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HOCKEY: Allen Park pounces on Richard in tournament final (PHOTOS/TOUT VIDEO)

Nick Kelly and the Allen Park Jaguars skated to a tournament championship this weekend without giving up a goal, as they beat Roosevelt 2-0 Friday and knocked off Richard 6-0 Saturday. Photo by Dave Chapman

Allen Park goaltender Cody LaButte stopped a combined 37 shots in two shutout victories in the tournament. Photo by Dave Chapman

John Louria and the Richard Pioneers knocked off Riverview 4-1 Friday, but were beaten 6-0 the next day by Allen Park. Photo by Dave Chapman

Andrew Storey (23) and the Roosevelt Bears were defeated 2-0 Friday by Allen Park but came back and beat Shane Nowak (13) and the Riverview Pirates 6-2 in the consolation game. Photo by Dave Chapman

With back-to-back shutout victories this weekend, Allen Park was awarded the championship trophy Saturday night at the 2013 News-Herald Gabriel Richard Christmas Tournament.

After knocking off Roosevelt 2-0 Friday night, the Jaguars (7-2) returned to the Southgate Civic Center 24 hours later and handed Richard a 6-0 defeat in the finals. The Pioneers (6-2-1) had advanced by beating Riverview 4-1 in Friday’s other tournament game.

Allen Park jumped on Richard early and before fans even settled into their seats, the green-and-white-clad skaters were already up 2-0. Alec Case scored unassisted at the 1:48 mark and about a minute later David Pischke found the back of the net, also unassisted.

“That was our plan, to start quick,” said Jags Coach John Brithinee. “I think that we set the tone early in the game with a couple of quick goals and then I just think we held on, we forced them to chase us a lot.

Brithinee also said he’s happy with how well his squad responded overall against a quality opponent like Richard.

“They’re a good team,” he said of the Pioneers. “I’m really impressed with my team’s effort today, because they are a very good club.”

To put the Jags up by three, Nick Fulton got the puck past Richard goaltender Matt Mandernach at the 8:53 mark of the period, assisted by Pischke and Dan Metropoulos.

Pioneers Coach Rick DeSana said that problems with defense ultimately led to his squad’s demise in the tournament final.

“We weren’t defensively ready and prepared for them,” DeSana said. “They had a pretty good effort and they came out and were physical. We need to work on our defensive zone.”

Despite the disappointment with the lopsided loss, DeSana believes it will turn into a good learning experience for his group.

“It’s a character builder for us, and no one’s going to like it, but I’d say it was good for us, especially the first period.”

For the Pioneers, who managed only 14 shots in the game, the best scoring chance of the night came with about five minutes left in the first period.

Skating into the Jags’ zone on a 2-on-1, Michael Hodgson hit Tyler Rinney with a pass in front of the net, but Rinney’s shot banged off the post and Richard stayed off the board.

As for Allen Park goaltender Cody LaButte, he knocked away a total of 37 shots in his two tournament shutouts over the weekend.

The first-period deficit hit four goals for the team in burgundy and white when Allen Park’s Nick Kelly lit the lamp at the 14:16 mark, with assists going to Pischke and Nick Metropoulos.

In the next two periods, it was Nick Metropoulos who helped put the game away for the Jags.

The senior’s first of two goals came at 9:30 of the second period, as Nik Francis hit him with a pass in front of the Pioneers’ net and he promptly drilled it in. Also earning an assist on the goal was Bob Salerno.

About seven minutes into the final period, Allen Park’s Cam Chabot skated into the Richard zone with the puck and Nick Metropoulos trailed him in. Chabot sent the puck back to his fellow forward and he took full advantage, shooting it into the Pioneers’ net and making it a 6-0 game, which would stand as the final.

Saturday’s contest was a night of perfect execution on the ice by the Jags, Nick Metropoulos said.

“I think that we came out and we did what we needed to do,” he said. “We really couldn’t have played any better, honestly.”

Up next for Allen Park is a Metro League battle Friday night at Woodhaven, while Richard will host Notre Dame Prep on Thursday in a CHSL matchup.

Prior to the championship Saturday night, Riverview and Roosevelt squared off in the consolation game and the Bears skated to 6-2 victory.

After Roosevelt jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second period, the Pirates pulled to within one, but the Bears answered with another second-period goal and added three in the third to pull away for the win.

Six different players scored for Roosevelt, with Joe Nevalo netting a first-period goal and both Andrew Storey and Blake Reames scoring in the second. Nevalo’s goal was assisted by Jacob Jennings, while Joshua Hinderliter assisted on Storey’s goal and the assist on Reames’ goal went to Joe Smellie.

The trio of third-period goals for the Bears came courtesy of Jennings, Matt Calhoun and Ryan Greene. Storey and Calhoun assisted on Jennings’ goal, Calhoun was assisted by Bryce Matulonis and on Greene’s goal assists went to Nevalo and Reames.

Dalton Sutherland and Tyler Rode each lit the lamp for Riverview during the contest and Tyler Bozynski was credited with the lone assist on both of the goals.

Roosevelt will be in action again Friday night in an MIHL game at Catholic Central. Riverview is scheduled to take on Trenton Jan. 10 in a non-league contest on the road.

Last Updated: 12/30/2013 12:01:46 PM EST

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