Detroit Catholic Central wins second straight Division 1 state title with 5-2 win over GrandvilleHockey  |
Plymouth — At this time last year, Catholic Central senior Evan Rochowiak was sitting in the stands taking in a state championship celebration as his classmates piled on top of each after beating Brighton.
As he was sitting there, Rochowiak was thinking about what if scenarios and he grew a sense of jealousy the longer he watched the atmosphere unfurl before his eyes.
“It was nothing like what I experienced in midget-majors,” he said. “I wanted to play my senior season with the boys before I move on with my career. It’s my last year in high school, and I knew we were going to be a good team. I knew this squad was going to be special.”
This time around Rochowiak was apart of the celebration on the ice as Detroit Catholic Central repeated as Division 1 state champions with a 5-2 win over Grandville at Compuware Arena on Saturday.
The Shamrocks (24-5-1) had a solid first period as the fore-check worked to Catholic Central’s advantage early.
Junior J.P. Lafferty forced a turnover in the neutral zone and pushed the puck ahead to senior Ryan Burnett. After Burnett crossed the blue line, he offered a quick touch pass to junior JoJo Mancinelli.
The 5-foot-8 defensemen sliced his way through the Grandville defense, and offered a deke in crease that allowed him to score a backhand goal for a 1-0 lead with 13:53 left in the first period.
The Shamrocks built upon its lead with 6:24 left in the period when senior Dillon Jones found Andrew Spiegel camped near the goal in the Bulldogs’ zone. The senior quickly went top shelf for a 2-0 lead.
After Catholic Central built its lead, 3-0, on a goal by Luk Krasicky, the Bulldogs (24-4-2) went to work in the second period.
Grandville’s power play unit got on the board first with 3:10 left in the middle frame when Mitchell Parsons fired a shot that bounced off Spencer Wright’s pads. Jacob Baum caught the puck, and laid it on the ice before popping it in the net to cut into the Shamrock lead, 3-1.
Fourteen seconds later, the Bulldogs received another rebound goal, 3-2, from Gianni Vitale that rose the crowd to its feet at the two goal explosion.
“It was a huge momentum change for us,” Grandville coach Joel Breazeale said. “We’re traditionally a third period team. But for some reason this season, we have really scored more goals in the seco