By @MichaelCaples –
PLYMOUTH – It didn’t take long for Hartland to take control.
The Eagles out-shot Birmingham Brother Rice 19-7 in the first period; four of said shots found the back of the net.
That set Hartland on the path to their second-straight MHSAA Division 2 state championship game appearance, as the Eagles finished off the Warriors 6-2 in the first semifinal of the 2019 tournament at USA Hockey Arena.
Hartland will now defend their state title against the winner of the 7:30 p.m. contest between Marquette and Trenton.
Six different Eagles found the back of the net Thursday evening, as captain Joey Larson, Benny Tervo, Gabe Anderson, Dakota Kott, Grant Briggs and Adam Pietila all found the back of the net.
Brett Tome stopped 27 of the 29 shots sent his way.
Brother Rice received outstanding goaltending from Matteo Vitale, who turned aside 33 shots and kept the Warriors in the game as long as he could.
Both D.J. Dixon and Nick Marone registered one goal and one assist for Brother Rice.
The Warriors conclude the 2018-19 MHSAA campaign with a 16-9-4 record; the Eagles improve to 26-4.