Bloomfield Hills, Grosse PointesMarch 8, 2014
University Liggett rallies to defeat Cranbrook for Metro League D-1 state championship
By Thomas Franz
C & G Sports Writer
Sometimes, a little luck can go a long way.
That certainly proved to be the case Saturday night for University Liggett as the Knights took advantage of a couple fortunate bounces to come back from a 3-1 deficit and defeat Cranbrook, 4-3 in overtime to win the Michigan Metro Girls Division 1 state championship.
Cranbrook controlled play for the game's first 35 minutes and held a 3-1 lead. In the regular season, the Cranes had defeated Liggett by scores of 3-0 and 4-1, and it appeared the final was going to be no different.
Then with 9:57 left in the game, senior forward Danielle Lorant started the Knights' comeback by scoring on a redirection that was seemingly an attempt to begin throwing the puck towards the Cranbrook net.
Senior Ania Dow tied the game with 3:14 to go, as a Cranbrook defender got tangled with another Liggett forward to give Dow a breakaway opportunity, and the senior buried it in the back of the net.
In the overtime session, Jenalyn Pangborn corralled a loose puck in the Cranbrook zone in between the faceoff circles and got a shot through to the net to seal the win and cap off a miraculous comeback for Liggett.
"It was stuck in between our player's feet. It was in front of the net, and I just saw it and I just went for it, but it was really the team that got us there," Pangborn said of her game-winning goal.
Heading into the third period Cranbrook had outshot Liggett 19-4 and was carrying all of the momentum in the game.
"That's hockey. You get some bad bounces, and you never want to get into a one-goal game with a team like this," Cranbrook coach Terry Brooks said. "You'll have them pinned in their zone for five minutes, and then one bad bounce and they'll come down and score, and that's what happened."
The Cranes got goals from Lucy Dembeck, Hana DeClerck and Frankie White-Levin.
The state title is the first for Liggett at the Division 1 level of the Metro League. It won a title in 2009 at the Division 2 level, and this is the first state championship for coach Cassie Jaeckle.
"It's awesome. When I was brought in here the goal was to get them to be competitive, to be a contender and obviously win states," Jaeckle said. "I've done that in three years and I hope that we're going to be on the map from this point on."