Trenton— In a world in which people will argue over just about anything, there is one thing that is not up for debate: Trenton’s Mike Turner is the winningest high school hockey coach the state of Michigan has ever seen.
Turner set the Michigan High School Athletic Association career victories record with No. 624 on Tuesday night as Trenton (21-4-1) defeated Wyandotte Roosevelt, 6-0, in the pre-regional of the state playoffs and began the march towards what Turner hopes will be his 11th state title.
“It’s the first one of the playoffs,” a humble Turner said. “That it coincided with this game makes it special, but we’ve got five more to go.”
The win brought Turner’s overall record to 624-106-52. He passed former East Kentwood coach Ron Baum in victories. Baum lost more than twice as many games as Turner (219).
“When you get to this situation, you reflect back on big nights and big games,” Turner said. “They all have a special place.”
Trenton got off to a slow start against gutsy Roosevelt (8-17), which wanted to spoil the occasion. The score was 1-0 after the first period and shots on goal were just 11-10 in Trenton’s favor. Roosevelt goalie Frank Cerulla (26 saves) played magnificent early, but the offensive onslaught was just too much. Trenton outshot Roosevelt 32-23 for the game.
Andrew Sawyer, Trenton’s senior captain, scored the first goal and added two assists. Having grown up idolizing Turner, he couldn’t have been happier to be a part of history.
“I was two years old watching (him) coach at this rink,” Sawyer said. “I’ve grown up watching Trenton play and it’s extremely special to be a part of the team that got him the record.”
Turner’s accomplishment is all the more impressive since he went on a 14-year hiatus from 1981-95 because of budgetary issues. Since his return, he’s won seven of his 10 state titles.
“We did some things we hadn’t done around here in a while,” Turner said. “But I just wanted to keep it about the team.”
Trenton plays Grosse Pointe South in the pre-regional final on Thursday night at Kennedy Ice Center.
Geoff Robinson is a freelance writer