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  • Writer's pictureMWPA News Wire

MWPA Quarterfinal Preview of Skyline vs. Jenison

The host team may be the four seed out of the west, but they spent basically the whole season ranked second state-wide. A team battling while shorthanded earned the East's top seed as the Skyline Eagles have been a tremendous story this season, which should make for one of the more interesting quarterfinal match ups we've seen in some time.

Meet the East Region Champion Skyline Eagles

Record: 16-13

Prior Match Ups: Jenison leads 2-0 (8-7 win 9/24, 11-9 win 10/8)

This Year: East Region Champions, District 4 Runners Up

Head Coach: Ashley Hower

Award Winners:

Jack Staunton - East Region MVP

Ben Edlund - East Region First Team

They battled with extreme expectations, being shorthanded a star player, a challenging schedule, a district with a freight train at the top...and they're the East's top seed. Ashley Hower did what has to be called a phenomenal job this season with Ann Arbor Skyline. Sure, they entered the postseason at exactly .500 (12-12) but have ripped off a 4-1 run to win the East Region before qualifying for states.

And they have a dominator in the middle of the pool in Jack Staunton, and fellow first teamer Ben Edlund. They lost to Jenison twice, both played on the West side of the state by a combined three goals while they were still in a "figuring it all out" mode. This should be a great game, and one maybe where a lot of signals including home pool, point at their opponents. That said, everyone that doubted how far they can go has been wrong so far. Expect a battle.

Meet the West Region's Fourth Seeded Jenison Wildcats

Record: 26-10-1

Prior Match Ups: Jenison leads 2-0 (8-7 win 9/24, 11-9 win 10/8)

This Year: District 1 Runners Up

Head Coach: Jason Sweedyk (West Coach of the Year)

Award Winners:

Ben Jansen - West Region First Team

Gavin Haight (G) - West Region First Team

Ty VanderWall - West Region Honorable Mention

Kevin Roon - West Region Honorable Mention

Basically all season, the Jension Wildcats have been ranked 2nd statewide. They're the tournament hosts, they're one of two teams to REALLY have tested #1 Hudsonville this year, they're coached by the back-to-back West Region Coach of the Year (and 2022 Spring State Coach of the Year), have phenomenal goaltending and top end talent.

This may be the most dangerous four seed we have EVER seen at the state tournament when you consider they get to sleep in their own beds and play in their own pool. Still, their opponent is one that spent time this year, perhaps overlooked and are looking to prove themselves. The Jenison Wildcats ducked out in the quarterfinals to Pioneer just a few months ago at the buzzer, and are keen to avoid that same fate in their own pool.

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