Alpena Wildcats show off to Metro Detroit in Prep Showcase
Alpena, No. 9 in the Division 3 rankings, showed it could play with the big boys at the Michigan Interscholastic Hockey League Prep Hockey Showcase, which took place Jan. 31-Feb. 2 at Trenton’s Kennedy Recreation Center.
The Wildcats beat Div. 3 No. 8 Flint Powers Catholic 3-1 on Friday and Div. 3 No. 14 Grand Rapids Catholic Central 2-1 on Saturday to improve their record to 15-4-1.
Alpena coach Chris Limback embraced the opportunity for his team to show off in the most populous area of the state.
“People just want to watch us and see what we’re made of,” Limback said on www.mihshockeyhub.com. “I know people wonder if we’re really this good. When you’re up north, people don’t get to see who you are.”
Forward Kyle Van Husen scored all three goals against Flint Powers Catholic and broke a tie with 4:12 left to give his team the win over GRCC.
“(VanDusen) has electric hands and a great shot,” Limback said. “If you give him a chance, he can bury it like he did today.
“It was great for the state to see how talented he is, too. He is just so smart. He’s a gifted skater and is really strong on his skates. People will try to look at him and knock him on his size and think he’s not that good. He’s physically strong on his skates and has a good center of gravity. His hands are great … he’s just one of those gifted players.
“I wish I could say it’s coaching, but it’s really all him.”
Goaltender Cooper Black stopped 53 of 55 shots.
“He just makes the game look easy. He’s not flopping around,” Limback said about Black. “He’s tactical and makes nice save after nice save. He’s a soft goalie, and his rebound control has been outstanding.”
Elsewhere in the Showcase:
* U-D-Jesuit, No.10 in the MHSHCA Super 10 Rankings and No. 1 in Division 3, rallied from a 2-0 second-period deficit to beat Plymouth (No. 8 in Division 2) 3-2 on Friday. The Cubs scored all three goals in the third period. The tying and winning goals were scored by Jake Gumbel, who also had an assist. Jack VanDenBeurgeury scored both Plymouth goals.
* Alex Ceritano scored the only goal of the shootout to give Cranbrook (No. 9 in the Super 10 and No. 3 in Div. 3) a 5-4 win over Brighton (No. 4 in Division 4) on Saturday. Four different players supplied the regulation goals for the Cranes, while Blake Salesin and Aidan Goodfellow had two assists each.
* Also on Saturday, Andy Strehlke and Bradley Burdick scored in the shootout to give Grosse Pointe South, No. 10 in Division 3, a 4-3 win over Salem, which is No. 6 in Division 1. Will Strickler made 21 saves. Three different players scored in regulation for GP South.
Weidenbach reaches milestone
Cranbrook coach Andy Weidenbach reached his 500th career win when the Cranes beat Brother Rice 4-1 on Jan. 26,
“I am proud for all the players through the years that helped the team achieve that with me as coach,” Weidenbach said on the Michigan Interscholastic Hockey League website.
He’s retiring this year after having coached Cranbrook since 1993.
"It's been very rewarding. There's no doubt about it," Weidenbach said. "And the rewards are far greater having somebody come back and telling you they had a great experience and (you) changed their lives or impacted their lives.
“Again, winning a state championship is great, but the influence you have on young people is far more rewarding."