Novi Detroit Catholic Central and Grandville are familiar playoff foes, having met in the hockey Final Four in three of the past four years.
DCC, the three-time defending state champion, continued its success over the Bulldogs in the postseason on Friday, winning 5-0 in the Division 1 semifinals at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth.
DCC, which beat Grandville in the 2015 title game and in the 2014 semifinals, advances to play Brighton in Saturday’s 6 p.m. championship.
“This is a rivalry built on a lot of respect,” said DCC coach Brandon Kaleniecki.
Jack Chartier scored for the Shamrocks just five minutes into the first period, on an assist by Dylan Montie. Grandville (19-11) out-shot DCC 11-5 in the first period. Rylan Clemons pushed the Shamrocks’ lead to 2-0 three minutes into the second period, scoring on a pass from John Zielinski. 17-6.
Clemons scored his second goal early in the third period on a power play to give the Shamrocks plenty of cushion. Michael Considine scored with 5:13 remaining in the game on a second power play, closely followed by Brendan West’s goal less than 30 seconds later when Grandville was at full strength. West added two assists in the game.
“Our goalie played an awesome first period, when we were really slow,” Brandon Kaleniecki said. “He gave us a chance in the first. To come out of that period ahead, 1-0, we probably didn’t deserve to have a lead, no doubt. So that goes to him. In the second and third period we started to turn the wheel a little bit. We started getting pucks in behind them and forced them to play down low. We were able to generate a lot of opportunities off of that.”
Sean Finstrom made 28 saves for DCC in the net.
“Everything was just coming pretty easily,” he said. “The boys played good in front, and especially in the last two periods we got some pucks in the net. Everything settled down for us and the nerves went away. It showed how we can play.”
It’s the third time in the past four seasons that DCC (22-7-1) and Brighton have met in the state championship. DCC won both times – last season and in 2014.
Division 3: Warren De La Salle scored four unanswered goals to race past Dearborn Divine Child, 5-2, to advance to Saturday’s 2 p.m. championship against Calumet at USA Hockey Arena.
Calumet beat Flint Powers Catholic, 5-2, to advance.
De La Salle (19-9-1) advanced to its first state final, thanks to goals from Jacob Deratany, Matthew Pelto (shorthanded), Thomas Hernandez (shorthanded), Gregory Pine and Grant Roland (empty net). Calumet (23-6-1), which has won six state titles overall, had goals from Brent Loukus, Rory Anderson (power play), Ed Beiring, Brent Loukus and Trevor Johnson. Anderson added two assists.