Truly Devine

by Coach Elliott on March 19, 2006

The Northview Wildcats are off to the State final four with a thrilling 5-4 overtime victory over the St. Francis Knights. With the capacity crowd going crazy all night long,
Senior Tim Hurst capped an unbelievable evening with his goal in the extra session. Hurst was able to pick up a loose puck in the slot and beat St. Francis goalie Charlie Macinich to send the Cats to the final four for the first time since the state runner-up team in 1990. The Cats who trailed 2-0 nearing the end of the second period were able to get on the board with just 51 seconds remaining in the period on a goal by senior Erik Lavoy. Feeding off of that momentum the Wildcats scored three times in the first 8 minutes of the third to take a 4-2 lead. Goals by Cody Bourland, Alden Hirschfeld and Lavoy put Northview in position to win the game. However, playing more inspired hockey than they have all year, the Knights were able to get 2 goals in the last 5 minutes to force the extra session. After many years of frustration these Cats were determined to finish what they started 4 months ago. Led by a group of seniors who just refused to lose the Wildcats sent the predominantly black and gold crowd into hysteria with the game-winning goal.

However this game was more than just another hockey game. Both teams seemed to have the hands of angels helping them along. St. Francis played with the memory of former coach Mike Greeder. Greeder, who was also a great friend of the Northview program, passed away suddenly last summer. But what few noticed was that the Cats might have had some divine intervention of their own. The game-winning goal was scored with just 15 seconds left in the overtime session. Anyone who knows the Wildcat program knows that the #15 is very significant. That number is the only number in school history to be retired. The 5 brothers of the Crandall family including oldest brother Dave, who was tradgically killed in a car accident, all wore #15. There is also the Dave Crandall award given each year to the Northview player who best represents what Dave was as a person. Both the jersey and the plague hang in the lobby at Tam-O-Shanter. It was as if Dave decided that 16 years of frustration were going to end at that moment. But if Greeder and Crandall were not enough spiritual karma, Then Cody Bourland’s game tying goal early in the third might convince you. Playing with the initials of his older brother Josh on his jersey, Cody played with the passion and spirit that made this game one to remember. Josh played hockey at Northview in the late 90’s and was also tragically killed in a car accident about 5 years ago. I take my hat off to all of the players and coaches involved in this game that truly made it one to remember. The sportsmanship shown both in victory and defeat by players, coaches and parents is what can make high school sports such a great experience. Congratulations St. Francis on a great season and Good Luck Cats in the final four! Lets bring one home to Sylvania.

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