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Late goal propels Brighton to regional final win over St. Mary's WITH PHOTO GALLERY

  • Orchard Lake St. Mary’s hosted Brighton for a Division 1 regional final hockey game on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dan Fenner)
  • Orchard Lake St. Mary’s hosted Brighton for a Division 1 regional final hockey game on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dan Fenner)
  • Orchard Lake St. Mary’s hosted Brighton for a Division 1 regional final hockey game on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dan Fenner)
  • Orchard Lake St. Mary’s hosted Brighton for a Division 1 regional final hockey game on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dan Fenner)
  • Orchard Lake St. Mary’s hosted Brighton for a Division 1 regional final hockey game on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dan Fenner)
  • Orchard Lake St. Mary’s hosted Brighton for a Division 1 regional final hockey game on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dan Fenner)
  • Orchard Lake St. Mary’s hosted Brighton for a Division 1 regional final hockey game on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dan Fenner)
  • Orchard Lake St. Mary’s hosted Brighton for a Division 1 regional final hockey game on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dan Fenner)
  • Orchard Lake St. Mary’s hosted Brighton for a Division 1 regional final hockey game on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dan Fenner)
  • Orchard Lake St. Mary’s hosted Brighton for a Division 1 regional final hockey game on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dan Fenner)
  • Orchard Lake St. Mary’s hosted Brighton for a Division 1 regional final hockey game on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dan Fenner)
  • Orchard Lake St. Mary’s hosted Brighton for a Division 1 regional final hockey game on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dan Fenner)
  • Orchard Lake St. Mary’s hosted Brighton for a Division 1 regional final hockey game on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dan Fenner)
  • Orchard Lake St. Mary’s hosted Brighton for a Division 1 regional final hockey game on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dan Fenner)
  • Orchard Lake St. Mary’s hosted Brighton for a Division 1 regional final hockey game on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dan Fenner)
  • Orchard Lake St. Mary’s hosted Brighton for a Division 1 regional final hockey game on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dan Fenner)
  • Orchard Lake St. Mary’s hosted Brighton for a Division 1 regional final hockey game on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dan Fenner)
  • Orchard Lake St. Mary’s hosted Brighton for a Division 1 regional final hockey game on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dan Fenner)
  • Orchard Lake St. Mary’s hosted Brighton for a Division 1 regional final hockey game on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dan Fenner)
  • Orchard Lake St. Mary’s hosted Brighton for a Division 1 regional final hockey game on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dan Fenner)
  • Orchard Lake St. Mary’s hosted Brighton for a Division 1 regional final hockey game on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dan Fenner)
  • Orchard Lake St. Mary’s hosted Brighton for a Division 1 regional final hockey game on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dan Fenner)
  • Orchard Lake St. Mary’s hosted Brighton for a Division 1 regional final hockey game on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dan Fenner)
  • Orchard Lake St. Mary’s hosted Brighton for a Division 1 regional final hockey game on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dan Fenner)
  • Orchard Lake St. Mary’s hosted Brighton for a Division 1 regional final hockey game on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dan Fenner)
  • Orchard Lake St. Mary’s hosted Brighton for a Division 1 regional final hockey game on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dan Fenner)
  • Orchard Lake St. Mary’s hosted Brighton for a Division 1 regional final hockey game on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dan Fenner)
  • Orchard Lake St. Mary’s hosted Brighton for a Division 1 regional final hockey game on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dan Fenner)
  • Orchard Lake St. Mary’s hosted Brighton for a Division 1 regional final hockey game on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dan Fenner)
  • Orchard Lake St. Mary’s hosted Brighton for a Division 1 regional final hockey game on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dan Fenner)
  • Orchard Lake St. Mary’s hosted Brighton for a Division 1 regional final hockey game on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dan Fenner)
  • Orchard Lake St. Mary’s hosted Brighton for a Division 1 regional final hockey game on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dan Fenner)
  • Orchard Lake St. Mary’s hosted Brighton for a Division 1 regional final hockey game on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dan Fenner)
  • Orchard Lake St. Mary’s hosted Brighton for a Division 1 regional final hockey game on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dan Fenner)
  • Orchard Lake St. Mary’s hosted Brighton for a Division 1 regional final hockey game on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dan Fenner)
  • Orchard Lake St. Mary’s hosted Brighton for a Division 1 regional final hockey game on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dan Fenner)
  • Orchard Lake St. Mary’s hosted Brighton for a Division 1 regional final hockey game on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dan Fenner)
  • Orchard Lake St. Mary’s hosted Brighton for a Division 1 regional final hockey game on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dan Fenner)
  • Orchard Lake St. Mary’s hosted Brighton for a Division 1 regional final hockey game on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dan Fenner)
  • Orchard Lake St. Mary’s hosted Brighton for a Division 1 regional final hockey game on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dan Fenner)
  • Orchard Lake St. Mary’s hosted Brighton for a Division 1 regional final hockey game on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dan Fenner)
  • Orchard Lake St. Mary’s hosted Brighton for a Division 1 regional final hockey game on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dan Fenner)
  • Orchard Lake St. Mary’s hosted Brighton for a Division 1 regional final hockey game on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dan Fenner)
  • Orchard Lake St. Mary’s hosted Brighton for a Division 1 regional final hockey game on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dan Fenner)
  • Orchard Lake St. Mary’s hosted Brighton for a Division 1 regional final hockey game on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dan Fenner)
  • Orchard Lake St. Mary’s hosted Brighton for a Division 1 regional final hockey game on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dan Fenner)
  • Orchard Lake St. Mary’s hosted Brighton for a Division 1 regional final hockey game on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dan Fenner)
  • Orchard Lake St. Mary’s hosted Brighton for a Division 1 regional final hockey game on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dan Fenner)
  • Orchard Lake St. Mary’s hosted Brighton for a Division 1 regional final hockey game on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dan Fenner)
  • Orchard Lake St. Mary’s hosted Brighton for a Division 1 regional final hockey game on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dan Fenner)

ORCHARD LAKE — After struggling all night long in the face-off circle, it was a rare, clean win off the draw that set up Brighton’s tie-breaking goal in the closing minutes on Saturday.

Facing Orchard Lake St. Mary’s in a Division 1 regional final, the No. 2-ranked Bulldogs executed a planned play on an offensive zone face-off with 2:58 remaining. Senior Joey Clifford drew the puck back cleanly for junior Jake Crespi to fire quickly on net, beating the Eaglets’ goalkeeper to make it 3-2 for Brighton.

The Bulldogs defended the final three minutes successfully, with a couple of key saves coming from netminder Logan Neaton before it was all over.

“Our assistant coach, Kurt Kivisto, called the play,” Brighton coach Paul Moggach said of the game-winner. “It set up a backhand off the face-off. We hadn’t been winning face-offs all night, but we won that one and we got a goal.”

The Bulldogs (20-8) advanced to the Division 1 quarterfinals against East Kentwood on Wednesday at 7:30. The game will be played at Munn Arena on the campus of Michigan State University.

“We asked (the players) for more and wanted them to give us more (effort) and they did,” Moggach said. “I think it was a collective team thing. We were flat (early on) and felt like we were passengers in the first period. We wanted to drive the thing, not just ride along.”

Trailing 2-1 to begin the third period, St. Mary’s knotted the score on a highlight reel goal with 14:55 to play. Coming down the wing 1-on-1, OLSM senior Austin Stauffer approached the goal before twirling around the defender in the face-off circle to deliver a spin-or-rams pass to senior Ryan McGorisk to tap home at the far post.

The Eaglets out-shot the Bulldogs 28-19 overall, but went 0-for-3 on the power play.

St. Mary’s opened the scoring just 31 seconds into the first period when senior Grant Reszczyk pounced on a rebound opportunity. The Eaglets nearly doubled their early lead just moments later when the puck came to a full stop on the goal line, but never crossed it, before being cleared to safety by a Brighton defenseman.

After a first period with little in the way of offense, the Bulldogs struck twice to tie and then take the lead. First, senior Brad Halonen fired off a shot that beat the St. Mary’s goalkeeper early in the second period. Six minutes later, senior Nick Foran capitalized on the power play with a hard shot from the side boards.

Brighton did some heavy-lifting defensively just before the end of the second period when it committed two overlapping penalties and successfully killed them off, including 53 seconds of 5-on-3 time.

The two teams met very early in the season, with OLSM coming away with a 4-3 overtime win on Nov. 25.

St. Mary’s (14-12-1) will lose 13 seniors to graduation.

Last Updated: 3/5/2016 10:19:20 PM EST


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