WILMINGTON, Mass. -- Andrew Brandano scored twice for St. John’s Prep as the Eagles shut down Liam Coughlin and Catholic Memorial’s lethal offensive weapons, 4-1, Wednesday night, in a Catholic Conference clash.
St. John’s Prep (12-2-0, 6-1-0 Catholic Conference) goalie Billy Price continued his stellar play turning away 18-of-19 shots. Price made several big saves, including robbing Coughlin from point blank on several scoring chances.
“A lot of his saves were quality stops,” St. John’s Prep coach Kristian Hanson said. “Billy has been solid for us all season, and that was no different tonight.”
Although Coughlin was held off the score sheet that didn’t mean he played poorly because he was still a force in the offensive zone.
“He is one of the best players in high school hockey, and I think he stood out there tonight because he did a terrific job,” Catholic Memorial head coach Bill Hanson said. “It takes more than one player to win hockey games.”
Catholic Memorial (8-5-2, 2-4-0) has run into a bit of a rut going 0-4-2, but there is one thing it must do differently next game:
“Score more goals,” Bill Hanson said.
In the first period, both teams came out like a house of fire throwing bodies around on occasion. St. John’s Prep challenged Catholic Memorial goalie, Brandon Collett early and often. Collett turned away several one-time attempts from point blank, which included a sliding pad save on Justin Longo. Collett had 26 saves on the night.
“They have a young goalie [freshman], so we knew that we needed to get a lot of shots on goal (30),” St. John’s defenseman Ean Mendeszoon said.
In the second period, St. John’s Prep scored two early goals inside of the first three minutes. Brian Pinho started the scoring sliding the puck through Collett’s five-hole on a breakaway.
“[That goal] absolutely got us going because we had a poor first period,” Kristian Hanson said. “We needed something to get us going, so what was a big goal for us.”
Only 1:13 later, Cam Shaheen flung a perfect pass to Paul Crehan, who was waiting by the back post. Crehan buried the puck on a bang-bang play.
Catholic Memorial would answer on the power play though as Beau Starrett buried a rebound past Price, cutting the Eagles lead to only, 2-1.
“After they scored that power play goal it kind of put us in a little bit of a funk,” Kristian Hanson said.
Catholic Memorial’s Kevin Hock came right back on a breakaway following the Starrett goal. Hock fired a shot and followed his own rebound, but Price was able to turn away both shots.
In the final seconds of the third, Brandano tallied his first goal of the night on a play set up by Jimmy Currier. Brandano looked as if he was going to shoot as he charged the goal, but he went to the backhand.
“I thought about just shooting, but I went backhand because I saw the goalie sliding over,” Brandano said.
Brandano put the game out of reach midway through the third period, as he followed his down rebound and beat Collett.
“It was a really nice team play,” Kristian Hanson said. “We got the puck up to Currier, and he found Andrew [Brandano]. He was calm and patient with the puck because he didn’t just shoot out, and he buried it on his own rebound.