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Petey's Picks

By Craig Peterson, 11/27/19, 9:00AM EST


Short Week, Big Matchups as Teams Feast During Thanksgiving Week

Last week was a fantastic way to ease into the 2019-20 season, dipping our toes in the water and get a nice sense of what’s to come. But now as we sit on the eve of Thanksgiving, it’s time to really submerse ourselves and go deep into the schedule as we’ve got lots of big games coming up this week. 


Livingston County did a number on me last week, with Brighton and Hartland earning wins in our first go-round with the picks, so I’m 0-2 to start the season but it’s early and there’s plenty of time to bounce back. Let’s get to the picks...


Grand Rapids Christian vs. Grand Rapids Catholic Central

Wednesday, November 27 at 6:15 p.m.

BREAKDOWN: I like GRCC this year… I like ‘em a lot! They’ve got plenty of firepower up front and with Jacob Onstott leading the way, the Cougars are ripe for a promising year. These two teams face off just once and unfortunately this prime matchup takes place before Thanksgiving each year, leaving us wanting more. Catholic Central has won three of the last four such meetings, how-ev-er, each of those contests have been decided by just a two-goal margin.

I give GRCC a pretty significant edge in talent but every time these two teams get together, it proves to be a pretty tough tilt. Christian’s Ashton Bol is one of my favorite D-men in high school this year; he’s big, skates well, composed with the puck and just makes good things happen. He was stellar in the Eagles’ 4-0 win against East Kentwood on Monday afternoon with two goals and an assist. If Christian is to pull off an upset here, Bol and his playmaking ability will be the reason.

He’ll have his hands full with Onstott and Ben Clay, who had a goal and an assist each in last year’s 4-2 win for GRCC. My fear is Bol will have to log more minutes than he can handle, and the Cougars’ offense wears down the Eagles, pulling away in the third period. It’s close for a long time, but GRCC adds a couple late for good measure in this one.


Grand Rapids Christian


Grand Rapids Catholic Central




Detroit Catholic Central vs. Brother Rice

Wednesday, November 27 at 8:00 p.m.

BREAKDOWN: No introduction necessary in this one. Two of the absolute best to do it in high school hockey. CC has been the best team that I’ve ever seen for the last two years and I ranked Kyle Gaffney and Brendan Miles 1a. and 1b. in my 100 Names To Know last week. If that wasn’t enough, they’ve also got key pieces in Dylan Dooley and Enzo Tarducci as well as two talented netminders. But I don’t know… I just don’t know… I think the Shamrocks could take a little bit of a step backward this year. They’d still be one of the best teams but I just don’t see them completely dominating The Mitten like they’ve done in recent years. 

Rice always gets up for this game too, and almost pulled off the upset a couple times against those ‘out-of-this-world’ CC teams of 17-18 and 18-19. They’ve been a relatively young squad for the last few seasons as well, and that youth has now become experience in the form of Alex AndoniD.J. Dixon, Nick MaroneDylan McNulty and Ryan Murphy. They are extremely skilled up front and have the weapons throughout their lineup to go shot for shot with Catholic Central at USA Hockey Arena.

Give me the Warriors to pull off the stunner and shock the Shamrocks!


Brother Rice


Detroit Catholic Central




Hancock vs. Calumet

Friday, November 29 at 7:00 p.m.

BREAKDOWN: So they play back-to-backs this weekend, like a college schedule, which I love but I’ll key in here on Friday’s matchup specifically for sake of the picks. This series is unlike anything else in high school, as the two teams have played 10 times in the last two years… 10 times! They’re also scheduled to meet four times this season and more than likely again in the playoffs. Hancock swept the series 5-0 two years ago and Calumet returned the favor going 5-0 last year but I think things could be a little more balanced over the next few months.

The Copper Kings’ top end is as dangerous as anyone’s, returning three of their top four scorers from a season ago with Tanner Rowe, Dean Loukus and Scott Loukus. All three eclipsed the 40-point mark in 18-19 and have the potential to exceed those numbers this time around, starting with Game One against the Bulldogs.

Hancock was young last year, with seven freshmen and five sophomores, and they’ll still be young again this year. However, I expect them to be much more competitive this time around, as Calumet outscored the Bulldogs 38-5 in five games last season and I just don’t expect it to be that lopsided in 19-20. Austin Salani, Todd Anderson and Colton Salani are among some of the best up-and-coming players in the U.P. and will keep this series from being such a one-sided affair. 

The Bulldogs will win at least one game against Calumet this season… but it won’t be the first one, give me the Copper Kings on Friday night.