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South junior Eliza Bourke, No. 23, had three assists in the Blue Devils' season-opening 7-4 win over Northville. Photo by Bob Bruce
December 05, 2013
Tenley Shield had quite a season opener, scoring six goals to lead the Grosse Pointe South girls’ hockey team to a 7-4 win over Northville in its season opener Nov. 19 at Eddie Edgar Arena.

“I wanted to play everyone to see how they responded,” head coach Joe Provenzano said. “We have a lot of new players and I want to make sure they get enough game experience so we’re a better all-around team at the end of the season.”

This is the Blue Devils’ most inexperienced squad since 2007 when the squad finished .500 under former head coach Bill Fox.

Shield had a natural hat trick in the opening period and Gennie Martin tallied a power-play goal with only 23.3 left to give the visitors a 4-2 lead.

Margaret Reilly and Eliza Bourke had two assists apiece, while Ellie Flom and Martin had one assist apiece in the high scoring opening period.

The Mustangs outscored the Blue Devils 2-1 in the second period as Shield scored again, with Libby Erickson netting the assist.

It could have been a tie game after two periods, but Blue Devils netminder Isabella Strickler made three glove saves off point-blank shots.

Shield put the finishing touches on her career-game, scoring two more goals in the third period. She tallied at the 14:24 mark with Bourke and Martin drawing assists and made it a three-goal game with her goal at the 2:07 mark.

It was also the best game point-wise for Bourke, who finished with a career-best three assists, and Martin finished with a goal and two assists.

South caught a break when Northville’s best player was ejected after receiving her fifth penalty with 1:49 left in the second period. According to league rules, a player is ejected after receiving five penalties in a game.

“It wasn’t pretty, but we earned the two points with a win,” Provenzano said. “We struggled a bit in the first half, but once we get everyone on the same page, we will be a better hockey team.”

In other early-season action, South played two games in less than 24 hours the weekend of Nov. 23 and 24. South beat host Bloomfield 4-3 and lost 6-1 to host Port Huron.

In the win, the Blue Devils trailed a vastly improved Bloomfield squad 3-1 entering the third period.

However, Shield scored her second goal of the game to make it 3-2 and Emma St. John scored her first-ever goal off a rebound, tying the game 3-3.

With only 42 seconds left in the third period, Erickson scored the game-winner.

The Blue Devils had no energy left and it showed in the loss to Port Huron. The host team jumped out to a 4-0 first-period lead and the Blue Devils never recovered.

Bourke scored her first goal of the season in the second period to account for the Blue Devils’ lone tally.

South finished a busy week with a road game against Plymouth-Canton-Salem early last week.

Shield scored her ninth goal of the season as the Blue Devils pulled out a 1-0 win over the Penguins.

Strickler and the defense played their best game of the four contests played in the seven-day period.

Grosse pointe South is 3-1 in the Michigan Metro Girls High School Hockey League and overall.

Coming up for the Blue Devils is their home opener at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, against Warren Regina, followed by a road game Wednesday, Dec. 11, against defending state champ and unbeaten Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood.

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