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Bloomfield Hills

March 6, 2013

Cranbrook takes yearlong frustration out on St. Clair; Rice and Country Day fall in regional finals

By Mike Moore
C & G Sports Writer

» click to enlarge «
Cranbrook celebrates with the regional trophy after beating St. Clair 11-0 March 2 at home. The Cranes face Liggett in a March 6 quarterfinal at the Farmington Hills Ice Arena.

BLOOMFIELD HILLS — It played like a team possessed, or at least a team filled with a year’s worth of frustration.

Whatever it was, it worked.

Almost a year to the day after the Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood hockey squad was upset in the 2012 regional finals, the Cranes rolled past St. Clair High, earning a spot in the quarterfinals with an 11-0 victory.

“Anything can happen in the playoffs, which is why this is a good win,” coach Andy Weidenbach said after the game. His team lost to Marysville High in overtime last year after being a substantial favorite to win a state title. “We’ve been playing pretty strong all year, and we were able to keep that going here today.”

Cranbrook (25-2-1) wasted little time taking control of the game.

Jeremy Loewenstein scored five minutes in, and Mason Schultz scored his first of two goals 44 seconds later. By the end of the first period, Cranbrook led 5-0 and was outshooting St. Clair 34-5.

The Cranes added six more goals in the second period.

Jeff Martin, Shawn O’Malley, Andrew DeClerck, Sam Miletic, Kevin Shand (2), Chris Brown and Austin Alger all scored for Cranbrook.

C-K, ranked No. 1 all season in D-3, now has the chance to knock off the defending state champ.

The Cranes take on Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett in a March 6 quarterfinal at the Farmington Hills Ice Arena.

Liggett defeated Beverly Hills Detroit Country Day 7-4 in its regional final.

“Things haven’t been particularly difficult for us so far, but they’re about to get much tougher,” Weidenbach added.

Title defense falls short
Brother Rice’s bid to repeat as state champs — in two different divisions — came to a close March 2 in a 3-1 loss to Novi Detroit Catholic Central in a D-1 regional final at the St. Mary’s Ice Arena.

The Shamrocks scored early, taking a 2-0 lead after the first period, and eventually led 3-0.

Rice got a power-play goal in the third from Ross Haffey, but it proved too little, too late.

“I thought it was a really good game,” coach Lou Schmidt said. “The place was packed. We battled, but that’s how it went.”

Rice, the 2012 D-2 champ, ended the season 22-4-1.

“The state title is the Holy Grail, so to speak, but this is a year we’ll learn from,” Schmidt said. “You can’t take away from the year because of one loss, though. These guys did so many things well this year. Today we didn’t score as many as they did, and that’s all it came down to.”

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