Senior Logan Neaton stood tall in goal Saturday night stopping 31 of 33 shots as Brighton High School earned its fourth boys hockey state title in school history, unseating three-time defending Division 1 champion Novi Detroit Catholic Central, 5-2, at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth.
It was the third MHSAA finals meeting between the two state powers, with CC winning last year, 3-0, and Brighton prevailing in 2013, 2-1.
CC (22-8-1), gunning for its 13th title, was unable to dig itself out of an early hole as the Bulldogs (24-6-1) scored on two of their first three shots.
Just 52 seconds into the game, Brighton’s Keith Wikman scored from Spencer Gehres and Joey Martini followed by a Gehres rebound goal from Adam Conquest and Brody White at 2:23.
Just 43 seconds into the second period, Conquest took advantage of a CC giveaway, and scored on a two-on-one with a wrist shot for a shorthanded goal between the circles from White and Martini.
CC got on the board at 6:01 of the same period when Brendan West scored on a power play on a wrap-around from Zachary Sprys-Tellner, trimming the deficit to 3-1.
The Shamrocks carried the play in the second period, out-shooting Brighton, 14-3, but still trailed by two goals.
And just 44 seconds into the third, CC cut the deficit to 3-2 on Brendan West’s goal from Michael Considine and Jared Lee.
But after being under heavy pressure, Conquest fired a shot from the point, and Gehres redirected it on backhand from mid-air to make it 4-2 for the Bulldogs with 5:16 left.
The Shamrocks pulled goalie Sean Finstrom with just over 2 minutes left, and Brighton’s Mr. Hockey candidate, Jake Crespi, scored on an empty netter with 1:08 left.