March 16, 2017Head coach Chris Booth knew the semifinal game between his Grosse Pointe South girls’ hockey team against defending state champ Farmington Hills Mercy was going to be a battle.
The two met last year in the state championship game and it was the Blue Devils falling in a close game. They met in the season opener Nov. 19 and the Blue Devils won 5-4 in overtime. They also played Dec. 10 with the Marlins winning 5-4 in overtime.
The table was set as the semifinal winner moved on to the state championship game to face top-ranked Livonia Ladywood, a 5-2 winner over Walled Lake in the first semifinal at Novi Arena.
It was a tense contest for three periods and when the final horn sounded it was South losing 2-1, ending its season 17-3-0-2.
photo by bob bruce
South junior Lauren Kramer led the league in scoring this season, netting 26 goals and 25 assists for 51 points in the 13 games.
Erin Brannagan scored with an assist from Lauren Kramer. The goal tied the game 1-1 heading into the third period.
“The refs disallowed two goals because they said they lost sight of the puck. That was the game,” Booth said. “We are crushed. Bridget (Donaldson) played really well.”
Booth loses nine seniors, Carmen Peck, Megan Michaels, Bridget Donaldson, Carson Dennis, the league’s second-leading scorer, Shannon McKenna, Skye Keith, Dominique Maes, Megan Ryszewski and Grace Scott.
In the quarterfinals, Grosse Pointe South blanked city rival Grosse Pointe North 10-0.
The Blue Devils scored four times in the first period and added six goals in the second to win via the mercy rule.
Dennis and junior Lauren Kramer each had hat tricks to power the Blue Devils.
Scoring one goal apiece were freshman Madison Ryszewski, junior Erin Brannagan, freshman Kelsie Francis and Junior Maddalena Boyer. junior Hannah Miller and McKenna had asssists.
The defense did a good job of bottling up the Norsemen’s top forwards, junior Kylee Banaszewski and Bella Welke, and Donaldson, the Blue Devils’ goaltender, made 11 saves to post another shutout.
South won the season series with North 4-0, outscoring them 37-6.
For North and head coach Joe Lucchese, they lose only four seniors, Lia DeCoste, Erin Haggerty, Rachel Stander and Eve Feldman.
Besides Banaszewski and Welke, the Norsemen return both goaltenders, McKenzie Obermok and Erika Benoit, plus several other statistical leaders, Clare Murphy, Darby Pickford, Hannah Martin, Lindsey Ramsdell, Natalie Barstys and Maddie McIntyre.