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HOCKEY: Brother Rice skates past rival St. Mary's in victory

Game Info

Hockey - Boys - 1/30/2013 

Orchard Lake St. Mary's 3
Birmingham Brother Rice 5

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ORCHARD LAKE – The Birmingham Brother Rice Warriors defeated the host Orchard Lake St. Mary’s Eaglets 5-3 in MIHL hockey action Wednesday night.

Matt Riggleman had two goals and Russell Cicerone got what proved to be the game winner as the Warriors overcame a slow start to pick up the win.

St. Mary’s came out firing early and often, taking advantage of three early power plays to pepper Brother Rice netminder Nicholas Macina with 10 shots in the first five minutes. But it was the Warriors who struck first on Conner Jean’s shorthanded breakaway with 12:27 to play in the first period. It was Brother Rice’s first shot on goal.

Eventually, the fast start for St. Mary’s would pay dividends when Shane Kelly tipped home a shot from the point by Cooper Anstett to tie the game at 1-1. Thanks to a big first period by Macina, however, Warriors would escape the first period tied despite being out shot 17-8 in the period.

“It was a barrage. We were back on our heels with almost six straight minutes of penalties. We got a shortie out of it, but when you start a game out like that it’s kind of a battle just to get into the game,” Warriors head coach Lou Schmidt said.

After that, the game turned into an open affair with both teams carrying the puck up and down the ice, trading shot for shot.

“I think both teams are transition teams, so it was really kind of a back and forth game,” Schmidt said. “At the end of the day, it was a fun game to be part of because it was just back and forth. They (St. Mary’s) are a good team – very fast. And they’re always looking to push the puck up the ice, and we’re looking to do the same and just match their energy,” he added.

Ultimately, it was Brother Rice who would come out ahead on the exchanges. Captain Ross Haffey notched a power play goal to give the Warriors the lead for good with six minutes gone in the second period. Less than two minutes later, the Warriors would double their lead when Matthew Manning sprang linemates Connor Jean and Matt Riggleman on an odd man rush, and Jean fed a backhanded pass across to Riggleman who buried it in the back of the net.

St. Mary’s wouldn’t go down without a fight though. Sean Harrington notched a goal and assist for the Eaglets, and Danny Tinsman added a late goal St. Mary’s comeback fell short in the third period.

“I thought we outplayed them,” Eaglets head coach Brian Kanlow said. “I look at not just the shots. I think we out chanced them. I think we left some pucks sitting there that we should have fought to get to. But I thought we played a good game. Certainly, we’re not where we need to be yet, but we’re taking positive steps. This was a positive step for us,” he added.

For Brother Rice, Nicholas Macina picked up the win in net, making 38 saves in his first game of the season. “He played well, especially in the first period,” Schmidt said.

Macina also had some help from his defense. Led by captain Andrew Roye, who chipped in two assists, the Warriors’ defense won the battles in front of Macina, keeping the Eaglets from getting to many rebounds.

With the win, Brother Rice improves to 14-1-2 overall and 7-1-2 in MIHL North play. Next up for Brother Rice is a Saturday home game against Trenton. St. Mary’s falls to 10-7-1-1 overall and 4-6-1 in MIHL North. St. Mary’s hosts Dearborn Divine Child on Saturday.

Last Updated: 1/30/2013 11:22:35 PM EST

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