Orchard Lake St. Mary’s Troy Clark moves the puck up ice during a victory over Birmingham Brother Rice Dec. 6. The Eaglets are set to take park in the MIHL-KLAA showcase.

Orchard Lake St. Mary’s Troy Clark moves the puck up ice during a victory over Birmingham Brother Rice Dec. 6. The Eaglets are set to take park in the MIHL-KLAA showcase.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


MIHL and KLAA hockey teams in showcase event

By: Mike Moore | C&G Newspapers | Published December 8, 2017

 Chris Andorin and the Birmingham Brother Rice hockey team are set for the MIHL-KLAA showcase on Dec. 16 in Livonia. 

Chris Andorin and the Birmingham Brother Rice hockey team are set for the MIHL-KLAA showcase on Dec. 16 in Livonia. 

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

There will be a high school hockey showcase prior to the holiday break that most teams will find themselves on.

And yes, that is a bit out of the ordinary.

But that’s exactly what teams in the Michigan Interscholastic Hockey League and the Kensington Lakes Activities Association had in mind when forming the first-ever showcase between the two conferences.

“The big thought we had was doing something before break,” said Livonia Stevenson coach David Mitchell, who was the driving force behind the showcase. “To try to put something before the holidays near the start of the season was what we wanted to do. We wanted a whole bunch of games under one roof. The fans, the scouts, everyone can come watch a bunch of games at one place.”

And that’s what will happen Dec. 16 at Eddie Edgar Ice Arena in Livonia. The action starts at 9 a.m.

“Dave wanted to do some kind of showcase before the holiday break, something in the first half of the season, which was a new idea,” said Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood coach and MIHL President Andy Weidenbach. “The MIHL Showcase is always in the first week of February when everyone is getting ready for the playoffs. This is early in the year and gives the kids a little extra visibility.”

The showcase will consist of 22 teams, with 10 games pitting the KLAA against the MIHL. There will also be one KLAA regular-season game.

“That’s the premier high school hockey league in the state,” Mitchell said of the MIHL. “It’s going to be a great measuring stick for our conference. At the same time, with Brighton (High) and Hartland (High) and some of the other teams we have, we see it as a great opportunity. There’s a lot of quality high school hockey games that will be played on the same day.”

The first puck will drop at 9 a.m. when Grand Blanc High faces Livonia Franklin.

Canton High and Grosse Pointe North will skate at 10 a.m. in the first game between conference foes.

Other key battles feature Cranbrook taking on Plymouth High, Stevenson facing Orchard Lake St. Mary’s, Birmingham Brother Rice facing Hartland, and the finale is Brighton facing Novi Detroit Catholic Central at 7:30 p.m.

Those teams faced one another in the 2016 and 2017 Division 1 state finals, with each winning once.

“If you look at some of the top-end teams in both leagues, you’re going to find some great teams,” Weidenbach said. “Even the middle-of-the-road teams, so to speak, are teams in the top 10 rankings of their respective divisions. This is going to be a great test for everyone.”

Admission for the event costs $5, and once inside, your pass is good for the entire day. Children 6 and younger are admitted for free, as are seniors.

“A lot of these teams were going to play one another anyway,” Mitchell said. “So we figured why not put it all in one location? If people want to watch some great hockey, they don’t have to go to Plymouth or Birmingham or anywhere else. It’s all right here for them under one roof.”

• Grand Blanc vs. Livonia Franklin — 9 a.m.

• Canton High vs. Grosse Pointe North — 10 a.m.

• Howell High vs. Port Huron Northern — 11 a.m.

• Novi High vs. University of Detroit Jesuit — 12 p.m.

• Plymouth Salem vs. Trenton High — 1 p.m.

• Northville vs. Warren De La Salle — 2:30 p.m.

• Livonia Churchill vs. Grosse Pointe South — 3:30 p.m.

• Plymouth High vs. Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood — 4:30 p.m.

• Livonia Stevenson vs. Orchard Lake St. Mary’s — 5:30 p.m.

• Hartland High vs. Birmingham Brother Rice — 6:30 p.m.

• Brighton High vs. Novi Detroit Catholic Central — 7:30 p.m.