No. 3 Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett beats No. 7 Houghton 3-0 to earn first MHSAA crown since 1990
The No. 3-ranked Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett Knights slayed their final opponent to complete a playoff run for the ages with a 3-0 victory at Compuware Arena over No. 7-ranked Houghton on Saturday, March 10, to earn their first Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 3 Boys Hockey Championship since 1990.
Houghton (24-5-0) had an opportunity to jump out to an early lead as Connor Hannon was given a penalty shot with 5:41 left in the first. But Liggett freshman goalie Lucas Soyka came out to challenge the shot and forced Hannon into a tough angle and the shot bounced off the post. Soyka would go on to stop 17 shots in the game and earn the shutout. It was only the 23rd shutout in the history of the MHSAA hockey finals.
Junior James Counsman scored twice in the second period to give Liggett a 2-0 lead heading into the final period.
Counsman tipped a shot by sophomore Lordanthony Grissom 2:16 into the second period to open the scoring. Sophomore William Yates also earned an assist on the play.
Counsman scored again with 1:41 left, on assists by Grissom and Yates.
"We've got an extremely deep team and we've found different ways to win all year long," said Liggett coach Robb McIntyre, in his fourth season with the team. "We talked about it in the room. We just had to be prepared for anything and just understand ... that we have the ability to come back."
Liggett made the final 3-0 on junior Jacob Soyka's wrist shot on the power play with 7:23 left in the third. Yates earned his third assist of the day on the play.
The Knights outshot the Gremlins 33-17 in the game.
“I think they played us as well as anyone has,” said McIntyre.
Liggett (27-3-0) outscored its opponents 41-5 during the playoffs. Liggett eliminated No. 7 Chelsea 5-1 and Houghton downed defending champion and No. 5-ranked Grand Rapids Catholic Central 2-1 in the semifinals to earn berths in the title game.
Liggett also won MHSAA boys hockey titles in 1980 and 1990.