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Heritage Classic Junior Hockey News

Published: Tuesday, 2 Feb 2016  
By: Mike Klein

Detroit, MI- The Heritage Classic featured exhibition games during the intermissions involving the Detroit Ice Dreams players. The Ice Dreams program was founded by Hawks head coach Jason McCrimmon to promote and subsidize participation in ice hockey among Detroit’s disadvantaged youths and helps combat social issues faced by the city’s minority population. 
The Ice Dreams players also had a chance to celebrate one of their own, Detroit native and Hawks forward Justin Session who had previously participated in the original Ice Dreams program. 
Set in Clark Park, smack in the middle of Downtown Detroit, the USPHL in cooperation with the Motor City Hawks organization put on a once-in-a-lifetime hockey event.  The league’s first ever outdoor game, featuring the Detroit Fighting Irish taking on the Motor City Hawks was broadcast on, with “Dan K Show” host Dan Kmiechick bringing hockey fans the play-by-play nationwide.  Joining Dan on the broadcast, was 4-time Emmy Winning Fox Sports Detroit on-air talent Trevor Thompson who was also in attendance to drop the game’s ceremonial puck.  A top-class broadcast and the incredible primetime Detroit skyline, set a surreal scene for what turned into an instant-classic matchup between two of the USPHL’s biggest rivals.
Eric Long tallied a goal and an assist to lift the Detroit Fighting Irish over the Motor City Hawks at the USPHL Heritage Classic in Detroit’s Clark Park on Friday night.
Long put the Fighting Irish on the board just 1:22 into the game when he scored from Cody Dombrowski and Christian Ramage. Goaltenders Jacob Vanderlee and Ronnie Shocker were able to keep the teams off the board for the remaining minutes.
With 10:30 to play in the second period, Justin Session netted a power play goal with assists from Houston Peach and Trevor Pode to tie the game. After the goal, Jordan Gilbert came in to relieve Shocker, who finished with five saves.
Just 1:26 after assisting on the tying goal, Pode put the Hawks in front when he scored off an assist from Zach Kopinski.
With 4:21 remaining in the period, Tyler Blackburn scored a power play goal from Christian Ramage to tie the game going into the third period.
Dakota Potter put the Fighting Irish back in the lead for good with an unassisted goal 1:10 into the final period.
Nolan Jakrzewski’s power play goal from Chase Tackett and Eric Long with 14:23 on the clock sealed the victory for the Irish. Jordan Gilbert picked up the win with a 12-save performance while Jacob Vanderlee made 16 saves for the Hawks.

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