By Rob Kaminski
MHSAA benchmarks editor
As the final horn sounded March 9 at the end of the MHSAA Division 1 Ice Hockey Final, another successful campaign was in the books.
The tournament attracted more than 40,000 spectators from the time the first pucks dropped Feb. 25, including a three-year high of more than 6,000 across 12 Quarterfinal sites. More than 200 schools and 3,000 participants combined to make up the 145 teams that battled for championships as high school hockey continued to enjoy great popularity in Michigan.
The Great Lakes State ranks third among the number of schools and fourth in participation among the 18 states nationally which sponsor the sport. Some of the sights and sounds from this year’s Finals at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth indicate the sport is on solid ice.
“The travel team I played for disbanded last year, and I needed a place to play. I should have done this years ago. What a great experience. Did you see our student section? People even know who I am at school now, and that I play a sport.” — Domenico Munaco, Rochester United goalie after stopping 49 of 53 shots in 4-2 Division 1 Semifinal loss
“This is better. Going to school with everybody every day is just a great time.” — Hartland’s Adam Pietila, who won a national championship with his travel team in April 2018 and this past winter helped Hartland win the MHSAA Division 2 title
PHOTO: Rochester United goalie Domenico Munaco anticipates a shot during his team’s Division 1 Semifinal this past winter against Detroit Catholic Central.