The Lone Star Brahmas defeated the Aston Rebels 3-0 on Sunday to win the 2017 Robertson Cup, claiming the NAHL championship thanks in part to the contributions of three former MI-HS players.
Two former Utica Eisenhower Eagles — defenseman Blake Evennou (2014) and forward Julian Biondo (2015) — as well as former Detroit Catholic Central goaltender Alec Calvaruso (2016) played important roles throughout the Brahmas 2016-17 campaign, culminating in a league championship.
Evennou scored five goals and 10 points as a freshman for Eisenhower during its 2013-14 season. This season, the 5-foot-9, 180-pounder finished third among Lone Star defensemen in points with four goals and 16 points in 50 regular-season games. Evennou also played in nine of the 11 playoff games and had a plus-2 rating in Sunday’s championship game.
As a senior for Eisenhower, Biondo scored 22 goals and 47 points in just 25 games during the 2014-15 season. He channeled some of that goal scoring into his 2016-17 outing with the Brahmas as one-of-eight forwards to scoring double-digit goals. Biondo totaled 11 goals and 15 points in 48 regular-season games while racking up 95 penalty minutes as well. He continued that production deep into the playoffs as well with one goal and four points, assisting on Lone Star’s second goal early in the third period of Sunday’s game.
Calvaruso played three seasons with Detroit Catholic Central, posting a 27-9 record and winning three consecutive Division-I state championships with the Shamrocks between 2014 and 2016. As a rookie for the Brahmas, Calvaruso appeared in 36 regular-season games with 24 wins, three shutouts, a 2.13 goals-against average and .906 save percentage. However, he served in a backup role during Lone Star’s playoff run, stopping 18-of-19 shots faced in 52:44 of game action.
Lone Star swept Wichita Falls in three games to advance to the second round of the NAHL playoffs. There, they needed a 1-0 overtime win in Game Five to get past Corpus Christi. In the semifinal round, the Brahmas swept Janesville in consecutive games to win a best-of-three series, earning a spot in the championship game. Then, they shut out Aston and scored three goals in the final 23 minutes of regulation to claim the Robertson Cup. It is Lone Star’s first NAHL championship and the league’s fifth different champion in six seasons.