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Dramatic win for St. Francis hockey team

Dan McCloskey didn’t even have to look, he just knew. When the senior forward on the St. Francis Prep hockey team won the puck behind the Christ the King net, he was convinced he’d find James Bertorelli in the slot.

Part of his knowledge came from years of playing on the same line and some came from the fact Bertorelli practically took up residence between the faceoff circles against the Royals.

Whatever the rationale, McCloskey found Bertorelli, whose one-timer beat Christ the King goaltender Rodrigo Vidal with 52 seconds left in the third period to clinch the Terriers’ 3-2 come-from-behind win last Thursday at Murray Rink in Yonkers.

“He’ll be somewhere in front, either the high slot or the low slot but he’s always there,” McCloskey said. “I just brought the puck around the net, saw him in front and luckily he put it in.”

Bertorelli made his presence felt early in the first period when he got off two wrist shots from between the circles, but both high shots were stopped by Vidal. Despite being robbed twice in a 15-second span, the junior forward from Astoria kept plugging away.

“As the game went on, I noticed how [Vidal] was acting. I studied his style while I was on the bench,” said Bertorelli, who also scored the Terriers’ first goal of the game. “He was a really good goalie, and he made a lot of nice saves.”

But, as St. Francis Prep head coach Billy Turner pointed out, the Terriers didn’t test Vidal low. Too often Bertorelli and others shot the puck into Vidal's chest, glove and blocker, preventing any rebounds.

But when Bertorelli set up on a faceoff to the left of the Christ the King net after the Royals iced the puck with just under a minute remaining in the third period, Turner’s advice was fresh in his head.

Christ the King center Bobby Glade, whose goal put the Royals ahead 2-1 with 2:35 left in the second period, actually won the important faceoff, but somehow it was McCloskey who controlled the puck along the end boards.

“I didn’t even see what happened,” Glade said. “But then I saw the puck in the net and thought, ‘Oh, no.’”

Glade’s unassisted goal was Christ the King’s second power play tally of the game and, like Joseph Kemerson’s first-period goal, was a result of the Royals’ impressive cycling in the Terriers’ zone.

“Cycling the puck down low is the key to our offense,” said Glade, a senior forward. “But they kept us outside most of the time and we couldn’t cycle the puck as well.”

Christ the King (7-8-2, 0-4-1 CHSHL B) led 2-1 after two periods, but St. Francis Prep (4-3 CHSHL B) tied the game at 2 with 5:40 left in the third when McCloskey’s wrist shot in front of the net beat Vidal.

“We played pretty disciplined for two periods and then we took a couple of bad penalties at the start of the third and our kids lost focus from there,” said Christ the King head coach Pat Boller. “We just have to keep working, especially against St. Francis Prep. They’re one of the top teams in our league.”

The first meeting between Christ the King and St. Francis Prep was yet another tight game in the CHSHL B Division, which also features St. Joseph by the Sea, Archbishop Molloy, St. Peter’s and Mount St. Michael. While there is likely to be a bevy of one-goal games the rest of the season, Turner said the difference in the Terriers’ 3-2 win was simply one shot.

“We took one more shot than them,” said Turner, whose team outshot the Royals, 19-18. “All these years of coaching and that’s the first thing you look at.”

Holy Cross 4, McClancy 1. Joe Temperini and Ray Wilson each had one goal and two assists, Pat McHugh had one goal and one assist and Bryan Benini added a goal for Holy Cross (5-2 CHSHL C) Friday at Abe Stark Arena on Coney Island. Jason Andjelovic scored the lone goal for McClancy (3-5 CHSHL C) on an assist from Kevin Moran.

Molloy 10, St. Joseph by the Sea 1. Dan Marsanico netted a hat trick, John O’Hare, Matt Davino and Chris Colon each added a pair of goals, Mike Sangiamo scored and Bryan Elfant had four assists for the Stanners Saturday at the Ice Hutch in Mount Vernon.

Kellenberg 7, St. Francis Prep 3. Luke Desmond scored two goals and Bertorelli added one for the Terriers.

Reach Associate Sports Editor Dylan Butler by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 143.

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