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March 18, 2013

Cranbrook claims second title in four years, fifth overall

By Mike Moore
C & G Sports Writer

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Cranbrook claims second title in four years, fifth overall
Cranbrook’s girls hockey team claimed its second league title in four years March 9 with an overtime victory against Grosse Pointe South.

There isn’t a single boys hockey program in the state that can compare to the accomplishments of Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood.

There is one, however, that would like to emulate it.

And it happens to share the same building.

“There’s a reason we practice back to back,” Cranbrook girls hockey coach Terry Brooks said with a laugh. “You look at the two programs, and we’d love to be in lockstep with the success they have. We see, and know, the commitment it takes and the work that goes into what’s been accomplished around here.”

The Cranes took a step closer to doing just that March 9, claiming their second Michigan Metro Girls High School Hockey League Division 1 championship in the past four years with a 3-2 overtime victory against Grosse Pointe South.

It’s the fifth title overall for CK.

“You try to tell the other coaches, and the players, how this stuff never gets old,” Brooks said. “It’s such a great feeling to see the smiles on the girls faces after everything pays off.”

After finishing with a 16-2-1 record during the regular season, good for 33 points and a second-place finish — the only losses came to league champ Grosse Pointe South and Grosse Pointe North — the Cranes opened the postseason with a 9-0 victory against Livonia Ladywood.

In the semifinals, CK snuck past North 3-2 in overtime, setting up a clash with the 2012 champ, Grosse Pointe South.

Keiko DeClerck got the Cranes going in the first period, only to see South even the game moments later. Hanna DeClerck put CK up 2-1 in the second, and the score remained unchanged until 4:30 remained in regulation when South cashed in on a power-play opportunity.

The teams traded chances in the overtime, but with three minutes remaining, South was whistled for a minor penalty.

“I hadn’t used our time out yet, so I decided to take it,” Brooks explained. “We were able to get our top five girls on the ice, got them a little rest and set up what we wanted to do. They went out and did it.”

Keiko DeClerck slammed home her second goal of the night, bringing the girls championship back to Wallace Ice Arena — right where the boys had done the same earlier that day.

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