Cranbrook goalie Spencer Applebaum goes down to make the save against Birmingham Brother Rice’s Marcus Mazur (9) during the third period Friday at Oak Park Ice Arena. The game ended in a 2-2 tie. (special to the Oakland Press/KEN SWART)
Hockey - Boys
HOCKEY: Fit to be tied, Brother Rice and Cranbrook play to 2-2 stalemate
Birmingham Brother Rice’s Russell Cicerone (7) tries to control the puck in front of Cranbrook’s Christopher Brown (10) during the second period Friday night. (Special to the Oakland Press/KEN SWART)
Cranbrook’s Billy Young (19) and Birmingham Brother Rice’s Hunter Clark (6) battle for the puck behind the goal Friday. (special to the Oakland Press/KEN SWART)
Cranbrook’s Jeremy Loewenstein (9) scores the Cranes second goal past Birmingham Brother Rice’s Nick Rosa (15) and goalie Jack Bowman during the second period Friday at Oak Park Ice Arena. (Special to the Oakland Press/KEN SWART)
OAK PARK – In a battle of two of the state’s best hockey teams, both Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood and Brother Rice didn’t hold back anything Friday night at Oak Park Ice Arena.
Each team threw some punches, deflected some blows and countered when it needed to most. And in the end it was only fitting that the host Warriors rallied with a third-period goal to pull out a 2-2 tie with Cranbrook in a battle of two unbeaten MIHL teams.
Senior Russell Cicerone took advantage of a failed clearing attempt by the Cranes, settled the puck and teed up a shot that found the back of the net, tying the game at 2-2 early in the third period. The goal was part of a third period dominated by the Warriors.
“I will take the tie because I thought that our boys came back after a tough second period,” Brother Rice coach Lou Schmidt said. “We took a lot of penalties and we let them control the play. The third period for us was much better from an energy perspective. I thought we out-chanced them in that period.”
Brother Rice outshot Cranbrook 16-11 in the third period after being outshot 12-1 in the second. Cranbrook scored the lone goal in that second period, as senior Jeremy Loewenstein broke a 1-1 tie with his third goal of the season. He and senior Zach Feldman broke in on goal, and Feldman crossed the puck over to Loewenstein, who put a shot in on goalie Jack Bowman. The puck bounced back to Loewenstein, who snuck the rebound back into the net.
The two teams traded goals in the first period. Brother Rice scored first, on the power play, as senior Connor Duncan took a centering pass from sophomore Conner Jean and beat Cranbrook goalie Spencer Applebaum up top to make it a 1-0 game.
Less than two minutes later Cranbrook tied things up, as senior Billy Young emerged from behind the net to poke in a loose puck to make it 1-1. Austin and Alex Alger both picked up assists on the goal.
“It was a great high school hockey game,” Cranbrook coach Andy Weidenbach said. “There was a little bit of everything in there. Both goalies played sensational. Both teams had their chances and I thought the game could go either way. Overall I thought it was a great high school hockey game.”
It was a matchup of the top-ranked teams in Division 1 (Brother Rice) and Division 3 (Cranbrook). The two teams were a combined 19-1-1 entering the game and the top two scoring teams in the MIHL. With the tie, Cranbrook (5-0-1 league, 10-1-1 overall) moves into first place in the MIHL North Division, while Brother Rice (4-0-2, 9-0-2) is now tied for second with Catholic Central.
“It was a hard-fought game between two very good hockey teams,” Schmidt said. “When you get a rivalry game you there’s a lot of intensity and energy. Is a tie a good thing or bad thing? Today, we’ll take the tie. We learned a lot about them and they learned a lot about us. We look forward to playing them again.”
Jason Schmitt covers high school hockey for The Oakland Press. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, read his "In The Zone" blog here and follow our high school hockey coverage on Twitter @MIPrepZone.