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Icers are OAA white division champs!



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February 23, 2011 - What a year it has been for the varsity hockey team.

They began the year by switching from the Flint Metro League to the Oakland Activities Association. Then they had to brave the elements and play two outdoor games, including one at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor.

Finally, they proved they can skate with the best the OAA white division has to offer as they won the OAA white division championship with a 6-1 victory over Royal Oak on Friday, Feb. 18.

The Wildcats finished with a 9-1-2 division record.

This was the first ever division championship for the hockey program during it's 11 year existence.

"We weren't sure what to expect coming into it, but we were excited for the challenge and the opportunity and fortunately it worked out for us in the end," head coach Dave Hague said.

"It's a great league, a lot of parity in the league. We are fortunate to do real well and a lot of games could have (gone) either way every night," Hague said.

According to Hague, all Oxford needed to do was have a combination of a win and a tie against Berkley and Royal Oak to secure the league championship.

They defeated Berkley 2-1 on Wednesday, Feb. 16, setting up the championship clinching game against Royal Oak.

"We really drove that point home. The program has been around for 11 years...there's been 280 games played and none of them were for a league championship," Hague said. "The fact we were in control and we win and we win the league, it was something special. The boys really stepped up to the plate."

Oxford came out firing and scored on the very first shift of the game when sophomore Stephan Fritz took a pass from junior Nolan Chapman and scored, giving the Wildcats the 1-0 lead.

Junior Nick Hocker also assisted on the goal.

Fritz tallied his second goal of the period with 5:30 left. Chapman recorded his second assist of the game on the goal. Sophomore Brennen Orr assisted.

After a slow second period which saw sophomore Austin Kurkowski score an unassisted goal, the Wildcats exploded in the third period.

Hocker scored twice and Chapman added another goal, ending any hope of a Royal Oak comeback.

Sophomore Oscar Alexandersson stopped 27 of the 28 shots he faced.

"It's a really good group of guys," Hague added. "We have a really deep team this year and they bought into their roles and everyone accepted their roles and executed them to the best of their abilities."

The Wildcats are currently 12-8-3 and face Brandon on Saturday, Feb. 26.

Two ceremonies will take place Saturday evening. Before the game, the seniors will be honored for all of their hard work. After the game, the Wildcats will be presented with the OAA White division trophy, which they will keep for one year.

Oxford will then face Highland-Milford in the opening round of the state playoffs on Monday, Feb. 28.

If the Wildcats can get by Highland-Milford, they will face the winner of the Waterford Kettering/Waterford Mott game.

Hague said the opening rounds are going to be really tough and it is going to be the little things that make the difference between advancing or going home.

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Donald Turner
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