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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.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

OAA outdoes the MAC once again in Showcase

Romeo Goalie Nick Santi makes a save
on the shot from Clarkston’s Jacob LaPorte (21)
during the third period of the OAA/MAC
Hockey Showcase Saturday. (By Ken Swart)
Some of us in the media were surprised when the OAA and MAC renewed its annual Showcase this season. The OAA has dominated the event since the MAC invited it to join in on the fun back in 2010.
On paper, or rather online in this case, it looked like the OAA did so once again yesterday at the Onyx. The OAA won the event, 7-1-5. Fraser's 5-4 win over West Bloomfield was the MAC's lone victory. Take a closer look, though. Five of the games ended in ties, including those matchups involving the top three seeds. Three other games - including the Fraser-West Bloomfield matchup - were one-goal affairs. Five others were decided by three goals or more. Intestestingly, those five games involved the 5-9 seeded games. That goes to show the depth of the OAA Red and talent at the top of the OAA White.
Berkley, which finished a game away from winning a share of the Red, dominated Marysville in the fifth-seeded game. Stoney Creek - fifth in the Red - tore up St. Clair Shores Unified. Troy, Troy Athens and Royal Oak outscored their MAC counterparts 18-5. We knew depth was going to be an advantage for the OAA on Saturday. But I think you saw just how talented the entire league is this year. Should make for some interested regional tournaments around Oakland County.

MHSPHS and MIHL Showcases ready to roll
The Public High School Showcase kicks off Monday in Chelsea. The week-long event features a lot of games teams otherwise wouldn't be able to schedule, which makes for some compelling hockey. I listed a number of the best local matchups in a previous blog (SEE HERE). I won't necessarily go over them all, but Rochester United's matchup with Howell (Monday, 7:45 p.m.) is a good one. So is Farmington's and Lake Orion's matchup against Bay City Central. Central won its first 15 games of the season and ascended into the top-10 of the state rankings. It'll be interesting to see how it stacks up against two good teams in one of the deepest leagues in the state this week.
Novi will also face off against Lake Orion (Saturday, 8:15 p.m.). That should be a great one.
The MIHL Showcase kicks off Thursday at the Kennedy Ice Arena in Trenton. Some of the MIHL's best teams will get a crack at some stiff competition coming in from out of the state (Hill Academy, Culver Academy, Upper Canada College to name a few). I'm most looking forward to the matchup between Rochester United and Detroit U-D Jesuit on Friday (4:20 p.m.). The Cubs are coming off a huge win over Cranbrook on Saturday, 4-2. Not going to lie, I thought Cranbrook would finish unbeaten this season. Impressive to say the least.

Some top performances from this past week
Chris Donaldson, Walled Lake Western Finished with four goals to lead the Warriors past rival Walled Lake Central Saturday.
Steve Erwin, Chris Bradley and Ryan Bradley, Royal Oak Shrine — Erwin stopped 40 of 41 shots, Chris had two goals and an assist and Ryan Bradley had a goal and three assists to lead Knights past Gabriel Richard 4-1 on Sunday.
Kyle Witherspoon, Farmington Hills Unified — Scored two goals to help the Flyers past Warren De La Salle, 5-4, on Saturday.
 Drake Cole, Farmington — Had a pair of goals and an assist in the Falcons' 3-2 win over Anchor Bay Saturday. Jason Petras had a goal and two assists in the win.
 Jon Carandang, Troy Athens — Notched a hat trick to lead Red Hawks to 6-0 win over Stevenson. Jeff Merola picked up the shutout in goal.
Sam Miletic, Cranbrook — The junior picked up his fifth hat trick of the season in an 8-0 win over Port Huron Northern.
Nolan Johnson, Lakeland — Had a pair of goals and assisted on two more in the Eagles' 7-1 win over Waterford United Friday night.
Nikolas Senkowski, Avondale — Stopped 42 of the 43 shots he faced to help his Yellow Jackets sneak by Birmingham, 2-1, Wednesday night.
Austin Petty, Novi — Petty made 30 saves, stifling Livonia Stevenson's potent top-line of Dominic Lutz, Tyler Irvine and Devin Kelly, in the Wildcats' 3-2 upset of the Spartans.
Danny Harlick, Royal Oak — Stopped 35 shots in the Ravens' 3-2 win over once-beaten Troy Wednesday.
Max Harper, Luke Brunson, Graham Day, Rochester United — Each scored twice to lead their United squad to an impressive, 7-0 win over Berkley Unified. Teammate Kyler Patenaude (24 saves) picked up the shutout in goal.
Blake Bazzi, Brother Rice — Had two goals and an assist to lead the Warriors past St. Mary's, 5-2.
David Halvorson, Bishop Foley — Scored a pair of goals and assisted on another in the Ventures' 6-3 win over Flat Rock/Airport


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