Brighton rallies to win hockey tourney opener, 5-2

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BRIGHTON — The good news is the Brighton hockey team advanced in the Division 1 hockey tournament.

The bad news was how they got there.

“Our first two periods were pretty bad, we didn’t get things going,” Brighton coach Paul Moggach said. “The puck didn’t move the way we should. It wasn’t the kind of game we wanted but we got a win.

“The third period we were pretty good in and consistent there.”

After trailing 2-1 at one point, the Bulldogs closed the game with four goals to take a 5-2 victory.

Brighton (18-8) will take on Howell (16-8-1) in Wednesday’s pre-regional final at the Kensington Valley Ice House. The game will be broadcast on The Livingston Post.

Jackson (20-5-1) got on the board early with a goal from Charlie Bonser on a power play.

The Bulldogs regrouped going into the second period, tying the game when Brad Halonen scored with assists by Mathew Kahra and Keith Wikman.

But Jackson retaliated just minutes later when Andru Maynard found the net with help from Cyle Risinger.

Then the Bulldogs buckled down, getting a power-play goal from Jay Keranen and another score from Brody White to lead \ 3-2 going into the final period.

Brighton’s Brody White (16) clears the puck away from Jackson’s Bryce Darrow in the third period Monday night. (Photo by Taylor Vecchioni)

Brighton put the game out of reach near the end of the third period, with goals by Joey Clifford and Jake Crespi.

When asked how he thinks his team played tonight, Moggach was succinct: “Not as well as we need to.”

With the rematch with Howell coming on Wednesday, Moggach is hoping for a better beginning from the Bulldogs.

“We’re not getting good starts,” Moggach said. “Our first period has been bad and we need to find a better way to start.

“We need to compete a lot harder than we did tonight because Howell is going to be coming right at us.

“We’re so good in the third but we can’t wait that long,” Moggach said. “We have to get more desperate in the first.”