HYANNIS, Mass. – Less than a week removed from a tough loss to Archbishop Williams, Springfield Cathedral showed they still belong amongst the elite.
The No. 8 Panthers turned in a complete game effort in the 6-0 win, dominating 22nd-ranked Braintree in the opening round of the Cape Cod Freeze Out.
The path doesn’t get any easier as Cathedral gets their third ranked opponent in as many games when they play No. 19 Barnstable Saturday evening in the championship game.
“The kids were pretty upset after losing the game on Saturday and I had a feeling they would be really hungry today and they came out strong and played well for three periods,” Cathedral coach Brian Foley said of his team following the game.
Cathedral jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period on goals from D.J. Petruzzelli and Cam Peritz but it wasn’t until the second period that the Panthers found out everything was going to go their way.
Less than four minutes into the period, Cathedral went on the penalty kill and withstood a brief attack from the Wamps.
The Panthers then countered and set up offense in the attacking zone, and 3:44 into the period Cam Griffin put his team up 3-0 when he ripped a shot from the point and tallied a goal for the shorthanded column.
Riley Prattson added a goal with 4:19 in the second and Johnny Leonard put home a beautifully set up puck from Prattson on a power play with 55 seconds left in the period as the Panthers skated back to their locker room with a 5-0 lead.
“No excuses we just didn’t answer the bell,” said Braintree coach Dave Fasano. “We were coming off a big win against St. Mary’s and right from the get go we were flat. We made too many mistakes against a good team. And when you make mistakes they are going to capitalize and they did.”
Peter Crinella added to his team-high 12 points with an unassisted goal a little over a minute into the third period when he beat new goalie David McDonough high to his glove side.
Dual-threat: Cathedral went into the game with Braintree with the game plan of letting both of their goalies play for half the game. Senior John Liquori got the start and Keith Petruzzelli took over with 6:59 left in the second period.
The result? A combined shutout between the two. While a strong Panther fore-check neutralized any sort of Braintree attack, the two made the saves when they needed to.
“They’re both good goalies and we try to find a way to get them both in,” said Foley. “We decided before the game to split them and see how that works and it worked well today so we might roll with that for a bit.”
Looking ahead: For Braintree, they’ll get things started with a game against Newburyport at 3 p.m. Friday night’s game is something that would like to forget about quickly. Luckily for Wamps, they don’t have a lot of time to dwell on this loss as get thrown right back into the fire.
Newburyport is also coming off a 6-0 shutout loss but Braintree will be looking to prove that they still belong in the Top 25 rankings.
“I thought we battled hard in the third period but the game was in hand at that point,” said Fassano. “We need to go home, get rested and be ready to take the ice tomorrow. We can’t have our heads down sulking and I think we’ll answer the bell tomorrow.”
As for Cathedral, they will have their hands full with the Red Raiders. The Barnstable forwards can score and their goaltending situation is concrete.
“Hopefully, we can put together another complete game. It’s going to be a tough opponent,” said Foley.