Tonight’s state championship banner unveiling, to Brighton hockey coach Paul Moggach, won’t be that much of a distraction to his team, in part because of the situation his team is in this season.
“We’ve got a league game with Northville, and they’re a great opponent and we’re coming off a loss on Saturday,” Moggach said. “There are a lot of factors here and we’ve got to manage our emotions and manage our plan and get a win.”
The banner reveal was scheduled for the team’s final home game before Christmas so that last year’s players, who will be home for the holidays, have the opportunity to be there.
The Bulldogs (6-1-1 overall) are coming off a 3-0 loss to Detroit Catholic Central on Saturday night in the KLAA-MIHL Showcase in Livonia. Despite the score, Moggach was upbeat about his team’s effort on Saturday.
“I think what w learned is that we did a pretty good job,” he said. “It wasn’t a 3-0 game in our eyes. We made a couple of mistakes and they put the puck in the back of our net. But they were off our mistakes.”
The third goal was an empty-net score in the final minutes.
“It’s early in the season,” Moggach said. “We’ll look back as we progress through the season and hopefully there are lessons we can take and do a better job (tonight) and Friday at Stevenson.”
Brighton and Northville built a rivalry during their time in the old KLAA Central. One of Brighton’s all-time leading scorers, Gordie Brown, is a Northville assistant coach. In addition, Northville coach Clint Robert is a former Brighton assistant.
“They’re always a good opponent,” Moggach said of the Mustangs. “Sometimes when we think they might not be, they are (a good opponent), and we’ve learned through history that you can’t take anyone lightly, but especially Northville.”
It’s partly why Moggach scheduled the Mustangs and Spartans this week.
“We’ve got a great schedule,” he said. “We’re now coming up on the Christmas break. It’s nice to have a break, but it’s nice to go into it hard. We’re going in hard. It’s a nice way to finish up 2017 for us.”