By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
PLYMOUTH – Detroit Catholic Central had one way in mind it hoped to finish this season’s MHSAA Hockey Finals at Compuware Arena.
And the Shamrocks had one opponent in mind to end against.
DCC wanted a rematch with Brighton, the two-time Division 1 champion and opponent that kept the Shamrocks from the title a year ago.
They got their wish – and their first MHSAA title since 2010 – with a 5-1 win over the Bulldogs in Saturday’s final championship game.
“We came in and we wanted to play Brighton,” DCC senior defenseman Carter Cerretani said. “We know we didn’t have the biggest team. But we definitely had the fastest, and we had to utilize that speed. Going in, we knew the crowd was going to be big. But we had to act like it was any normal game.”
Detroit Catholic Central (24-7) already had beaten Brighton once this season, 4-3 in the former’s second game and the latter’s opener this winter.
But the Shamrocks wanted a rematch where it counted most after falling 2-1 in the 2013 Final.
They dominated at the start, with junior Ryan Burnett and then Cerretani (off a Burnett assist) both scoring during the game’s first five minutes. Then DCC dominated on the check, frustrating the Bulldogs’ offense and allowing only 19 shots after giving up exactly twice that many in last season’s championship game.
“We had a handful of boys in the locker room who remembered that feeling,” said first-year DCC coach Doug Itami, who formerly served as an assistant. “We had a purpose.”
And the Shamrocks also capitalized when Brighton provided opportunities, scoring three power play goals and a fourth into an empty net with 2:32 to play. One of those power play goals came with a 5-on-3 advantage and another came just after another 5-on-3 ran out but before the Bulldogs had killed the second penalty.
Still, Brighton did have hope after senior Danny Bosio scored off a rebound on a power play 5:48 into the second period to make the score 2-1. The Bulldogs also had trailed Detroit U-D Jesuit 2-0 in the Semifinal before coming back to win 4-3 in overtime.
“We love to go down 2-nothing and then come back,” said Brighton coach Paul Moggach, tongue-in-cheek. “We’ve got the same attitude that we can come back. When we got that first goal, we thought we had momentum. But we didn’t sustain it the way we needed to.”
Senior Domenic Mancinelli put DCC up 3-1 with five minutes left in the second period, and then Cerretani and Burnett both added their second goals of the game to round out the scoring in the third.
Junior Mitch Ossowski assisted on three of the Shamrocks’ goals, and junior Spencer Wright allowed just the one, with 17 saves in goal. In a touching moment at the end, the trophy was presented on the ice to senior Matt Sorisho, a standout on last season’s team who was paralyzed from the waist down during a travel league game this fall.
Junior goalie Jimmy Milletics, another star of the 2013 Final, made 27 saves for the Bulldogs, who finished 23-7-1 but graduate a strong group of nine seniors who have played big parts over the last two seasons.
“It’s a loss in the biggest game of the season, and it’s not fun losing like that,” Brighton senior Aaron Sturos said. “Just being on this team, this is a heck of a team. We’re all really close, having fun out there, so it will be tough to leave.”
PHOTOS: (Top) Detroit Catholic Central celebrates one of its five goals Saturday in the Division 1 Final. (Middle) DCC athletic director Aaron Babicz presents the championship trophy to senior Matt Sorisho (18).
HIGHLIGHTS: (1) DCC’s Ryan Burnett gets the first goal of the Division 1 Final at the 3:54 mark of the opening period. (2) With a two-man advantage on a power play, Detroit Catholic Central gets its second goal of the finale from Carter Cerretani. (3) The Bulldogs got their only goal on the power play at the 5:48 mark of the second period from Danny Bosio. (4) About 6 minutes later, DCC counters with another power play goal by Domenic Mancinelli to take a 3-1 lead.
Jonathon Kidd and Sean Baligian present the season premiere of State Champs! Hockey Time.
1:09 - Upper Peninsula Preview
2:50 - Northern Michigan Preview
4:25 - Mid-Michigan Preview
5:57 - Lansing Area Preview
7:15 - West Michigan Preview
10:00 - Coaches' Corner - Ryan Ossenmacher - Northville
14:38 - KLAA Conference Preview
18:17 - Lakes Valley Conference Preview
19:02 - OAA Conference Preview
21:12 - Macomb Area Conference Preview
22:04 - Hair Flow Challenge
24:46 - Warrior Hockey Player of the Year Update
26:36 - Levi Pennala - Brighton Interview
29:14 - Warrior Hockey Wall Award Update
32:17 - MIHL Conference Preview
34:26 - Southeastern Conference Preview
35:12 - Metro Conference Preview
37:11 - Top Games of the Weekend Preview