Local U-19 girls hockey squad takes state title for second year in row

MARQUETTE – The Country Inn and Suite’s U19 girls hockey team from Marquette won a state championship over the weekend for the second straight year.

The team captured the Michigan Amateur Hockey Association’s U19 Girls Rec title in in East Lansing, beating Midland 5-0 in the championship game.

“This was a great team effort,” said Doug Garrow, one of the team’s coaches. “We gave up only two goals over the weekend. (Goalie) Devin Christian came up big when we needed her.

The first game of the weekend, we were up 1-0 when the other team had a penalty shot. Devin stopped it and that swung the momentum.

“It was a good team defensive effort all weekend. We did not allow many shots.”

Country Inn and Suites had a dominating weekend, outscoring the opposition 44-2. In order, Country Inn and Suites beat Manistique 10-1, Traverse City 20-1, mBank from Marquette 4-0, Mackinac City 5-0 and then Midland in the final.

“mBank is a U16 team that stepped up to fill in when another team dropped out of the tournament,” Garrow said.

Tournament MVP for the second straight year was Kate Garrow, who just happens to be the coach’s daughter.

“Kate scored 27 seconds into the (championship) game,” Doug Garrow said. “I don’t have the stats but she had a good weekend.”

Garrow said this tournament, for a number of girls on the team, marks the end of a long journey in the sport.

“This group of girls, the core at least, has played together the last three years,” he said. “And for some of them, they’ve come up together for the last 10 years or so.

“This is the end of a decade of traveling together for the girls and their parents. It was special.”

The team bus received a police escort when it returned to town Sunday night.

Renee Prusi can be contacted at 906-228-2500, ext. 253.