Farmington Hills — A power-play goal from Dawson Zahorian with 29 seconds left gave Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood the lift it needed to get past Detroit Country Day, 2-1, Wednesday in the Division 3 state hockey quarterfinals.
Cranbrook, the defending state champion and ranked No. 3, faces Hancock at 11 a.m. Friday in the semifinals at Plymouth’s USA Hockey Arena.
But it didn’t come easy.
All three goals in the game came on special teams, and a game that looked so much like it was destined for overtime, finished in heartbreaking fashion for one side.
“It was an unusual game,” Cranbrook coach Andy Weidenbach said. “It could’ve went either way; just a fortunate bounce for us.”
The first period saw both teams with quality scoring chances and each with one power play.
Cranbrook (19-9-1) took full advantage when Alex Lycett fed Alec Regula right inside the left faceoff circle.
Regula ripped a shot past Country Day’s Brendan Dolan with 4 minutes, 20 seconds left in the first to take a 1-0 lead.
Country Day (18-9-2) tied things up early in the second on a power play when Filip Stankiewicz scored a goal almost identical to Regula’s.
He got the puck on a pass just inside the right faceoff circle and put a wrist shot past Cranbrook’s Nolan Rogow to even things at one with just under two minutes gone in the period.
The second period had more back-and-forth play between the teams, with Country Day picking up its play and gaining more offensive chances than it had in the first.
Early in the third, Country Day went on a 5-on-3 power play for one minute, 17 seconds after a boarding misconduct call on Cranbrook put two men in the box, but couldn’t get one on the board.
Then with 5:01 remaining, Country Day captain Jonathan Calso was called for a five-minute boarding misconduct.
Cranbrook’s special teams unit wasn’t getting anything to go well until 29 seconds left when Zahorian blasted a shot from the point that went past everyone and into the back of the net for a 2-1 advantage.
“It hurts,” Country Day coach Frank Novock said. “One shot finds eyes and they score. I can’t fault the guys; we’re so overwhelmed with lack of talent.”
Division 1 — Wednesday
Grandville 5, Rockford 2
Brighton 4, East Kentwood 1
Detroit Catholic Central 9, Saginaw Swan Valley 1
U-D Jesuit 6, Utica Eisenhower 2
Division 3 — Wednesday
Hancock 5, Sault Ste. Marie 2
Grand Rapids Catholic Central 6, Saginaw Heritage 1
Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood 2, Detroit Country Day 1
Chelsea 2, Gibraltar Carlson 1
At USA Hockey Arena, Plymouth
Division 2 — Thursday
Hartland vs. Livonia Stevenson, 5 p.m.
Ada Forest Hills Eastern vs. Romeo, 7:30 p.m.
Blake Meakin is a freelance writer.