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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Published March 1, 2016

C&G Newspapers

Royal Oak High had the weekend to celebrate clinching the first-ever league title in program history. 

Now, it's back to business. 

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Published February 26, 2016

ROYAL OAK — For the first time in the history of the school's hockey program, the Royal Oak Ravens are league champions.

Royal Oak defeated Birmingham Unified 6-4 on Feb. 26 to win its first-ever Oakland Activities Association White Division title, which it shares with Troy High.

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Published February 24, 2016

TROY — There are still a few games to be played in the regular season, but in just a few short days, the guarantee of tomorrow’s practice or next week’s big game will be a thing of the past.

On Feb. 29, the state playoffs begin in hockey, and for local teams, it’s all about winning or going home.

Here’s a quick look at those opening-round tilts.

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Published February 24, 2016

ROYAL OAK — Royal Oak High hockey is in a position to claim its first league title in program history.

If the Ravens win Feb. 24’s showdown against Birmingham Unified, which takes place at 8 p.m. at John Lindell Ice Arena, they will share the Oakland Activities Association White Division crown with Troy High (16-5-1, 9-1 OAA White). Royal Oak (17-5-1, 8-1 OAA White) defeated the Colts 4-2 in its most recent contest on Feb. 20, putting its OAA White title hopes in its own hands.

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Published February 24, 2016

BERKLEY — The long grind is almost complete.

The marathon that is the regular season is nearly in the books for the Berkley Unified hockey team.

And as the 2016 postseason officially drops the puck Feb. 29, the Bears will have to sit back, watch and wait.

Berkley is hosting a Division 2 pre-regional at the Berkley Ice Arena, but drew an opening-round bye and won’t play until 7 p.m. March 3 against the winner of the Grosse Pointe South-Royal Oak High game, set for 7 p.m. March 1.

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Published February 22, 2016

C&G Newspapers

Royal Oak High hockey could accomplish a program first if it wins against Birmingham Unified on Feb. 26. 

If Royal Oak (17-5-1, 8-1 Oakland Activities Association White) were to defeat Birmingham (7-13-2, 3-5-1 OAA White), it would be named the White co-champions with Troy High. The Ravens have never won a league title. 

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Published February 20, 2016

C&G Newspapers

TROY—With a 4-2 win against Troy High Feb. 20, Royal Oak High's hockey team is one step closer to accomplishing something that hasn't been achieved in the history of the school's hockey program — winning a league title.

The victory over Troy puts Royal Oak in a position to control its own destiny in the Oakland Activities Association White division. If Royal Oak (17-5-1, 8-1 OAA White) defeats Birmingham Unified on Feb. 24, it will share the OAA White crown with Troy (16-5-1, 9-1 OAA White).

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Published February 18, 2016

ORCHARD LAKE — Compared to recent years and recent opening-round draws, a first glance at the 2016 playoffs would suggest a relatively easy path for the Orchard Lake St. Mary’s hockey team.

Coach Brian Klanow would suggest otherwise.

“You never know. I mean, the playoffs can be a crazy time,” Klanow said last week. “We faced a struggling Birmingham team a few years ago and had to go to double overtime and outshoot them by 50 or so before we won. You just never know.”

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Published February 17, 2016

FARMINGTON HILLS — Bill Newton called this the type of game that players remember for a lifetime.

Maybe not so much who won or what the final score was, but facing off against a city rival and guys you’ve played against, or with, your entire life.

For the second and final time this winter, the Farmington High and Farmington Hills United hockey teams will drop the puck and add another chapter to their rivalry.

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Published February 10, 2016

GROSSE POINTE WOODS — The seniors on Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett’s girls hockey team have quite the résumé.

In their freshman year, they made it to the final four in the Michigan Metro Girls High School Hockey League playoffs. Sophomore year, they won the MMGHSHL Division I title. Junior year, they played in the championship game.

Liggett’s seniors are proud of what they’ve accomplished so far, but would like to go out with a bang. They want to bring home another MMGHSHL title.

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Published February 9, 2016

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — To this point in the season, the Macomb L’Anse Creuse North hockey team has been dominant.

The Crusaders at press time had a mark of 19-1-0 overall, 5-0-0 in the Macomb Area Conference Blue Division. The team’s lone blemish came in a 5-2 loss to Canton High on Jan. 31.

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Published February 8, 2016

TRENTON — Making his way through the throngs of congratulatory fans was one mission.

The next was shaking hands with a half-dozen scouts representing junior teams.

“And this is exactly how it’s supposed to be,” Berkley Unified hockey coach Jeff Fleming said Feb. 5 from the Kennedy Ice Arena. “This is why you come here. There’s nothing else like this.”

As Fleming spoke, those scouts were introduced to, or got reacquainted with, a number of Berkley players.

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Published February 5, 2016

TRENTON — Jeff Fleming had never taken a team to the Michigan Interscholastic Hockey League Prep Showcase before.

The Berkley Unified coach and his guys certainly made the most of their first trip, though, following up last night’s 9-1 victory against Toledo St. John’s with a 2-1 win this afternoon against Grand Rapids Christian at the Kennedy Ice Arena thanks to Ryan Austin’s goal with just 50 seconds remaining in regulation.

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