Connor Jean (17), Birmingham Brother Rice, makes a pass with Detroit Catholic Central defenseman Luke Turner on his back during boys varsity hockey action at the Oak Park Arena Friday. (Special to The Oakland Press/LARRY McKEE)
Hockey - Boys
HOCKEY: Catholic Central hands Brother Rice its first loss in over a year WITH VIDEO
Max Wanko (12), Detroit Catholic Central, brings the puck up ice during boys varsity hockey action against Birmingham Brother Rice at the Oak Park Arena Friday. (Special to The Oakland Press/LARRY McKEE)
Carter Cerretani, Detroit Catholic Central, makes a pass up ice during boys varsity hockey action against Birmingham Brother Rice at the Oak Park Arena Friday. (Special to The Oakland Press/LARRY McKEE)
Birmingham Brother Rice goalie Jack Bowman makes a save during boys varsity hockey action against Detroit Catholic Central at the Oak Park Arena Friday. (Special to The Oakland Press/LARRY McKEE)
OAK PARK – It had been a while since Birmingham Brother Rice suffered its last loss.
The last loss the Warriors had suffered came back in December of 2011 as they fell at the hands of Novi Detroit Catholic Central, 4-2.
On Friday night, the Shamrocks handed the Brother Rice its first loss since the 2011 matchup as Catholic Central outshot the Warriors, 36-23, en route to a 3-1 win, avenging a 7-4 loss from earlier in the season.
Catholic Central (11-5) head coach Todd Johnson noted that with how well Brother Rice has been playing over the course of the past two seasons, Friday night’s win is a bit of a confidence boost for his team going forward.
“Well it’s big,” he said. “They (Brother Rice) hadn’t lost in 13 months, so they’ve been on a real run as a program. They got us good the last time, and there’s a possibility that we’ll see them later in the season. I think it’s important for our confidence that we beat a really, really good team and tonight we beat a really good team.”
After Brother Rice (13-1-2) managed to tie the game at 1-1 early on in the second period on a goal from sophomore Connor Jean on a quick pass from the side by Matthew Riggleman, Catholic Central took the lead back for good.
With 8:45 left to play in the game, Catholic Central senior Charlie Green came up with the go-ahead power play goal as he managed to coral a rebound after a missed shot and find the back of the net in traffic to put the Shamrocks ahead, 2-1.
“We were on a power play,” Green said. “We got it up to the top and got it to the net, and I just got the rebound and was in position and buried it home.”
Brother Rice coach Kenny Chaput, who was standing in for head coach Lou Schmidt on Friday night, said that after tying the game up after trailing for much of the game, falling behind again put the pressure on Brother Rice once again in the third period.
“I don’t know if it was so much of a deflator,” he said. “It was just that we fought for two periods and we were down and you finally get back and tie, and I don’t know what the time frame was, but a few minutes later, you’re back playing from behind again, so that’s what makes it tough. It’s nice to play even or with the lead a little bit, and you can play a little more comfortable, and we couldn’t do that.”
The Shamrocks then put the game away about five minutes later as they picked up another power play opportunity and junior Matt Sorisho picked up the goal to give the Shamrocks a 3-1 lead with less than four minutes left to play.
Johnson noted that since the Shamrocks lost to Brother Rice in November, he felt that his team had been playing better and added that his team was able to do a lot of the right things on Friday night, which led to picking up the win.
“Obviously, they beat us pretty good, we gave up seven the last time,” he said. “We’ve been playing better and we just wanted to build on that and we just do the right things all over the ice and I thought we did a good job of that.”
Throughout much of the game, Catholic Central goalie Derek Moore continued to make big save after big save to preserve a shutout in the first two periods as he turned away 22 of the 23 shots he faced on the night. Brother Rice goalie Jack Bowman stopped 33 of the 36 shots sent his way on the night for the Warriors.
Catholic Central struck first to start the game, as junior defenseman Carson Gatt controlled a rebound that headed back to center ice and sent a shot from just inside the blue line and past the Brother Rice goalie to give the Shamrocks the lead with 8:27 left in the opening period.
Green noted that with his team on a three game losing streak, coming out and snapping that losing streak was big for the Shamrocks.
“It was nice,” he said. “We lost three in a row to Cranbrook and Culver twice, they’re both great teams, but it was nice to finally get that win, especially against Rice who hadn’t lost in 13 months.”