LOWELL, Mass. -- In the final minute of the second period, Central Catholic goalie Colin Soucy found himself staring down the barrel of future Providence Friar Brian Pinho.
With the Raiders holding a 3-1 lead, the St. John's Prep standout had just forced a turnover at the Raiders blue line and walked in all alone. Pinho aimed for the high, glove side but Soucy flashed his mitt to nullify what could have a momentum - and game - changing goal.
Soucy made eight more stops in the third period, finishing with 22 for the game, and the eighth-seeded Raiders pulled the early shocker of the Super 8 by knocking off the top-seeded Eagles, 4-1.
"I knew what his moves were," said Soucy, drawing on the experience of playing the Prep back in December. "He came in, he was eyeing the glove side, and I just kicked out and made the save. I learned a lot on how his head moves, his stick fakes and everything like that. I knew that he shot glove a lot so i just wanted to make the big saves."
Raiders (15-5-3) coach Mike Jankowski not only felt that stop kept the Prep (17-3-1) from getting any spark of life, but it was also a huge confidence booster for his junior netminder, given who the shooter was.
"It was huge, especially with who we turned it over to," Jankowski admitted."You don't want to turn it over to anybody but if you turn it over to him...that's just a testament to [Soucy] and what he's able to do. Not looking at who it is but doing what he needs to do to shut him down and move forward."
Shots were even through the first two frames but Central seemed to more jump in its step while the Prep was surprisingly flat, something they weren't able to shake for the entire contest. The Raiders also cashed in the game's first goal as Lloyd Hayes fired a shot on Prep goalie Billy Price. Price made the initial stop but the rebound accidentally caromed off one of his defensemen and went right back into the net at 5:08.
The Eagles made amends on the power play just over five minutes later as Tyler Bird screamed a shot through the Central crease that got blocked but founds its way to Jimmy Currier, who stuck in a backhander to tie the game at 1-1.
Kevin Regan put CC back on top just one minute into the second, snapping off a beauty of a one-timer off a feed from Billy Stahley. Defenseman Nick Gorski, who also played a stellar game in his own end, contributed to the offense by rifling a shot into an open net off a long rebound with Price out of position. Central tacked on one final goal in the third, courtesy of Alex Lester.
"We had a lot of momentum from the Hingham game coming into this and we all knew that no one was giving us credit for what we can do," Gorski said. "We knew we could beat them, we already beat them this year. They’re a very strong program and we definitely knew we had a hard game coming. The first period really showed it. We came out flying and we just continued that for the rest of the game."
The two teams will meet again on Thursday (7:45 p.m.) for game two of the best-of-three series at Stoneham Arena.