MIDLAND — Traverse City West’s “great ride” ended Wednesday night in Midland, but coach Jason Carmien hopes it’s the start of even bigger things.
Bloomfield Hills’ Ben Kileen’s perfect shot sailed into the net with exactly 4:00 left in the second overtime to the Black Hawks a 1-0 Division 1 state semifinal victory and send them into Saturday’s championship game against Ann Arbor Skyline.
“It’s been a good run,” Carmien said. “We started slow. This team came back from not scoring a goal — much less winning — in the first four games. They found their confidence. And they put hope back in our program that this can happen. This hasn’t happened in awhile. This was a team. It wasn’t any individuals.”
It was the closest the Titans have come to the state title since Casey Townsend led the 2006 squad to the Division 1 crown.
This group of 12 seniors has won three Big North Conference titles in addition to this year’s district and regional championships. Carmien also noted that 17 of the team’s 20 players have been selected to the all-state academic team.
“We gave a good account of ourselves,” Carmien said. “I’m really proud of the guys. If things would have gone our way early in the game, maybe we could have caught a goal. I thought that was really the difference. Late, they carried the play. We were able to counter and Christien (Geiger) hit the post. ... Not getting a goal (in the first 20 minutes) was probably the difference in the game.”
West came out swinging, controlling the game’s first 20-25 minutes, but unable to put one in the net.
The Black Hawks had three corners in the first 12 minutes for about their only opportunities. The third was snagged in mid-air by goaltender Justin Kraft to snuff out the scoring opportunity.