Rodriguez admits the hockey rivalry may not get as much attention as other sports at the schools, but the emotions of the matchup never cease once the two teams get onto the ice. It was quickly evident to the small, but boisterous crowd, gathered at Abe Stark Rink on Coney Island that Prep cast aside the rivalry to get down to the business of winning a game. Rodriguez helped prove that fact with two consecutive goals in the second period, which was the centerpiece of a dominant St. Francis Prep, 5-1, win over Holy Cross in a CHSHL 'B' game Friday night. Even with the team missing a few players, St. Francis Prep improved to 6-2 and completed a season sweep of Cross. The Terriers are starting to gain the right momentum as the season winds down. Rodriguez says that the team's main aspiration is to keep pace in the 'B' South Division. "We want to win because it's a school rivalry but it's just a game and each game is important for us to get to the finals," Rodriguez, a junior forward, said. "We got two teams to beat and that's Christ the King and St. Edmund Prep. We're trying to get a championship and move to the 'A' division next year." From the start of the opening whistle, St. Francis Prep blitzed Holy Cross goaltender Chris Temperini with shots. Holy Cross (4-6) remained resilient and tied the game at 1 on a short-handed goal by John Pagano near the end of the first period. The Terriers quickly bounced back in the second period. Rodriguez broke the deadlock with a power play goal to make it 2-1 as his wrist shot found the top left shelf of the Holy Cross net. At the five-minute mark, Rodriguez tipped in the puck off a wild scramble near the Knights' net for a 3-1 commanding advantage. If it wasn't for the acrobatics of the Knights' goaltender saving numerous point-blank shots, first-year head coach Chris McHugh said the Terriers could have put up more goals. But the former Holy Cross hockey player knew that wasn't enough to turn the tide. "We were a little weak on defense today and we got beat to every loose puck," he said. "It was a matter of effort. Even though we've got a young team, there is no excuse for that."
©2007 Community News Group
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