Mercy Wins State Championship

Bob St. John

Mercy’s hockey team has supplanted itself as one of the best squads in the history of the Michigan Metro Girls High School Hockey League after beating perennial state power Grosse Pointe South 4-2 in the championship game Saturday afternoon at Fraser Hockeyland.

The Marlins, winners of 20 games this season, needed a come-from-behind effort to knock the defending champs off the thrown.

“We got much stronger defensively as the game went on,” head coach Dave Roegner said. “Once we got a feel for South’s speed, we made adjustments and played better.” The Blue Devils led 2-1 after the first period. They scored in the first 80 seconds of the game to lead 1-0, but freshman Elise Brown tied it a little more than a minute later. Sophomore Gabriella Berker had an assist.

South took the lead at the 6:56 mark and had chances to make it 3-1 or even 4-1, but missed the mark.

The Marlins came back and dominated the second period, scoring two goals to grab a 3-2 lead.

Junior assistant captain Sydney Takla tied it with a power-play goal at the 11:57 mark of the second period, and sophomore assistant captain Margaret Murphy gave them the lead with another power-play goal at the 4:03 mark.

Back-to-back penalties gave the Blue Devils a two-man advantage for 1:07 early in the third period, but the Marlins killed it off and withstood a barrage of shots from the Blue Devils in the final 10 minutes.

Freshman goalkeeper Daria Rorick was up to the challenge, knocking away shot after shot in the third stanza.

“Our goalie was a stone wall and could have been the game MVP,” Roegner said. “She was outstanding.”

Sophomore assistant captain Grace Nieto, the game MVP, scored an insurance goal at the 4:05 mark to seal the victory for the Marlins.

Mercy finished the championship season 20-3-3 overall, and might be even better next year.

Roegner loses only two seniors to graduation, senior captain Elizabeth Bartels and senior assistant captain Abbey Roegner.

During its three playoff games, Mercy outscored its opponents 22-6.