10U Saints girls hockey crowned state champions

By: Jonathan Szczepaniak | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published April 12, 2024


ST. CLAIR SHORES — The National Hockey League’s Original Six style of physical play has evolved across much of hockey. In a sport that’s now more about finesse and how fast a skater can shoot, it’s a breath of fresh air to see a team embrace the tough and gritty side of the game.

You probably have a few ideas about what a team embodying this philosophy looks like in your head, but you probably didn’t envision it as a group of girls aged 8-10.

In the case of the St. Clair Shores (SCS) 10U Saints White, assistant coach and SCS Girls Hockey Director Brian Carrithers said the team’s physical play is effective, yet comical in its own right.

“It’s (the physicality is) not common, and we laugh at it as coaches,” Carrithers said. “It’s easier to reel them in than make them feel it because it’s their nature to be passive a little bit. These girls, you throw a puck in the corner and they’re going over there like bulldogs trying to win the puck battle. It’s fun to coach and easy to coach rather than having more of the timid girls that are afraid to go into the corner, break a nail, or get hurt. These girls are relentless.”

Carrithers said their lack of fear and hunger for aggressiveness on the ice stems from their older brothers, who have grown up in the Saints hockey organization as well.

With 16 girls on the team and more than half of them having older brothers currently playing hockey according to Carrithers, the young skaters are making their own mark.

“These younger siblings have come together, and I think they’ve taken their years of frustration from being bullied by their older brothers on the girls they’re playing against,” Carrithers said.

The pee wee version of the 1970s Philadelphia Flyers coasted through the regular season with a 21-3 record before competing in the Michigan Amateur Hockey Association tournament from March 8-10 at Patterson Ice Arena in Grand Rapids.

Going 5-0 there, the Saints bested the Detroit Bulldogs 3-1, bringing home the second consecutive state championship for the Saints, who won the title in the 8U division last year.

Before facing off against the Bulldogs, the Saints had an intense matchup with Grand Rapids’ own Fox Motors, who took the Saints to three overtime periods and two shootouts before Mia Baratta blasted home the game-winning goal.

The Saints retained the majority of their 8U squad heading into this season and hope to keep the core together for another run at a championship.

“With the way things are going, I wouldn’t be surprised if we have another one next year,” Carrithers said.

Girls hockey as a whole in the Macomb County area has seen growth over the past few years, especially in St. Clair Shores where the SCS Unified girls high school hockey team competed in their inaugural season this year.

On March 16 at Little Caesars Arena, the Professional Women’s Hockey League showcased Boston and Ottawa going head-to-head with 13,736 in attendance, a national record for women’s pro hockey.

The SCS Saints were there live to see both teams in action, and Carrithers said it was an inspiring moment for his young hockey players.

“Most of our association that was available went to that game, and they (the PWHL) did a really good job,” Carrithers said. “The quality of hockey was good. For the young girls to see these older girls out there performing at the highest level was really exciting for the girls to see.”

The Saints will raise their championship banner at the start of the 2024-2025 fall season at St. Clair Shores Civic Ice Arena.


Meet the U10 Saints
SCS Saints 10U Roster: Melena Reynolds, Daisy Eickhorst, Ellie Carrithers, Mia Hunter, Harper Abel, Avery Gray, Emma Gersch, Olivia Gersch, Adalyn Gersch, Peyton Gersch, Abby Kosiara, Ava Guswiler, Bianca Colonese, Emerson Juliano, Liv Gryzenia, Mia Baratta, Rhiannon Cassel.