Who needs Bob Probert?

Mercy’s Sydney Takla will do just fine.

The Farmington Hills-based Marlins junior forward and Bobbi Hartman, senior defenseman for Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood, agreed to disagree in a skirmish along the boards in Saturday night’s CHSL hockey championship game at Orchard Lake St. Mary’s Prep.

Sydney took exception to Bobbi’s poke to her jaw and reacted with several rights and lefts that, fortunately for her, were wide of their mark. She could have injured herself on Bobbi’s face mask.

Whether it was intentional or not (and majority rinkside opinion didn’t think so) each combatant was banished to hockey’s version of a corner for their misbehavior, the penalty box, for four minutes: two for roughing, two for head contact.

Sydney’s outburst was uncharacteristic. “That was the first time I’ve done that,” she said.

The diversion didn’t take any shine off Mercy’s 6-0 shutout of the Cranes for their third CHSL championship to complement victories in 2014 and 2016.

If Cranbook had their druthers who they’d wish had missed Mercy’s bus it would be senior forward Elizabeth “Libby” Bartels. She scored two goals 15 seconds apart about four minutes before the Sydney-Bobbi encounter to put Mercy ahead 3-0, and then completed the hat trick with 42 seconds remaining in the second period – and a hat trick-plus with another goal early in the third period.

Sophomore Gabriella Berker had Mercy’s initial goal midway through the first period, and Sydney, back on the ice, found the net for the fifth goal.

Libby’s four-pack gives her 35 goals (along with 18 assists). In addition to the CHSL, Mercy also competes in the Michigan Metro Girls High School Hockey League, currently riding on top with a 12-0 record (15-3 overall). Next month, the Marlins will be seeking to add the league’s third state championship in the last four years.

She’s weighing several college offers, but she hints that lacrosse might be the sport of choice at that level. She was among the nation’s best lacrosse talent at a showcase clinic last July in Florida. Libby earned All American, All State and All Catholic honors last spring as a junior at Mercy.

Her sister Amelia, a 2017 Mercy alum, received similar honors in hockey and lacrosse during her prep career. She’s a sophomore lacrosse player at Aquinas College.

Their father, Walt, a 1986 grad of Novi Detroit Catholic Central, played hockey from 1988-1991 for the Michigan State Spartans, scoring 19 goals and 33 assists.

Cranbrook (6-13) is one of five CHSL schools in the MMGHSHL. The others are GPW University Liggett (8-9-1), Warren Regina (3-13-2) and Bloomfield Hills Sacred Heart/Marian (0-15).


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