For the time being at least, Detroit Fighting Irish has taken over first place in the Midwest Jr. Hockey League.
The Fighting Irish scored a 6-5 road decision over the MC Monarchs on Wednesday to move two points ahead of their arch-rivals into top spot.
Detroit now has 32 points from a record of 15-6-2 while MC is second with 30 points from a 15-8 mark.
However, third-place Traverse City Hounds — who have 29 points from a record of 14-0-1 — have a whopping eight games in hand on both Detroit and MC.
FIGHTING IRISH 6, MONARCHS 5
After losing the first three meetings of the season to MC, Detroit has now won two in a row over the Monarchs.
While they lost on Wednesday, the Monarchs certainly made it interesting with a frantic third-period rally that fell just short.
The Fighting Irish had a seemingly-comfortable 6-2 lead midway through the third period only to see the Monarchs answer back with three unanswered goals — but not the equalizer.
Veteran forward Ken Winter continued his hot hand with three goals and an assist to spark the Irish mob to the 6-5 triumph.
Winter now has 6 goals, 5 assists, 11 points in Detroit’s last three games — all victories — and has team-leading totals of 19-16-35 on the season.
James Smith scored once and added three assists, Rob Danyo potted a goal and a pair of helpers and Shawn Eastman netted the other Detroit marker.
Jacob Gorzelski made 35 saves for Detroit to win his second straight decision — both over MC — since joining the Fighting Irish from the disbanded Berkley Bruins. Gorzelski seems to be in the right place at the right time with Detroit in that while he has a 2-0 record for the Fighting Irish, he also has an inflated 5.00 goals-against-average and a sub-par .868 save percentage.
MWJHL scoring leader Adam Jonak had two goals and an assist and star defenceman Jarrad Vroman also found range twice to lead MC in the Wednesday setback to Detroit.
Bryce Peplinski scored the other MC goal and Tory Shand had two assists.
PHOTO: Coach Dan Vasquez (middle, behind bench) and his Detroit Fighting Irish have moved into first place atop the MWJHL.