Published February 3, 2017

ST. CLAIR SHORES — The St. Clair Shores Unified hockey team, called young and inexperienced by coach Keith Knight at the start of the season, has had its share of growing pains but is starting to get things figured out at the right time.

The Lakers have gone 3-4 in their last seven games and a 2-10 start to the season. 

An increased effort on defense has keyed the turnaround, Knight said.

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Published January 31, 2017

Berkley High hockey coach Paul Fox described this as “the season of change.”

The program has 11 new players and an entirely new coaching staff.

Fox has coached Berkley before, but not since 2005.

While a new group of players and coaching staff can require an adjustment period, perhaps the most significant change of all occurred when prior to the season the team learned it no longer had a home ice rink, as the Berkley Ice Arena was closed indefinitely last fall due to a coolant leak under the building.

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Published January 31, 2017

In the past 10 years, Liggett has won two regional championships and one state title.

Although the Knights have had some struggles this season, standing at 8-10-1 overall at press time, they recently returned some players to the lineup who were previously out with injuries.

Coach Mike Hamilton is hopeful that having some healthy players will help give his team a boost.

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Published January 27, 2017

C&G Newspapers

TRENTON — What began as a small event with a handful of teams has now blossomed into one of the premier events of the high school hockey season — the state playoffs notwithstanding.

Another year, another Michigan Interscholastic Hockey League Showcase set to launch.

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Published January 17, 2017

C&G Newspapers

ROCHESTER HILLS — Some first-time meetings, the possibility of some budding rivalries and a day of hockey to showcase their respective conferences.

That’s what teams from the Oakland Activities Association and the Michigan Metro Hockey League are planning when they unite Jan. 21 at the Rochester ONYX for the first OAA-Metro Showcase.

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Published January 16, 2017

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — After previously making a vow that he would never set foot in an ice rink again, Bob Clouston was thrilled to be sitting in the Suburban Ice Macomb locker room.

The Utica High hockey coach is halfway through his first year at the helm of the program, very grateful for a job that has reignited his passion for the sport.

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Published January 12, 2017

SOUTHFIELD — This was a game that had an eerie reminiscence of how the season may go for the Southfield A&T boys basketball team.

At least that’s the hope for coach Mike Avery and his guys.

After a slow start and a first-quarter deficit, the Warriors came roaring back Thursday night, picking up a 79-66 victory against Oak Park High at home.

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Published January 10, 2017

Grosse Pointe North girls hockey coach Joe Lucchese said this is a rebuilding year for his young team, but he’s still setting the bar high.

Last season, the Norsemen beat Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett in the playoffs before eventually falling to Grosse Pointe South.

Lucchese, who noted that Liggett was the No. 1 seed and undefeated entering the playoffs, said the playoff win was a good building block for this season, and he would like to make an even longer playoff run in 2017.

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Published January 5, 2017

METRO DETROIT — It’s a bold statement, but one that’s been made before and likely will be made again.

This year, it was one echoed by Birmingham Brother Rice hockey coach Kenny Chaput.

Asked to assess what it’s like to battle for a Michigan Interscholastic Hockey League division title, the first-year Warriors general summed it up like this.

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Published December 20, 2016

Grosse Pointe South boys hockey coach Bobby McKillop said he thinks the program has lost a total of three games in the Michigan Metro Hockey League in the last three years.

At press time, South was ranked No. 5 in the state in Division 2 and 5-1-1 overall after winning a tournament hosted by Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett.

While those are nice achievements — and McKillop will take them — he is searching for more.

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Published December 16, 2016

GROSSE POINTE WOODS — Grosse Pointe South’s boys hockey team defeated rival Grosse Pointe North 4-0 Dec. 16 at McCann Ice Arena.

The game was part of a tournament hosted by Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett.

After a scoreless first period, South broke the game open with three goals in the second.

Garrett Bollenbacher, Andrew Vyletel and Adam Pitters all found the net for South, with Liam Kavanaugh, Will Frame and Michael French credited with assists.

Pitters added a goal in the third period, with Bollenbacher getting the assist.

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Published December 13, 2016

ROCHESTER — Since its inception in 1970, Rochester Adams has targeted Rochester High as its chief rival. The feeling is mutual, as the pair has have many battles across sports.

A 3.5-mile stretch of roads separates the local foes — except on the ice.

The Rochester United hockey team is a combined effort, comprised of 11 Highlanders and 10 Falcons. Entering its seventh year of play, the club has found success with the alliance.

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Published December 13, 2016

ROYAL OAK — The record books were shattered last winter.

Now the challenge, or mission, is duplicating that success — and then some.

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Published December 13, 2016

Former Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett girls hockey coach Cassie Jaeckle said that when the school came looking for her, “They knew what they wanted accomplished.”

Jaeckle stepped down from the program earlier this year after leading it for five years. Prior to her time with the Knights, she made a name for herself at the travel level, leading a team to two state titles and a bronze medal at a national tournament.

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Published December 13, 2016

BIRMINGHAM — After consecutive wins in consecutive days, Birmingham Unified hockey coach Steve Kruk scheduled an off day for his guys earlier this season.

And those same guys pushed back.

“Not in a bad way, but they wanted to be at the rink,” Kruk said. “They wanted to keep working at this.”

That mindset and approach has fueled a resurgence with the Unified squad this winter, and the results speak for themselves.

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Published December 12, 2016

ST. CLAIR SHORES — St. Clair Shores Unified hockey captain Austin Zeiter knows his team is young and inexperienced, and he’s doing all he can to keep morale high.

“We’ve had our struggles early on, so it’s been important that I talk to all the guys to make sure they keep their heads up and keep fighting,” the junior said. “They just have to have the mentality that we’ll get better as the season goes along.”

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Published December 12, 2016

WEST BLOOMFIELD — During his playing days, and even at times behind the bench, Logan McLean has witnessed how difficult it can be to form a consistent hockey program with a revolving door of coaches trying to lead it.

The first-year West Bloomfield High hockey coach hopes to be the fixture that wedges that door open with the Lakers’ program.

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Published November 10, 2016

ST. CLAIR SHORES — When the St. Clair Shores Fighting Saints hockey team faces off with the Danville Dashers Nov. 11, there will be some very special people in attendance.

The Saints will host their first annual Military Appreciation Night when they take on the Dashers at 8 p.m. Nov. 11 at the St. Clair Shores Civic Center.

All veterans and active military can purchase tickets for $7, the same price as seniors and children. All other tickets are $10.

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Published October 14, 2016

ST. CLAIR SHORES — The puck drops on the inaugural season for the St. Clair Shores Fighting Saints of the Federal Hockey League Oct. 29, and team general manager Brandon Contratto said things are progressing smoothly in advance of the season.

The team, the newest squad in the seven-team FHL, opened training camp Oct. 13. The Saints will call the St. Clair Shores Civic Arena home.

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Published May 18, 2016

ST. CLAIR SHORES — Metro Detroit sports fans will soon have another professional hockey team to call their own.

The St. Clair Shores Fighting Saints will play out of the St. Clair Shores Civic Arena beginning in November as the newest member of the Single-A Federal Professional Hockey League. Team officials unveiled the squad’s logo and mock-ups of their jerseys at a May 18 press conference at the Civic Arena.

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