Left, South senior Andrew Bigham, No. 15 shown against Grosse Pointe North, has received scoring help from the Blue Devils' second and third lines during the team's winning streak. Right, South senior Casey Livingston scored what turned out to be the winning goal in the Blue Devils' huge 2-0 league win over Detroit Country Day. photo by Bob Bruce.
February 06, 2014The Grosse Pointe South boys' hockey team clinched a share of the Michigan Metro Hockey League championship last weekend, shutting out Detroit Country Day 2-0.
"We need only one point in our final two games to clinch the title outright," head coach Bobby McKillop said. "The guys played a solid hockey game tonight against a well-coached hockey team in Country Day.
"Our penalty kill was outstanding and everyone has bought into this system. Everyone is contributing."
The host Blue Devils took a 1-0 lead at the 6:41 mark when junior Zach Kohut scored, assisted by senior Joseph Toth.
After further review, the goal was credited to senior Casey Livingston, with Kohut and Toth netting the assists.
Neither team scored in the second period, but it was the Yellowjackets who had several power-play opportunities.
The Blue Devils' defense was up to the task and senior goaltender Andrew Wright made the saves when called upon. The Yellowjackets never threatened on any of their power plays, thanks to aggressive penalty kill by the Blue Devils.
South had the better scoring chances in the second period, but senior goaltender Chris Cantrell made three huge saves to keep it a 1-0 game heading into the final period.
The Blue Devils had a big insurance goal at the 7:50 mark of the third period when senior Ken Cervone tallied, with senior Andrew Hyde and Kohut assisting.
Earlier in the week, South used a five-goal first period to beat Brownstown Woodhaven 7-3.
Junior defenseman Ian Corbett recorded a career-high five points, while senior team leaders Andrew Bigham and Hyde each added a hat trick to their seasonal accolades.
Defenseman William Walker had a playmaker (3 assists) and forward Tyler Demery scored a goal and had an assist.
Defensively, goaltender Trent Magheilse turned back 21 shots, while Griffin Brooks, Brad Miller, Toth and Will Barrett were strong on the blue line.
Will Poplawski, Livingston and Demery played notably well, killing off several Woodhaven power plays.
With the wins, Grosse Pointe South improved to 10-0-1 in the Michigan Metro Hockey League and 14-3-1 overall.
Divine Child can tie South with 21 points if it wins out and the Blue Devils lose their final two games. The most points Country Day can earn is 20.
Coming up for the Blue Devils are two games in the prestigious Michigan Interscholastic Hockey League Showcase.
The Blue Devils face Plymouth at 2 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 6, and Grand Rapids Christian at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8, at Kennedy Arena in Trenton.
The Grosse Pointe North boys' hockey team dropped a 4-0 decision to league foe U-D Jesuit last weekend at City Ice Arena.
The Norsemen's offense was stuck in quick sand as they were out-shot 54-8 in falling to 0-11 in the Michigan Interscholastic Hockey League and 2-16 overall.
For head coach Brad Case and his Norsemen, the schedule doesn't get any easier.
North squares off against Utica Eisenhower at 12:40 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7, at Trenton Prac rink, and gets Muskegon Mona Shores at 8:40 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 8, at Kennedy Main rink.
Grosse Pointe North 2009 graduate Justin Kovacs, a Grosse Pointe Woods resident, is a member of the Western Michigan University mens' hockey team and was recently nominated for the Hobey Baker Award, one of the most prestigious awards in hockey. Kovacs has nine goals and 11 assists for 20 points in the 22 games played (as of Jan. 29). He has helped the Broncos earn a top-25 national ranking.