cam Witt scored twice for the winners — both goals coming in the third quarter when the Wildcats put a stranglehold on the victory.

To check out video highlights from the game, click here.

Red alert

The Chiefs opened the scoring with 4:18 left in the first quarter on freshman Aiden Carroll’s goal. After Plymouth bounced back with back-to-back net-finders from Plencner and Ian Timberlake (from Witt), Canton knotted the game at 2-2 on Nick Parrish’s goal.

Jack Lockhart sprints along the sideline with the ball
Jack Lockhart sprints along the sideline with the ball

Plymouth led 3-2 after one quarter thanks to Gallaher’s goal with 4.1 ticks left before the break.

The Wildcats’ 5-4 advantage at the intermission came on goals from Gallaher and Gavin VanSickle. The Chiefs’ third goal was scored by Jack Lockhart.

Plymouth put a stranglehold on the victory in the third quarter when it tallied four straight goals from Alex Lukas, Witt (two) and Plencner.

Nielsen scored with 2:42 left in the third to narrow Canton’s deficit to 9-5.

Five straight in fourth

Plymouth, however, opened the fourth with a five-goal barrage to all but seal the deal. Goal-scorers during the difference-making run were Chase Knutsen, Plencner, Gallaher, Charlie Maletta and VanSickle.

Plymouth senior Sam Plencner outraces the Canton defense
Plymouth senior Sam Plencner outraces the Canton defense

Lockhart scored with just under two minutes left.

Plymouth goalie Griffin VanSickle was solid throughout the game. He received a lot of help from defensemen Alex Witt, Braeden Milliken, Brady Peregord and Lukas.

The game featured several entertaining face-offs between Canton’s 6-foot-3, 240-pound FOGO Jake Low and Plymouth’s significantly smaller Quinn Fitchett.

Ed Wright can be reached at 734-664-4657 or edwright@socialhousenews.com.

Canton junior defenseman Benjamin Grenillo stymies a Plymouth attack
Canton junior defenseman Benjamin Grenillo stymies a Plymouth attack
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Ed Wright

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