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Detroit C.C. shuts out Brighton, wins third straight Division 1 title

By: Ben Szilagy, March 12, 2016, 9:07 pm

(PHOTO CREDIT: Dave Donoher)


Plymouth — Detroit Catholic Central has had a lot of good players that have helped them win state championships in the past. The past two years weren’t any different when Spencer Wright played in net.

Sitting behind Wright was a player who was waiting to make a name for himself, and help carry on the Catholic Central tradition in senior Alec Calvaruso.

“Alec has been waiting for his opportunity. We all knew he was a great goal tender, he just had to bide his time behind someone who was older,” Detroit Catholic Central coach Brandon Kaleniecki said.

“Obviously when his time came, he was ready to take it and run with it.”

Calvaruso provided a shutout for the Shamrocks as Catholic Central captured its third straight state championship, 3-0, against Brighton on Saturday night at USA Hockey Arena.

The senior goaltender overcame a shaky end to Friday night’s semifinal and came out focused and prepared early against the Bulldogs.

5:17 into the first period Brighton had an opportunity to steal the game on when junior Jake Crespi was awarded a penalty shot, but Calvaruso was ready.

“It honestly could have been the game,” He said. “I like the pressure when we’re ahead, but not like that. I knew I had to make a stop.”

After that Calvaruso was tested only a handful of times (15 total) with quality looks from Brighton’s offense. The rest was up to the Shamrock (24-7) offense.

Midway through the second period C.C. got a big break when senior Glynn Robitaille found a loose puck in the crease and tapped in the rebound for a 1-0 lead.

Senior captain Nick Macari extended the lead, 2-0, when he walked the puck into the Bulldog end and fired a wrist shot top shelf to beat junior Logan Neston with 2:38 to play.

“Coach always tells me to drive the net and that I need to shoot more. Turns out it worked,” Macari said.

The final goal came off a rebound 1:14 into the third period when Austin Roell blasted a shot form the point. As the puck squirted out of the crease, Cody Borke flicked in the rebound for a 3-0 lead.

This is the third championship under a different head coach for the Shamrocks, but this one was a little more special for Kaleniecki, who played for C.C. (winning two state titles) before he graduated in 2000.

“To win this one is completely different,” he said. “You’re filled with so much pride from the effort of your players that it’s fulfilling as a coach. You knew what it took to get here, and here you see your players accomplish this. It’s really indescribable.”

“We’re on top of the world, honestly,” Macari added. “I was on the team all three years and each win feels better and better. There is nothing better than going out on top as a senior.”