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Motor City Seals 2nd Place Position in USPHL Premier Midwest East Division with Huge Second Half Run

By Motor City Hawks Staff, 03/15/18, 9:00PM EDT


Motor City Seals 2nd Place Position in USPHL Premier Midwest East Division
with Huge Second Half Run

Host Detroit Fighting Irish in Playoffs at Fraser Beginning March 2


FRASER, Mich. - February 27, 2018 – The Motor City Hawks, left for dead after a 7-21 start to the 2017-18 USPHL Premier campaign, went 13-1-1 after the holiday break and claimed 2nd place in the USPHL Midwest East Division.  The Hawks will host the Detroit Fighting Irish in a best of three playoff series beginning Friday, March 2 at 7:40 at Fraser Hockeyland.

The second place clincher came on Sunday, February 18 when Motor City shut out the Irish on its home ice in Brownstown, 3-0, giving the Hawks home ice for round one.  The Hawks played one of its best defensive games of the year, less than 24 hours after unravelling in its worst defensive effort, a wild 10-9 OT loss at Tri City, the only real blip in a resurgent run after January 1 which saw Motor City get points in 14 straight games after a disastrous first half.  During the 14 game point run, the Hawks beat every team in the East division at least twice.

“We have a fairly young team with a lot of guys who haven’t played at the Junior Hockey level before.  It certainly took longer than I expected for them to buy into our system because of all the injuries we had,” said Motor City Head Coach, Jason McCrimmon.

Prior to the holiday break at the end of December, the Hawks has weathered having anywhere from five to 8 guys injured each game with issues ranging from concussions to broken wrists and damaged knees. But over the break, the Hawks got some of their top line offensive and defensive players back on the ice and picked up some much needed depth.  All have paid dividends for Motor City.

“The constant injuries were a huge issue for us in the first half of the season, but the pickups at the break were a huge boost,” said Hawks General Manager Mark Gilman. “I hate to even say it because Jason (McCrimmon) sometimes talks like he runs the Philadelphia 76ers, but yes, the team has learned to “respect the process” of his coaching regimen. That’s been a big difference too.”

The second half turnaround for Motor City has come from a vastly improved “team effort” on offense and defense. The scoring across the board from all of the Hawks lines has given the team its most balanced scoring in its four-year history.  A total of 17 Hawks players have scored since the break, raising its goals per game average from 2.8 before the break to a hefty 6.3 after. On the defensive side, the Hawks defense and improved goaltending play have also limited opposing teams to 4.28 goals against, which may not seem like anything to brag about, but after finishing the first half with a goals against average near 7, it’s a tremendous leap for a team that seemed in disarray just a couple of months ago.