Grosse Pointe South senior Maeve Hix, right, fires a shot at junior goalie Rosie Smith, left, during a team practice Jan. 3  at East Side Hockey Ice Arena.

Grosse Pointe South senior Maeve Hix, right, fires a shot at junior goalie Rosie Smith, left, during a team practice Jan. 3 at East Side Hockey Ice Arena.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

South girls hockey eyeing state finals return, rematch with hometown rival

By: Jonathan Szczepaniak | Grosse Pointe Times | Published January 9, 2024

 Grosse Pointe South huddles up during a  team practice.

Grosse Pointe South huddles up during a team practice.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


GROSSE POINTE FARMS — As far as the Michigan high school girls hockey record books date back, one thing has remained constant — Grosse Pointe South girls hockey has been a perennial powerhouse in Division 1.

Earning 13 state championships since 1997, including three back-to-back state title seasons and one three-peat, South’s long-standing tradition of competing on the state finals stage tends to be a recurring theme year in and year out.

Only one thing has changed for the Blue Devils in recent years — they’re no longer the team people are pointing to as the dynasty in Division 1.

Four state championships since 2010 is still a feat most teams would cherish, including their most recent championships in 2015 and 2018, but a runner-up finish last season in a state championship loss to three-time defending champion and hometown rival Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett has South eager for a state title.

“The Grosse Pointe South hockey community is just really supportive, and they’ve always been successful,” South coach Alexis Bohlinger said. “I think that brings in kids that want to play and want to win. We really want a state championship, obviously.”

Liggett and South are currently ranked the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the state, respectively, according to, and South has inched closer and closer to beating its rival this season.

South is currently 0-1-1 against Liggett this year with a 3-3 tie and 2-1 loss, but Bohlinger, who graduated from Liggett in 2005, said the team is playing with a different type of attitude this season.

“There’s a lot of feelings there,” Bohlinger said. “The air feels different in the rink when we play Liggett for sure. I think our girls are not so much playing on their heels anymore when we play Liggett. They know they can compete and they know they have the skill, and now they’re kind of realizing, ‘Hey, we can win this.’ It’s everyone moving towards a common goal, and it’s really nice and happening really naturally.”

South’s confidence in its performances against Liggett has been contagious this season throughout the locker room, and senior Sophia Reynolds said the team feels it’s in the best spot.

“We all say, ‘Ugh, we hate Liggett; we’re gonna get them next year,’” Reynolds said. “This year, I think we’re going to get them because we’re getting really, really close.”

Outside of the South-Liggett matchups, South is dominating the opposition to the tune of an 11-1-1 record while outscoring opponents 80-14.

The Blue Devils have an experienced senior class of Reynolds (D), Tia Kosmas (D), Lyssabeth Moody (F), Ruby Verlinden (F) and Gabrielle Vosburg (F), but also brought in a talented corps of first-year, club hockey newcomers with seniors Anne Wayman (F) and Maeve Hix (F), juniors Abigail Evans (F) and Molly Reynolds (D), sophomore Audrey Reynolds (D), and freshmen Tinley Gram (F) and Rachel Farago (D).

“I think we got a lot of talented girls that came to the team this year and they all got really good attitudes,” Sophia Reynolds said. “They’re all ready to go.”

Evans and Wayman lead the way with 20 points each as Evans carries the team high in goals (13) and Wayman carries the team high in assists (12), while junior goaltender Rosie Smith, a first team all-state selection last season, has been stellar in net for the Blue Devils this season with a 0.90 goals against average. Junior Frances Ring has also manned the net this season as the primary backup for South.

Sophia Reynolds, an all-state honorable mention honoree last season, is especially excited for the new talent this season with both of her cousins, Audrey and Molly, joining the team. The trio has never shared the ice together, but that doesn’t stop them from having a different type of chemistry when playing together.

“Sometimes I like to joke that we have some sort of cousin telepathy between the three of us,” Sophia Reynolds said.

Molly leads the Reynolds pack with 16 points on the season while Sophia (7) and Audrey (6) have both put together reliable contributions.

You wouldn’t know from Molly Reynolds’ seven goals that she’s a vital part of the back line, but Bohlinger said she’s one of the best when it comes to controlling the puck.

“She’s an offensive defenseman,” Bohlinger said. “We had to pull the reins on her a little bit because she’d rush in on a penalty kill, but she’s very skilled. She’s hands-down probably the best puck handler. Between her and Anne Wayman, they’re probably the best puck handlers on the team. She’s very skilled. She could be a center or defenseman.”

Audrey, Molly and Sophia Reynolds aren’t the only ones with a special type of on-ice chemistry, as sophomore forward Ruby Lenhard and junior forward Isabella Peruski, who are stepsisters, have been lighting up the stat sheet together.

Lenhard came out of the gate hot last season, earning an all-state honorable mention as a freshman, and has continued to impress this season with 14 points so far while Peruski has added 15 on the year.

“She’s (Lenhard) got a really high hockey IQ, and even last year when she came in as a freshman,” Bohlinger said. “Her and her stepsister, Bella Peruski, are always on a line together. They kind of just have this connection where they just make really smart plays.”

Other key South contributors in the points department are Moody (12), Hix (12), sophomore forward Evelyn Wodzisz (12), Vosburg (9), Gram (9), sophomore forward Ana Zieleniewski (9), and sophomore defenseman Charlie Harr (8).

South is getting contributions all over the roster, and the expectation is the added depth and talent will translate to another shot at a Division 1 state title.

As important as winning and having state championship goals are at South, the team also emphasized the enjoyment of being a team and having fun.

“It’s really fun to play for your school and have all your friends watch your games,” Molly Reynolds said. “Our school newspaper does little stories on the sports, and sports have always been important for our school. It’s really fun to be a part of it.”