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Defending state champs Catholic Central starts season 4-0 after defeating Trenton, 4-2

By: Ben Szilagy, December 2, 2015, 11:09 pm

Plymouth – Early season litmus tests are common in the Michigan Interscholastic Hockey League, especially when the teams are among the state’s traditional powers.

Detroit Catholic Central outshot and outskated Trenton to give the Trojans’ their first loss of the season, 4-2, on Wednesday at USA Hockey Arena.

“We just want to play well, and keep getting better,” Catholic Central coach Brandon Kaleniecki said. “We played the best hockey we played all season in the first two periods.

“A win like this is always good for your confidence, especially against quality opponents.”

Both teams controlled the neutral zone early in the first period before the ice started to tilt in the Shamrocks’ favor.

Senior defensemen Brendan Cleary walked the puck along the blue line before handing it off to senior Sheldon Wasik. The 6-foot forward quickly blasted a shot from the point to give Catholic Central a 1-0 lead with 9:16 left in the period.

The Shamrocks (4-0-0) wasted little time in the second to build on their lead. After a turnover in Trenton’s end, sophomore Brendan West moved the puck to the short side of the net. Senior Glynn Robitaille trailed the play, and capped off a quick one-timer for a 2-0 lead 2:03 into the period.

“There was a lot to like in the first two periods. The first goal allowed us to take the momentum in the first and skate well. Obviously to get a quick goal in the second (period) reestablished what we wanted to do” Kaleniecki said.

Trenton (2-1-1) tried to capitalize off what momentum it could muster throughout the period. Not only was Catholic Central’s defense suffocating and disruptive, the Shamrocks received big stops from senior goaltender Alec Calvaruso.

The first-year starter stopped a big two-on-one opportunity when the Trojans breached the Shamrock zone. Another key stop came with 4:45 left in the second when Calvaruso stopped a Trenton breakaway.

C.C. outshot Trenton 32-17 and the Shamrock defense didn’t allow many shots on goal. Kaleniecki was proud of stops when quality chances arose.

“Our defense was forcing a lot of pressure all game long, which is what you want to see,” he said. “But having Alec step up the way he did was phenomenal. He makes the big saves when he has to even in games where he doesn’t face a lot of shots.

“Whether a team gets five shots or thirty, you need your goaltender to step up and make quality saves. That’s what (Calvaruso) did for us tonight.”

Catholic Central capped a three-goal second period with two goals from Cody Borke who finished a scrum just inside the Trenton goal for a 3-0 lead, and when Brian Kearns put away a shorthanded goal with 54 seconds left.

“J.P. Lafferty was battling for the puck down low, and the puck kind of squirted out in front of the net. I had was just right there to put it way,” Kearns said of his third goal of the season.

The Shamrocks received four goals from four different goal scorers, which Kaleniecki said will help build much needed depth to this team.

“We got contributions from different areas tonight, and there is still a lot more to be had there. We can get a lot more from our guys, and we need to keep pushing them to build that depth that we’ll need later in the year,” he said.

Griffin Sawyer scored twice for Trenton in the third giving the senior four on the season.