Hockey

Published January 5, 2017

METRO DETROIT — It’s a bold statement, but one that’s been made before and likely will be made again.

This year, it was one echoed by Birmingham Brother Rice hockey coach Kenny Chaput.

Asked to assess what it’s like to battle for a Michigan Interscholastic Hockey League division title, the first-year Warriors general summed it up like this.

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Published December 20, 2016

Grosse Pointe South boys hockey coach Bobby McKillop said he thinks the program has lost a total of three games in the Michigan Metro Hockey League in the last three years.

At press time, South was ranked No. 5 in the state in Division 2 and 5-1-1 overall after winning a tournament hosted by Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett.

While those are nice achievements — and McKillop will take them — he is searching for more.

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Published December 16, 2016

GROSSE POINTE WOODS — Grosse Pointe South’s boys hockey team defeated rival Grosse Pointe North 4-0 Dec. 16 at McCann Ice Arena.

The game was part of a tournament hosted by Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett.

After a scoreless first period, South broke the game open with three goals in the second.

Garrett Bollenbacher, Andrew Vyletel and Adam Pitters all found the net for South, with Liam Kavanaugh, Will Frame and Michael French credited with assists.

Pitters added a goal in the third period, with Bollenbacher getting the assist.

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Published December 13, 2016

ROCHESTER — Since its inception in 1970, Rochester Adams has targeted Rochester High as its chief rival. The feeling is mutual, as the pair has have many battles across sports.

A 3.5-mile stretch of roads separates the local foes — except on the ice.

The Rochester United hockey team is a combined effort, comprised of 11 Highlanders and 10 Falcons. Entering its seventh year of play, the club has found success with the alliance.

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Published December 13, 2016

ROYAL OAK — The record books were shattered last winter.

Now the challenge, or mission, is duplicating that success — and then some.

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Published December 13, 2016

Former Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett girls hockey coach Cassie Jaeckle said that when the school came looking for her, “They knew what they wanted accomplished.”

Jaeckle stepped down from the program earlier this year after leading it for five years. Prior to her time with the Knights, she made a name for herself at the travel level, leading a team to two state titles and a bronze medal at a national tournament.

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Published December 13, 2016

BIRMINGHAM — After consecutive wins in consecutive days, Birmingham Unified hockey coach Steve Kruk scheduled an off day for his guys earlier this season.

And those same guys pushed back.

“Not in a bad way, but they wanted to be at the rink,” Kruk said. “They wanted to keep working at this.”

That mindset and approach has fueled a resurgence with the Unified squad this winter, and the results speak for themselves.

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Published December 12, 2016

ST. CLAIR SHORES — St. Clair Shores Unified hockey captain Austin Zeiter knows his team is young and inexperienced, and he’s doing all he can to keep morale high.

“We’ve had our struggles early on, so it’s been important that I talk to all the guys to make sure they keep their heads up and keep fighting,” the junior said. “They just have to have the mentality that we’ll get better as the season goes along.”

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Published December 12, 2016

WEST BLOOMFIELD — During his playing days, and even at times behind the bench, Logan McLean has witnessed how difficult it can be to form a consistent hockey program with a revolving door of coaches trying to lead it.

The first-year West Bloomfield High hockey coach hopes to be the fixture that wedges that door open with the Lakers’ program.

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Published November 10, 2016

ST. CLAIR SHORES — When the St. Clair Shores Fighting Saints hockey team faces off with the Danville Dashers Nov. 11, there will be some very special people in attendance.

The Saints will host their first annual Military Appreciation Night when they take on the Dashers at 8 p.m. Nov. 11 at the St. Clair Shores Civic Center.

All veterans and active military can purchase tickets for $7, the same price as seniors and children. All other tickets are $10.

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Published October 14, 2016

ST. CLAIR SHORES — The puck drops on the inaugural season for the St. Clair Shores Fighting Saints of the Federal Hockey League Oct. 29, and team general manager Brandon Contratto said things are progressing smoothly in advance of the season.

The team, the newest squad in the seven-team FHL, opened training camp Oct. 13. The Saints will call the St. Clair Shores Civic Arena home.

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Published May 18, 2016

ST. CLAIR SHORES — Metro Detroit sports fans will soon have another professional hockey team to call their own.

The St. Clair Shores Fighting Saints will play out of the St. Clair Shores Civic Arena beginning in November as the newest member of the Single-A Federal Professional Hockey League. Team officials unveiled the squad’s logo and mock-ups of their jerseys at a May 18 press conference at the Civic Arena.

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Published May 16, 2016

BIRMINGHAM — He’s set to inherit one of the most successful high school hockey programs in the state of Michigan.

The simple challenge now for Kenny Chaput is to keep that fact accurate for years to come.

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Published May 16, 2016

WARREN — New Warren De La Salle hockey coach Craig Staskowski is no stranger to Macomb County pucks.

Staskowski, who comes to the Pilots after five years with the Rochester United program, coached at Utica High for the 2010-11 season.

In all, Staskowski has 12 years of coaching experience, including two years at Grosse Pointe North from 2008 to 2010. He also spent time coaching Warren-Sterling United and St. Clair Shores Unified.

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Published May 13, 2016

WARREN — New Warren De La Salle hockey coach Craig Staskowski is no stranger to Macomb County pucks.

Staskowski, who comes to the Pilots after five years with the Rochester United program, coached at Utica High for the 2010-11 season. 

In all, Staskowski has 12 years of coaching experience, including two years at Grosse Pointe North from 2008 to 2010. He also spent time coaching Warren-Sterling United and St. Clair Shores Unified.

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Published April 11, 2016

BIRMINGHAM — He chose his words carefully, making sure not to overstate a point he was trying to make.

But the sheer magnitude of it said enough.

Birmingham Brother Rice hockey coach Lou Schmidt Jr. referred to senior forward Nick Bowman as “maybe the best player in the state.”

Bowman was, at the very least, the Most Valuable Player in the Michigan Interscholastic Hockey League.

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Published April 7, 2016

METRO DETROIT — There was only one state champion from the Michigan Interscholastic Hockey League during the 2015-16 season.

To some, this may have been a surprise.

But in reality, it marked the 15th time in the league’s 16-year existence that at least one team calling the MIHL home has claimed a state title.

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Published April 7, 2016

METRO DETROIT — The Michigan High School Hockey Coaches Association has announced its 2016 All-State teams, and several local players made the cut.

Following is a listing of players from our coverage area who received All-State honors in Division 1 and Division 2.

 

Division 1
First team: Grant Reszczyk, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s; Matt Hawke, Michael Rittner and Trevor Szafran, Rochester United; and Ethan Tobiczyk, Utica Eisenhower.

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Published April 7, 2016

Oakland University’s Division III hockey club team capped off its 2015-16 campaign with the first American Collegiate Hockey Association national championship in program history with a 5-3 win against Aquinas College March 12 at Southside Ice Arena in Byron Center, Michigan.

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Published April 5, 2016

FARMINGTON — He won a state title in his first year.

Despite a roster overhaul in his second season, Bill Newton kept the Farmington High hockey program afloat.

This past winter, he guided the Falcons to 15 more wins and an Oakland Activities Association Red Division title.

After three successful seasons as head coach, Newton feels the program is on solid foundation and the time is now to hand off the reins to someone else.

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