Birmingham Brother Rice goalie Jack Bowman makes one of his 23 saves during Saturday night’s 4-2 win at Trenton. Connor Jean (17) scored one of the Warriors goal and added an assist for the Warriors, who are now 6-0-1 this season. (For The Oakland Press/LARRY CARUSO)
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HOCKEY: Brother Rice jumps out strong, holds off Trenton WATCH HERE
Brother Rice had 47 shots on goal Saturday night and got four of them past Trenton goalie Nick Ramirez in a 4-2 victory at Trenton. The Warriors next play Sault Ste. Marie and Marquette. (For The Oakland Press/LARRY CARUSO)
TRENTON - Despite winning the Division 2 state championship a season ago, the Birmingham Brother Rice hockey team was unable to beat Michigan Interscholastic Hockey League rival Trenton in two meetings.
Coach Lou Schmidt’s Warriors ended that unhappy little streak Saturday night in Trenton, beating the Trojans 4-2.
The Warriors had a decided territorial advantage in the game and outshot the home team 47-25.
After a scoreless first period, Rice netted a pair of goals in the second period and another early in third and looked comfortable with a 3-0 lead.
But the third period was more wide-open than the first two.
After Brother Rice’s Ross Haffey scored barely more than a minute into the period, Brother Rice rang one off the post behind Trenton goalie Nick Ramirez.
But just when it looked like the buzzing Warriors might make it a runaway, Trenton’s Brad Teska came down for a close-in shot at Rice goalie Jack Bowman. Bowman made the first save, but Teska kept his feet and slapped in the rebound.
Three minutes later, Trenton’s Chase Stotler deflected a shot past Bowman for his first high school goal and suddenly the Trojans were back in.
But before Trenton could get an equalizing goal, Rice’s Matt Manning fired home his second of the night to give the Warriors their final margin of victory.
Trenton did have one more bullet left to fire and it appeared that Nick Bondy’s shot in the last minute of play went over Bowman, hit the top of the inside of the net and came out, but the refs waved it off.
Trenton pulled Ramirez after that and applied some last-minute pressure but could not score.
Schmidt said he was pleased with the victory.
“We always love coming (to Trenton),” he said. (Trenton Coach) Mike (Turner) is a good friend and he always has his team’s ready to play.
“These were two good hockey teams playing at a high level and we’re always glad to play them.”
When it was mentioned that it was not too hard to get ready to play the defending state champs, Schmitt nodded up at the 13 state title banners hanging from the rafters of Trenton’s Kennedy Recreation Center and said,” they know a few things about state championship here, too.”
Rice outshot Trenton 16-9 in the first period and had a great chance to jump on top early but Ramirez stopped Matt Riggleman on a shorthanded breakaway. Later in the period, Ramirez robbed Rice’s Connor Jean.
Both Warriors got a little revenge in the second period with Jean scoring the game’s first goal and Riggleman assisting on Manning’s first goal of the game.
Bowman had to make fewer saves than Ramirez, but he was sharp when called on as in the third period when he stopped Andrew Sawyer’s backhand attempt minutes after the Trojans had drawn to with one goal.
The win, combined with Tuesday night’s 2-all draw with University of Detroit-Jesuit, left the Warriors with a 6-01- record this season.
Schmidt said that his team’s hot start this year is good for his club because it has a different make-up than the one that won that won the Michigan High School Athletic Association state title last spring.
“These are two completely different teams,” he said. “Last year we were a puck-possession kind of a team. We had guys that could hold onto it and cycle and score.
“This year we are more of a speed team; we play well as a team within a system.”
The Warriors are off until Dec. 14 when they travel to the Upper Peninsula to play Sault Ste. Marie and Marquette on back-to-back nights.
Trenton, now 2-3, is at Novi Detroit Catholic Central Dec. 12.