A pair of No. 1-ranked teams highlight CHSL boys and girls championship finals

University Liggett’s girls ice hockey team combined an opportunistic offense with an aggressive defense for a 4-1 win over St. Mary’s to repeat winning the CHSL’s Bishop Division championship. (Photo by Don Horkey | Special to Detroit Catholic)

DETROIT — There will be two No. 1-ranked teams playing in the Catholic High School League’s doubleheader championship finals Saturday, Feb. 17, at the University of Detroit Mercy’s Calihan Hall.

At 5 p.m., Ann Arbor Fr. Gabriel Richard “The Fighting Irish” — No. 1 in Division 2 by the Associated Press — will face off against the Toledo Central Catholic “Fighting Irish” for the girls Bishop (Central) Division trophy.

Defending champ Fr. Gabriel Richard is enjoying a spectacular season with a perfect 20-0 overall record and 12-0 in the Central.

In the semifinal match, Fr. Gabriel Richard, who had little difficulty setting aside Farmington Hills Mercy by 20 and 36 points earlier this season, led by a mere two points heading into the last quarter. Fr. Richard quashed Mercy’s upset bid with a 13-3 run for a 50-42 decision, its closest winning margin all year.

Toledo CC (15-6 overall) lost its only game in 11 Central Division contests to Fr. Gabriel Richard a month ago, 63-46. Central Catholic beat Toledo Notre Dame Academy, 58-34, in the semifinal.

At 7 p.m., Orchard Lake St. Mary’s Prep — the Associated Press’ No. 1 pick in Division 1 — will meet its archnemesis, Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice, for the boys Bishop (Central) Division championship.

The Eaglets are 18-1 overall, 10-1 in the league. The only stain on their record is a 55-50 loss to University of Detroit Jesuit. The Warriors are 15-5, 7-4 with two of those losses handed to them by St. Mary’s in a pair of ballyhooed contests played at Oakland University’s O’Rena.

Both squads returned to the O’Rena for the semifinals earlier this week.

St. Mary’s trailed, 31-29, at the half to Warren De La Salle but quickly re-established its dominance with a 36-15 second half for a decisive 65-46 victory. Junior forward Trey McKenney had 21 points and junior point guard Sharod Barnes 18.

Brother Rice broke away from a 13-13 first quarter deadlock for a 55-50 win against Novi Detroit Catholic Central.

Two final games on Sunday, too

The University of Detroit Mercy's Calihan Hall will be the site of two CHSL boys finals on Sunday, Feb. 18.

At 2 p.m., two teams with identical records — 16-2 overall, 9-1 AA Division — will clash for the boys Cardinal Division title: Jackson Lumen Christi (ranked No. 7 in Division 3) and Riverview Gabriel Richard (rated No. 4 in Division 3). Lumen Christi defeated Richard, 63-49, during the regular season.

At 3:30 p.m., two teams from the Intersectional 1 and 2 divisions will square off for the boys St. Anne trophy. Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes (13-5, 8-0) will play Clarkston Everest Collegiate (9-9, 4-4).

GIRLS CARDINAL DIVISION: Four quarterfinal games will be played this Friday, Feb. 16. They all start at 7 p.m.

Game 1: St. Mary’s Prep (11-0) bye. Game 2: Macomb Bishop Foley (3-8) at Macomb Lutheran North (4-7). Game 3: Allen Park Cabrini (2-9) at Jackson Lumen Christi (8-3). Game 4: Royal Oak Shrine (2-9) at Wixom St. Catherine of Siena (8-4).

The semifinal games will be played Tuesday, Feb. 20, at Warren Regina: St. Mary’s Prep vs. Winner of Game 2 at 5:30 p.m. and winners of Games 3 and 4 at 7 p.m.

The winners will meet for the championship at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 24, at the University of Detroit Mercy's Calihan Hall.

GIRLS ST. ANNE DIVISION: The playoffs begin at the semifinal level on Wednesday, Feb. 21, at Warren Regina. Bloomfield Hills Academy of the Sacred Heart (8-2) will play Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood (3-2) at 6 p.m. followed by Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett (3-3) vs Clarkston Everest Collegiate at 7:30 p.m.

Winners will play for the championship at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 24, at U of D Mercy's Calihan Hall.

Liggett girls repeat on the ice

Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett's girls ice hockey team laid the groundwork early for their repeat championship of the CHSL’s Bishop Division title.

The Knights’ offense peppered 15 shots on goal in the first period, half of their full-game total, while their aggressive defense and Liggett’s acrobatic goalie, Brooklyn Peshl, limited St. Mary’s to 18 shots for the entire contest.

Senior Sophie Ancona fired the puck under the pads of Orchard Lake St. Mary’s goalie, Violet Breyer, seven minutes into the game played at the Big Boy Arena in Fraser. It was her team-leading 34th of the season.

Three minutes later, Louisa Dragovic’s shot from 40 feet found the right corner of the goal to give the Knights a 2-0 lead they wouldn’t relinquish for an eventual 4-1 victory.

St. Mary’s drew within 2-1 in the second period on a goal by Porsche Cariera, her team-leading 39th. The Eaglets couldn’t take advantage of a pair of power play opportunities in the third period. Avery Welsh sewed up the win for the Knights with a pair of late-game goals.

Contact Don Horkey at [email protected].


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