Nick Blankenburg ‘16: Beating Livonia Stevenson 6-4, at the USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth this weekend, the hockey team won a glorified State Championship in front of thousands of Bulldog faithful.
Following up the volleyball and football team’s State Titles, this championship is the first for hockey in Romeo High School History.
Falling down 4-2 midway through the second period, the Bulldogs regrouped themselves and battled back, scoring four unanswered goals en route to the victory.
Scoring for Romeo, Brett Lanski ‘17 and Logan Jenuwine ‘16 each netted two goals. Luke Kaczor ‘16 scored once and Steven Morris ‘16 added an empty net goal to seal the deal.
“That’s the difference from our sophomore year to now,” captain Nick Blankenburg ‘16 said. “We used to think we’d win a few playoff games. We didn’t even know about Compuware or the state finals. Our junior year we were in the state quarterfinals and we looked too far ahead. Now this year we pulled it off and kept our heads in every game. We played each game and didn’t look ahead.”
Goalie Nolan Kare ‘17 competed and won his 27th game, the most for a goalie in the state of Michigan.
“I put my everything I had into this game,” Kare said. “To be able to come out on top is so sweet.”
Scoring a total of 10 goals between both teams, defense still played a huge part in the win. The Bulldogs blocked a number of shots and played with a ton of heart and passion when the team needed it most.
Staying the night in Plymouth before the State Championship game, the Bulldogs watched film and enjoyed plenty of other jokes and laughs at the hotel.
While watching film at the hotel, the team asked Head Coach Nick Badder a question in the hall room during film:
“What are the three main things we have to do to win a State Championship?”
Coach Nick Badder only took a moment to think and responded with:
“Focus, heart, and sticking together as a team.”
Accomplishing two important goals, the team set out to go 5-0 during playoffs and win their last game of the season.
Starting the season with a 14-0 record, the state of Michigan was notified that this Bulldog team was special. Only losing 2 games all season to Eisenhower and Midland Dow, this is the best statistical season the hockey team has ever had.
Dominating in the playoffs, the Bulldogs defeated Davison 8-3, Port Huron Northern 7-1, Anchor Bay 8-3, Forest Hills North Eastern 5-2, and finally, Livonia Stevenson 6-4.
Being named a team of destiny by the hockey players, the Bulldogs needed to prove their importance.
Knowing they held the pen in their hand, it was the boy’s job to write their story. They wrote a book that can never be unwritten or altered, a book that their names will be in forever. They wanted to be unforgettable.
Now after all the pain, all the suffer, and all the memories, the Bulldogs can finally be named that team of destiny who will forever be State Champions.
Photo by: Timothy Arrick