Prep hockey: Miners complete furious comeback

MARQUETTE – Freshman forward Jackson Vilona knocked the puck in late during the first overtime to give Negaunee a 5-4 victory over Petoskey at the Petoskey Invitational high school hockey tournament Friday night.

Vilona’s unassisted tally 13:28 into OT capped off a furious comeback that started early in the third period, when the Miners (4-5) trailed 4-1.

Negaunee plays for the tourney championship at 1 p.m. today back in Petoskey against the Bay Area Reps, a Bay City-area co-op team.

The Miners’ first goal came 2:07 into the second period by junior forward Michael Farley, cutting into what had been a 3-0 Petoskey lead. The goal was assisted by sophomore Jeffrey Mathews and was the only power play goal of the game.

After Petoskey’s Nick Gadowski completed his hat trick about 10 minutes later, Negaunee scored twice in less then two minutes early in the third.

Junior Eric Farley scored at 4:04, assisted by freshman Neal Violetta, and junior teammate Ryan Syrjala added an unassisted tally at 5:45 to pull the Miners within one, 4-3.

Junior Chad Larson then forced the extra period with just 43 seconds remaining in regulation, and like Vilona’s OT winner, was unassisted.

Negaunee junior goalie Tyler Riutta made 31 saves in regulation, with no information available about shots on goal in OT. He had 13 saves during the Northmen’s fast start of three goals scored in less than four minutes around the midpoint of the period. Gadowski’s first goal that made it 1-0 was shorthanded and scored at 9:00.

The Miners put 32 shots on Petoskey netminder Adam McCain in the first three periods.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Writer Steve Brownlee. His email address is