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Posting the tying goal

Caitlyn Post and her brother Vinny pose after the win. Photo provided (click for larger version)
March 23, 2011 - Caitlyn Post is gearing up for the USA National Tournament beginning on April 6.

The Clarkston High School senior and her teammates from Little Caesars 19U hockey team beat Belle Tire to become state champions and clinch their spot for nationals, 2-1.

"It was pretty intense to start off," Post remembered. "Even before warming up for the night we were excited and pumped for it because we only beat them one time the entire season. We were the underdogs."

The girls were even more pumped after their trainer made a speech before they went out onto the ice.

Belle Tire was the first to get on the board but Post tied up the score with her shot into the net.

"We were so excited," Post exclaimed. "Everybody started playing the best they could."

With only a few minutes to go Little Caesars had gained the upperhand with 5-3 on the ice as Belle Tire had two in the penalty box.

"There were a bunch of scraps in front of the net," said Post. "We kept shooting and shooting."

Post kept her position on one side of the net as teammate Maryanne Menefee was in front of the net. With 1:28 left in the game Menefee took the shot and it went in for the win.

"I saw it and freaked out," said Post. "We all jumped on top of each other in excitement. We won. It was awesome."

She said the mindset of the players helped in the game - most of them are seniors and didn't want it to be their last game as a AAA hockey player.

"It was what kept me going the whole game," Post admitted. "I didn't want to lose. We kept it in our heads and got it done."

Post began playing hockey ten years ago but she was interested in sports even before she took on the ice.

"My kids have always been athletic even when they were itty bitty," said mom, Lynette. "They played soccer and T-ball as soon as they could do it. Anything they could do as soon as they could do it."

Vinny, Caitlyn's younger brother, began playing hockey at age five at Lakeland and her mom asked if she wanted to play.

"I said no at first," Caitlyn said.

But after a year of watching her brother play she decided it was time for her to try it.

"I have loved it ever since," said Caitlyn said. "I don't know what I would do without it."

She plans to continue playing hockey in college and would like to continue past her college graduation.

Caitlyn also runs in the spring on the high school's girls varsity track team but is concentrating on the nationals, held during spring break.

The USA National tournament is held in Michigan this year at two locations.

The Little Caesars first game is against New York on April 6 at 2 p.m., held at the Onyx Ice Arena in Rochester. They continue at Suburban Ice in Macomb on April 7, 12 p.m. Then against the New Jersey Rockets on April 8, 2 p.m. back at the Onyx.

"We are a really good team," Caitlyn said before going in. "We have played most of the teams in nationals and have a good shot at winning."

Her brother also competed for the state championship. His team, Little Caesars Midget Minor Hockey, finished as runner-up.

Wendi graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a degree in communications. She wrote for the Michigan Times college paper and Grand Blanc View before joining The Clarkston News in October 2007.
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