Showcase Showdowns Across The State

MAHA, KLAA-MIHL and D3 Showcases highlight a busy weekend of games

PeteysPicks
Craig Peterson

December 7, 2023

Photo from Instagram | @bradybronsonphoto
Photo from Instagram | @bradybronsonphoto

The Michigan Amateur Hockey Association (MAHA) will host its second Tier-1 Showcase of the season. Additionally, 117-of-130 programs will be in action on Saturday to help celebrate High School Hockey Day in the state of Michigan. That includes a pair of key events with the KLAA-MIHL Showcase in Livonia and the D3 Showcase in Gaylord. This may be the busiest weekend of youth hockey we’ll see all season. So, what better way than to have our busiest picks segment of the season as well? I’ve got picks for 34 — yes, thirty-four! — games this weekend. Play along if you’ve got what it takes.

Petey: 16-11-1
Public: 13-11-1

MAHA Tier-1 Showcase

I’m not going to break down all 51 games on the slate this weekend in Fraser because, well, a lot of matchups aren’t all that intriguing. There’s no sense in making predictions for games where the No.1 team in the state takes on the last-place team. However, I have highlighted 12 intriguing matchups at all four age levels this weekend at Big Boy Arena.

18U #2 Little Caesars vs. #4 Fox Motors
Saturday at 2:30pm

The two teams have split a pair of games this season, with Caesars taking the most recent matchup 2-1 in a shootout. Caesars has progressively gotten better as the season’s worn on, I expect that trend to continue here.

Petey’s Pick: Little Caesars

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16U #1 Little Caesars vs. #3 Compuware
Friday at 12:30pm

Caesars thumped Compuware 7-2 when they played back in September. The rematch should be closer but I still think chalk wins out and Caesars is victorious yet again.

Petey’s Pick: Little Caesars

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16U #4 Fox Motors vs. #2 Victory Honda
Saturday at 1pm 

Fox actually holds a 2-1 season series lead despite VH being the higher ranked team. I like VH, I think they even up the series with a win here, but if Fox pulls an upset, I may have to rethink things in the rankings.

Petey’s Pick: Victory Honda

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16U #3 Compuware vs. #4 Fox Motors
Sunday at 9am 

They split a pair of games last weekend, with Compuware’s 5-1 win being more decisive than Fox’s 3-2 shootout thriller. A win here would be Compuware’s third of the season over Fox, but I’m not ready to buy it.

Petey’s Pick: Fox Motors

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15O #4 Victory Honda vs. #6 Compuware
Friday at 2pm

Both of their previous matchups have been close, decided by two goals and one goal. VH was victorious in both of those games, and I like them to get the ‘W’ here as well. Maybe a bit more decisive too.

Petey’s Pick: Victory Honda

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15O #2 HoneyBaked vs. #5 Fox Motors
Friday at 6pm

These two teams haven’t yet played this season, but if you look at their shared opponents and just the overall strength of schedule, I give the edge to HoneyBaked.

Petey’s Pick: HoneyBaked

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15O #3 OJG vs. #1 Little Caesars
Saturday at 11am

Caesars scored eight goals last time these two teams played. OJG has improved since then, but still has a tendency for giving up goals. I like Caesars to win big again.

Petey’s Pick: Little Caesars

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15O #5 Fox Motors vs. #4 Victory Honda
Saturday at 1pm 

Fox is appropriately ranked here. They’ve beaten everyone below them and lost to everyone ahead of them. That trend continues on Saturday as the higher ranked Victory Honda wins convincingly. 

Petey’s Pick: Victory Honda

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15O #2 HoneyBaked vs. #4 Victory Honda
Sunday at 1pm 

HoneyBaked won a 5-4 OT thriller last week but I like VH to come out with something to prove after that game. The Rematch tells a different story and VH gets the win in regulation.

Petey’s Pick: Victory Honda

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14U #1 Little Caesars vs. #4 Fox Motors
Saturday at 4:15pm 

Fox has competed well in this season series despite losing all three previous matchups. I think they compete and show well again, but ultimately Caesars comes out on top again as well.

Petey’s Pick: Little Caesars

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14U #4 Fox Motors vs. #2 HoneyBaked
Sunday at 1:30pm 

HoneyBaked throttled Fox 6-0 in October but they tied 2-2 just last weekend. Does Fox finally get in the win column against HoneyBaked? I say yes.
Petey’s Pick: Fox Motors

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14U #3 Victory Honda vs. #1 Little Caesars
Sunday at 3:15pm 

They’ve split a pair of games thus far. It’ll be their third game of the weekend for both teams, who has more depth? Caesars, so I’m gonna lean in favor of Caesars as well.

Petey’s Pick: Little Caesars

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D3 Showcase

This event has been a figure in the Michigan high school hockey calendar since at least 2004. That means the D3 Showcase is officially older than the participants who will play in it this weekend. Three of the last five Division-III state champions had played in this event prior to winning a title. There’s a lot on the line, and plenty of top talent expected to be on hand, including four teams I had ranked in my preseason Top-25.

Bay Reps vs. Bay City

Bay City will compete well, but I’m not sure they have the depth to trade blows with the Bay Reps. I like Grant Lucas and Ethan Coleman to stay hot and pull away as the game wears on.

Petey’s Pick: Bay Reps

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Country Day vs. Manistique

Manistique is a tough out! They hung with Alpena, hung with Bay Reps, hung with Grosse Pointe South. I think they hang with Country Day as well but Clay Spencer and company are bound to string some wins together. They start to do that here.

Petey’s Pick: Country Day

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Big Rapids vs. Grosse Ile

One matchup to watch will be Grosse Ile’s Fisher Gurney going up against Big Rapids’ Marek Mraz. Mraz is a talented exchange student who played for a reputable Mountfield HK program in the Czech Republic. I expect a good amount of offense in this game, but Grosse Ile may have a slight edge defensively.

Petey’s Pick: Grosse Ile

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Flint Powers vs. Grand Rapids Catholic Central

GRCC might be even better than I thought they’d be. Zach Westrick and Nate Sova have a point in every game so far for the Cougars. GRCC is the better team and has played better competition thus far as well, I’m taking GRCC to stay hot against a tough opponent in Powers. 

Petey’s Pick: GRCC

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Riverview Gabriel Richard vs. Chelsea

A rematch from last month when RGR won 2-1 in overtime. This one will be close too, but the Pioneers have a real strong edge in goal. Ryan Rainey is a top goaltender and sophomore Connor Ptak was actually in net the last time these two played. Gabriel Richard wins the rematch and doesn’t need OT to do it either. 

Petey’s Pick: Riverview Gabriel Richard

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Divine Child vs. Gaylord

Bryton Thaxton has factored in on 11 of Gaylord’s 20 goals this season. While Divine Child may not be able to stop Thaxton, a guy like Braeden McNamara can certainly keep pace with him. Should be a high-scoring back and forth game, that I’m actually gonna lean DC’s way. Take the over in this one, 6-4 Falcons.

Petey’s Pick: Divine Child

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