Rice beats St. Mary's in OT thriller in Catholic final
DETROIT — The third win in the season series got them a trophy, a fourth win would take them one step closer to another.
Chandler Gillespie scored with 1:06 remaining in overtime, giving Birmingham Brother Rice a 4-3 victory against Orchard Lake St. Mary’s in the Catholic League’s Division 1 championship game Saturday night at Joe Louis Arena.
It’s the third win for Rice against the Eaglets this year, and the teams are set to open the D-1 state playoffs against one another Feb. 25.
“It’s a good win for us. I mean, anytime you win a league title is special,” Rice coach Lou Schmidt Jr. said after the game. “And to do it, playing here, makes it even better.”
The game was back in forth all night.
Rice struck first when Russell Cicerone scored 9:04 into the first period.
The Warriors went up 3-0 after Ross Haffey and Conner Jean scored in the second.
But St. Mary’s responded with three of its own.
Dieon Mueller made it 3-1 with 4:56 remaining in the second period, and then Michael Muller and Cooper Marody scored roughly eight minutes apart in the third to even the game and eventually force overtime.
Had Gillespie not scored, and the eight-minute extra session ended in a tie, the teams would have been awarded co-champions.
Check back on our Sports page next week for more on the Catholic League final, and a preview of Rice and St. Mary’s playoff opener.
In the D-2 Catholic League final, Riverview Gabriel Richard earned its third league title in the past four years, skating past Royal Oak Shrine 6-1.