Boyle earns Miss Hockey; McIntyre takes home Coach of the Year

By: Mike Moore | Grosse Pointe Times | Published April 3, 2012

 South’s Claire Boyle (27), pictured during this year’s championship game against North, was named 2012 Miss Hockey. She led South in scoring for the fourth straight year.

South’s Claire Boyle (27), pictured during this year’s championship game against North, was named 2012 Miss Hockey. She led South in scoring for the fourth straight year.

Photo by David Schreiber

GROSSE POINTE — On the final day of the hockey season, teams from the Grosse Pointes were united in a dynamic of opportunities never seen before and likely never duplicated again.

Grosse Pointe North boys coach Scott Lock joked on March 9 that on the following day, Hockeytown would have to shift from Detroit to the Pointes, and unofficially, it did.

On March 10, Lock and his Norsemen played for a Division 1 title; Grosse Pointe South played for a D-2 title; and University Liggett captured a D-3 championship. At the same time, North and South girls teams slugged it out for the Michigan Metro Girls Hockey High School Hockey League title.

Lock, it seemed, had a point.

Roughly a week after the historic day, the celebrations continued when Grosse Pointe South’s Claire Boyle was named 2012 Miss Hockey, and Liggett coach Robb McIntyre earned Coach of the Year honors in Division 3.

Best of the girls
Since suiting up for South for the first time four years ago, Boyle has been one of the best players in the state.

She immediately made an impact with the Blue Devils, leading the team in scoring as a freshman while earning an honorable-mention nod to the All-State team.

Four years later, not much has changed, aside from some personal accolades.

“This was all pretty cool,” Boyle said of winning Miss Hockey. “Just to be named All-State was a thrill, but to hear my name called when they announced the Miss Hockey winner, it was unbelievable.”

“She’s been so consistent for the past four years,” coach Joe Provenzano said. “She brought an intensity and leadership to the ice that got this whole team going. When I look back on the year we had, I think it’s real obvious how the rest of the girls looked up to her.”

In her four years at South, Boyle played in 68 regular-season games, notched 79 goals and 147 points, was a plus-130 and led the team in scoring every year.

As a senior, she scored 29 goals and 48 points in 19 regular-season games before helping South to the league title for the second straight year with seven goals and nine points in three playoff games.

“This is an honor,” Boyle added. “There were some very good players that could have won this. For me to get it is pretty special.”

Hands-off approach
McIntyre said he was equally honored when he learned he was named Coach of the Year in Division 3.

At the same time, he called it a “little weird.”

“I think, more than anything, it’s an indicator of a successful year,” the Liggett bench boss said of a 27-3-0 season that included a state title. “You don’t with this award without good players and a great team. This was a great year for us, and I think there’s a lot of reasons I got this, but mainly because of the team we had.”

As McIntyre routinely pointed out, and those that followed the team all year were quick to notice, he was more of a hands-off type of coach.

He’d call on certain players in certain times, but usually stood back and let his guys do their thing.

After a semifinal win in which his team’s power play was a huge force, he laughed at the notion that he had anything to do with it, instead saying, “I think we’ve practiced the power play for 30 minutes all season. I let these guys have fun and create out there.”

As of this year and his style?

“I’ve always believed less in more,” McIntyre said. “I tried to set up a good atmosphere where the kids can show up, try hard and have that freedom to create, and have some fun. It worked for us this year.”