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Bloomfield Hills, Birmingham

March 8, 2012

Brother Rice hockey heads back to Division 2 state final, cruises past Forest Hills 5-0 in semi

By Mike Moore
C & G Sports Writer

» click to enlarge «
Senior Mackenzie MacEachern scored four goals and added an assist during Rice's 5-0 win against Forest Hills Eastern. The Warriors are back in the D-2 state final for the second straight year.

PLYMOUTH — Twelve months in the making, the Warriors are now one win from redemption.

When the 2011-12 hockey season started, guys on the Birmingham Brother Rice squad took to the ice with the lone objective of avenging last year’s loss in the Division 2 state finals.

They can do exactly that March 10.

Rice flexed its muscle from start to finish in a March 8 semifinal against Forest Hills Eastern, scoring 27 seconds into the game and cruising from there in a 5-0 win.

“I’m real proud of the effort. The boys came out and played hard,” Rice coach Lou Schmidt Jr. said. “We didn’t really know what to expect. We didn’t know much about Forest Hills other than they got here and were a good team. But when we’re cycling and getting the puck to the net the way we did here, we’re a tough team to beat.”

Senior Mackenzie MacEachern scored the first period’s lone goal, but the dominance was on full display as Rice out shot the Huskies 14-2.

MacEachern added his second goal of the night 2:57 into the second period on the power play, and then assisted on senior Thomas Ebbing’s power-play goal nearly six minutes later.

With chants of “Mr. Hockey” ringing down from the Rice student section, MacEachern added two more goals in the third period, tallying five points on the night.

“It was like they had two of him out there,” Forest Hills coach Todd Gallup joked.

Rice finished with 35 shots on goal, while senior Jack Bowman needed just six saves to earn the shutout.

Asked about playing in the second final in as many years, MacEachern promised a much different result.

“It can’t happen two years in a row,” he said smiling. “(Winning a title) has been on my mind since the day we lost last year. It’s all we’ve thought about.”

Rice, which is 24-4-1 and hasn’t lost a game since Dec. 21, a 20-0-1 streak, will face either Grosse Pointe South or Port Huron Northern in the D-2 final, set for 10 a.m.

Forest Hills ends its season 22-7-0.

Follow Mike on Twitter @CandGMike.

 

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Mike Moore at mmoore@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1038. Twitter Follow Mike on Twitter.