The Detroit Catholic Central Shamrocks celebrate the program's third straight D1 state title. (Photo by Michael Caples/High School Hockey Hub)
PLYMOUTH - The Shamrocks remain on top.
With a 5-1 win over rival Brighton, Detroit Catholic Central secured its third straight MHSAA Division 1 state title Saturday evening at USA Hockey Arena.
Brighton struck first, but from there, the Shamrocks scored five unanswered goals in their title defense inside their home building. DCC spends the regular season on the ‘Mitchel Kiefer Rink’ Olympic ice surface while the MHSAA tournament concludes on the NHL ice surface that is home to USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program.
While it’s almost becoming routine for the Shamrocks, the moment is never lost on coach Brandon Kaleniecki and the players.
“The seniors who win a state title and go out on top, it’s an unbelievable feeling for us as coaches to see them go out that way,” Kaleniecki said via the MHSAA official site. “It means so much.”
Five different players scored for DCC in the final win, continuing their trend of balanced scoring throughout the Shamrocks’ line-up.
Parker Jamieson scored at the halfway mark of the second period to even the game at 1-1. Brian Apple, the eventual Ron Baum Division 1 MVP, scored the go-ahead goal at the 11:52 mark of the middle frame to send DCC into the second intermission with more than enough momentum.
“Our response to it was huge,” Kaleniecki said. “[The Bulldogs] were playing really well. You’ve got to give them a lot of credit the first half of the game. We had some chances in the first and couldn’t quite find pucks around the net. They had some chances in the first. Maybe the goal was a bit of a wake-up call.”
From there, Jack Swamba and Justin Hubenschmidt scored goals early in the third period, before Landon West struck on a power play at the 12:11 for the final tally of the contest.
Cameron Duffany scored Brighton’s lone goal in the contest.
Nicholas Galda got the start between the pipes for the Shamrocks; he and Bob Masters formed a dynamic duo for DCC all season. After making 17 saves on 18 shots sent his way, Galda wrapped up an All-Tournament Team selection with the win in the finals.
“Me and Bob, all we want to do is win and do what’s best for the team,” Galda said. “At the end of the day, as long as we win, that’s all that matters.
“Bob pushes me every day to get better. So, I wouldn’t be where I am today without him at practice pushing me to keep going.”