“All we wanted to do tonight, win or lose, was give our best effort and leave it all on the ice,” said St. John’s Prep head coach, whose team beat Central for the first time in three meetings this winter.
Forechecking like they had for most of the season and imposing its will on the Raiders, St. John’s took the momentum early and ran with it. Even after Central’s Lloyd Hayes scored a shorthanded goal off a Prep turnover in the defensive zone midway through the second period, the Eagles didn’t panic; instead, they tied the game at 1-1 just 22 seconds later as Justin Longo played beat the clock, scoring just seconds before the power play expired with a wrist shot through a screen.
The Eagles, who held a 31-11 shot advantage through two periods and did a fine job at possession the puck even on line changes, didn’t change a thing heading into the final frame. Their mantra of shoot early and often continued over the final 15 minutes, and Gianelli’s snipe was the one that mattered most.
“We got as many goals as we needed, and that’s all that matters,” said Hanson.
Senior goaltender Billy Price wasn’t nearly as busy as his counterpart at the other end of the rink, but on the few sustained flurries the Raiders had he stood tall. Defensemen Brent Murray, Evan Leclerc, Ean Mendeszoon et. al. did a terrific job pushing Central towards the perimeter and limiting shots.
“We got back to doing what we’re good at: being physical, getting pucks to the net, rolling four lines ... and good things happened,” said Hanson.
agateHed:St. John’s Prep 3, Central Catholic 1
agate_boldCentered:Super 8 quarterfinals, Game 2
at Stoneham Rink
agate_lineQuarters:Central Catholic: 0 1 0 — 1
agate_lineQuarters:St. John’s Prep: 0 1 2 — 3
agate_lineQuarters:First period: No scoring.
agate_lineQuarters:Second Period: CC, Lloyd Hayes (un), shg, 8:07; SJP, Justin Longo (Cam Shaheen, Paul Crehan), ppg, 8:29.
agate_lineQuarters:Third Period: SJP, Nic Gianelli (Jimmy Currier, Andrew Brandano), 5:20; SJP, Jack McCarthy (Brent Murray, Brian Pinho), eng, 13:54.
agate_lineQuarters:Saves: CC, Colin Soucy 42; SJP, Billy Price 12.
agate_lineQuarters:Records: SJP, 18-3-1; CC, 15-6-3.