Lakes Valley Conference Preview

White Lake Lakeland’s unbeaten streak spills into a third season

Craig Peterson

October 4, 2023

Photo by Larry McKee | The Oakland Press
Photo by Larry McKee | The Oakland Press

Milford was the last team to knock off White Lake Lakeland in conference play. It was a cold Wednesday night in Hartland in February of 2022. Since then, Lakeland has gone on an 11-game win streak against Lakes Valley Conference (LVC) opponents. It’s been a dominant run for the Eagles; one that doesn’t show any signs of slowing down either. Three of the top 10 scorers in the conference last season return to the Lakeland lineup this fall.  

Last Season’s Champion: White Lake Lakeland

During their undefeated streak, the Eagles have out-scored LVC opponents 125-47, with an average margin of victory of 2.66 goals per game. They return a good amount of top performers from last season as well. Forwards Tim Hinkle, Brennan Grant and Austin Scanlon, along with goaltender Paul Baker will provide a solid contingent for White Lake to start the ‘23-24 campaign.

Players To Watch: 

Tim Hinkle, White Lake Lakeland Senior Forward

Hinkle’s 42 assists last season were among the most in all of high school hockey. Returning his play-making ability to the lineup up front should carry a ton of value as the Eagles look to defend their conference championship. 

Andrew Evans, Walled Lake Northern Senior Forward

He was third in the conference in goals with 31 and the Knights had a 10-6-2 record when Evans record at least one point. The case could be made that no one player has more value to his team in the LVC than Evans to Northern.

Gavin Mulcahy, South Lyon Unified Senior Forward

The combo of Mulcahy and fellow senior Carter Temple could be a very dangerous duo in the LVC. South Lyon could be a significantly improved team from a season ago and may even surprise some teams, thanks to this tandem.

Stevan Vujic, Milford Senior Defenseman

A captain on a pretty experienced Mavericks squad last season, Vujic logged a ton of minutes on the blue line as a junior. Likely to be a bit younger of a team after graduating a third of the roster last spring, Milford may lean even more on Vujic’s expertise.

Brennan Gesund, Walled Lake Northern Senior Defenseman

He had 14 points as a sophomore, 15 points as a junior, and I think Gesund is ripe for a big senior year. Northern was a .500 team last season but could make a significant jump in the standings, given what they’re returning in ‘23-24.

Cooper Langley, Milford Senior Goalie

He’s played in 51 of 52 games for the Mavericks over the past two seasons, and posted one of the highest save percentages in the LVC in ‘22-23. Langley has a 37-21-0 record in his high school career, and is a rare four-year starter in net. 

Petey’s Prediction: White Lake Lakeland

They’ve won outright, or at least a share of, five of the six conference championships on record. I’m riding with White Lake Lakeland as the obvious favorite to dominate the Lakes Valley Conference, as they’ve done for much of the last decade. However, I do think the gap from the pack has closed a bit year-over-year. Milford returns a slew of skilled players including a pair of forwards in Alex Kozar and Will Fulton, as well as a top D in the conference in Stevan Vujic and starting goaltender Cooper Langley. Walled Lake Northern returns some key pieces as well, and even South Lyon Unified — who finished in last place in the conference last season — has high-level returners coming back. Lakeland should be the front-runner, but I think the rest of the league could keep this championship race much, much closer than it’s been in recent years.

Want to talk about it? Let's connect on social: