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Michigan Boys Notebook: HoneyBaked sweeps Tier I Michigan youth titles

By Carl Chimenti - Special to USAHockey.com, 03/19/13, 10:30AM MDT

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Taylor, Mich. — For most of the 2013 campaign, the HoneyBaked Tier I 18-and-Under team was ranked as the sixth best team in the country. It lived up to that top billing with an impressive sweep in the best-two-of-three series to claim the Michigan state title and earn a trip to the USA Hockey National Championships, which take place April 3-7 in Pittsburgh.

HonekBaked beat Compuware 6-1 in the first game before finishing them off 5-3 in the second game over the weekend at the Taylor SportsPlex in Taylor, Mich.

“We had a great season, and along the way we beat all the top teams ahead of us,” recalled HoneyBaked coach Steve Dickinson. “So coming in we felt that we were capable of beating anyone. It was just a matter of, if we were going to be consistent enough throughout this championship tournament.”

HoneyBaked suffered only one loss in the Michigan state playoffs.

Despite the success, HoneyBaked has had it’s share of bad luck this season. But, like any good team and a mark of a champion, the team overcame.

“We have not been able to field a team of 20 guys for the past 10 weeks because of injuries,” Dickinson said. “These past five games is the first time that we were able to have all our players accessible, and it sure made a difference.”

HoneyBaked wins 16U title in seven games

It took seven games, but the HoneyBaked 16U squad finally got the best out of its team.

Three of the games were during the round robin and the fourth was a 4-3 double-overtime win over Victory Honda during the semifinals. That win put HoneyBaked in a best-two-of-three championship series against Belle Tire.

The two teams fought hard, and the series was tied after two one-goal games that fittingly set the tone for the third and deciding game.

In the finale, HoneyBaked won 4-2 to claim the Michigan state title and a trip to Pittsburgh for the National Championships.

Garrett Haliford scored what proved to be the winner in the second period, and for his effort was named MVP.

“We did not play our best through out the week including yesterday in Game 2,” said a very happy HoneyBaked coach Rob Krohl. “I told my guys before the game, ‘Look, we have not played our best and hopefully that will happen in this winner-take-all game.’ We did, and I am very proud of our group and what they accomplished today.”

HoneyBaked 14U puts up a brick wall

HoneyBaked scored twice in the first period and goaltender Dylan St. Cyr stopped all 25 shots to beat Compuware 2-0 to capture the 2013 Michigan Tier I 14U state title and earn a trip to the USA Hockey National Championships.

Justin Bloomfield and Patrick Khodorenko scored for HoneyBaked, while Shaun Bily and Mitchell Lewandowski drew the assists.

“The boys were relentless,” HoneyBaked coach Pat Peake said. “We got two goals, but penalties and a lack of discipline got in the way.”

The game featured quite a few minor penalties. HoneyBaked weathered a storm in the final three minutes, having to kill off a 5-on-3 Compuware power play for a minute and a half.

Peake felt the early goals were a result of the game plan that HoneyBaked had in store for Compuware.

“We wanted to come out and get some traffic in front of their net and the goals were a direct result,” Peake said. “We have a very skilled team that can produce quick goals at times.”

Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.

Michigan District Tournament Champions

Boys Tier I
14U: HoneyBaked
16U: HoneyBaked
18U: HoneyBaked 

Girls Tier I
14-U: Honeybaked
16-U: Honeybaked
19-U: Honeybaked
 
Girls Tier II
14-U: Saint Clair Shores
16-U: Grand Rapids Griffins
19-U: Keewenaw Storm
 
Women’s Sr. B: Victory Honda

More District Championship News