PLYMOUTH — If those within the high school hockey world weren’t sure just who Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett was before, well, they certainly do now.
In a path of brilliance not seen in years, the Knights capped the 2012 postseason ride in the same way they’d won so many games all season long — dominating.
Liggett controlled the Division 3 final from start to finish, cruising past Houghton High in a 3-0 victory that was more lopsided than the final score would indicate.
“We had to shift gears a little bit, because I think Houghton swarmed on us a little more than other teams have,” coach Robb McIntyre said following the March 10 game at Compuware Arena. “We wanted to be fast, to move the puck and attack, and I think as the game wore on, we got better and better at that. … This may not have been as pretty as some of our other wins, but we gutted one out, and I’ll take that.”
Liggett’s team speed and puck possession were too much for its first five playoff foes, games that ended in a combined 38-5 score.
Nothing changed in the final.
Liggett outshot Houghton 8-2 in the first period, and while neither team scored, the pace for the game was set.
James Counsman got the Knights on the board 2:16 into the second period, and then added his second goal of the game roughly 10 minutes later on the power play.
With just eight shots in the final period, Houghton (24-5-0) never seriously threatened. Meanwhile, Jacob Soyka notched Liggett’s final goal of the game on the power play with 7:37 remaining in the third.
“I guess that really sealed it,” Soyka said afterwards. “I was just going crazy. It’s awesome. I don’t think it’s even set in yet what we did.”
The Knights outshot Houghton 33-17 on the afternoon, giving freshman Lucas Soyka the shutout in goal.
Liggett, which at one point won 18 straight games this season, ends the year 27-3-0 and captures its first state championship since 1990.
“We continued to get better and better as the year went on,” McIntyre added. “Honestly, when the season started, I was nervous about our goal scoring. But we were a tough team to play against. The depth and the speed and the skill level these guys play with, it made for a pretty good year.”
Follow Mike on Twitter @CandGMike.