CHSL Division 1 hockey teams vie for bragging rights in three-day tournament

METRO DETROIT — The Catholic League welcomes the hockey season with a busy three-day round-robin festival.

The eight squads that comprise CHSL Division 1 square off in four contests Wednesday, Dec. 4, each with sights set on being one of the finalists in the championship game Saturday, Dec. 7.

The teams, who are guaranteed three games in the tourney, have been on the ice since mid-November, mostly either in the Michigan Interscholastic Hockey League (MIHL) or Metro League East (MLE) or West (MLW).

The seeding for the CHSL tournament is based upon performances a year ago. Orchard Lake St. Mary’s is the two-time defending CHSL champion. Novi Detroit Catholic Central is the defending MHSAA Division 1 titleholder.

Here’s the schedule:

Wednesday, Dec. 4

Game 1 — No. 1 seed Catholic Central (1-3 MIHL) vs. No. 8 seed Dearborn Divine Child (0-3 MLW), 7:30 p.m., USA Hockey Arena, Plymouth.

Two of CC’s losses came against Culver (Ind.) Academy. The Shamrocks are led by senior Anthony Dimitrievski (3 goals, 3 assists), junior Nich Borchardt (3 goals, 2 assists) and senior Kyle Gaffney (1 goal, 4 assists). Juniors Ray Wejroch and Gio Morano and sophomore Cole Kalchik each scored a goal in the Falcons’ losses.  

Game 2 — No. 4 seed Detroit U-D Jesuit (2-3 MIHL) vs. No. 5 seed Warren DeLaSalle (1-2 MIHL), 3:30 p.m., Viking Ice Arena, Hazel Park.

A pair of sophomores lead the Cubs offense: Conor Place with seven assists and Brendan Zemek with four goals. The Pilots opened with a 6-5 decision over Lake Orion.

Game 3 — No. 2 seed St. Mary’s Prep (2-0-1) vs. No. 7 seed Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice (2-0-1), 7:30 p.m., at Orchard Lake.

High-scoring Rice beat Grosse Pointe North 11-3 and Catholic Central 5-2. Senior Ryan Murphy has five goals and an assist. The Eaglets’ tie was 4-4 against Grand Rapids Catholic Central.

Game 4 — No. 3 seed Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood (2-3 MIHL) vs. No. 6 seed Riverview Gabriel Richard (3-1 MLE), 7:15 p.m., at Cranbrook Wallace Ice Arena.

Senior Daniel Juzych (2 goals, 5 assists) and junior Jack Wineman (4 goals, 2 assists) lead the Cranes’ attack. Gabriel Richard’s wins were combined 22-0 shutouts. Seniors Nathan Vazquez (5 goals, 6 assists) and Austin Kissel (5 goals, 2 assists) pace the Pioneers. Senior goalie Drew Adams has turned away 75 of 79 shots on goal for a sparkling 94.9 percent.

Thursday, Dec. 5

Winners of Games 1 and 2 play at 5:45 p.m. and the losers at 3:30 p.m., both games at the Viking Ice Arena, Hazel Park.

Winners of Games 3 and 4 play at 7 p.m., the losers at 4:30 p.m., both games at the Oak Park Ice Arena.

Saturday, Dec. 7

Championship game will be played at 7 p.m. at the USA Ice Arena in Plymouth.

Three consolation bracket games will be played at 4 p.m. at USA Ice Arena in Plymouth and at 5 p.m. and 7:20 p.m. at the Oak Park Ice Arena to decide third through eighth place finishers.

The CHSL AA Division — Madison Heights Bishop Foley, Allen Park Cabrini, Ann Arbor Richard/Greenhills, Royal Oak Shrine, and Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett — will determine its champion Feb. 15.

6 CHSL teams in Top 10 ranks

Six CHSL teams are rated in the top 10 in early-season rankings by the Michigan High School Coaches Association.

Catholic Central is No. 1 in Division 1, St. Mary’s Prep No. 3.

Brother Rice is No. 1 in Division 2.

In Division 3, University of Detroit Jesuit is No. 3, Cranbrook Kingswood No. 6, and Riverview Gabriel Richard No. 10.