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D3 Challenge this weekend in Gaylord

By Steve Foley - Petoskey News, 12/13/13, 10:30AM EST


D3 Challenge this weekend in Gaylord

GAYLORD — The 10th annual Division 3 Challenge once again features two days of high school hockey, beginning today (Friday) at 10 a.m.

The host Blue Devils receive the prime-time spots for both today and Saturday, taking on Painesdale Jeffers and East Grand Rapids at 8 p.m. each night.

Today’s game will be a match between two teams hoping to turn their programs up after a few rough seasons.

The Blue Devils (1-2-1) are looking to even out the season in anticipation of the meat and potatoes of the Big North Conference schedule.

Jeffers (2-1) plays in Kingsford Thursday ahead of today’s Gaylord battle.

Hockey fans in general receive the gift of solid matchups throughout both days.

One of the featured matchups today is at 2 p.m. when Flint Powers Catholic faces off with East Grand Rapids.

The two teams are familiar with one another, mainly from last season’s State quarterfinal game that ended in a 2-1 Powers victory.

According to Michigan Hockey Hub, an extension of the Michigan High School Hockey Coaches Association, seven of the 12 teams attending the Challenge are ranked in the top 20 in the state.

At 4 p.m. today, No. 12 Chelsea takes on No. 15 Grand Rapids Catholic Central.

On Saturday at 4 p.m., No. 6 Dearborn Divine Child goes up against No. 20 Cheboygan.

Other ranked teams participating include Powers (No. 7), Chelsea (No. 12) and Riverview (No. 16).