LYNN — A pair of late goals pushed the St. Mary’s boys hockey team past Catholic Central League rival Bishop Fenwick in a wire-to-wire, hard fought battle Wednesday night at William P. Connery Rink.
“Hopefully this builds some character for us,” Spartans coach Mark Lee said of the win. “We felt like we controlled the early part of that game and then we lost control. Then when we needed it most the senior leadership really kicked in and they took hold of the game when we needed them too.”
Davis Kinne, Colin Reddy and Kyle Ouellette each scored one goal for the Spartans.
“Davis is the quarterback for us back there,” Lee said. “He works real hard and is a solid player. That first goal was a highlight reel. He’s very good defensively as well. It starts with good defense and he along with Kyle really steer the defensive core.”
Fenwick once again fell short against St. Mary’s, but Crusaders coach Jim Quinlan was more than proud of his team’s effort.
“St. Mary’s is a great team and they can move the puck but we held right with them,” Quinlan said. “My goalie Jake Moniz (23 saves) played phenomenal. My kids never quit and you can see that.
“Tonight just shows that we are there,” Quinlan added. “Bishop Fenwick was always the bottom of the barrel. Everyone used to say Fenwick was a win but it’s not like that anymore, because we are coming to play.”
Both goaltenders started the first period well, with Moniz making 10 saves in the period. The Crusaders earned a power play with 6:23 to play in the first and created two shots from the point by Ian Worthley. However, Joe Purtell held strong in net for the Spartans to keep the game scoreless.
With just under three minutes left in the period, Kinne stepped in front of a Fenwick pass and, after a nice move to get past a defender, beat Moniz to the far side to give St. Mary’s the 1-0 lead.
“They’re a much improved team but we felt we dominated the entire first period,” Lee said. “We were all over them and their goaltender made some incredible stops. To come out of that period with only one was disappointing.”
In the second period the Crusaders’ power play unit struggled to produce quality chances. Fenwick’s best chance came when Worthley stole the puck from a Spartans defender with 6:24 remaining in the period but Purtell made the save to keep St. Mary’s ahead.
The third period was more of the same, with both teams going back and forth before Worthley came through for the Crusaders. The junior assistant captain used his speed to blow by a Spartans defender and then switched to his backhand to beat Purtell and tie the game at 1-1 with 4:35 to play.
“He’s a really good player as a junior,” Quinlan said of Worthley. “He works hard and he does anything we tell him to do. He’s a motivator and he works hard every night.”
St. Mary’s responded in the final minutes. Ouellette came through with the play the Spartans needed with 48 seconds to play when he finished a rebound to put the Spartans ahead 2-1.
Reddy followed suit shortly after Ouellette’s goal, with 11 seconds to play, scoring on a breakaway chance to put the game out of reach.
Fenwick (1-2) will have some time off before competing in the Catholic Memorial Christmas tournament on December 27. The Spartans (3-0) will play Lowell Catholic on Saturday and have plenty of room for improvement, Lee said.
“We took a couple of penalties at crucial times,” Lee said. “Now it is two-minute penalties so that can wear on a team. We spent a lot of energy killing those and that’s an area we have to work on. All in all there is a lot of good to come out of this. To come out after it being 1-1 and score two big goals was huge.”