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March 28, 2013

Alger claims MIHL MVP after leading Cranes to division, state titles

By Mike Moore
C & G Sports Writer

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Alger claims MIHL MVP after leading Cranes to division, state titles
Alex Alger was dominant all year in the MIHL, putting up 26 points in 13 games while leading the Cranes to a 12-0-1 record. He was named the league MVP.

BLOOMFIELD HILLS — The bigger the moment, the bigger he played.

The hotter the spotlight, the brighter he shined.

In the simplest of terms, that sums up the 2012-13 season for Bloomfield Hills Cranrbook-Kingswood senior forward Alex Alger.

He was a do-it-all threat who, for most of the season, did it all.

“He got better and better as the year went on,” Cranes hockey coach Andy Weidenbach said. “He was so effective for us.”

Weidenbach wasn’t the only Michigan Interscholastic Hockey League coach to notice.

When the state’s top league released its All-Conference roster, Alger was alone at the top, dubbed the conference’s Most Valuable Player.

“And he earned the distinction,” Weidenbach boasted.

Alger was a force every night. In leading to the Cranes to a 12-0-1 record and North Division title, he scored 13 goals and handed out 13 assists in 13 games.

“A special player,” assistance coach Pat Ronayne said. “The coaches in the conference knew he was one of the best.”

Alger, a Livonia resident, said he was honored to earn the MVP recognition.

“It was a huge. I mean, I think we all see the MIHL as a pretty prestigious league in the state,” he explained. “There were so many guys that could do this, so many talented players.”

So why him?

“I think the first thing, when you’re on Cranbrook and you have the type of year we did, that certainly helped,” he said. “Being a captain and having the responsibility I did, I think the coaches saw what I brought to our team.”

Individually, he accounted for 62 points in 31 total games this season, with 34 goals and 28 assists. Six of his tallies came on the power play, and another six were game-winners.

Teammate Chris Brown was second on the team in goals with 25, and Alger’s younger brother, Austin, had an impressive year in his own right with 22 goals and 30 assists.

As the season progressed and the games got more important, Alex Alger’s play only got better.

In six playoff contests, he had eight goals and nine assists.

In the final three postseason games, he chipped in five goals and three assists, including two goals in the second period of an eventual 4-2 victory against Sault Ste. Marie in the Division 3 final.

He’s still deciding on his hockey future, one that will likely include a stop at the junior level before the college game comes calling in a few years.

For now, he can simply look back at the winter that was, and cherish the team and individual feats he’ll likely never forget.

“It was a fun year, without a doubt,” Alger said. “To go out the way we did, you can’t ask for anything more.”

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Mike Moore at mmoore@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1038. Twitter Follow Mike on Twitter.