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After early struggles, Liggett boys hockey hopes to have strong finish

By: Mark Vest | Grosse Pointe Times | 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.

“We’re hoping that’s (going to) give us a little bit more goal scoring,” said Hamilton, who credited previous coach Robb McIntyre for the strong tradition that has been built at Liggett. “That’s been hard to come by. We’ve done a fairly decent job of keeping the pucks out of our net, defending.”

Having a healthy lineup could greatly improve Liggett’s postseason chances.

The Knights’ first opportunity to make a successful playoff run will come Feb. 27, when they play Grosse Pointe North in a preregional.

While Hamilton is aware that the postseason is approaching, he also understands there is some business to take care of before Liggett gets there.

“Our focus has been just becoming a better hockey team and cleaning up some details,” he said. “So, we haven’t put a lot of thought into preregionals and regionals at this point yet. We had lots of new players and lots of different people that had to step into different roles. … Hopefully, when we get there, we’ll be prepared and be able to put our best foot forward, but right now, our focus is being a better team tomorrow than we are today.”

This season’s roster includes captain Dylan Paulsell and assistants Jaron Pangborn and Spencer Stefani. And while Hamilton would like to bring in even more impact players going forward, he is pleased with the current state of the program.

“Currently, from a numbers standpoint, our program is very strong,” he said. “As a whole, I’ve got lots of great kids that are willing to work hard, become better hockey players. I’m excited about the amount of players we have involved in the program. We’re excited (about) the direction it’s heading.”

Up next, Liggett plays in the MIHL Prep Hockey Showcase at 5:40 p.m. Feb. 2 against Rochester Hills Stoney Creek at the Kennedy Ice Arena in Trenton.