While most teams are preparing for the Christmas holiday, the Brighton hockey team is getting ready to face a team that undoubtedly wants a little revenge.
The previous two games, losses to Catholic Central and Northville, were against teams the Bulldogs beat last year to finish their state championship run.
Tonight, Brighton (6-2-1) takes on Livonia Stevenson, whom they beat in triple overtime in last month’s Cranbrook Invitational.
“It’s a tough game against a tough team on the road,” Brighton coach Paul Moggach said. “I guess we’d want it that way to wrap up 2017.”
The game, played at Eddie Edgar Arena in Livonia, will be broadcast on The Livingston Post starting at 7:20 p.m.
Stevenson (6-2) is a perennial contender in Division 2 and currently is No. 1 in the most recent coaches’ poll. Brighton is No. 1 in the latest Division 1 poll.
“It’s a real good rivalry,? Moggach said. “They’re well coached and play a great defensive style, and we try to do that as well. It’s a good matchup from that perspective. It’s a good rivalry, and we appreciate having those kind of games on our schedule.”
The Bulldogs go into tonight’s game mired in a scoring slump, with just one goal in those two games.
“We need to have our goal-scorers scoring goals, and they’re not,” Moggach said. “I think (talk of a slump) is probably appropriate, maybe, but if you’re a goal-scorer, you’re a goal-scorer, and we’ve got to put the puck into the net. We need some secondary scoring as well. Some of the guys who haven’t been big goal-scorers can throw a couple in, and it makes a lot of things easier for everyone else.”
Tonight’s game is crucial from this standpoint: Brighton can ill-afford another loss in the KLAA Gold, with its league record currently sitting at 2-1-1, can ill afford another loss.
In the meantime, Moggach and assistant Kurt Kivisto are looking for ways to tweak, not overhaul, their team’s approach.
“We’ve got to bear down and do some things different,” Moggach said. “Or keep playing the plan and hoping we get a little more. But everyone’s got to give a little more, I think.”