- Scott Barboza, Reporter, ESPNBoston.com
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STONEHAM, Mass. -- Ties, for all that they cannot prove, can give a glimpse at the heart of a hockey team.
While No. 10 Central Catholic and No. 13 Austin Prep skated to a 1-1 tie at Stoneham Arena in a non-league tilt on Wednesday night, both coaches came away more satisfied than not.
Cougars head coach Louis Finocchiaro believed his team put in their most complete 45-minute effort of the season. While Raiders bench boss Mike Jankowski saw another vintage performance from ESPN Boston All-Stater Kyle Williams in net, turning aside 27 shots.
“We played some decent hockey in spurts, but nothing consistent,” Jankowski added.
Central Catholic (3-2-2) took a 1-0 lead to the first intermission on Lloyd Hayes’ goal, assisted by Steve Merrick with four minutes to play.
The Cougars (4-2-2) got the game-tier four minutes into the second on Frank Candelino’s wrister finding its way through a crowd.
The teams skated evenly through the third period without finding a resolution. Neither squad registered a scoring chance through the first six minutes of the final period. In the balance of time, Williams made several key stops on a couple of AP power plays, but Cougars freshman netminder Elijah Harris (17 saves) matched him stop by stop.
“That was a good hockey game,” Finocchiaro said. “They’re a well-balanced team. We had some chances, but I can’t be disappointed. I felt we really played our first full game of the season.”