This was a day of redemption for the Trenton hockey team.
After being embarrassed in a rematch of last season’s Division 2 state championship game against Hartland on Friday, the Trojans needed to show they knew how to play like champions, especially in the Michigan Interscholastic Hockey League Prep Hockey Showcase in their home rink.
“We lost, 5-1, and it wasn’t 5-1,” first-year coach Chad Clements said. “It was a tough loss.”
Third-ranked Trenton rarely is dominated the way it was against Hartland, which is why senior captain Quinn Preston was especially charged up for Saturday’s game against Houghton, No. 2 in Division 3.
“We knew we had to have a good bounce-back game,” Preston said. “We knew we didn’t play well yesterday.”
So Preston dominated play. After assisting on Brandon Morgan’s goal for a 2-0 lead, the forward picked the puck off the boards, sweetly chipped it over the defender’s stick, got it back and beat the goalie for a 3-0 lead in the second period.
With a 3-1 lead early in the third period, Preston missed on an attempt to block the puck, but quickly took a pass in the clear and skated in on the goalie one on one.
“I did a little back and forth and then the five-hole,” he said. “He was leaving it open, and I just put it five-hole.”
That led Trenton to its 4-2 victory Saturday and added to Preston’s MIHL scoring lead with 25 goals and 24 assists.
Preston, 5-feet-10, 175 pounds, is an excellent all-around athlete, and he was asked about being such a good tennis player.
“I love tennis,” he said. “It’s awesome to be able to hit the balls back and forth. It really helps with hockey, too. It helps the hand-eye (coordination).”
He also is a good baseball player, but now can’t play because …
“I have a broken wrist,” he said matter of factly.
He has a what wrist?
“I broke my wrist,” he said. “So I have to have surgery after the season.”
Preston suffered a broken scaphoid bone in his right wrist last summer and initially thought it was a sprain, which is not unusual with a scaphoid break.
He finally had his wrist X-rayed before the season and learned of the break.
Fortunately, Preston is a patient of Dr. Richard Singer, who, my right wrist can attest to, might be the best hand and wrist orthopedic surgeon in North America. At least!
Singer told Preston he could have surgery before this season began, which would have required him to miss a good portion of the season, or he could play with the broken wrist and the pain and wait until the season was over.
There really was no option for Preston.
You see, Preston plays for Trenton, the one true Hockeytown in Michigan.
Trenton is not a school of choice, meaning every kid on the team lives in Trenton.
“I love playing here,” Preston said. “It’s just an honor to play here. It’s a great place to play. There’s so many great years of hockey here. I just love being on this team.”
It is a program built by Mike Turner, the winningest coach in state history, who left the team to Clements, who had been an assistant for 12 seasons.
Turner went out on top in March with a state title, something Preston will remember forever.
“It was awesome,” he said. “The whole school was there. Everybody was right in front of you. It was great to be able to represent your city like that.”
That brings us back to the question of whether Preston wanted to have the surgery before or after this season.
“The surgery is scheduled for March 19,” Preston said.
If Preston gets his way, that will be five days after he leads Trenton to another state championship.
Contact Mick McCabe: 313-223-4744 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @mickmccabe1.