Central Catholic Raiders Boys Ice Hockey '14-'15

Thu, Mar 05, 2015 06:00 PM @ Austin Prep
Team 1 2 3 Final
Central Catholic 1 4 2 7
Austin Prep 2 0 2 4

Gendron keeps Central alive

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Thursday, March, 05 By Jeff Hamrick

LOWELL — One thing Central Catholic had failed to achieve in recent matches with Austin Prep is getting ahead. Never having a lead makes winning all but impossible.

The Raiders corrected that pesky problem last night, however, finding the back of the net four times during a second-period, special-teams assault as Central stayed alive in the Super 8 hockey tournament with a 7-4 victory at the Tsongas Center. The victory, which tied a CC season-high for goals and was AP's first loss since Dec. 28, sets up a Sunday finale in the best-of-three first-round series at a time and site to be determined.

And it would be nice if Cam Gendron can keep his hot stick going for a few more nights.

The freshman winger lit up the Cougars on a five-point evening that included his inaugural hat trick.

"It was the first hat trick of my high school career, and luckily it came in the Super 8," said Gendron, who entered the game with four goals on the season. "Me and the boys just worked our butts off and did pretty well.

"We weren't desperate. We were a little nervous, but we put the (first loss) behind us and we focused on it being just one game. We just had to win that game."

Trailing by a goal entering the second, the Raiders (16-6-2) erased the deficit as well as the recent past for that win.

Gendron ignited the barrage with his second goal off a centering pass by fellow freshman and linemate Jake Wise 68 seconds into the frame.

"Getting back tied was big," Gendron said.

Special teams then took over, first on a shorthanded goal by Wise off assists from David Sheehan and Blades Shields with 8:47 left.

"We talked about being a little more aggressive at different times," CC coach Mike Jankowski said. "We have great team speed in that locker room and they were able to follow that up with a nice goal."

From there, it was the power play's turn with two scores over the next 4:26.

First up was Christian Thompson, who one-timed a slick diagonal pass from Billy Stahley at the right point. Then it was Gendron's turn again, making the score 5-2 on a John Barltett assist with 4:21 left in the period.

"We skated the same way we did (in earlier games with Austin Prep)," said goalie Pat Schena, who stopped 25 shots — 12 in the third. "It just comes down to finishing, and today we finished it. It was just a good win."

Stahley put the Raiders up 6-2 with the Central's first shot of the third, streaking down the left side of the rink and slamming a wrister home. Then Robbins and Gendron perfectly executed a 2-on-1 break, when Robbins drilled the crossing pass with 5:56 left for the Raiders' final score.

"It seems like we have that jump back, and we're playing well," said Jankowski, whose squad had lost six straight to AP by a combined 15-5.

Austin Prep, which had outscored CC 9-2 in three Super 8 victories the past two years, needed only 72 seconds to take a 1-goal advantage in the first game and once again the Cougars jumped out to a pair of early leads last night.

The first came 41 seconds into the game's first power play, when junior forward Mike Egan slammed home shot from the right circle for the early lead at the 6:10 mark. The Cougars, then took a 2-1 lead with 4:21 left in the first on a Cam Russo score.

But unlike the previous three defeats, the Raiders immediately answered those early salvos.
Gendron first tied the match only 17 seconds after Egan's score. Linemates Wise and Robbins assisted on the goal.

And the second period turned out to be the response to Russo's.




Game Statistics:

Goals:  CC — Cam Gendron 3, Jake Wise, Christian Thompson, Billy Stahley, Eric Robbins; AP — Mike Egan 2, Cam Russo, Anthony Cieri.

Assists:  CC — Gendron 2, Wise 2, Eric Robbins 2, David Sheehan, Blades Shields, John Barlett, Thompson Stahley; AP — Mike Disciulio 2, Ryan Verrier, Colin Murphy, Peter Burnes, Russo.

Saves: CC — Patrick Schena 25; AP — Dylan Regan 12

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