Plymouth — Two late first-period goals, scored 24 seconds apart, gave Detroit Catholic Central a two goal cushion that they never relinquished en route a 4-3 victory over Detroit U-D Jesuit in an MHSAA Division 1 semifinal.
In what was a rematch of a semifinal last season, Catholic Central came out on top again over Jesuit to clinch their third straight trip to the finals. Catholic Central has won the last two Division 1 titles.
Catholic Central will face Brighton at 6 tonight at USA Hockey Arena.
“It’s (going to be) just like any other game, even though there’s a bit more on the line, I think you do the same things you do,” Catholic Central senior Brian Kearns said.
Jesuit (16-8-5) had beaten Cathoic Central in the regular season.
Sheldon Wasik poked home the first goal of the game for Catholic Central (23-7).
Jesuit evened things up with just under a minute and a half left but just seconds later, Catholic Central scored twice, with goals from Joseph Mancinelli and Zachary Sprys-Tellner, 24 seconds apart, gave them a 3-1 lead.
“Certainly makes it a lot easier when you have a two-goal cushion,” Catholic Central coach Brandon Kaleniecki said.
The only scoring in the second came from Catholic Central when Michael Considine wristed home a shot.
Catholic Central outshot Jesuit 15-6 in the period, as Jesuit couldn’t get anything consistent going on offense.
The first two periods went penalty free, as the game’s first was called on Jesuit with 12 minutes left in the game.
Shortly after that, Catholic Central was called for a boarding major, which gave Jesuit a small ray of hope.
Jesuit got a second goal with just over seven minutes left, as Brendan Gumbel put home a rebound on the major power play, to limit the damage to 4-2.
It then became a 4-3 game with 4 minutes, 15 seconds left after a poor clearing attempt from behind the net by Alec Calvaruso, created an opportunity for an easy tap in for Evans, who notched his second goal of the night.
That was all they could manage though, as Catholic Central held on for the win.
“I’d like to figure out how to watch one of these games on Saturday from the bench,” Jesuit coach Rick Bennetts said.
More Division 1
Brighton 4, Grandville 1: Joey Clifford, Jake Crespi, Ben Peterson and Lee Pietila scored goals for Brighton before David Breazeale got one back for Grandville in third period. Logan Neaton had 24 saves for Brighton.
Blake Meakin is a freelance writer.