Cranbrook, Liggett girls hockey survive tests in semifinals

Cranes and Knights set to meet in Metro League Championship

By: Thomas Franz | C&G Newspapers | Published March 5, 2014

University Liggett coach Cassandra Jaeckle said before the postseason that special teams would be the difference in her team making a run at the Division 1 Metro League championship.

In a semifinal game played against Ann Arbor Pioneer Wednesday night, Liggett went 7-7 on the penalty kill, and the Knights defeated Pioneer 2-1.

"Every practice we work on our penatly kill and power play. I feel that any team that can do those two things well will advance in this playoff," Jaeckle said.

Junior Jenalyn Pangborn scored in the first period to give Liggett a 1-0 lead, then senior Danielle Lorant scored in the second to stretch the lead to 2-0.

Pioneer's Mercedes Reyes scored with 43 seconds left in the second period to make it 2-1, but Liggett was able to hold off a flurry of opportunities from Pioneer in the third to seal a spot in the championship game.

Opposing Liggett in the final is Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood, which defeated Port Huron 5-3 in the first semifinal of the night.

Hana DeClerck netted a hat trick for the Cranes and Lucy Dembeck scored twice to propel Cranbrook into the final. Going into the third period up 2-1, Cranbrook scored twice in the first 5:06 of the third period to put the game away.

"We had outplayed them and had the puck in their end most of the time after two periods, but when I went down to two lines and kept getting my goal scorers out there every other shift, they couldn't keep up with that," Cranbrook coach Terry Brooks said.

Cranbrook and Liggett meet in the championship at 5:30 p.m. March 8. Cranbrook defeated Liggett 3-0 on Dec. 5 and the Cranes took the rematch on Feb. 18 4-1.