Esky’s Bink helps Sabres claim crown

Girls hockey


ESCANABA — Just call Escanaba native Brooke Bink a champion — make that a national champion with the Shattuck-St. Mary’s Girls Prep hockey team from Minnesota.

SSM recently captured its third straight USA Hockey national championship by defeating Detroit Belle Tire 5-1 in Marlborough, Mass.

“This is my first year with the team and it was pretty cool being a part of it,” Bink said in a phone call this weekend from downstate Grand Rapids, where she was involved in a USA Hockey development tryout. “It was an awesome feeling to do it with my best friends.”

Bink did her part as a forward for a talented U19 SSM squad that finished 48-11-2. She produced 18 goals and 22 assists for 40 points in her junior season.

SSM won all six games at the national tournament, including a victory against Team Colorado in its first pool-play contest and a triumph against Chicago Mission in the semifinals. The Sabres advanced to the national tourney after beating a Minnesota elite team in a qualifier.

SSM and Belle Tire split a pair of regular-season games before the Sabres captured the national championship contest last Monday.

“We knew we couldn’t take them lightly,” Bink said. “We knew they were a physical team.”

Bink is looking forward to returning for her senior season at SSM, which is located in Faribault, Minn. In the meantime, she and the Sabres will savor a third national title.

“The most important thing is we became so close during the season and that made our team so strong I think,” said Bink, who plans to celebrate her 17th birthday today in Escanaba.