The top team in Division 3, Cranbrook hosts their annual Thanksgiving Invite and square off against the number 5 ranked team in Divison 2, Livonia Stevenson.
The other half of the bracket has Division 1 foes, second ranked Rochester United facing off against number 4, Brighton.
Rochester United vs Cranbrook
The finals saw Cranbrook-Kingswood hosting Rochester United in what was a showcase of some of the states best talent in Austin Alger and Cooper Stahl of Cranbrook and Marshall Bowery and Max Harper of Rochester United. Cranbrook struck first early as Cooper Stahl ripped a shot from the point that deflected off of an RU player and past goaltender Jared Meyers. Cranbrook would maintain that one goal lead into the locker room.
The second period saw RU jump on CK out of the gate and score two goals on the first shift of the period. Max Harper scored twice with assists going to Marshall Bowery on the first and Torre Rocco on the second goal. Max Harper would strike later in the period on a wrap around with assists going to Alex DiMarco and Marshall Bowery. Cranbrook's Sean O'Leary scored a power play goal shortly after getting back within striking distance with assists going to CJ Regula and Johnny Wagner. Both RU goalie Jared Myers and CK goalie Spencer Applebaum saw double digit shots in the period with RU having the advantage 20-12 in the second period.
The third period saw RU carry the play most of the period but CK struck first, tying the game on a goal from Jack Blumberg with assists from CJ Regula and Austin Alger. RU finally solved Spencer Applebaum in the third period as Shane Doig scored on the power play to put RU ahead for good. After a couple of empty netters and a late goal off a skate RU skated away with a 6-4 victory.
All four games were examples of the quality of hockey that Michigan High Schools have to offer.
Livonia Stevenson vs Brighton
Stevenson opened the scoring early in this consolation match up against KLAA rival, Brighton. After fending off an early rush by the Bulldogs, Stevenson Senior Captain Michael Sinclair scored on a rebound off a shot from Alex DeFlorio.
Goaltending again, would be the story of this game as that would be all the scoring until the third period. A late surge by Brighton was turned away Stevenson Goalie, Cullen Barber and Senior Alex DeFlorio found his way on the scoresheet again off a centering attempt by Junior Ben Kowalske that rattled off both posts before crossing the goal line to give the Spartans a 2-0 lead.
Junior Goaltender, Cullen Barber earned his first shutout and second victory of the year for the Spartans (3-2). Brighton falls to (0-4)
Cranbrook vs. Stevenson
The early match-up in the annual Cranbrook Thanksgiving Invite saw Livonia Stevenson playing the host team Cranbrook-Kingswood in a game that had a playoff type feel in November. The Cranes jumped out to the early lead on a shot by Austin Alger from the point, making its way through defenders and past Senior Goaltender, Andrew Rozenbaum.
The Spartans would tie it later in the first period though on a breakaway goal by Senior Forward Vince Glenn. That would be all the scoring for the most part as goalies Andrew Rozenbaum (SHS) and Austin Movinski (CK) stole the show.
After 4 scoreless periods, Cranbrook Forward Mason Shultz broke the deadlock and ended the game about half way through the third overtime, capitalizing on a Stevenson turnover. Cranbrook improves to 4-0 on the year while Stevenson falls to 2-2. (both losses in O.T.)
This was a game that showed the quality of Michigan High School Hockey is rising. With several scouts in attendance, the two teams put on quite a show for the packed house at Wallace Arena. Outstanding job by both programs for such a well played, highly entertaining game.
Rochester United vs. Brighton
Rochester United and Brighton took to the ice after for their half of the holiday doubleheader. Senior, Marshall Bowery helped lead the charge for Rochester scoring on an end-to-end rush to help take an early 2-0 lead.
The Bulldogs would battle back before the end of the first period to cut the lead in half, but that would prove to be it for Brighton as Rochester skated away with a 5-2 victory. Rochester United improves to 2-0 on the season while Brighton falls to 0-3