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Jason Schmitt is the editor of, the high school sports website for The Oakland Press. He has served as the sports editor for a number of newspapers, including the Daily Tribune in Royal Oak and the Macomb Daily in Mount Clemens. In his time in the industry, he has covered every high school sport and has served a a beat writer for boys and girls soccer, boys and girls tennis, hockey, wrestling, bowling and cross country.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Hockey's regular season coming to a close

Among all the high school sports, hockey has the longest season. It starts before the fall season ends. And it ends about the same time as most other winter sports. But in the end, there always seems to be a lot to play for at the end of the regular season.
And that's certainly the case this year.
The OAA Red champion will be determined this week. 
Regulation was not enough to determine a winner between Lake Orion and Clarkston in the final game of the league season a week ago (Lake Orion won the game in overtime, 2-1, but the official league result of the game was a 1-1 tie). Now the two have earned the right to battle it out for the league tournament championship this Saturday at the Birmingham Ice Arena (6:30 p.m.). Clarkston beat Oxford, 5-2, in one semifinal this past Saturday, while Lake Orion edged out Rochester United, 3-2, in the other.
It most likely won't be the last time the two teams see each other this year. They're on a collision course to play for a pre-regional final on March. 1

Shamrocks double their pleasure
Catholic Central beat St. Mary's at Joe Louis Arena Saturday, 5-3, to win the Catholic League Division 1 title. The team has already clinched at least a share of another MIHL championship. Charlie Green scored a pair of goals for the Shamrocks, which currently sits at 14-2-0-1 in league play this year. CC's only league losses came to Cranbrook and Trenton (twice). A win over Port Huron Northern or a Cranbrook loss to Trenton will wrap up an outright league title for the Shamrocks.

Berkley-Ferndale finishes off the White
I initially mentioned in last week's blog that Berkley-Ferndale had clinched the OAA White championship. Evidently, I forgot how to count. But coach Jeff Fleming's team did not make a liar out of me, winning two tough games against West Bloomfield, 3-2, and Avondale, 5-2, to clinch the title.
The Bears still have something to play for, though, an unbeaten league season. They're 9-0-1 - the lone blemish being a 1-1 tie with Royal Oak - with games against Bloomfield Unified, which is coming off a big, 8-3 win over West Bloomfield, and Troy Athens remaining.

Congratulations to Walled Lake Northern
The Knights surprised a few people by capturing the KLAA North championship this season. But the boys surprised hockey nation by winning the KLAA Lakes Conference championship. And although coach Claude Tunison's team fell to Brighton in the Association championship game, it has a lot to be proud of this season. Congratulations gentlemen.

All-league honors
If anyone has an official copy of your conference's all-league teams, please send them my way - The Catholic League's honors can be found HERE.

Top performances from this past week
- Mackenzie MacEachern, Brother Rice: Scored a natural hat trick and totaled five points in the Warriors' 5-2 win over Divine Child. Teammate Thomas Ebbing had a goal and three assists in the win.
- Charlie Green, Catholic Central: Green scored twice in the third period as the Shamrocks won the CHSL title by defeating St. Mary's, 5-3, at Joe Louis Arena Saturday night.
- Christopher Brown, Cranbrook: Scored three goals and assisted on two others in the Cranes' 8-0 win over Grosse Ile. Sam Miletic and Alex Alger both had three points in the win.
- Cam Thomas, South Lyon Unified: Had a pair of goals, including the game-winner in overtime, as South Lyon beat Milford, 4-3.
- John Artemenko and Mark Andonian, Bloomfield Unified: Both players scored a pair of goals and assisted on another in the Chargers' 8-3 win over West Bloomfield. Teammates Kevin Barnett and Neal Krentz also had three points each for Unified.
- Brody Blair, Rochester United: No one came up bigger in United's 2-1 win over Farmington Hills Unified, as the goalie stopped 34 of 35 shots to lead his team to the win.
- Adam Pardonoff, Oxford: The Wildcats' netminder stopped 26 of 27 shots to help his team beat Farmington in the OAA Red Tournament.
- Mitchell Vanderberg, St. Mary's: Vanderberg had a pair of goals to lead the Eaglets past the Cubs.
- Chris Wilberding, Brother Rice: He had two goals to help the Warriors rally to beat Cranbrook, 4-3.
- Hayden Alpert, Berkley-Ferndale Unified: Alpert scored twice as his Bears clinched a share of the OAA White title with a 3-2 win over West Bloomfield - they later beat Avondale to clinch the title outright.
- Scott Cuthrell and Austin Sereno, Waterford Mott: Both players had a hat trick and three more assists as the Corsairs blew past Troy Athens, 8-0.
- Luke Ortell, Bishop Foley Unified: Had a hat trick and finished with five points in his team's 7-3 win over its biggest rival, Royal Oak Shrine. Teammate Austin Lukaschewski had two goals himself.
- Joe Nagle, Royal Oak Shrine: Scored twice, but it wasn't enough as his team fell to Bishop Foley.

Plymouth 3, Lakeland 1
South Lyon 4, Milford 3 (OT)
Bloomfield Unified 8, West Bloomfield 3
Lake Orion 3, Rochester United 2
Rochester United 2, Farmington Unified 1
Oxford 5, Farmington 1
Berkley-Ferndale 3, West Bloomfield 2
Bishop Foley 7, Royal Oak Shrine 3

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