For the Christ the King hockey team to be successful, sophomore winger John Del Rios knows the Royals forwards have to cause a commotion in front of the net.
But through two periods against Queens rival Archbishop Molloy Tuesday night, the Royals gave Stanners goaltender Adrian Podpirka an unobstructed view of what were usually errant shots.
Trailing 3-1 midway though the third period though, Del Rios and his Christ the King teammates finally stuck to the game plan and the Royals scored a pair of goals, including the game-tying tally by the 6-foot-1, 200-pound sophomore, as CK managed to salvage a point at Murray Rink in Yonkers.
Mike Drexel also followed head coach Pat Boller's advice, scoring on a one-timer in front of the net on a pass by Joseph Kemerson to get Christ the King (8-8-3, 1-4-2 CHSHL B) to 3-2 with 7:22 left in the third period. Bobby Glade scored the Royals first goal of the game on the power play in the first period.
"On both [third period] goals we worked the puck deep and we drove to the net," Boller said. "We stuck with it and didn't give up which is very positive but it still could be better."
Drexel's goal re-energized the Royals and also was the start of a wild three minutes of end-to-end hockey. Less than a minute later, Del Rios fed the puck to Luis Acosta in front of the net, but the sophomore forward was robbed by Podpirka.
Back down the ice came Molloy (5-7-2, 2-3-2) and it was Matt Davino getting off a point-blank shot only to be stopped by Christ the King sophomore goaltender Jeremy Siracusa.
After almost setting up Acosta, Del Rios tied the game at three on a rebound from a nearly impossible angle. Following Carmello Stracuzzi's shot from the point, Del Rios used all of his long reach to wrap the puck around Podpirka inside the far post while standing directly next to the near post.
"That's what crashing the net gets you," Del Rios said. "I saw a lot of bodies in front of the net and the goalie went down after the shot from the point. I didn't want to take a chance and get the puck intercepted by passing it back. It was a tight game so I just took a shot."
Molloy head coach Richie Rodgers was especially upset about giving up the two third period goals because both were scored in front of the net and having two players in front of the net is something he drills into the Stanners during practices.
"You just hate to get scored on low," said Molloy head coach Richie Rodgers. "You don't mind rushes but when they score down low and its something we've been working on, it hurts."
For the Stanners, who received a pair of goals by Paul LiVecchi and one from John O'Hare, it was yet another third period meltdown.
"It seems lately we've been losing in the third period a lot," said Joe Evangalista, one of just four seniors on the team. "It's because we have a really young team. We're not real experienced."
Holy Cross 4, St. Raymond's 3. Tom Dooley had a goal and an assist, Mike Vohs, Ryan Moran and Bryan Benini also scored for the Knights (10-4, 6-2 CHSHL C) Saturday at the Ice Hutch in Mount Vernon. Brian Wallace had a goal and two assists to lead the Ravens.
Christ the King 3, Mount St. Michael 2. Stracuzzi had a goal and an assist and Chris Keegan and Del Rios also scored for the Royals last Thursday at Murray Rink.
Reach Associate Sports Editor Dylan Butler by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 143.
©2002 Community News Group
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