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Published March 2, 2013

Title defense falls short as Rice hockey drops 3-1 decision to Catholic Central in regional final

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Guys on the Catholic Central hockey team celebrate an early goal against Brother Rice in a D-1 regional final. The Shamrocks won the game 3-1.

ORCHARD LAKE — At this time in the year, a two-goal deficit is usually too much to overcome.

On Saturday night, it was for the Birmingham Brother Rice hockey team.

The Warriors' dream of consecutive state titles in different divisions came to an end in a 3-1 loss to Novi Detroit Catholic Central in a Division 1 regional final at the St. Mary’s Ice Arena.

“It’s just so hard emotionally to battle back when you are down 2-0 five minutes into the game,” Rice coach Lou Schmidt Jr. said. “The guys fought and they scrapped back, but it wasn’t our night.”

The Shamrocks scored on their first two shots, taking a 2-0 lead after the first period and eventually lead 3-0.

Rice got a power-play goal in the third from Ross Haffey, but it proved too little, too late.

“I thought it was a really good game,” Schmidt said. “The place was packed. We battled, but that’s how it went."

Rice, which won the D-2 title a year ago, ends the season 22-4-1.

CC (20-6-1) advances to take on Plymouth High in a March 6 quarterfinal.

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