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McClancy hockey claims first place with 8-3 win over St. Ray’s

McClancy hockey coach Mike Brenneis stressed to his team the importance of trying to stop St. Raymond’s sniper Eddie Perez before their CHSHL ‘C’ division clash Friday at the Ice Hutch in Mount Vernon.

And then Perez went out and scored the game’s first goal.

But the Crusaders rallied, scoring five second period goals en route to an 8-3 rout which catapulted them into first place, one point ahead of the Ravens.

“I just told them to keep their focus, to keep forechecking and keep plugging away at the rebounds,” Brenneis told his team in the first intermission. “I told them we have to keep crashing the net.”

The win avenged McClancy’s lone loss of the year, a 5-2 defeat on Dec. 18, when Brenneis described his team’s play as, “totally flat.”

Following the first period goal by Perez, who leads the ‘C’ division in scoring with 29 points, Joey Sadowsky and Anthony Vennitti scored 1:13 apart for McClancy (7-1) before Perez added his second goal of the game to tie the game at 2 at the 10:52 mark of the second period.

But once again McClancy scored goals in bunches. This time Keith Morrice had two goals and Stephen Ferguson added another in a two-minute span that saw the Crusaders take a 5-2 lead and St. Ray’s coach Terrance McGann called a timeout.

“We just poured it on in the second period and I think it deflated St. Raymond’s,” Brenneis said. “We kind of stunned them this time. I think they thought they’d walk over us this time.”

Perez added his third goal of the game with 2:44 left in the second period before Ramon Gutierez answered back 1:52 into the third period to put the Crusaders in front, 6-3.

Ryan Ferguson and Morrice added insurance goals late for McClancy, which takes on St. Raymond’s (6-1-1) in another critical game Thursday at E.J. Murray Rink in Yonkers. Face-off is slated for 7 p.m.

Archbishop Molloy 5, Xavier 2. Mike Farrell had a hat trick, Sean Murphy had a goal and two assists and Mike Carney added a goal for Molloy (9-0-2 CHSHL ‘B’) at the Ice Hutch Saturday night.

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

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