Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Michigan High School Skiers Head North For Finals

Traverse City West's Ryan Ness

More than 200 high school downhillers invaded Harbor Springs on Monday to compete in the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) ski finals. Boyne Highlands hosted the Division I finals while Nubs Nob was the site for this years Division II meet.

Traverse City Central's Clark Phelps

Traverse City teams came up big in the Div. I competition. Led by top five finishes in both slalom and giant slalom by Clark Phelps the T.C. Central boys won the top prize with T.C. West finishing third behind the Grand Blanc squad.
Marian's Katie Thibideau

Top ten finishes in both meet events on the girls side by Bloomfield – Marion’s Katie Thibideau and Kelly Lunghamer combined with a giant slalom fifth place finish by Kristin Lunghammer and a ninth in the slalom by Tara Strong gave Marion the lowest team score in either the Div. I or Div. II meets. Edged out of the top spot the T.C. Central girls captured second followed by the ladies from Marquette. According to the MHSAA’a website (provides results back to 1975) this is the first timed Bloomfield Hills – Marion has won a state final ski match.

Petoskey's Victoria McVicker

In Div. II Petoskey’s Victoria McVicker successfully defended her 2009 Individual Girls Championship by taking the top spot in both the girls slalom and giant slalom events but even with her standout performance the Petoskey girls team had to settle for second behind Houghton – Hancock. Houghton took advantage of top 5 finishes in the slalom and giant slalom by 2008 Individual Champion Samantha Henderson as well as top ten finishes in both events by Abby Fenton. Emily Rossi contributed a top 5 slalom finish to give their team the 2010 Championship. Manistee finished in third followed by the Harbor Springs Rams.

Harbor Springs' Drake Doherty

In the boys competition the Iron Mountain squad came out of the mornings giant slalom runs with a 16 lead over second place Cranbrook – Kingswood and 16.5 points ahead of Harbor Springs. The lead would not be enough to deter the home town Harbor Springs Rams as they dominated the slalom competition with top twenty finishes (not including individual competitors) from Drake Doherty, Dan Davis, Robert Mathews and Jac Talcott to claim the boys championship. Iron Mountain finished the day in second ten points ahead of third place Traverse City St. Francis.

Finishing second overall in both slalom and giant slalom Harbor Springs’Doherty came within two seconds of claiming the Div. II boys Individual Championship but was edged out by Bellaire’s Mike King who took the top spot in both events.

Wipe Out 2010 - Images by Eagle Feature & Image

Lakers Offense Frozen Out In Alaska

After being swept by the University of Alaska in Fairbanks last weekend the Lake Superior State Lakers ice hockey team falls to 9th in the CCHA standings and have probably lost any shot at home ice during the opening round of the upcoming conference playoffs.

The Lakers offense went flat last weekend scoring only one goal in the two game series. Alaska scored four unanswered goals against junior LSSU goaltender Brian Mahoney-Wilson on Friday then four more against senior net minder Pat Inglis on Satuday tacking on an empty net score to make that final 5 – 1.

Senior Will Acton tallied the Lakers lone goal just past the halfway point of the second period Saturday. Lake Superior’s power play went 0 for 8 in the series managing only twelve shots on goal while they had the advantage.

The Lakers head west again next weekend to close out the regular season against U.P. rival Northern Michigan. While the Lakers have been dropping down the standings Northern has been making a charge up the list. With only one loss in their last eight games the Wildcats are on a roll headed into season finale series and the playoffs.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Lakers Split With #14 Ferris State

LSSU's Rick Schofield (23) and Ferris State's Matt Case (16) chase a loose puck around
 the Ferris net during Saturday nights game at Taffy Abel Arena in Sault Ste. Marie.

While the weekend didn’t end as perfectly as the Lake Superior State ice hockey team seniors probably wished it had they certainly can’t hang their heads too much about their split with the nationally ranked Ferris State Bulldogs. This weekend was the Lakers final regular season home stand and the seniors got a special thank you from fans at a senior day ceremony following Saturday’s game.

Headed into the third period of Friday nights match up leading the Lakers by two the Bulldogs were in the drivers seat and looking at a win. Lake Superior individual points leader Rick Schofield wasn’t having any of it though scoring the first Lakers goal just 44 seconds into the period. Freshman Domenic Monardo added the Lakers second and tied the score at 2 apiece at the 14:40 mark.

Ferris State’s Casey Haines put the Bulldogs back into the lead beating Lakers goaltender Brian Mahoney-Wilson with just 58 ticks left on the clock. Schofield answered by scoring on the Bulldog netminder Taylor Nelson ten second later to tie the score again.

With just over a half a minute left in the game the Lakers Will Acton found the back of the net with what would be the game winner for Lake Superior. “It was the most devastating loss I’ve been involved with in college hockey.” Ferris head coach Bob Daniels said of the Friday 4-3 loss.

Ferris State goaltender Pat Nagle deflects away a shot during Saturday nights
 game against Lake Superior State at Taffy Abel Arena in Sault Ste. Marie.

Badly in need of a win going into Saturday night the Bulldogs started their goaltending ace Pat Nagle to see if he could shut down the Lakers. Nagle made 24 saves, including a big one that would have tied the game with less than two minutes left on the scoreboard. The junior goalie gave up just one power play goal as Ferris State battled to a 2-1 win over the home team Lakers.

LSSU's Will Acton fires a shot at the Ferris State net during Saturday
 nights game at Taffy Abel Arena in Sault Ste. Marie.

The Bulldogs Mike Embach and Casey Haines accounted for the two Ferris goals while LSSU’s Will Acton picked up his second point of the weekend with the Lakers lone goal.

Noting the Bulldogs recent winless stretch coach Daniels summed up Saturday’s win as “just one we really needed”.

“I liked our effort tonight better than last night actually.” said Lakers coach Jim Roque after Saturday’s loss. “Obviously the outcome was better last night.” “Just couldn’t find a way to get another goal.”

With two weeks left in the regular CCHA season, and everyone starting to talk playoff’s, Ferris State heads to MSU next weekend while the Lakers will make the trip west to face Alaska before returning to Michigan to end their year against Northern Michigan in Marquette.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Lake Superior State Hockey Swept by Miami of Ohio

For the second time in their last four games the Lakers suffered a near complete defensive breakdown Saturday to lose the final game of their weekend series against Miami of Ohio. After falling 2 – 0 Friday night Lake Superior State utilized all three of their goaltenders in their 10 – 4 Saturday night loss to the Red Hawk’s.

The Lakers offense was unable to find a way to score on the nations number one defense Friday night but their efforts held the Red Hawks to just one goal until the last second of the game when Miami’s Andy Miele scored an empty netter upping the score to 2 – 0.

After giving up goals to Miami’s Miele and Tommy Wingels in the first 8:17 of Saturday nights game Lakers starting goalie Brian Mahoney-Wilson, who had been bothered by a hip injury earlier in the year, was replaced by senior Pat Inglis. Inglis gave up five goals to the Red Hawks before the games halfway point prompting Lakers head coach Jim Roque to call on his last net minder, senior Mitch Edmondson, who played the games final 32:53 and allowed the Red Hawks last three goals of the night. The appearance was Traverse City West graduate Edmondson’s first of the year.

Even though LSSU out shot the Red Hawks 75 – 64 in the series the Lakers were unable to score their first goal of the weekend until well into the second period Saturday. Domenic Monardo tallied a shorthanded goal, his first of two scores on the night, at 10:46 of the middle period to finally put the Lakers on the board. Nick McParland and Chad Nehring added even strength goals to the Lakers offensive efforts.

Entering the weekend tied with Notre Dame for fourth in the CCHA standings the pair of losses plummets LSSU to eighth. Swept by Western Michigan, Notre Dame remains tied with the Lakers in the conference standings.

Lake Superior State returns to Sault Ste. Marie next weekend to face Ferris State in their last regular season home stand of the season. The Lakers and Bulldogs will face off at 7:05 p.m. Friday and Saturday night at Taffy Abel Arena.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Granholm Delivers Final State of the State Address

If you heard, or have read, Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm’s State of the State speech last night you could probably say that it was pretty much what you would expect from an outgoing politician who is at the head of one of the most economically challenged states in the country. In summary, times are tough but we’re doing a great job and looking forward to a brighter future. A long step back from her previous promises that constituents would be “blown away” with the success of her leadership.

After honoring Michigan’s fallen and active duty military personnel the Governor used her final State of the State address to challenge the legislature to approve a complete budget by July 1st and focused on economic diversification and education as the keys to the “new” Michigan economy declaring the old all but dead.

“The old Michigan economy is gone.” she stated in the opening portions of her speech “Anyone who believed Michigan would just naturally rebound without making deep and lasting change had a rendezvous with reality in 2009.”

Pointing out successes in what she identified as the “six new areas” of Michigan’s re-evolving economy that she feels will help to replace the last decade's million plus job losses she took credit for “purposefully” laying the foundation for what will be the economic future for millions of state residents. A future that at times sounds like an economy modeled after the state of California’s.

While some northern Michigan residents feel ignored by the Governor they should be happy that she also pressed for the funding of the “Pure Michigan” advertising campaign that promotes the states tourism industry. Pointing the program out, along with the necessity to find matching funds for federal road and infrastructure improvement grants and the restoration of the Michigan Promise Scholarship program, as the three items she feels are necessary to help create Michigan jobs “right away”.

Sighting an approximate 25% reduction in state revenues since she took office, the Governor put forth several proposals to help make up for shortfalls in the states budget. Her proposals and reforms include plans to provide incentives to encourage the retirement of 46,000 public and state and school employees so that they can be replaced with fewer less costly new hires, eliminate lifetime health care benefits for lawmakers who serve less than six years and offer tax credits to investors that make who venture capital available to Michigan businesses.

Praising the recovery policies President Obama’s administration more than once, the Governor vowed to continue her efforts find a bring jobs to Michigan during the remaining eleven months of her administration.

In her conclusion Granholm shared her feelings on what it has been like to be the state’s top elected official “Well to be honest, it has had its challenging moments.”

You can read Governor Granholm's speech on Michigan's web site at

Don't forget to share your thoughts on the Governor on our Talking Points and Opinions Page

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Not only do we want to share with you all the information we can about the great sports, news, people and places we cover, we also want to hear what you think!

Our new UpNorth – Talking Points & Opinions section allows us to post survey's and throw out topics or opinions for you to discuss and debate. These discussions will not only give you the opportunity to have your voice be heard but they will also help us better select what kinds of stories we provide.

Topics could range from things as simple as “What’s Your Favorite Kind of Pet” to “Lets Talk About Health Care”. Our first topic, “Are U.S. Automakers Missing Out on a Great Market” is an example of how the section will work. Please feel free to join in this discussion or any future ones that peek your interest.

Check it out