WOONSOCKET --- One bad minute of hockey at the end of the second period turned out to be Mount St. Charles Academyâ€™s undoing on Friday night in its showdown against the No. 7 ranked team in Massachusetts.
Malden Catholic snapped a 1-1 tie by scoring twice in the final 36 seconds of that middle period and held onto its lead through a wild final period en route to a 5-3 victory before a large gathering at Adelard Arena.
Brian Belisle scored a pair of goals to lead the Mounties, and goalie Brian Larence turned away 47 shots in an excellent performance, but those two efforts alone werenâ€™t enough to prevent the Mounties from falling to 9-4.
And like its 4-1 setback on Monday to Cathedral of Springfield, Mass., the No. 1 ranked team in the Bay State, this defeat counts on the Mountiesâ€™ record in the Division I-Cimini standings. Mount, Bishop Hendricken, and La Salle each have two games against out-of-state teams this season that are included in their league schedules.
The victory was the fourth in a row for the Lancers, who jumped into the Top 10 in Mass. earlier this week and are now 9-6-3. Malden Catholic sports a young roster with just three seniors who are two winters removed from the Lancersâ€™ second straight Mass. â€˜Super 8â€™ state championship season.
The Lancers drew first blood 8:49 into the game on a goal by Brian Cameron that came off a faceoff won by Patrick Wrenn to the right of Larence. Cameron blasted a slap shot that sailed over Larenceâ€™s glove and into the back of the net.
The visitors nearly doubled their lead 2Â½ minutes later on a wristshot by Tyler Sifferlen that clanged off the post. But after Larence made a brilliant save on the rebound, Mount quickly brought the puck down the other end of the ice, and Belisle knotted the score by popping in a pass from Tyler Scroggins.
For the first two-thirds of the second period, the Mounties had more than their share of chances to take the lead. They hit the right post with three shots in the first 7:25 of play and saw a 5-on-3 power play that lasted 68 seconds result in just one shot.
The Lancers then made their move in the final minute. After Sifferlin hit the crossbar on a 2-on-1 break with 57 seconds to play, the Lancers grabbed the lead 21 seconds later on a goal by Mike Iovanna that was set up by Ara Nazarian.
After Iovannaâ€™s goal was announced to the audience, the Lancers struck again, this time on a goal by Nazarian with 8.9 seconds on the clock. It was the Lancersâ€™ fifth shot of the minute.
With 7:55 to play in the game, Belisle gave the Mounties a lift by cutting their deficit in half by tapping in the rebound of his own shot past Maloney, but less than two minutes later, M.C. got its two-goal lead back on Iovannaâ€™s second goal of the night.
Again, the Mounties struck again, when with 4:42 on the clock, Scroggins (who received a nasty open ice hit with 8:39 left in the second period) lit the lamp by taking a pass from Belisle and zipping a wristshot just under the crossbar.
But again, the Lancers reclaimed their two-goal lead, as Nick Rolli notched a power play goal with 3:03 to play by slipping a shot between Larenceâ€™s pads. The Mounties did their best to respond, and eventually lifted Larence for a sixth attacker, but they couldnâ€™t trim their deficit back to a goal.
While this game featured plenty of shots (Malden Catholic outshot MSC, 52-41), it also offered plenty of hitting and a total of 14 minor penalties. The Lancers got tagged for 10 of them, but the Mounties could only managed their two power-play goals off them.
The Mounties return to the R.I. portion of their schedule tonight with a 9 p.m. game back at Adelard against Smithfield. They will then play four more regular-season games before turning their attention to the postseason.