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Stepinac hands Prep hockey 6-3 loss

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Bob Cavallary just doesn’t understand it.

The coach of the St. Francis Prep hockey teams watches his team hang with powerhouses Monsignor Farrell and Xaverian, but the Terriers just can’t seem to find an answer for Stepinac, which beat St. Francis Prep Saturday for the second time this year, 6-3 at the Ice Hutch in Mount Vernon.

“It seems like they get in our zone and are quick enough to get in front of our net and create havoc,” St. Francis Prep coach Bob Cavallary said. “They just seem to do it to us.”

Even Stepinac coach Greg Egan is puzzled.

“I just don’t get it. For whatever reason, we just match up real good with that team,” Egan said. “I don’t think they can handle our size and speed of our three lines. We always outplay them and score a lot of goals.”

Stepinac (7-7-3, 4-5-3 CHSHL A), which already defeated St. Francis Prep 7-4 and 9-6, jumped out to a 3-0 lead on first-period goals by Mike Henderson and a pair by Danny Ahearn, who scored seven seconds into a power play with 46 seconds left in the first period.

Stepinac, which had a 33-23 edge in shots, outshot the Terriers, 12-4 in the first period.

Paul Desmond scored the lone second-period goal for St. Francis Prep (2-8-3), but Chris Post (two goals, two assists) scored 30 seconds into the third period to give Stepinac a 4-1 lead.

James Bertorelli scored back-to-back goals to bring the Terriers within one at 4-3, but Post scored the backbreaker with Henderson picking up his second assist with 2:38 left in the third to put the Crusaders ahead, 5-3.

Ahearn completed the hat trick with an empty netter with 49 seconds left.

“They’re a scrappy team; they battled back,” Egan said of St. Francis Prep. “They’ve played a lot of teams tougher than a lot of us thought they would.”

St. Francis Prep takes on Iona Prep (8-2-1) Thursday at Murray Rink in Yonkers at 7 p.m. and Fordham Prep (1-6-4) Saturday at 9:45 p.m. at the Ice Hutch in Mount Vernon.

“It’s our whole season,” Cavallary said of the game against Fordham Prep. “If we beat them we can probably still stay in the ‘A’ division.”

Holy Cross (3-3-2) also looks to rebound from its recent snide when it faces St. Joseph by the Sea (2-5-2) Friday at 8:15 p.m. at Abe Stark Rink on Coney Island.

Reach Associate Sports Editor Dylan Butler by email at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 1-718-229-0300, Ext. 143.

Updated 10:26 am, October 12, 2011
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