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HOCKEY: Cranbrook looks sharp after long layoff, dominates Catholic Central WITH VIDEO

PLYMOUTH — The first two meetings between Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood and Novi Detroit Catholic Central were split between the two schools, with the Shamrocks winning the first matchup and the Cranes winning the second.

Saturday afternoon proved to be a classic rubber match scenario between the two perennial powers in the MIHL North in which Cranbrook beat Catholic Central, 5-1, thanks to a three goals in a span of 48 seconds in the first period.

“From the drop of the puck to the end of the game, we got solidly out played,” Catholic Central head coach Todd Johnson said. “We got out to a bad start and never recovered.”

The Shamrocks (10-3) held tough for three minutes before the Cranes (11-1-1) went to work in rapid fashion, scoring three goals in 48 seconds.

Off a face-off from the left circle, Cranbrook senior forward Kevin Shand fired a quick shot that was initially turned away by senior goaltender Derek Moore. Junior forward Chris Brown crashed the net and lifted the rebound to give the Cranes a 1-0 lead.

Thirty seconds later the Cranes found themselves on the offensive after Catholic Central failed to cleanly clear the puck from its own end. After receiving a pass from the blue line from sophomore defensemen Cooper Stahl, senior forward Jeremy Loewenstien fired a shot from the right circle for a 2-0 lead. Seventeen seconds later Austin Alger made it 3-0 before Catholic Central knew what hit them.

“That usually never happens in a game between us,” Cranbrook head coach Andy Weidenbach said. “We got a couple good bounces, and it worked out for us.”

Instead of taking a quick timeout to regroup, Johnson instead pulled Moore for fellow senior Ryan Mulka to “provide a spark and stem the tide” and jump-start his players. However, the move wouldn’t pay off in the second period when the bounces continued to go Cranbrook’s way.

The second period is also when the Alger brother’s worked their sibling magic to cap a crucial goal to keep Catholic Central at bay after it scored in the first period off a deflected slap shot from junior defensemen Carter Cerretani.

Then, 2:07 into the second period, the elder brother, Alex, swung at a loose puck that jumped in the air after Austin fired a shot from the right circle. Alex’s stick connected with the puck and found its way past a sprawling Mulka for a 4-1 lead.

“That was a tough goal to give up,” Johnson said. “Instead of changing and pinning them, they caught us before we could change and converted.”

Alex Alger would get another goal on the power play after the Shamrocks once again couldn’t cleanly clear the puck. Alger kept it inside the blue line and walked it forward for an easy wrist shot that made it 5-1.

Weidenbach had no idea how his team would respond to having a long layover between games. With the holiday schedule, the Cranes hadn’t played a game in over 20 days, which Weidenbach admitted would be tricky.

“You never know how your team will respond,” said Weidenbach. “Will you have a burst or will your timing be way off? We were sloppy early. But when we got those quick goals, it inspired us to play with energy.

“It’s kind of a crazy schedule when we approach Christmas break. We’re on a little bit then we’re off a little bit, but luckily it didn’t hurt us today.”

Cranbrook will travel and face De La Salle in hopes to build off the win on Wednesday Jan. 16. Catholic Central will look to rebound after the loss on the road for a two game stint against Culver Academy on Jan. 18 and 19.



BLOOMFIELD HILLS CRANBROOK KINGSWOOD 5, NOVI DETROIT CATHOLIC CENTRAL 1

CK 3 2 0 — 5

CC 1 0 0 — 1

First Period: 1, CK, Chris Brown (Kevin Shand, Michael Romund); 2, CK, Jeremy Loewenstein (Cooper Stahl, Noah Gilreath); 3, CK, Austin Alger (Zach Feldman, Alex Alger); 4, CC, Carter Cerretani (unassisted)

Second Period: 5, CK, Alex Alger (A. Alger); 6, CK, Austin Alger (unassisted)

Goalkeepers: CC, Derek Moore (2) Ryan Mulka (22); CB, Spencer Applebaum (18)

RECORDS —Cranbrook 11-1-1; Catholic Central 10-3-0

Last Updated: 1/12/2013 8:08:37 PM EST

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