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HOCKEY: Trojans lose heartbreaker to Cranbrook

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It was an exciting, but wholly unsatisfying end to the regular season for the Trenton hockey team in Bloomfield Hills Friday night.

The visiting Michigan Interscholastic Hockey League South Division champion Trojans led MIHL North Division champ Cranbrook 4-2 midway through the second period of Friday’s contest, but could not hang on, surrendering the final three goals of the night and the overall league championship in a 5-4 loss to the Cranes.

In the process, veteran Coach Mike Turner was denied his record-breaking 624th career victory. Turner is tied with former East Kentwood Coach Ron Baum for the most career high school victories.

The game-winning goal Friday came with 4:27 to play.

Trenton was on a power play, but the puck was mishandled at the Cranbrook blueline and Cranbrook’s Jack Blumberg took off on a three-quarter ice breakaway. He bore down on Trenton goalie Nick Ramirez, forced the Trenton goalie to move first, and slid the puck under him. It was Blumberg’s third goal of the night.

It wasn’t the first time in the game Ramirez was hung out to dry, but the senior netminder bailed his team out on three other Cranbrook breakaways.

Trenton did not fold up after Cranbrook’s fifth goal and Quinn Preston rang one off the goalpost with a minute and a half to play. With 1:23 to go, Trenton pulled Ramirez and applied some good pressure, but just could not get the equalizer.

Trenton had its chances in this game. The Trojans not only had a two-goal lead at one point, but they outshot the home team in every period and ended up with a 41-30 edge in shots for the game.

Cranbrook opened the scoring with Blumberg’s first goal, which came on a nice give-and-go play while the Cranes were enjoying a power play. Then it was back-and-fourth for a time. Trenton tied the game and then went ahead before Cranback came back to make it 2-2.

Preston got Trenton first goal on a quick snap shot. Andrew Sawyer scored next after some hard work by Justin Dunn got him the puck all alone in front of the net.

Defenseman Connor Cunningham gave his team a 3-2 lead in the second period and shortly afterward, Cranbrook mishandled the puck in its own end and Mitch Galea found it and whistled it home for a 4-2 Trenton advantage. But it was to be the last time the Trojans celebrated. Although they had plenty of good chances, Trenton could not score again while Cranbrook scored once more in the second period and twice in the third to lock up the win and the overall league title.

The loss ended an 18-game unbeaten streak for the Trojans and was their first defeat since Dec. 7. Trenton finished the regular season with a record of 20-4-1 and 10-2-1 in MIHL games. Cranbrook finished 24-1-0 and 12-1-0.

Next up for Trenton is a Tuesday date with Roosevelt in the first round of the Michigan High School Athletic Association state playoffs. The Bears and Trojans square off at 7:30 p.m. at Kennedy Recreation Center with the winner to face Grosse Pointe South in the second round.

Last Updated: 2/21/2014 11:31:18 PM EST