TYNGSBORO — It was a repeat victory 24 years in the making.
The last time the St. John’s Prep hockey team skated against Bishop Guertin, current head coach Kristian Hanson was in uniform and on the ice. That was in 1994.
Monday night at Skate3 in Tyngsboro, the two teams renewed acquaintances and St. John’s took home a 4-3 victory.
“I spoke with (Bishop Guertin) coach Gary Bishop and he’s been there 26 years,” said Hanson. “The last time we played, my last year at St. John’s Prep as a senior, he was coaching there. It was in the Guertin Christmas tournament. I remember him being the coach.”
That win more than two decades ago with a bit more comfortable; a 7-2 final. In Monday’s affair, the Eagles (now 8-3-2) staved off the Cardinals (7-4-1) with two third period tallies.
The Eagles led first, with an Evan Beers shot from the blue line sneaking in for a power play goal. The Cards responded less than two minutes later on a Ben Peterson breakaway tally.
Junior forward Joe Bevere re-gave the visitors a one-goal lead, but once again, it was short lived as Liam Nye found the net to knot it back up, this time at 2-2.
Peterson scored again, the only power play goal of the night for the Cardinals, to take a 3-2 lead heading into the final frame.
The Eagles rallied in the third period, first with Ryan Farrow streaking up the wing and burying a shot just underneath the crossbar. Sophomore Ryan Bradley picked up the game-winner just under 10 minutes to go, when he took a backwards pass and fired it in for a 4-3 lead.
Sophomore Noah Dorsey-Sorofman started in net and made 10 saves for St. John’s Prep.
The penalty-filled affair didn’t leave much room for the game having any sort of flow to it, leaving the teams to make adjustments on the fly.
“It hurt the game,” said Hanson. “Undisciplined on our part, some bad penalties, especially late. You put the team in a bad position when you take penalties in the offensive zone late in the game and put them on the power play.”
Facing an out-of-state opponent also brings different challenges, with a lack of experience against a Bishop Guertin team that was fast. More than once, the Cardinals used a defensive zone turnover to send a skater up ice alone, which resulted in two of their goals.
“We haven’t really seen them,” said Hanson. “We try to look at stats they have and scores to get an indication of what you’re going up against. It’s kind of an unknown. The kids in the room weren’t familiar with them, but after tonight they sure are.”
The Eagles return to in-state opponents on Saturday against Catholic Memorial in their final Catholic Conference contest of the season.