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Beline Obeid

Liggett wins; North & South ousted

Liggett senior Hannah Hodges played through illness to help the Knights beat Livonia Ladywood 4-3 in double-overtime. Photos by Bob Bruce
March 06, 2014
The three Grosse Pointe high school girls' hockey teams competed in last weekend's Michigan Metro Girls High School Hockey League Division 1 state quarterfinals at McCann Ice Arena.

When the four games were over, only one made it to the semifinals. It's the first time in several years only made it to the Final Four.

In the first game, defending champ Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood blanked Northville 7-0, but things were much closer in the second game when host Liggett had to go to double-overtime before outlasting No. 7 seed Livonia Ladywood 4-3.

Sophomore Allison Stapleton recorded a hat trick, netting the game-winner with 3:31 left in the second overtime.

"I'm not using this as an excuse, but half of our players were sick and not feeling very well," Liggett head coach Cassie Jaeckle said. "We didn't play very well, until the third period and into the overtimes, then I think we wore them down and outplayed them.

"I'm glad we survived and made it to the next round."

Senior Ania Dow got the Knights on the board, scoring at the 2:21 mark of the first period, with Stapleton netting an assist.

The Blazers came right back and tied it with a goal at the 1:42 mark and they took a 2-1 lead, scoring at the 8:27 mark of the second stanza.

The Knights tied it 2-2 when Stapleton tallied 14 seconds later, with Dow drawing the lone assist.

With freshman Riley Marchin in the penalty box, the Blazers scored a power-play goal to grab a 3-2 lead with 6:22 left in the second period.

Stapleton scored her second goal of the game with only 5:43 left, tying it 3-3. Her goal was unassisted.

Each team had great chances to score in the final five minutes, but Ladywood sophomore goalie Michaela Warner and Liggett sophomore Olivia Portillo made the big saves to keep it a 3-3 game.

Neither team scored in the first overtime, but Stapleton ended it with her game-winner.

Liggett improved to 19-4 overall.

If the Knights win their semifinal game, they will host the state championship game Saturday, March 8, at 5:30 p.m.

Game three was No. 3 seed Ann Arbor Pioneer against No. 6 seed Grosse Pointe South.

After a scoreless opening period, Pioneer scored the next three goals to build a 3-0 lead.

The Blue Devils scored with only 2:18 left when sophomore Gennie Martin tallied, assisted by seniors Tenley Shield and Anne Crowley.

Pioneer added an empty-net goal with only 37.3 seconds left to make it to the semifinals once again and send South to its worst won-loss record in program history, 9-14 overall.

"I thought the girls played a pretty good game and had some good scoring chances," South head coach Joe Provenzano said. "We watched film and had a game plan, which worked for the most part.

"We gave it our best shot and lost to a more experienced team. We will be better next year with most of the girls coming back and using this experience to their benefit."

The final game of the evening was No. 4 seed Port Huron against No. 5 seed Grosse Pointe North.

It was nearly the second contest to go to overtime, but Port Huron scored the game-winning goal with only 1:34 left in the third period to edge North 2-1.

"I think we outplayed Port Huron and had some great chances to score, but we just couldn't get a stick on some of those shots sitting right in front of the net," North head coach Joe Lucchese said. "It's a tough loss, but I told the girls after the game to remember this bad feeling and use it to improve next season since we return most of our girls."

Junior Kelly LaBarge scored at the 10:05 mark of the second period to give the Norsemen a 1-0 lead. Junior Karina Lucchese had the assist.

Port Huron tied it with a power-play goal at the 6:30 mark of the second period and it remained 1-1 until Ice Hawks tallied late in the final stanza.

Grosse Pointe North finished its season 12-10-1 overall.

The three Grosse Pointe teams ended their regular seasons last week with South hosting both Liggett and North.

South lost 4-2 to Liggett, despite two goals from Shield. The Knights scored goals in each of the three periods, including Stapleton, who also had two.

Marchin and senior Hannah Hodges had the other goals as Knights' Portillo earned the win and Blue Devils' Bella Strickler suffered the loss.

Two nights later, South came back from a 3-0 deficit to tie Grosse Pointe North 3-3 late in the third period. However, North scored twice in 19 seconds in the final minute to beat South 5-3.

Sophomore Elizabeth Gallagher and Lucchese scored two goals apiece, while sophomore Lindsey Gallagher had one.

Drawing assists for the Norsemen were freshman Carissa Parada, Elizabeth Gallagher, Lindsey Gallagher (two), sophomore Caroline Bock (two) and senior Susan Tomasi.

Shield had a hat trick for the Blue Devils. She scored her second and third goals of the game in the third period to help the home team force the tie.

Netting assists were Crowley, Martin and freshman Meghan Ryszewski.

North clinched the No. 5 seed in the regular season, finishing 10-8-1 in the league and 12-9-1 overall, after beating Farmington Hills Mercy 4-2.

Lindsey Gallagher had two goals and two assists, while Elizabeth Gallagher added one goal and three assists. Bock had a goal and assist, with Lucchese adding two assists to round out the Norsemen's scoring.

In other games for South, lost 5-4 to Warren Regina to get the No. 6 seed after its 8-11 league finish (9-13 overall).

Liggett had another busy week, beating Plymouth-Canton-Salem 3-1 and Ann Arbor 3-2 in overtime.

Stapleton had a hat trick against PCS and the Knights overcame a 2-0 deficit to win in OT and claim the No. 2 seed. It's the highest ever ranking for Liggett as it ended the regular season 16-3 in the league and 18-4 overall.

This was the best season Liggett has enjoyed in the program's history.

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