Hockey

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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Published February 16, 2011

GROSSE POINTE — In a game where both coaches agreed things were a bit off kilter from start to finish, the Grosse Pointe North boys hockey team used 30 shots and three power-play goals to cruise past Grosse Pointe South 7-2 back in the first weeks of the season.

But in talking to North coach Scott Lock, well, his guys did anything but cruise.
In talking to South coach James Bufalino, the difference was much smaller than the five goals may indicate.

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Published February 15, 2011

BLOOMFIELD HILLS — This, quite simply, is their time of year.

When the calendar begins its much-anticipated transition from February to March is when the Cranes’ dominance is defined.

The 2011 state hockey playoffs are set to begin in a little less than two weeks, and when it comes to the Division 3 tournament over the past two years, there’s been a certain bit of consistency regarding the team to beat.

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Published February 9, 2011

TROY — That old cliché rings true, only this year the gong is louder and more vibrant than ever.

When rivals meet — whether it’s on the court, field or ice — intensity, passion and that unwavering will to win essentially come without need for description.

More often than not, records are equally useless before the first pitch, opening tip of puck drop.

That’s exactly the case surrounding the Feb. 16 meeting between the Troy High and the Troy Athens hockey teams.

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Published February 9, 2011

FRASER — In high school sports, there are always going to be days like Feb. 4 was for the Utica Eisenhower hockey team — especially when everyone is gunning for you.

The first-place Eagles fell to Utica Stevenson 6-3 at Great Lakes Sports City to move to 6-2 in the MAC Red, 15-4 overall, and got a taste of what it’s like to be a marked team.

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Published February 9, 2011

Where there’s no need to tinker, why even try?

When the players, teams and games themselves have served as the perfect calling card to just how great an event this really is, why change anything for change’s sake?

Those are the questions Andy Weidenbach faced leading up to the 2011 Michigan Interscholastic Hockey League Prep Showcase.

And the more he pondered them, the clearer his answer became.

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Published February 9, 2011

C&G Newspapers

One of Macomb County’s best rivalries is one of prep hockey’s closest, as the Lancers and the Crusaders battle for the Creuse Cup at 7 p.m. Feb. 11 at Mount Clemens Ice Arena.

The squads, which are both under new coaches this year, split their early season meetings, with L’Anse Creuse winning 6-4 Nov. 20 and North taking a 5-2 win Nov. 27, but with a rivalry like this one, previous contests mean very little.

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Published February 9, 2011


ROYAL OAK — At first glance, an 11-3 victory in the first meeting against a solid rival should inspire some deep-seated confidence as the second game of the season approaches.

Royal Oak Shrine hockey coach A.J. Plaskey understands and agrees with this notion.
He also takes it with a grain of salt.

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Published February 2, 2011

C&G Newspapers

If the first go-round was any indication, the second meeting should be something special.

It was back in the early part of the season when the Warren De La Salle and Orchard Lake St. Mary’s hockey teams dropped the puck on their rivalry, although that Dec. 15 contest certainly had a new twist, as the yearly powers met for the first time as members of the Michigan Interscholastic Hockey League.

Unlike in the past, however, when fans were treated with just one of these clashes per season, the Pilots and Eaglets are set to square off again.

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Published February 2, 2011

COMMERCE TOWNSHIP — This was the same back flip he had done a number of times before. Admittedly, his form and technique were still far from perfect, but his confidence had grown substantially, nonetheless.

So, after what had been a typical Tuesday of classes, Walled Lake Central sophomore Drew Clayborn was ready to show off his new talent.

Surrounded by a group of friends in one of the school’s hallways, he bent at the knees, arched his back and jumped.

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Published January 26, 2011

C&G Newspapers

DETROIT — The sun hovering above him remained his saving grace, and Jeff Fleming knew it. Without its bright light, and somewhat calming rays, this day, so long in the making and so highly anticipated, may have fallen somewhere between unbearable and regrettable.

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