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St. Peter’s edges St. Francis Prep in Game 1, 5-3

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In a game dominated by power-play goals, the chances the St. Francis Prep hockey team didn’t convert with the man advantage were the difference in a 5-3 loss to red-hot St. Peter’s in the opening game of the best-of-three CHSHL ‘B’ championship series Tuesday at the Ice Hutch in Mount Vernon.

The Eagles, who rallied from one game down against Molloy to win their semifinal series with a dominating Game 3, were 2-for-4 on the power play, with their last man advantage coming late in the third period.

The Terriers converted just two of seven power play chances and were never dangerous on a critical 58-second two-man advantage late in the third period.

“We weren’t working together, our movement wasn’t there,” said St. Francis Prep senior Steve Cameron, whose first period goal tied the game at 1. “Against these guys you can’t do that.”

Cameron helped set up the Terriers’ go-ahead goal in the third period with a face-off win to the right of the St. Peter’s net. Junior defenseman Mark Foris pounced on the puck and blasted a low one-timer into the net to give St. Francis Prep (11-6-2) its first lead of the game, 3-2, with 13:06 left.

But the lead lasted just 1:16 as St. Peter’s (11-8-1) made the Terriers pay for a pair of defensive mistakes as Andrew Russo, who had two goals and two assists, and Joe Rigatti scored a pair of goals in 16 seconds to regain the lead, 4-3, with 11:33 left.

Mike Carapella added an insurance goal on a slap shot from the right circle after a scramble in front less than four minutes later.

“There were a couple times when we could’ve turned things around and we didn’t,” said St. Francis Prep captain Dan McCloskey. “Only a couple things changed this game. We played bad for a couple of minutes and it did us in.”

James Bertorelli netted the other goal for St. Francis Prep, which needs a win Thursday at Murray Rink in Yonkers to force a deciding Game 3, which would be played Friday at the Ice Hutch.

Holy Cross 10, Cardinal Spellman 1. After squeaking by Spellman, 2-1 in the opening game, Holy Cross cruised into the CHSHL ‘C’ division championship series with a nine-goal romp Monday at the Ice Hutch in Mount Vernon, sweeping the best-of-three series two games to none.

The Knights wasted little time, scoring two goals in the opening 1:16 of the first period. After Mark Goetzger and Bryan Benini scored early, Pat McHugh and Ray Wilson scored late, putting Holy Cross (13-3-2) ahead, 4-0 in the final 1:09 of the first period.

Benini led Holy Cross, who face Salesian in the best-of-three championship series which began Wednesday night, with two goals and three assists. Tom Dooley and McHugh each netted a pair of goals, Joe Temperini had one goal and four assists and Rob DiRico also scored for the Knights.

Game two of the series is Thursday at 8:40 p.m. at the Ice Hutch and if game three is necessary, it will be Saturday at 9:30 p.m. at Abe Stark Rink on Yonkers.

St. Peter’s 7, Molloy 4. In the deciding game of the best-of-three semifinal series, Russo netted four goals — including three in the second period — to lead the Eagles to the win Sunday at the Ice Hutch.

Russo, who scored three shorthanded goals, added two assists as well. Jared Delmar netted a pair of goals and Rigatti added one for the Eagles.

The Stanners (7-8-4), who trailed 3-2 after one period, made things interesting in the third period, as goals by Sean Kearney and John O’ Hare’s second cut the St. Peters’ lead to 6-4 midway through the period.

But 18 seconds later Delmar beat Molloy goaltender Mike Koenig, who replaced starter Adrian Podpirka late in the second period, on a 2-on-1 to cap the scoring.

“They made us look bad. They were in our face and we played poorly because they played very well,” said Molloy head coach Richie Rodgers. “They played with more passion and intensity.”

St. Peter’s 2, Molloy 1. The Stanners couldn’t capitalize on three first period power plays and fanned on several open chances in the Eagles one-goal win Saturday at Abe Stark Rink.

Delmar broke a scoreless tie with 7:39 left in the second period, lifting a shot over Podpirka after Russo won the puck along the boards. The Eagles made it 2-0 less than five minutes into the third period on a goal by Rigatti in front of the net.

Paul LiVecchi put Molloy on the board with 4:52 left in the game, but the Stanners couldn't get another puck past St. Peter’s goaltender Mike Ruggerio, who made 23 saves in the win.

St. Francis Prep 4, St. Joseph by the Sea 1. The Terriers wrapped up its semifinal series Friday at the Ice Hutch as John Leistman netted a pair of goals, Luke Desmond and Nicolas Carpanini added a goal apiece for top-seeded St. Francis Prep, who swept the series, 2-0. Sean O’Loughlin scored the lone goal for the Vikings.

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

Posted 7:02 pm, October 10, 2011
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