Xaverian 7, St. John's Prep 4: Xaverian rallies, outguns St. John's


Posted: March 7th, 2007 by Tom Nolette

Xaverian 7, St. John's Prep 4: Xaverian rallies, outguns St. John's
By Jack McCluskey
Globe Correspondent / March 7, 2008

LOWELL - St. John's Prep scored two goals in two games against Xaverian in the regular season. Needing a win in the second round-robin game to keep their Super 8 chances alive, the Eagles took just three shots - and 17 seconds - to net that many in the first period last night at Tsongas Arena.
Unfortunately for the Eagles (12-7-3), the Hawks (13-6-3) answered the Prep's quick burst with some second-period fireworks, scoring four goals - including the first two in just 20 seconds - to take the lead for good and remain undefeated against their Catholic League rival, 7-4.

"We knew they were going to come out with their hair on fire," Xaverian coach Dave Spinale said, citing adjustments made in the locker room during the first intermission.

Spinale's pep talk and strategy session after Chris O'Hare and Colin Prior put the Prep on top lit a fire under Xaverian. The Hawks (2-0 in the Super 8) then turned up the pressure and St. John's (0-2) had a hard time clearing the zone the rest of the night.

Nathan Hardiman got the first for the Hawks, skating down the right side, dipping briefly below the backline, and making a quick move to the middle, where his backhander beat Kyle Pettoruto to the stick side. Twenty seconds later, Bill Scannell picked off a Prep pass in the Eagles' zone and pounced, putting it past Pettoruto with a flick of the wrists.

Four minutes later, the Hawks went on top for good when Pettoruto ventured too far out of the crease defending a pass and Jack Walsh managed to push it just past the left post as he went sprawling to the ice.

Xaverian never let up, adding a fourth second-period tally with less than a minute left when Chris Wagner got free near the left circle, deked toward the middle, and slid the puck past a diving Pettoruto.

"I think we got a few bounces tonight, but I think we earned our bounces," Spinale said. "We really attacked the puck and got to the net."

In the third, the Hawks piled it on the beleaguered Eagles goalie, peppering Pettoruto and producing two more goals, one on the power play.

With two minutes left, St. John's Prep mounted a furious rally, scoring twice in 25 seconds, but it wasn't enough as Xaverian added an empty-net tally with less than six seconds to go