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Oakland County

March 25, 2013

MIHL’s honorees: Coaches select top players from state’s top conference

By Mike Moore
C & G Sports Writer

Even when things change, they remain the same — or get even better.

Prior to the 2012-13 hockey season, coaches in the Michigan Interscholastic Hockey League split the 10-team conference into two divisions with the hope of amplifying rivalries while adding variety to the regular-season schedule.

It worked.

“We saw the schedules get a little better throughout the league,” said Andy Weidenbach, the MIHL president and Cranbrook-Kingswood head coach. “This was a pretty good year for our league, again.”

Cranbrook won a Division 3 title, while Catholic Central reached the D-1 final, and the University of Detroit Jesuit and Port Huron Northern reached state semifinals games.

But now, with winter come and gone, the coaches have turned their attention to individual accolades, naming the league’s All-Conference players.

“We had so many solid players, good high school hockey players,” Weidenbach said. “We may not have had a Mr. Hockey, but the talent in the league was awesome.”

Conference Dream Team
Before selecting All-Conference players, the 10 coaches chose eight players as All-League, the proverbial Dream Team of the conference.

Cranbrook senior Alex Alger was named the MIHL Most Valuable Player, thanks to his 13 goals and 13 assists in 13 league games.

Other All-League nods went to Port Huron Northern goaltender Matt Fernandez; defensemen Andrew Roye, of Brother Rice; Jeff Martin, of CK; and Jack Stander, of Grosse Pointe North.

Alex Alger was joined by brother Austin as an All-League forward, while Catholic Central’s Mike Babcock and U of D’s Craig Pelfey also nabbed All-League.

Best of the North
First-team All-Conference nods in the North Division went to Fernandez and Matt Hughes, Port Huron Northern; Jack Bowman, Roye and Russell Cicerone, Rice; Carson Gatt, Babcock and Charlie Green, Catholic Central; Martin, Alex Alger and Austin Alger, Cranbrook; and Cooper Marody, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s.

Second-team recipients are Derek Moore, Nick Daigneau and Luke Turner, Catholic Central; Spencer Applebaum, Zach Feldman, Chris Brown and Michael Romund, Cranbrook; Ross Haffey and Matthew Manning, Rice; Bryce VanHorn, Port Huron Northern; and Anthony Scarsella and Cooper Anstett, St. Mary’s.

Best of the South
First-team All-Conference awards in the South Division went to Joey Lopez and Chris Hibner, Warren De La Salle; Tanner Colberg, Stander and Jeff Herron, Grosse Pointe North; Vinny DaBrowa, Philip Pugliese and Andrew Sawyer, Trenton High; Joe Smellie, Wyandotte; and Pete McMahon, Chris Morgan and Pelfey, U of D.

Second-team honors were given to Nick Ramirez, Justin Dunn and Brandon Hoffman, Trenton; Oscar Mansky, Mike Korte, Tommy Apap and Joe Brisson, U of D; Tom Raleigh, De La Salle; David Chavez and Jack Guest, Grosse Pointe North; and Josh Hinderliter and John Calhoun, Wyandotte.

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