Cranbrook’s Alex Alger (17) moves around Novi Detroit Catholic Central’s Charlie Green (20) during the first period Friday night at Cranbrook’s Wallace Arena. The Cranes beat the Shamrocks 5-2. (Special to the Oakland Press/KEN SWART)
Hockey - Boys
HOCKEY: Romund's hat trick helps Cranbrook rally past Catholic Central
Cranbrook’s Michael Romund (13) defends against Novi Catholic Central’s Charlie Green (20) during the third period Friday. Romund had a hat trick to help the Cranes beat the Shamrocks 5-2. (Special to the Oakland Press/KEN SWART)
Cranbrook goalie Spencer Applebaum stops the shot of Catholic Central’s Andrew Kenney (27) during the second period Friday (Special to the Oakland Press/KEN SWART)
Cranbrook’s Jack Blumberg (15) and Catholic Central’s Andrew Kenney (27) battle for the puck during the first period Friday night at Cranbrook’s Wallace Arena. The Cranes beat the Shamrocks 5-2. (Special to the Oakland Press/KEN SWART)
BLOOMFIELD HILLS - Sometimes it's easier to make adjustments against a great team than it is playing with a lead.
Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood proved that to be true Friday night at Wallace Ice Arena. The host Cranes overcame a slow start to score five straight goals in a 5-2 win over Novi Detroit Catholic Central. Senior Michael Romund had a natural hat trick, scoring the tying, go-ahead and eventual game-winning goals during that stretch for the Cranes.
"They kind of took it to us in the first period. We were back on our heels a little bit as they were coming through the neutral zone with speed and we couldn't slow them down," Cranbrook coach Andy Weidenbach said. "We made a couple of adjustments between the first and second periods and it seemed to help. We got a few goals got a little bit of momentum."
Catholic Central struck first, as senior forward Danny Middleton snuck one past Cranbrook goalie Spencer Applebaum just over six minutes into the game to give his team a 1-0 lead.
The Shamrocks continue to pressure the Cranes until Romund shifted the momentum over to his team, tipping in a shot to tie the game at 1-1 with 4:25 left in the first. Seniors Kevin Shand and Jeff Martin picked up assists on the play.
It stayed a 1-1 game until Romund struck again, winning the puck in the corner and firing top-shelf to give Cranbrook a 2-1 lead 4:29 into the second period. Just over six minutes later he completed his hat trick, beating a Shamrock defenseman to the puck and again firing top-shelf to make it 3-1. Shand and junior Christopher Brown assisted on the goal.
"My linemates, Christopher Brown and Kevin Shand helped me out there quite a bit," said Romund, who came into the game having scored two goals in his team's first seven games. "We just came out with a lot of effort today and we outplayed them."
That wasn't the case a few weeks back when the two teams faced off. Cranbrook scored the first two goals in that game only to see Catholic Central storm back and take the victory, 4-2. This time around, it was Weidenbach's turn to make some in-game adjustments.
"They made some really good adjustments on special teams and I think they capitalized on some good opportunities in the second period, finishing some chances whereas we didn't finish our good chances. They were able to get the lead," Catholic Central coach Todd Johnson said. "We knew the recipe to winning against these guys wasn't falling behind by two goals. We got away with it the first time. I don't think I speak out of turn for any coach in our league, Andy's the best coach in our league. His teams are prepared the best and you know that going in."
Cranbrook sophomore Austin Alger scored the Cranes' last two goals, one coming in the final minute of the second period and the other, an empty-netter, with 30.3 seconds left in the game. Middleton finished with both goals for Catholic Central (4-2 overall, 2-2 MIHL).
The Cranes are now 4-0 in league play, 7-1 overall. They were outshot 30-19 for the game, but killed off six power plays while finishing 1-for-3 themselves. Applebaum stopped 28 of the 30 shots he faced in the game.
"Spencer was sensational when he had to be," Weidenbach said. "He's a sophomore, he's just finding his groove now. I thought he played really well for us tonight. And I thought a couple of our rookie defensemen played pretty well. Overall, I thought the second and third period we played much better and we kept them off the scoreboard."