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December 05, 2013
It's been a rough opening couple of weeks for Grosse Pointe North's boys' hockey team and first-year head coach Brad Case.

The Norsemen opened the season with a 10-2 loss to Birmingham Brother Rice and finished last weekend with an 0-2 mark in the annual Cranbrook-Kingswood Tournament.

The loss to Brother Rice was a non-league game, which ended after two periods.

Grosse Pointe North goalkeeper Josh Champney, No. 33, keeps a keen eye on the opponents' forwards during the Norsemen's season-opening loss to Birmingham Brother Rice. Photo by Bob Bruce
The host Norsemen trailed 4-0 after the opening period before Nick Murray scored early in the second stanza. Brendan Nelson drew the lone assist.

The Warriors scored the next two goals to make it a 6-1 game, but Ryan Babcock tallied a power-play goal at the 7:10 mark to bring the Norsemen within four goals, 6-2. Vince Romanelli assisted.

After that, it was all Warriors as the visitors scored the next four goals, including the eight-goal mercy difference maker, with only 6.8 seconds left on the clock.

In the tournament, North played better but lost 5-3 to Cranbrook-Kingswood. This was the Michigan Interscholastic Hockey League opener for both schools.

The Norsemen trailed 2-0 after the first period, but scored twice in the second period and early in the third to make it a game.

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Murray, unassisted, scored and Babcock tallied, assisted by Nick Cusmano and Romanelli, to tie it heading into the third period.

The Cranes scored the next two goals to make it 4-2, but Nelson tallied, with Joe Wright and Murray assisting, to bring the Norsemen within a goal at 4-3.

They couldn't get the equalizer as the Cranes scored one more to put the icing on the cake.

"We played a solid game," Case said. "We had some solid play at both ends of the ice and lost a tough game to a very good Cranbrook squad. We had solid goaltending, played well defensively and had good scoring chances."

North ended the tournament with a 7-0 loss to Rochester United in the consolation game, dropping to 0-3 overall and 0-1 in the MIHL.

"I don't know if we had a let down after the Cranbrook game, but we didn't play well.

"We can't take nights off due to the strength of our schedule, so I told the guys they have to bring their game every night."

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