Weekly Feature



2018-02-14 / Sports

St. Joe’s hockey closes regular season with blowout wins

Sports Reporter
TAYLOR NIGRELLI


Dave Matthew of St. Joe’s backhands a wrap around pass in front of the crease during the Marauders 5-1 win over Orchard Park Sunday night. 
Photo by Jake French Dave Matthew of St. Joe’s backhands a wrap around pass in front of the crease during the Marauders 5-1 win over Orchard Park Sunday night. Photo by Jake French The St. Joe’s hockey team finished the regular season strong, winning three games over the weekend to carry a nine-game unbeaten streak into the postseason.

The Marauders went to the Massena Invite starting Friday and came away with a championship win. They started things off with a 4-0 win over host Massena Friday. Ben Weppner had 15 saves in a shutout. Jimmy Grable opened scoring four minutes into the game off a pass from Sam LaTorre. With five minutes left in the second period, David Matthew scored with an assist from Ethan Louisos. The two then reversed roles with Louisos scoring off a pass from Matthew. In the third period, Matthew Barrali scored the final goal with assists coming from LaTorre and Grable.

“It was a great team effort. Massena is a good team,” St. Joe’s coach Rich Crozier said. “We did a good job of finishing our chances. We really limited their shots. I was happy with the effort.”

The Marauders then moved onto the finals to defeat Potsdam 5-0. Jayden Baldinelli scored off a faceoff early, knocking home a pass from Spencer Frome. Grable scored the second after picking up a loose puck in front of the net, while Patrick Gilbert had an assist.

Barrali scored the third goal with two seconds remaining in the second period. He stepped out of the penalty box, took a pass from Max Wopperer, walked in on a breakaway and scored. In the third period, Grable scored again on a pass from Adam Glica. Will Redding made it 5-0 with five minutes left in the third off passes from Glica and Gilbert. Trevor Galante, a call-up from the varsity maroon team, got the shutout win. Grable was named the tournament MVP.

“Jimmy is a senior who can put the puck in the net,” Crozier said. “I’m aware at times this year he was frustrated that the puck wasn’t going in as much as he would like. But we give him a lot of credit for working through it. He seems to be getting hot at the right time.”

The Marauders then traveled back to Buffalo and got a 5-1 win over Orchard Park at HarborCenter to close out the regular season. Redding scored two minutes into the game after Connor McKendry found him right after a faceoff. Two minutes later, Frome scored on a power play with passes coming from Matthew and Gilbert.

Orchard Park would cut the deficit to 2-1, but Redding made it 3-1 midway through the second when he slapped home a loose puck in front. Assists were awarded to Connor McKendry and Adam Glica. Louisos closed out scoring on the power play when he fired a puck home from the slot, with assists going to Barrali and Matthew.

The team finishes the regular season 16-5-5. They’ll take on Bishop Timon in the semifinal round of the Monsignor Martin Playoffs 8:15 at HarborCenter Monday. They’ve played the Tigers twice this year and have 5-1 and 5-2 wins. But the playoffs are always a different animal.

“Once the playoffs start, you can throw that stuff out the window,” Crozier said. “I expect them to be scrappy. They’re going to be a tough opponent, so we’re going to have to play our best. We’re undefeated in our last nine games. But we’re just going to have a real good week of practice. One thing we learned this year is you can’t take anything for granted. We’re going to have to have a solid effort to beat them.”

email: tnigrelli@beenews.com

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