Trenton too much for struggling Bulldogs, 4-2

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TRENTON — Needing a win to salvage a split at the MIHL Showcase in Trenton, the Brighton hockey team instead put itself behind the 8-ball early in a 4-2 loss to Trenton on Saturday night.

Brighton outshot Trenton 38-33, but allowed three goals on special teams — one of them shorthanded — as the Trojans (10-8-2) sent Brighton (13-6) to a 4-2 loss, its third in four games.

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“How bad could that be?” Brighton coach Paul Moggach said. “Two power-play goals and a shorthanded goal. This can’t happen.”

Trenton coach Chad Clements, whose team had lost its four previous games, including a 5-2 decision to Hartland on Friday, knew the feeling.

“Our goal tonight was to win a period,” he said. “We were trying to make the goal small so we could start accomplishing something and build on that.”

Meanwhile, the Bulldogs were trying to get going.

“We made some adjustments after the first period,” Moggach said. “I think we played better after the first, but it’s hard to come down here and lose two games when we didn’t play as bad as that. But we had two good opponent, and playing Trenton at home is not easy. We need to make our puck luck, and we didn’t.”

Trenton’s Justin Cormier scored with 1:44 left in the opening period on the power play, while Griffin Sawyer (shorthanded) and Brandon Morgan (power play) gave the Trojans that 3-0.

But the Bulldogs struck soon after. Jay Keranen fired a shot on goal that Trojans goalie Joe SantAngelo stopped, but Brad Halonen put the rebound home to make it a two-goal deficit.

“I was just trying to get stuff to the net and it happened to go in,” Keranen said. “We happened to get rebounds, and Brad buried it. It was a good play.”

In the third period, Morgan scored unassisted early in the period, and Keranen scored for Brighton to get the Bulldogs within two, but they could get no closer.

“I think for a while they wanted it more than us, and then we wanted it more than them,” Moggach said. “But when they wanted it more, they got goals, and when we wanted it more, we didn’t. We weren’t getting the opportunities we needed, or a greasy goal we didn’t deserve to get.”

The Bulldogs play host to Howell on Wednesday, believing they won’t be able to take any shortcuts.

“We’ve just got to work,” Keranen said. “If we work 100 percent, stuff should start bouncing our way.”