Published March 13, 2017

C&G Newspapers

PLYMOUTH — He’d been here twice before, in the midst of the celebration and elation.

He’d seen the final seconds tick away, the final out be recorded as a state title was captured.

As a student-athlete, what could be better?

Well, actually being on the team that hoisted the ultimate prize.

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Published March 11, 2017

PLYMOUTH — Games like this can go so many different ways, where one bounce, one call or one shift can alter who ends the day a state champ and who’s left wondering what could have been.

So, all the Warren De La Salle hockey team did Saturday afternoon was make sure nothing like that took place.

The Pilots came out on fire in the Division 3 state title, scoring four unanswered goals in the first period en route to a 6-3 victory against Calumet High and the first hockey state title in school history.

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Published March 11, 2017

PLYMOUTH — Bang, bang, bang.

From a scoreless battle to an insurmountable lead.

From state finalist to state champions.

The 2016-17 Birmingham Brother Rice hockey team was constructed for this moment, a group of highly skilled veterans with one simple goal in mind.

On Saturday afternoon, it was mission complete.

Rice scored three times in a roughly four-minute span in the second period to break a scoreless tie in what was an eventual 7-0 victory against Forest Hills North Eastern in the Division 2 championship game at USA Hockey Arena.

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Published March 6, 2017

As much as this was an expectation, there’s still a certain amount of pride that comes along with it.

That was the mindset of first-year Birmingham Brother Rice hockey coach Kenny Chaput after his squad rolled to a Division 2 regional title.

“Real proud of this,” Chaput said of a 6-3 victory against Grosse Pointe South in the March 4 game. “You never want to minimize any accomplishment, and we have some bigger goals, but this is something cool. We beat a good team to get past this point.”

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Published February 21, 2017

The 2017 hockey playoffs officially drop the puck Feb. 27, and 13 days later, three state champs will circle the ice with a trophy in hand.

Here’s a quick look at who’s playing where and when.

The state finals are set for March 11 at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth.

Ravens and Bears, oh my

It was just a couple of years ago when the Royal Oak High and Berkley Unified hockey teams renewed their on-ice rivalry.

And it was a couple of years ago the Bears ended Royal Oak’s season in the playoffs.

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Published February 20, 2017

The hockey playoffs officially drop the puck Feb. 27, and 13 days later three state champs will circle the ice with a trophy in hand.

Here’s a quick look at who’s where and taking on who when.

The finals are set for March 11 at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth.


A much different view
After years of dominating in the Division 3 tournament to the tune of nine state titles since 2000, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood has made the move up and is set to play in D-1 next week.

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Published February 17, 2017

C&G Newspapers

METRO DETROIT — The 2017 hockey playoffs officially drop the puck Feb. 27, and 13 days later, three state champs will circle the ice with a trophy in hand.

Here’s a quick look at who’s where and taking on who on which dates.

The state finals are set for March 11 at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth.


Division 1

In the D-1 tournament, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s will be in for a battle as part of the Brighton regional.

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Published February 15, 2017

MOUNT CLEMENS — Before every contest this season, the Macomb Dakota hockey team lines up for the National Anthem.

While the players stand in numerical order, there’s a noticeable gap found where No. 15 should be, a space reserved for junior Anthony Mastronardi.

On Dec. 3, with exactly 1:38 remaining in Dakota’s home opener, Mastronardi and an opposing defender were racing for the puck when their legs accidentally tangled, and Mastronardi collided with the boards headfirst, suffering a spinal cord injury.

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Published February 14, 2017

Last year, Grosse Pointe South’s girls hockey season ended in heartbreak. 

South made it all the way to the Division 1 state final, where it lost to Farmington Hills Mercy 3-2.

Coach Chris Booth said South has won more than 10 state titles since the early 2000s, and he is hoping to help lead the program back to the top.

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Published February 7, 2017

TROY — The Troy United hockey team started the season on fire, winning its first six contests of the campaign while outscoring opponents by a 34-11 margin.

However, the club has since struggled to maintain that form, dropping four of its last five games at press time.

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Published February 6, 2017

FARMINGTON HILLS — This isn’t exactly the way it was drawn up.

Still, as Ken Anderson spoke about the remaining schedule his Farmington Hills United hockey team is about to endure, he also knows there’s not much he can do about it — aside from making the most of it.

“The scheduling conflicts early on kind of forced our hand into what this is,” Anderson said. “I guess you’d rather not play this many games in this few days, but we have a chance to make the most of it.”

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Published February 6, 2017

ROYAL OAK — It was another night of Royal Oak High hockey and another typical game for Henry Gabriel.

Even as the senior set a career high for goals scored in a single contest Feb. 2, there really wasn’t much surprise to be had.

Six goals in one outing was pretty special, but as coach Craig Ward put it after the 9-1 victory against Clarkston High last week, “You kind of come to expect this from him.”

That’s part special and part ridiculous.

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Published February 3, 2017

ST. CLAIR SHORES — The St. Clair Shores Unified hockey team, called young and inexperienced by coach Keith Knight at the start of the season, has had its share of growing pains but is starting to get things figured out at the right time.

The Lakers have gone 3-4 in their last seven games and a 2-10 start to the season. 

An increased effort on defense has keyed the turnaround, Knight said.

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Published January 31, 2017

Berkley High hockey coach Paul Fox described this as “the season of change.”

The program has 11 new players and an entirely new coaching staff.

Fox has coached Berkley before, but not since 2005.

While a new group of players and coaching staff can require an adjustment period, perhaps the most significant change of all occurred when prior to the season the team learned it no longer had a home ice rink, as the Berkley Ice Arena was closed indefinitely last fall due to a coolant leak under the building.

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Published January 31, 2017

In the past 10 years, Liggett has won two regional championships and one state title.

Although the Knights have had some struggles this season, standing at 8-10-1 overall at press time, they recently returned some players to the lineup who were previously out with injuries.

Coach Mike Hamilton is hopeful that having some healthy players will help give his team a boost.

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Published January 27, 2017

C&G Newspapers

TRENTON — What began as a small event with a handful of teams has now blossomed into one of the premier events of the high school hockey season — the state playoffs notwithstanding.

Another year, another Michigan Interscholastic Hockey League Showcase set to launch.

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Published January 17, 2017

C&G Newspapers

ROCHESTER HILLS — Some first-time meetings, the possibility of some budding rivalries and a day of hockey to showcase their respective conferences.

That’s what teams from the Oakland Activities Association and the Michigan Metro Hockey League are planning when they unite Jan. 21 at the Rochester ONYX for the first OAA-Metro Showcase.

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Published January 16, 2017

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — After previously making a vow that he would never set foot in an ice rink again, Bob Clouston was thrilled to be sitting in the Suburban Ice Macomb locker room.

The Utica High hockey coach is halfway through his first year at the helm of the program, very grateful for a job that has reignited his passion for the sport.

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Published January 12, 2017

SOUTHFIELD — This was a game that had an eerie reminiscence of how the season may go for the Southfield A&T boys basketball team.

At least that’s the hope for coach Mike Avery and his guys.

After a slow start and a first-quarter deficit, the Warriors came roaring back Thursday night, picking up a 79-66 victory against Oak Park High at home.

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Published January 10, 2017

Grosse Pointe North girls hockey coach Joe Lucchese said this is a rebuilding year for his young team, but he’s still setting the bar high.

Last season, the Norsemen beat Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett in the playoffs before eventually falling to Grosse Pointe South.

Lucchese, who noted that Liggett was the No. 1 seed and undefeated entering the playoffs, said the playoff win was a good building block for this season, and he would like to make an even longer playoff run in 2017.

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