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Molloy skates past St. Joseph by the Sea, 9-0

Sean Kearney had already scored two first period goals to give the Molloy hockey team a 3-0 lead over St. Joseph by the Sea with 4:46 left in the first period, but the junior forward wasn’t taking any chances.

After being burned in a 5-5 tie with rival Holy Cross last week, when Molloy gave up the tying goal with 11 seconds left, Kearney and the Stanners weren’t going to let another precious win slip away. He netted a third goal with six seconds left to complete the first period hat trick en route to a 9-0 rout Friday at the Ice Hutch in Mount Vernon.

“That’s the whole attitude now, to keep it coming,” said Kearney, who recorded his first career hat trick. “We have to keep playing and take what we can.”

Clearly Molloy (2-1-1 CHSHL B) learned its lesson because it came out and dominated St. Joseph by the Sea from the opening face-off. The Stanners passing in the offensive zone made it look like they were on an eternal power play and Molloy’s strong backchecking led to very few odd-man rushes for the Vikings.

Kearney scored the game’s first goal when he split defenders between the circles and beat St. Joseph by the Sea goalie Nick Dwyer with a wrist shot glove side with 7:41 left in the first.

Matt Davino gave the Stanners a two-goal lead 23 seconds later when he won the puck along the corner boards and walked in unscathed. Kearney added two more to put Molloy comfortably ahead, 4-0, after the first period.

But even then Stanners coach Richie Rodgers warned about a letdown.

“I told them to remember the Holy Cross game,” Rodgers said. “I told them that it wasn’t over.”

Molloy poured it on in the second period, as Davino and Bryan Elfant scored two goals apiece in the stanza to extend the Stanners’ lead to 8-0.

Predictably, the game turned ugly in the second and third periods as an embarrassed St. Joe’s (0-3 CHSHL B) took out its frustrations and the result was a constant parade to the penalty box for both teams, especially in the third period. The two teams combined for 92 penalty minutes.

The only drama left in the third period was if Molloy sophomore Harrison Knee would earn his first career shutout in his first-ever varsity start. After making a few difficult saves in the first period, Knee cruised to make 19 saves in the blanking.

“I feel good about getting my first career shutout,” said the first-year ice hockey player from Broad Channel. “It’s a boost of confidence."

“We were worried about goaltending coming in the season, but we have two very good goalies,” Rodgers said. “[Knee’s] very raw and he has to continue to work on a lot of things, but I think he’ll be an excellent goalie.”

Mike Farrell, a junior transfer from St. Mary’s in Manhasset, scored the lone third period goal after assisting on two of Kearney’s goals.

Molloy 5, Kellenberg 3. The line of Davino, Paul LiVecchi and Jimmy Grogan accounted for all five Stanners goals Saturday at the Ice Hutch. LiVecchi (two assists) and Davino scored two goals apiece, and Grogan had a goal and two assists for Molloy, who face Kellenberg again Friday at 9:45 p.m. at Newbridge Road Rink in Bellmore and then St. Edmund Prep Saturday at 7:45 p.m. at Abe Stark Rink on Coney Island.

Stepinac 9, St. Francis Prep 6. Giancarlo Racanelli and James Bertorelli scored two goals apiece and the Carpanini brothers, Mike and Nick, added one goal apiece for St. Francis Prep (0-4-1 CHSHL A) Saturday at the Ice Hutch. The Terriers take on Chaminade Saturday at Iceworks in Syosset. Opening face-off is slated for 12:30 p.m. Stepinac improves to 4-2-2 in CHSHL A.

St. Peter’s 4, Holy Cross 2. Chris Ryan netted both goals for Holy Cross (3-1-1 CHSHL B) last Thursday at Murray Rink in Yonkers. St. Peter’s improved to 3-0-1 and took over sole possession of first place.

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

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