Plaskey boasts about playing at JLA, hopes to make it regular occurrence

By: Mike Moore | Royal Oak Review | Published February 27, 2013

 Shrine’s Joe Nagle goes in for a shot on goal during the Catholic League D-2 title game.

Shrine’s Joe Nagle goes in for a shot on goal during the Catholic League D-2 title game.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

DETROIT — In his own words, his team picked a bad day to play its worst game.

But it happens, and A.J. Plaskey knows there was little to be gained by dwelling on what ended up being a lopsided loss.

Instead, as the Royal Oak Shrine hockey coach looked back on 2013 Catholic League Division II championship — and the regular season as a whole — his focus was on just how far the program has come.

“Only five years in, to win a regular season title and play for a championship is pretty impressive,” Plaskey said about a 6-1 loss to Riverview Gabriel Richard, played Feb. 16 at Joe Louis Arena. “That’s what we have to take from this — how far this program has come in a short time. Two years ago, we were getting mercied five times. Now we’re at Joe Louis playing for a title. We’ve taken some big steps.”

Gabriel Richard took the game by storm early, notching five goals in the first 10 minutes.

From there on out, Shrine held its own, essentially playing to a 1-1 draw the rest of the way.

Poor weather delayed the Knights in getting downtown, and their pre-game warm-up was cut drastically short.

“I’m not making excuses, but we just weren’t ready to go,” Plaskey said. “Maybe it was nerves or whatever, but nothing we did went our way. Just one of those nights.”

It was a rare experience, to be sure.

Shrine was a perfect 6-0 in league play, including two wins against Gabriel Richard.

The Knights were 21-3 overall entering the final weekend of the regular season.

Shrine began the Division 3 state playoffs Feb. 26 against Country Day in a game played after press time.

The regional final, against Farmington High, is set for 6:55 p.m. Feb. 28 at McCann Arena in Grosse Pointe Woods.

The regional final is March 2 at the Farmington Hills Ice Arena.

However long, or short, the postseason is, though, Plaskey hopes this type of year, capped by a trip to play at Joe Louis, is only the beginning.

“I think the goal now is to make this a regular occurrence,” he said. “But it was cool to play there: a memory these guys will always have.”