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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.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Postseason honors rolling in

As you may have seen, the all-state hockey teams were announced earlier this week. And once again Oakland County was well represented - as it should be. At least on the first teams.
There were 18 first-team all-state kids from the county and 23 more earned second team or honorable mention honors. In all, there were 204 kids honored throughout the state.
I understand the politics of picking postseason teams. Many organizations and leagues do things in different ways. There's some give and take involved. You win, you tend to be heard. That doesn't always mean all the best players are represented.
I would have liked to have seen better county representation in Division 2. Though the county had just one quarterfinalist, West Bloomfield, it still was underrepresented. The Lakers had just one honorable mention representative (J.J. Bloom). Stoney Creek, stuck in a tough region, had just two. Heck, Romeo, which was beaten in the first round by Oxford, had four players honored. Oxford had zero.
And again, I know it's a give and take. But no Austin Alger in Division 3? Yes, the first-team all MIHL selection (which means more to most kids) is just a sophomore, but he is one of the best players in the state. To leave him off, to me, kind of diminishes the team a bit.
But hey, who am I to complain? People might criticize the way I pick my all-county team. I try to balance other postseason honors, statistics, competition and coaches' opinions to come up with my teams - which by the way will come out in a week or two.
OK, moving on. Thanks to the MIHL and OAA for forwarding on their all-league teams to me. You can find the MIHL squad here, and the OAA Red and White teams here.

Mr. Hockey and the Dream Team
The state's biggest honors will be handed out at the annual awards banquet this Sunday. Oakland County should see a couple players get the nod. And Cranbrook's Alex Alger will be in the mix for Mr. Hockey. His name is floating out there, along with Livonia Stevenson's Dominic Lutz.

Hellebuyck continues his dominance
Former Walled Lake Northern goalie Connor Hellebuyck continued his stellar play for sixth-ranked UMass-Lowell, stopping 32 of 33 shots to lead River Hawks past Providence College, 4-1, to win its first-ever Hockey East regular season championship.
Hellebuyck is on the fast track since graduating high school in 2011. After playing juniors last year, he's moved on to big-time college hockey. Drafted by the Winnipeg Jets in the fifth round of this year's NHL Entry Draft, Hellebuyck is 14-2, allowing just 1.49 goals per game. He's a big reason for his team's turnaround after a dismal 4-7-1 start.

Welcome home Scotty
Former Waterford Mott star Scott Cuthrell returned back to Lakeland Ice Arena and stole the show this past weekend for the Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks (NA3HL), which split a pair of games with the Metro Jets. Cuthrell, a first-team all-county selection last year, picked up where he left off with the Corsairs. He scored five goals in a 9-2 Lumberjacks win Friday night. He added another goal in a 4-3 loss to the Jets on Saturday. Cuthrell has scored a goal in an incredible 21-straight games and leads the league in scoring (47 goals, 41 assists). Oh yeah, the Lumberjacks ran away with the East title.

Coaches, I need your cooperation
I'm currently looking to put together our all-county hockey team. For that, I will need information on your top players. That information includes post-season honors, statistics, etc. Please email me the information to as soon as possible. An email has already been sent out. Remember, if I don't hear from you, I may miss some of your best kids. Thanks!

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