G.R. Catholic Central wins in overtime, reaches D3 final
Plymouth – It was a raucous atmosphere at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth for Friday’s semifinal matchup between Chelsea (23-4-2) and Grand Rapids Catholic Central Cougars (26-3-1).
Sophomore forward Jack Pendery’s goal with 2:35 left in overtime sent Catholic Central to Saturday’s Division 3 final.
“The whole entire game we had the mentality of just get shots on net, get shots on net,” Pendery said.
The Cougars will face Hancock at 2 p.m. for the title.
Chelsea was hot out of the gate, scoring just 39 seconds into the first period. Senior forward Sean Cox knocked in a rebound off the post past Cougars junior goalie Jacob McClelland. Assisting on the goal were senior forwards Jack Miller and Alec Damman.
Chelsea withstood some intense pressure from the opposition and was able to breakthrough again with 4:09 left in the first period. The unassisted power-play goal came from senior forward Danny Hill.
Catholic Central struck back midway through the second period. The Cougars got on the board at the 9:41 mark after a flurry in Chelsea’s end. Notching the tally was senior forward Brian Pattison, with the assists from junior forward Tyler Dillon and senior forward Campbell Balk.
The Cougars nearly evened things up with 2:20 left in the second period, ringing a shot off the post.
Chelsea came out strong again at the start of the third period, but McClelland was equal to the task, fending off a couple great chances from the Bulldogs early on.
Catholic Central was able to draw even at 2-2 on the power-play with 8:20 left in the game, 20 seconds into a power-play. Senior forward Chase Madden found the back of the net, assisted by senior forwards Brian Pattison and Campbell Balk.
The rest of the third period saw things get intense, with both teams getting some chances but no one able to capitalize.
Chelsea head coach Don Wright took a timeout with 34 seconds left in the game, and his team responded with a huge flurry around the net. The Bulldogs couldn’t beat McClelland however, sending the game to overtime.
“We’ve had a great playoff run here and we’re one away. It’s all about doing our jobs, knowing our roles and playing our roles,” Cougars coach Mike Slobodnik said.
Senior goalie Derek Schaedig made 50 saves for Chelsea.
“Derek’s one of the best in the state, he’s had a phenomenal year and led the state in goals against and save percentage. It’s nice to have that back there,” Chelsea coach Don Wright said.