Hockey

Published February 15, 2012

ROYAL OAK — Some of the first steps were taken last year, the strength of the foundation poured in a hockey program still trying to figure itself out.

As he entered his second season behind the Royal Oak Shrine bench this winter, though, A.J. Plaskey couldn’t help wonder whether there’d be any momentum carrying over.

He got his answer almost instantly.

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Published December 7, 2011


As the hockey season settles into its first month, and players and teams get ready for a mini break over the holidays, there’s some unfinished business in the city of Troy to tend to first.

Namely, the renewing of an icy rivalry.

“I expect another typical game between the two teams,” Troy High coach Tim Zimmerman said of the Dec. 14 tilt against Troy Athens, set for 7:15 p.m. at the Troy Sports Center. “There will be a lot of intensity. I expect it to be very physical, and both teams to bring their best effort.”

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Published November 23, 2011

FRASER — Don Krussman has the pieces he wants.

In fact, as he begins construction on the puzzle that is the 2011-12 hockey season, the Fraser High coach has more pieces comprising more experience than he’s used to working with.

He and his team are also part of a three-team division that is anyone’s for the taking.

Now it’s time to go to work.

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Published April 6, 2011

If there’s any indication as to how dominant the Michigan Interscholastic Hockey League has been over the past decade, consider the 2011 playoff season.

The most recent state tourney marked the first time since 2003 a team currently occupying one of the league’s eight spots did not take home a state title.

Still, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s and Birmingham Brother Rice each played in the Division 1 and 2 finals this year, respectively.

And the coaches within the league recognized the best of the best by naming the 2011 All-MIHL squads.

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Published March 30, 2011

GROSSE POINTE — A year ago, it was one goal that led to one loss that served as the precursor for one tear-jerking offseason.

This time around, the Grosse Pointe South girls hockey team wasn’t taking any chances in the 2010-11 state final, beating Ann Arbor Pioneer 6-2.

When the 2010 Michigan Metro Girls Hockey High School Hockey League’s playoff tournament came to a close, the Blue Devils found themselves mired in an emotional whirlpool of heartbreak.

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Published March 23, 2011

WARREN — There’s a belief now that’s never been accepted before.

There’s a confidence being felt that was unknown for years.

Katie Labut couldn’t hide from the past, nor did she feel the need to.

Instead, her goal and drive was focused squarely on changing the future, molding a team and program known for struggles on the ice into a contender known for long runs in the postseason.

Nothing would come easy, and she knew it.

Nothing would be handed to them, and she embraced that.

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Published March 16, 2011

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PLYMOUTH — Admittedly, the journey remains incomplete.

One more footprint remains absent in the march toward the top, a march players and coaches alike promise will resume next fall, if not sooner.

But before he’d allow himself, or anyone else for that matter, to look too far into the future, Birmingham Brother Rice hockey coach Lou Schmidt Jr. held firm to his appreciation for what had been accomplished — for the way his program had put itself back in the middle of the high school hockey landscape.

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Published March 15, 2011

ST. CLAIR SHORES — The immediate reaction may have been disappointment and sadness, but the St. Clair Shores Unified hockey team may look at March 9, 2011, as the day it all started.

The Lakers ended their 2010-11 campaign at 14-11-3 with a 4-3 loss to Lake Orion High at Civic Ice Arena in a Division 1 state quarterfinal.

But with more freshmen and sophomores on the roster than seniors, the experience of getting to that game may be of the utmost value.

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Published March 15, 2011

PLYMOUTH — He asked for their best effort, and from early November through this early afternoon on a March Friday, that’s exactly what Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood boys hockey coach Andy Weidenbach said he got.

Weidenbach is no stranger to the post-game press conference at Plymouth’s Compuware Arena, but this year’s version took on a different tone.

His answers, though, carried a strong resemblance to any he’s given over the past two years.

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Published March 12, 2011

PLYMOUTH — There was no cooling the hottest team in the state, and the Birmingham Brother Rice hockey team learned that the hard way in the Division 2 state final March 12 .

Despite pouring 47 shots on goal, 21 in the final period, the Warriors' first trip back to the championship game since 2005 ended in a 4-1 loss to Wyandotte Roosevelt.

“Five months ago, these guys set out on a journey,” Bears coach Mike Quint said after the win. “They made sure they finished it here today.”

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Published March 11, 2011

PLYMOUTH — It may not have been pretty, and it took more than two hours, but for the first time since 2008 the Orchard Lake St. Mary's hockey team is headed back to the Division 1 state finals.

In a penalty-filled semifinal March 11 at Compuware Arena, St. Mary's got a power-play goal 8:37 into the third period and hung on to beat East Kentwood 3-2.

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Published March 11, 2011

PLYMOUTH — In the end, the difference was one team taking advantage of its chances, and the other not.

That’s how Lake Orion High hockey co-coach Clint Robert summed up his team’s 3-0 loss to Novi High in the Division 1 semifinals March 11 at Compuware Arena in Plymouth.

“They were two-for-three on the power play, and we didn’t score in two chances of our own,” Robert said. “In games like this, that can be the difference.”

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Published March 11, 2011

ST. CLAIR SHORES — The immediate reaction may have been disappointment and sadness, but the St. Clair Shores Unified hockey team may look at March 9, 2011, as the day it all started.

The Lakers ended their 2010-11 campaign at 14-11-3 with a 4-3 loss to Lake Orion High at Civic Ice Arena in a Division 1 state quarterfinal.

But with more freshmen and sophomores on the roster than seniors, the experience of getting to that game may be of the utmost value.

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Published March 11, 2011

PLYMOUTH — It was a flurry of chances that came up empty, and moments later, one chance that made all the difference.

The Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood hockey team’s run for a third straight Division 3 title fell short March 11 in a 3-1 loss to Grand Rapids Catholic Central in the semifinals at Compuware Sports Arena.

“It was a great hockey game and a great effort by both teams,” Cranbrook coach Andy Weidenbach said. “It’s one of those games that’s tough that one team has to lose.”

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Published March 10, 2011

PLYMOUTH — The wait is over.

For a hockey program like Birmingham Brother Rice, six years between state finals appearances seems like an eternity, and on March 12, that streak will finally see its end.

Sparked by two second-period goals, the Warriors advanced to the MHSAA Division 2 state final with a 4-1 victory against Kingsford High March 10 at Compuware Arena in Plymouth.

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Published March 10, 2011

PLYMOUTH — It’s the final weekend of the 2010-11 high school hockey season, and C & G Sports Writer Mike Moore will be covering all our local teams from Plymouth’s Compuware Sports Areana.

If you can’t make it out to the game, be sure to check back with www.candgnews.com/sports to follow all the action.

Game reports and photos will be available immediately following all games our teams take part in.

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Published March 8, 2011

FRASER — The smile now seemed a permanent fixture — understandably so considering the past few hours of hockey played and the past few moments of celebration enjoyed.

Yet, as he stood outside his team’s locker room, Birmingham Brother Rice senior goalie PJ Bridges wasn’t asked about what had just been done on the ice, but instead about what had not been done the past six years.

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Published March 8, 2011

TRENTON — The final salute served as the perfect “thank you.”

Players gathered in the defensive zone, raising their sticks to the couple of hundred Farmington High hockey fans packed in the bleachers, a gratuitous gesture for those who braved the snow, cold and icy roads for this March 5 regional final in Trenton.

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Published March 8, 2011

BERKLEY/FERNDALE — In his own words, Jeff Fleming would have preferred a different ending to the 2010-11 season. Then again, the Berkley-Ferndale Unified hockey coach and his team didn’t exactly have the most favorable of circumstances heading into their pre-regional opener against Birmingham Unified Feb. 28.

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Published March 5, 2011

FRASER — For the first 19 games of the 2010-11 season, only one team in all of high school hockey was able to figure out Warren De La Salle.

More than three months later, not much has changed.

On March 5, Birmingham Brother Rice ended De La Salle’s season with a 4-1 victory in a Division 2 regional final at Great Lakes Sports City in Fraser, avenging last year’s 4-1 loss in the same game in the same round, and putting the Warriors into the quarterfinals for the first time since winning the D-2 championship in 2005.

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