PEABODY — The Bishop Fenwick hockey team didn’t take any points out of McVann-O’Keefe Rink on Saturday night. But the Crusaders certainly had to take a little bit of confidence home with them.
St. Mary’s of Lynn held on to top the Crusaders, 2-1, after the hosts had the tying goal waved off due to goaltender interference with 70 seconds to play.
Fenwick, playing in Division 1 for the second year, couldn’t have been upset with the way they hung in with one of the Catholic Central League’s top dogs. The Spartans put on a clinic in an 8-2 drubbing of the Crusaders in their first meeting a year ago, but from the opening faceoff Saturday it was evident that Fenwick had come a long way.
“We’re pleased with the performance, but not with the result,” said Crusaders coach Dan Lynch, his club 1-2 on the season. “From a program perspective I’m pretty proud of our guys.”
The Spartans (1-0-1) scored twice in the second period and carried that lead deep into the third. Fenwick captain Mike Napolitano potted a feed from fellow senior Drew Thibodeau with 2:47 to play to halve the deficit, and the Crusaders brought the fans to their feet by drawing a power play 10 seconds later.
With 1:10 to go, Fenwick junior Nick Finan appeared to tie the game, only to see his goal wiped out when the referee ruled the hosts had interfered with Spartan goalie Ryan Borders. On the play, Thibodeau slid the puck across the crease from the left side and Napolitano took a whack at it and missed. The puck popped to Finan on the opposite side and he fired it home, but in the judgement of the official Borders wasn’t afforded the opportunity to slide across his crease to make the save.