Farmington claims first regional title since 2008, faces Cranbrook next
March 5, 2014
FARMINGTON — Guys on the Farmington High hockey team have been asking themselves, “why not us?” ever since the 2014 playoffs began last week.
And every night, there really hasn’t been a good answer to the question.
But the Falcons keep asking it, and the wins keep adding up.
It’s a mindset that officially earned them a regional title March 1, and one they’ll take into the March 5 quarterfinal against the top-ranked team in Division 3.
“We love the challenge,” coach Bill Newton said of his team’s 7 p.m. tilt with Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood in the quarterfinal at the Farmington Hills Ice Arena. “All you want to do at this time of year is keep practicing. If you’re practicing, you’re playing. The mentality of ‘why not us?’ has worked so far.”
Farmington earned a spot in the game thanks to a 3-1 victory against Dearborn Divine Child in the regional final.
A team that doesn’t score in bunches, Farmington went up 1-0 on DC when Brian Jonik scored 1:18 into regulation. By the end of the first period, the Falcons led 2-0.
The lead swelled to 3-0 the second before the Falcons got their lone goal in he third.
“We got off to a quick start, and that was the best thing for us,” Newton said. “They brought the pressure the rest of the way, and we were able to hang on. For a team that doesn’t score a ton, it was nice for us to get up early.”
The regional trophy was the program’s first since the 2008 tournament.
“The kids were ecstatic,” Newton said. “It was a pretty great night for us. We have eight seniors who get to go out with a regional title, and that’s pretty special.”
The Falcons now have to contend with a Cranbrook team that is looking to defend last year’s D-3 title.
The Cranes beat Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett 3-0 in their regional final, and are 26-1-0 on the year.
“We’re going to rely on our goaltending a lot, which is where we base our game plan,” Newton said of his team, which is 18-10-0. “We know they have that awesome top line, but we have to remember they put their equipment on like we do. We can’t just lay back and play a trap game or anything like that. We have to try and play with them, be offensive-minded and find a way to put the puck in the net.”