St. Mary’s ends Catholic League drought, 5-4, in OT
St. Mary’s players charge towards the glass to celebrate with OLSM student fans seconds after Ian Rush scored in overtime to beat Brother Rice for the Detroit Catholic League crown.
Orchard Lake St. Mary’s Prep finally won a Detroit Catholic League hockey title Saturday, Feb. 19, in dramatic overtime fashion to beat the defending champion Brother Rice Warriors, 5-4.
Ian Rush’s blast from the blue line put the puck behind Brother Rice goalie Ryan Hoffman 5:12 into the first overtime and gave the win to the Eaglets which broke their six-game losing streak in the CHSL final. When the Catholic League of Detroit added High School Hockey to its cadre of championships in 2005 Orchard Lake St. Mary’s won the inaugural title on its home ice also over Brother Rice, 4-2.
If people thought that playing the CHSL championships at the Orchard Lake St. Mary’s Athletic Complex was going to be a big home ice advantage for the Eaglets, they were wrong. This was the 13th Annual CHSL Championships and Showcase.
Asked how it felt to get the proverbial monkey off their backs in the final Klanow said:
“It feels great! I am very excited for the players, they worked very hard for the win. They do understand that the team has a long way to go to reach our overall goal for the season.”
Of course, that goal was understood without Klanow even saying it: the Division 1 MHSAA State Title on Saturday, March 11 at USA Arena in Plymouth.
The Eaglets haven’t won a state title since the famous eight overtime game against Marquette, which was called off and the crown split between both teams.
St. Mary’s won their first MHSAA title in Division 3 in 2005 and after moving up to D1 in 2006, they won again in 2007.
In the opening period of this game, St. Mary’s appeared to be on its way to a seventh straight finals loss, with Rice scoring early (1:33 by Michael McInerney) and late (16:35 by Garrett Moore), for a 2-0 lead.
Being down 2-0, Klanow was asked what were he and his assistant coaches telling the players to keep them in the game and not think “well, here we go again!”
“This team does not quit,” said Klanow. “We told them that they were fine. We made a few small adjustments and prepared for the next period.”
Bryce Kallen cut the lead, 2-1, for the Eaglets, but the Warriors upped the lead to two again on a Will Duncan goal three minutes later.
Then lightning struck for St. Mary’s. In a span of 6:33 Ryan Kerchoff, Griffen Sanom and Nick Cloud each scored a goal for a 4-3 lead.
They were holding on all period, until Blake Tosto tied the game again, 4-4, with 1:53 to go and setting up the dramatic ending in overtime.
Klanow said they would enjoy the win, but not for long.
“Winning the Catholic League is quite an honor, but to add a State Title would be very special,” he said. “That is our ultimate goal.”