Sunday, December 30, 2007

Title hopes

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Grosse Pointe South ends Trenton's win streak but Trojans still shooting for states

By Anthony Fenech
Free Press Special Writer

The Trenton Trojans squared off with the Grosse Pointe South Blue Devils on the eve of December 19. Trenton was undefeated, and Grosse Pointe South came in with one loss, losing their undefeated status just a few days earlier.

The two perennially strong hockey schools each scored a pair of goals in the middle frame, but couldn’t muster another, and skated to a 2-2 tie at the City Sports Center in Detroit.

After a scoreless first period, the teams traded goals in the second, Scott Henegar scoring first for Trenton, followed by Jack Sklarski’s power play tally for Grosse Pointe South minutes later.

The Blue Devils would take the lead with just under six minutes to play in the period when Brandon Brundige connected on a slap shot just inside the blue line.

Staring down a one-goal deficit going into the third period, the Trojans put together an offensive burst with less than a minute remaining in the period, resulting in a controversial tying goal that would prove to be the game’s final score.

The attacking Trojans made their way into the Blue Devils zone, and after a shot by Kody Polin created a rebound in front of the net, captain Josh Miller got his stick on the puck, all while bowling into the South goaltender Trevor Sattelmeier. The puck trickled into the net while Sattelmeier was sprawled out on the ice, and the referee emphatically signaled a goal, drawing ire from Sattlemeier and the Blue Devils bench.

The third period and overtime went relatively quietly, with each team squandering key scoring chances and failing to cash in on power plays, and the game ended in a 2-2 tie.

“Tonight we were looking for a win. We had some seniors on our teams that were a little disappointed because they wanted to keep our undefeated streak alive,” Miller said.

Trenton is one of the state’s most decorated hockey programs, with more state championships than any public school. In 1996, they finished the season 28-0, winning the state title and were ranked #1 in the country.

Last season was a down year of sorts for the Trojans, who finished with a 13-8-5 record and lost in Regionals to cross-town rival Wyandotte Roosevelt.

The Trojans (9-0-1) get their first crack at Wyandotte on January 23. “It’s definitely going to be more of a rivalry game then it has ever been in the past,” head coach Mike Turner says.

Turner credits the team’s start to team unity. “The kids seem to get along real well and work well together. That’s a big thing. They all do things together and hang together.”

Miller, a senior captain, echoes that statement, saying, “Last year, everyone got along but we had a lot of different cliques. This year, we all are really close. There’s just a lot more chemistry.”

The Trojans sit atop the Michigan Metro Conference West Division, but are aware that Trenton hockey teams are judged by what they do in the playoffs.

“We’re excited about our chances come league play, but the history at our program has been one where we like to go far in the state tournament,” Turner said.