For Calumet High, Prep Hockey Showcase Is Worth The 600 Mile Bus Trip

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For Calumet High, Prep Hockey Showcase is worth the 600-mile bus trip

Calumet High’s team planned to board a bus this morning and travel 605 miles to play in the Michigan Interscholastic Hockey League Prep Hockey Showcase today through Saturday at the Kennedy Recreation Center in Trenton.

It’s the second straight year the Upper Peninsula team has participated in the event, and this year the Copper Kings will attend a Red Wings game Friday night after playing Howell on Friday at 10 a.m. On Saturday, Calumet faces Novi Detroit Catholic Central at 12:40 p.m.

"Last year, we played two quality teams in Birmingham Brother Rice and Grosse Pointe North," said athletic director Sean Jacques, whose nephew Brendan is a star center on the team.

"It’s a chance for our guys to get some exposure, with college coaches and junior teams being there, and it’s also a chance for some quality competition before the state tournament starts."

The trip, including lodging, costs the team about $5,000, so the school holds a golf outing over the summer to raise funds.

Calumet has had a home-and-home series with Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook for the past 15 years, so every other year it makes a trip to the area twice.

"The kids are definitely excited for a couple of reasons," said assistant coach Glenn Patrick. "One, we get to face a couple of great teams downstate, and the other is a chance to showcase their skills.

"Every other year we come down and play Cranbrook, and they come to our place the other year. We started a fund-raiser for that, and the golf outing has had such great support in our community that we’ve been able to fit this trip in and at the same time try to showcase some of our kids. We really want to give an opportunity to those that want to play at another level.

"This is great exposure. Last year was a great success for our kids. I think about seven or eight of our kids were contacted by either junior or college coaches or scouts. Besides the good competition and getting ready for the playoffs, we were able to get some exposure for some good young hockey players."

Besides Jacques, other key players are defenseman Ben Storm and right wing Levi Urkkila.

Perry Farrell

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