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Detroit C.C. shows its muscle, scores final two goals and defeats G.R. Catholic Central, 6-3

By: Ben Szilagy, February 5, 2016, 10:48 pm



Trenton – The MIHL Showcase brings together talent from across the state and can create some spectacular match-ups, and Friday night was no exception.

Two of the state’s top teams, Detroit Catholic Central and Grand Rapids Catholic Central, settled which team was the best and Top-ranked Detroit C.C. prevailed, 6-3.

“We don’t think we necessarily look at the rankings,” Detroit C.C. coach Brandon Kaleniecki said. “We just know that Grand Rapids puts together a very good hockey team. That’s all you can look at, especially in a showcase like this.

“They work hard. Any team that works hard is always going to make trouble. They just keep coming, and it caused for a weird game. The flow was all over, and there was a lot of scoring and a lot of back and forth.”

The Cougars (17-2), ranked No. 6, and the Shamrocks (12-6) skated to a 2-2 tie at the end of the first period.

Detroit C.C. scored first on senior Joseph Mancinelli’s 19th goal of the season, and tied the game on a quick short-sided goal from fellow senior J.P. Lafferty.

Grand Rapids C.C. countered with goals from sophomore Jack Bowen, who sniped the top shelf and when Jared Jackson deflected the puck in front of the net 3:16 left in the first period.

Kaleniecki wasn’t pleased with his Shamrocks effort.

“We were disappointed with parts of our game. We were making bad decisions that let their forward get behind our players,” he said. “Grand Rapids have forwards that can fly. We weren’t pleased with that, and we needed to take that away from them.”

The second period was another story as the Shamrocks started to take over by attacking the middle of the ice.

“You have to attack the middle. It helps you get pucks on net, and helps crash the net. Playing the middle helps you get to the inside and help your offense get going,” Kaleniecki added.

With 12:25 left in the second period senior Anthony Esser walked the puck into the slot and fired a shot that found the back of the net for a 3-2 lead. Three minutes later Lafferty earned his second goal of the game from the slot as the Shamrocks took a 4-2 lead.

The Shamrocks gave up a quick goal to start the third period on a Campbell Balk wrist shot thirteen seconds into the period.

The Shamrocks kept the pressure on thanks to their top line.

“That entire line was jumping. It’s exciting to watch them grow with confidence and making plays in the offensive zone,” Kaleniecki said.

The Shamrocks put the game out of reach with two goals by senior Nick Macari and junior Michael Considine for a 6-3 lead as both goals came from wrist shots in the slot like their predecessors midway through the third period.