PLYMOUTH – Brighton had only 11 shots on goal in Saturday’s Division 1 Final.
But the Bulldogs needed only four to go in – including senior Chet Daavettila’s game-winner with 1 minute, 32 seconds to play.
Brighton claimed its second MHSAA title and first since 2006 by outlasting Grosse Pointe North 4-3 in the season’s final game at Compuware Arena.
“My brother won it last time. He was on the team in 2006,” Daavettila said. “He was giving me ribs about if we lose. And we won, so it was a great relief.”
How Brighton (24-4-2) won was similar to how it advanced with a 2-1 double overtime win over Orchard Lake St. Mary in the Semifinal. In that game, and despite the extra time, the Bulldogs had just 15 shots on goal.
Sophomore Troy Marrett, junior Zach Morgan and senior Tommy Kivisto all scored Saturday as Brighton opened a 3-1 lead four minutes into the second period. But senior Joe Aluia scored two of his three goals to pull Grosse Pointe North (15-15) even less than four minutes into the third period.
“He’s been one of our guys that had the heart and soul of our team all year long, and especially in the playoffs he really came to play and put the team on his back,” Norsemen coach Scott Lock said. “Tonight he was fantastic. He could’ve probably had two or three more goals with some luck on his side.
"I thought he was going to get us over the top. But even after we tied it up we had all the chances again, and we made a bad mistake in our own zone. We leave a guy free, and it ends up in our net.”
Brighton closed the season on a 10-game winning streak and gave up just six goals total in six playoff games.
“I thought today and yesterday we had a tough time finding a way,” Brighton coach Paul Moggach said. “But we found a way to do it. And I’m really proud of how they did it. It was a tough road, but they came through at the end.”
PHOTO courtesy of Hockey Weekly. Brighton sophomore Brett Pietila moves the puck ahead during Saturday's second period.