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Mike Riehls

Girls edge rival South in finals

Liggett's girls' hockey team celebrates with the championship trophy after beating Grosse Pointe South in the title game. Photo by Bob Bruce

Liggett's girls' hockey team celebrates with the championship trophy after beating Grosse Pointe South in the title game. photo by Bob Bruce.
January 02, 2014
A veteran University Liggett squad was pushed to the limit by the young and inexperienced Grosse Pointe South team in last weekend’s ULS Holiday Tournament championship game.

In the end, the experienced Knights won 2-1 behind a third-period goal from sophomore Allison Stapleton. She scored, unassisted, at the 7:21 mark.

“We’re playing as a team and everyone is contributing,” Liggett head coach Cassie Jaeckle said. “All three of our lines are producing and that didn’t happen during my first two years as coach.

“It’s nice to see everyone playing a role and winning a tough championship game against Grosse Pointe South. It was a great game.”

“We played pretty well and had our chances to tie it in the end, but we just came up a little short,” South head coach Joe Provenzano said. “I can see our girls getting better and better.”

The Knights scored first as sophomore Grace Scarfone tallied, with senior Emma Nicholas assisting.

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A couple of minutes later, Blue Devil senior Tenley Shield tie it with her goal, which was assisted by sophomore Gennie Martin.

The Blue Devils picked up the pace in the third period and killed three Knights power plays, but they couldn’t get the equalizer after Stapleton’s goal.

Both goalkeepers played well and made the all-tournament team. Liggett sophomore Olivia Portillo stpped 24-of-25 shots, while South sophomore Isabella Strickler stopped 20-of-22 shots.

Liggett improved to 5-1 overall, while Grosse Pointe South dipped to 7-3 overall.

In the consolation game, Grosse Pointe North and Northville were knotted up 1-1 late in the third period before the Norsemen exploded for four goals to win 5-1.

Junior Devyn LaValley and sophomore Jen Kusch had big games, scoring two goals apiece, while sophomore Caroline Brock had one goal.

Kusch and sophomore Tesa Ulrich had two assists apiece, while junior Cinnamin Aslanian, junior Karina Lucchese, Brock and LaValley each had one assist.

Grosse Pointe North improved to 3-5 overall.

In the semifinals, South edged North 2-1 and Liggett beat Northville 8-4.

The host Knights had huge nights from sophomore Allison Stapleton, who had four goals and one assist, and senior Caroline Eckrich, who had two goals and one assist.

Defense took a back seat in this game as each team scored at least one goal in each period. Liggett won the first period 3-2, the second 2-1 and the third 3-1.

The Knights took a 2-0 lead in the opening period behind goals by sophomore Maranda Saigh and Stapleton. Senior Kaitlyn Vreeken and freshman Riley Marchin assisted on the first tally, while senior Ania Dow had the lone assist on the second goal.

Northville tied it 2-2, but Stapleton scored late in the first period to give the Knights the lead for good. Sophomore Molly Murphy and Marchin had assists.

In the second stanza, Stapleton, from Dow and Murphy, and Eckrich, from Stapleton, scored to give the Knights a 5-3 lead heading into the final period.

Northville scored to make it a 5-4 game, but the Knights tallied the next three goals to win going away.

Senior Danielle Lorant scored the first goal, with senior Hannah Hodges and junior Jena Pangborn netting assists, and Eckrich tallied, with Vreeken and junior Jane Ninivaggi drawing assists.

The Knights’ final goal was scored by Stapleton, with Down and Eckrich netting assists.

Freshman Haley Malewicz earned the win in net.

The North/South game was completely opposite of the Liggett/Northville tilt. Defense and great goaltending led the way.

North did everything right, except win the game. It dominated puck possession and shots on net, winning that statistic 26-18, but in the end it was South which won and advanced to the title game.

Neither team scored in the opening period, with the Norsemen outshooting the Blue Devils 10-3.

Midway through the second period, North sophomore Jen Kusch scored, with freshman Carissa Parada and junior Devyn LaValley drawing assists.

The biggest goal and momentum shift came in the final minute of the second period when sophomore Gennie Martin scored a power-play goal, with seniors Tenley Shield and Anne Crowley assisting.

The game-winning goal came at the 8:47 mark of the third period when Martin scored on the power play, assisted by Shield and junior Eliza Bourke.

After that,Strickler slammed the door on the Norsemen and stopped several scoring opportunities.

North and South meet again Saturday, Jan. 11.

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