Hockey

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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Published March 5, 2011

TRENTON — It was a magical ride, thrilling from start to finish. But on March 5, the Farmington High hockey team saw its 2010-11 season come to an end in a 5-3 loss to Wyandotte Roosevelt in a Division 2 regional final from the Kennedy Recreation Center in Trenton.

Roosevelt jumped out to 3-0 lead before Farmington closed the gap to 3-2. But a costly power-play goal, and eventual 5-2 deficit late in the second period, was too much for the Falcons to overcome.

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Published March 2, 2011

ST. CLAIR SHORES — Call it home-ice advantage or call it a playoff push, whatever “it” is seems to be working for the St. Clair Shores Unified hockey team.

The Lakers (13-10-1) notched an 8-0 win against Dearborn Heights Crestwood March 2 at St. Clair Shores Civic Ice Arena to advance to a regional final at 4:30 p.m. March 5 against Birmingham United at City Ice Arena in Detroit.

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Published March 2, 2011

BIRMINGHAM — There was jubilation, and there was heartbreak.

There was a pile of players celebrating another day to play, and a gathering on the opposite end of the ice of those confined to wonder what could have been.

Yet, through it all, there was a mutual respect, a deep appreciation for what had just transpired on the ice and for what will likely be talked about for months to come.

This was playoff hockey defined.

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Published March 1, 2011

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — The more things changed for the Utica Eisenhower hockey team, the more they stayed the same, as the 2010-11 team proved every bit as successful as their 2009-10 counterparts.

Despite losing 16 seniors from last year’s team, the Eagles followed up their 2009-10 Macomb Area Conference White Division title by taking home the 2010-11 MAC Red title following a 4-2 win against runner-up Macomb Dakota Feb. 26 at Macomb Suburban Ice Arena.

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Published February 27, 2011

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Published February 23, 2011

It’s getting to be that time of the season, where finding even the smallest of advantages can translate into some of the biggest of rewards.

And most coaches admit, a solid scouting report on a playoff opponent can sometimes serve as the difference between extending the season and looking forward to next year.

For three local schools, much of that scouting already took place, on a very personal level.

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Published February 22, 2011

In the grand scheme of things, the best of the best will enjoy a journey that runs all of 13 days. Yet packed into that time frame is some of the most exciting and condensed high school athletic action the entire calendar has to offer.

As mid-February gives way to early March, hockey coaches and players throughout the state, and especially the five local teams, are hoping 13 is a lucky number.

The playoff puck officially drops Feb. 28 in rinks all across Michigan, culminating with three state finals March 12 at Compuware Sports Arena in Plymouth.

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Published February 22, 2011


ORCHARD LAKE — Curtailing certain rhetoric, especially when it centers on playoff aspirations, is an idea many coaches take to heart throughout the course of the regular season.

Some may avoid postseason talk all together, while others like to focus on the more immediate future, such as league titles or approaching things one game and one night at a time.

Brian Klanow is not one of those coaches.

He understands the mindset, but has never been one to dive too far into it.

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Published February 22, 2011

C&G Newspapers

After their first meeting as Macomb Area Conference Blue Division rivals, the Warren Mott and the L’Anse Creuse hockey teams know to expect the unexpected Feb. 26 at Great Lakes Sports City in Fraser.

“When we played Mott the first time, we really didn’t know what to expect,” L’Anse Creuse coach Wayne Tollon said.

“We had just beat Lamphere (9-1) and Mott had lost to Lamphere (5-3), so we didn’t expect them to come out at us the way they did that first game.”

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Published February 22, 2011

C&G Newspapers

For reasons that are as motivational as they are timely, Scott Lock has numerous fond memories regarding the opening round of the 2009 hockey state playoffs.

The Grosse Pointe North boys coach took his squad into a first-round match-up against one of the top teams in the entire state, a team that had won the best conference high school has to offer, and one that sat as a heavy favorite to make a lengthy postseason run.

Then, all the Norsemen did was go out and upset the University of Detroit Jesuit 3-1 en route to a trip to the Division 2 semifinals.

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