It was a script that was getting way too familiar for Molloy hockey coach Richie Rodgers.
A month after the Stanners blew a third period lead in a 5-5 tie with rival Holy Cross, Molloy was again poised to blow another big lead, letting a 5-1 advantage late in the second period dwindle to 5-3 after back-to-back goals brought the Knights within two.
But Mike Farrell had other plans. The junior transfer from St. Marys in Manhasset netted a hat trick, including the back-breaker with 7:23 left in the third period, to lift Molloy to a 6-3 win Sunday night at Abe Stark Rink on Coney Island.
We thought we had it in the bag last game and they came back, Rodgers said. And then I thought, Oh boy, here we go, but we tried to stress playing positions and we knew the offense would take care of itself. We tried not to have any leaks in the water bag.
With the exception of the six-minute hiccup from the end of the second period until midway through the third, Molloy (6-1-2 CHSHL B) executed Rodgers' game plan to perfection.
The Stanners aggressively forechecked, backchecked and just plain checked. In a battle of two of the top sophomore goaltenders in the league, Molloys Harrison Knee had a slight advantage over Matt Cammarata, as the Broad Channel resident made 19 saves in the win.
Cammarata was the busier goaltender, making 25 saves and all five of Molloys goals were either off a rebound or through a screen in front.
You just have to get rebounds, you have to get a lot of shots on him, Farrell said of Cammarata. Hes the best goalie in the league. He keeps his team in every game.
They screened me. I needed help in front, Cammarata said. We dont have it down yet. We havent even been clicking yet.
Holy Cross (3-3-2 CHSHL B) also has the leagues top scorer in sophomore Chris Ryan, who had two goals and one assist against Molloy. But the Stanners had more than just one offensive weapon, as the line of Farrell, Sean Kearney and Sean Murphy accounted for five of Molloys six goals.
Farrell had three goals and one assist, Kearney added a goal and three assists and Murphy had a goal and an assist. Matt Davino also scored, giving the Stanners a 3-1 lead after the first period.
Coach just told us we just have to play defense on them, play the puck and stay on them, Farrell said.
The win gives Molloy sole possession of first place, two points ahead of Kellenberg and St. Peters, while Holy Cross is in fourth place, one point in front of St. Edmund Prep.
Only the top four teams make the playoffs this year, as opposed to six in years past, but both coaches stress its too early to worry about playoff positioning.
We just want to get to the playoffs, we dont care if were in first or fourth, Rodgers said. Thats when the real season starts.
Im concerned with the losses, but we know we can play much better, said Holy Cross coach Mike Mitchell, whose team has struggled the past four games. When we snap out of the funk, we should be all right.
Holy Cross looks to snap its snide Thursday against St. Edmund in the middle game of a triple-header at E.J. Murray Rink in Yonkers. Face-off is slated for 7 p.m.
At 5:15 p.m. St. Francis Prep takes on Fordham Prep and the finale pits McClancy against Bishop Ford at 8:45 p.m.
Molloy returns to the ice Feb. 14 with a Valentines Day date with St. Joseph by the Sea at Abe Stark Rink at 8:15 p.m.
Monsignor Farrell 3, St. Francis Prep 1. James Bertorelli scored the lone goal for the Terriers (2-6-2 CHSHL A) Saturday at the Ice Hutch in Mount Vernon.
St. Francis Prep 3, Chaminade 3. James Bertorelli netted a hat trick to gave the Terriers a 3-1 lead but Chaminade answered with two goals in the final five minutes to tie it Friday night at Iceworks in Syosset.
Reach Associate Sports Editor Dylan Butler by email at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 143.
©2003 Community News Group
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