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HOCKEY: MIHL Prep Hockey Showcase results

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The MIHL Prep Hockey Showcase was underway at Kennedy Recreation Center on Thursday night, with four local teams competing in game action.

Despite the scores, the Allen Park, Woodhaven, Riverview and Grosse Ile games all had something in common: they were fast-paced

The Jaguars opened up the Thursday game action, taking on Warren DeLaSalle. Despite a strong effort, the Jags fell 3-1.

DeLaSalle took an early lead, almost eight minutes into the opening period, when Nick Trajcevski found the back of the net, assisted by Antino Tijena.

Allen Park trailed for over a full period until Nick Metropoulos tied the game with less than four minutes to go in the second period.

Steve Littleton and Aaron Porter had the assists.

The game wasn’t tied for long, and DeLaSalle took their lead back less than two minutes later, and added another 40 seconds after that to cap off the scoring for the night.

Carson Hibner and Angelo Martin had the goals, and Mario Ruggen and Jon Glinski had the assists.

The Jags out shot their opponent 34-20 but simply had trouble putting the puck in the net.

Despite the loss, Coach John Brithinee was pleased with his team’s effort.

“I’m actually pleased with our performance,” Brithinee said. “Even though we didn’t win the game, it’s kind of an odd thing. But as a coach, you have to put it in perspective.

“We probably played one of our better games from a system standpoint. They played hard all the way to the end of the game (and) they had them on their heels until the end of the game. They just couldn’t put the puck in the net.”

Joey Lopezzi had the win in net, stopping 33 of 34 shots. Allen Park’s Jake Stoddard stopped 17 of 20.

Overall, Brithinee said he was disappointed with a loss, but happy with the way his team performed.

Despite a few breakdowns during the game, the Jags are not lacking energy on the ice. The return of injured and sick players is also helping the team bounce back.

“We’re making changes,” Brithinee said. “We’re not the same team we were in the beginning of the year.

“We’re starting to hopefully bounce back getting our players back helps.”

The Woodhaven hockey team lost a tough, fast-paced game to Birmingham Unified 4-1.

Birmingham’s Kenny Ohanlon finished the night with a hat trick and an assist and proved to be too much for Woodhaven.

The Warriors took an early lead less than five minutes into the game, but were unable to hold on.

Mike Williams scored the only Woodhaven goal of the night, assisted by Michael Perry and Alex Robinson.

Luke Braun got the Birmingham scoring started with 10 seconds to go in the opening period.

He was assisted by Tommy Mcleod and Ohanlon.

Ohanlon got to work in the middle period and scored three unanswered goals for the win.

In the middle period, Ohanlon added two points to the Birmingham score, including a power play with less than three minutes to go.

Patrick Blair and Jason Bitker had the assists.

Halfway through the third period, Ohanlon recorded his hat trick, assisted by Braun and Connor Liddle.

Woodhaven Coach Bryan Sullivan said it was just one of those games where his team had trouble scoring.

“We controlled most of the play, especially at the end and the kids got frustrated because we didn’t score,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan gave credit to Birmingham in the fast paced game.

“I think they did a really good job of doing the little things,” he said. “They executed off the face offs. They pretty much controlled every single face off.

“They drove the net hard and they scored the puck on the rebounds. They did and we didn’t. It’s very frustrating.”

Sullivan thought the game was much closer than the final score showed.

“It was just one of those days where I don’t think the score indicated how close the game really was or could have been,” Sullivan said.

Woodhaven’s Steve Hurley stopped 21 of 25 shots faced in net. Birmingham’s Jacob Saroli had the win, stopping 29 of 30.

The Warriors played Midland on Friday night, and Sullivan expected his team to be ready.

“I think we’ll bring a lot more enthusiasm tomorrow,” he said.

In a game similar to Woodhaven’s, the Riverview team fell 4-1 to Saginaw Heritage.

The Bucs played strong and put the puck at the net, but missing a few key players from injury and illness seemed to hurt the team.

“I didn’t think we played that bad,” Coach Al Taurence said. “They were a very good team. It’s very hard to play shorthanded, especially with two of our top guys out.”

Saginaw took a lead less than halfway through the first period when Tyler Angers found the back of the net, assisted by Tommy Munoz and Sami Abdelaziz.

Riverview responded six minutes later, but it would be the only score of the game.

Brian Backnak kept up with his dominating ways and tied the game at one.

Timmy Lyons and James Lambert had the assists.

Saginaw added two goals in the second and one more in the final period for their win.

The goals came from Abdelaziz, Angers and Jacob Schwarts.

Jacob Tweedle, Alex Schempp, Munoz, Schwarts, Angers and Munoz had the assists.

“All in all, our top two lines are playing against their three,” Taurence said. “You can see when you play that much, you tend to get hurt … things tend to happen like that.”

Taurence was still pleased with his team’s effort in what he said was the fastest tempo game they have seen all season.

“I didn’t think we played bad,” Taurence said. “They were a little bit faster than we were. They made some better decisions with the puck than we did, but all in all I was pretty happy.

“They played really hard. I’m not sure they played really smart, because they’ve never been in a situation where the tempo was so high.”

Taurence thought his team made mistakes, but said it happens when you have kids on you all the time and thought some of his younger kids were not equipped yet to play that fast of a game.

He was especially pleased with the efforts of Tyler Rhodes.

Zach Millisor stopped 30 of 34 shots, and Kevin Cressy had the win in net, stopping 20 of 21.

Overall, Taurence is just happy to be competing in the showcase and is looking forward to Saturday’s game.

“I just want to play well and showcase the good players that we have and give a good effort,” he said. “We want to win. We’re gonna win on Saturday.”

The Grosse Ile hockey team was the only local team to leave the rink Thursday night with a win, 2-1 over St. Clair Shores.

Jesse Jurecki led the way for the Red Devils, scoring both goals on the night.

After almost two scoreless periods, Grosse Ile took their lead with just 10 seconds to go in the middle period.

Jurecki netted one on the power play, assisted by Steven Plyler and Aaron Porcarelli.

Jurecki struck again with over five minutes remaining when the Red Devils attacked the net and created a lot of traffic for the St. Clair defense.

Phil Morin and Porcarelli had the assists.

St. Clair Shores responded with a goal of its own two minutes later, but the Red Devil defense proved too much for a comeback.

Marshall Moise had the St. Clair goal, and Mitchell Kusch and Cody MacPhee had the assists.

“(It was) just a good team effort today,” Coach Joe Maci said. “It’s nice to win one goal games. That might be our first one goal win.

The Red Devils have been working on some changes to get their offense going, and the changes worked.

“We’ve put some systems in that we worked on the past week and they worked them pretty well,” Maci said. “Everybody was on the same page today and it was nice to watch.”

Maci continues to be pleased with the goaltending efforts of Reggie Vella, who stopped 18 of 19 shots in the game.

“Reggie came strong again,” Maci said. “He keeps us in games.

“He’s had two separate seasons this year. The beginning of the season, he suffered, but the last three weeks have been very good for him.”

On Saturday, the Red Devils face Portage Central, and the team hopes to be playing with a full squad for the first time all season.

“Hopefully we play the same way we did today,” Maci said. “I always look for that team effort but it’s been tough.

“We have not played a game yet this year with a full squad. Not one game. We’re hoping Saturday will be the first.”

Last Updated: 2/12/2013 1:12:22 PM EST