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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Published March 31, 2016

C&G Newspapers

OAKLAND COUNTY — There were a number of ways to look at the 2015-16 hockey season in the Oakland Activities Association this past winter.

But above all else, the league’s parity was front and center, from start to finish.

Both the Red and White division races came down to the final days of the regular season, and both ended up with multiple teams sharing the top spot.

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Published March 29, 2016

GROSSE POINTE WOODS — The boys and girls hockey teams from Grosse Pointe North recently had the opportunity to combine the best of both worlds — play a game they enjoy and raise money for a good cause.

On Feb. 13, the two teams played a game in which each squad was split into half boys and half girls, with all proceeds raised going to benefit the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

North girls coach Joe Lucchese estimated that approximately $2,600 was raised for the charity.

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Published March 21, 2016

WALLED LAKE — Twice before, Erik Carlson had taken his Walled Lake Wild girls hockey team to the Michigan Metro Girls Hockey League state finals.

And twice before, the Wild had exited the championship game as a runner-up.

When the 2016 Division 2 state playoffs began in early March, there wasn’t much thought to Walled Lake making another run for that elusive title, especially after finishing the regular season with a sub-500 record.

But that’s why the games are played.

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Published March 14, 2016

FARMINGTON HILLS — In an honest assessment of the team he had this year, Beverly Hills Detroit Country Day boys hockey coach Frank Novock knew the talent level wasn’t like that of years past.

It may have been a fact,  but it wasn’t the dominating theme of his team or its 2015-16 season.

Even after starting the year 4-8-0.

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Published March 14, 2016

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — With his team winless through three weeks of the season, Eisenhower hockey coach Bob Hall said it was simply a matter of belief that caused his team to have a turnaround season.

That meant the players increasingly believed in their coaches, who showed more and more belief in their players.

After an 0-7 start, Eisenhower rattled off 15 wins over its last 21 games of the year to finish 15-13. That record includes a regional title.

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Published March 12, 2016

C&G Newspapers

CANTON — Farmington Hills Mercy won a Division 1 Michigan Metro Girls High School Hockey League state championship with a 3-2 victory against Grosse Pointe South March 12 at Arctic Edge.

Mercy moved to Division 1 after winning a Division 2 state title last season.

Although South had the puck in Mercy’s zone multiple times in the remaining moments of play, goalie Caitlin Somerville and the Marlins’ defense prevented what would have been the game-tying goal.

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Published March 11, 2016

PLYMOUTH —There will be a new champion in the Division 3 hockey playoffs.

A little bit of overtime heroics made sure of it early Friday afternoon at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth.

Freshman Alex Nordstrom scored on the power play 6:51 into the first overtime  as Hancock High eliminated Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood 2-1 in a state semifinal game, ending the Cranes’ hope at defending their 2015 title.

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Published March 9, 2016

FARMINGTON HILLS — He had a clean shot, but hesitated.

And in that split-second delay, just enough traffic formed in front of the net to where Dawson Zahorian felt confident to unwind from the blue line.

Moments later, the Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood junior defenseman was in his own zone being mobbed by teammates.

A celebration under way, a ticket to the state semifinals punched.

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Published March 9, 2016

TROY — Tim Zimmerman said he issued a warning to his Troy United hockey team heading into last week’s Division 1 regional semifinal against Utica Eisenhower.

If the Colts could keep things low-scoring, there’d be a great chance to move on.

“But I knew if we got into a shootout, it’d be tough,” Zimmerman said. “And this was a shootout for sure.”

After a brilliant regular season and share of the Oakland Activities Association White Division title, Troy was ousted in the March 2 game by a 7-4 count.

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Published March 9, 2016

BERKLEY— Royal Oak High’s hockey team probably wants to forget its final game this season, an 8-0 loss to a talented Grosse Pointe South squad in a pre-regional March 1.

What the Ravens don’t want to forget are the accomplishments of the season, the team chemistry and the memories made. 

“This was, by far, one of my favorite teams I’ve ever coached,” said coach Craig Ward, who has been coaching hockey for about 20 years. 

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Published March 8, 2016

FARMINGTON HILLS — At the time of the season when upsets are part of the playoff landscape, the Farmington United hockey team faced one heck of an uphill challenge in last week’s Division 1 regional semifinal.

And in the end, there would be no upset story developing.

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Published March 7, 2016

ROYAL OAK — Royal Oak High senior Gil Ybarra formally signed to play hockey at Lawrence Tech University on March 7. 

"I'm really excited," said Ybarra. "It's going to be a great experience. (I'll) be able to meet some new people."

The 2015-16 season was Ybarra's first as a Raven. He previously played for the Mount Clemens Wolves travel team. 

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Published March 5, 2016

C&G Newspapers

BLOOMFIELD HILLS — The first two games were warms ups — unofficially anyway.

But after outscoring Royal Oak Shrine and Madison Heights Bishop Foley by a 23-0 combined count in the first two rounds of the Division 3 state playoffs, the Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood boys hockey team knew it was in for a battle Saturday afternoon against Michigan Interscholastic Hockey League foe Warren De La Salle.

And a battle is precisely what unfolded before a break for the Cranes spelled the end for the Pilots in a 7-3 Cranbrook victory.

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Published March 4, 2016

WEST BLOOMFIELD/ORCHARD LAKE — While he certainly had some experienced players, West Bloomfield High basketball coach Zach Hilbers also had more than his share of first-year varsity players on his roster this winter. 

So, as he predicted, the 2015-16 season was one of ups and downs, with plenty of good times and some lessons to be learned moving forward.

Much like the final game.

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Published March 1, 2016

C&G Newspapers

BERKLEY — It's no secret in sports that sound fundamentals are at the core of a statement win. 

Grosse Pointe South coach Bobby McKillop employed the 'know the basics and the rest will follow' philosophy to prepare for the Blue Devils' Division 2 pre-regional opener against Royal Oak High on March 1, and it worked.

South defeated the Ravens 8-0 in two periods. 

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