WARWICK — After kicking off its season with four straight games against public schools, Mount St. Charles finally faced one of its longtime parochial rivals on Saturday night in Bishop Hendricken.
And the Mounties rose to the occasion and made very good on this featured battle of unbeatens.
Alex Erban’s two goals and Brian Campbell’s goal and assist keyed a well-played second period by the Mounties, and Trevor Plante’s division-leading 10th goal of the season late in the game sealed a big 4-2 victory over Hendricken at Thayer Arena.
The defending champion Mounties, who improved to 5-0, needed some time in the early going to adjust to the speed of the Hawks (4-1), said MSC coach Dave Belisle, but once they settled in, they took charge of the game.
“Hendricken’s speed caught us off-guard and I knew it was going to happen because we haven’t seen that kind of speed,” added Belisle. “We played four public schools, but playing Hendricken is a different level. Once we handled their initial onslaught, I thought we played very well.”
Most of the Hawks’ best opportunities of the night took place in that initial period, but after a scoreless 15 minutes of play, MSC broke on the board by scoring twice in the first 1:35 of the second period on goals from Campbell and Erban.
Campbell’s goal, which was scored just 59 seconds into play, came off a go-ahead pass from Mike Magerman that he slid across the crease between two gold jerseys. Campbell reeled in the pass and flipped it over the shoulder of goalie William Palmer.
While Campbell’s score was being announced over the loudspeaker, Erban wasted no time in making it a 2-0 game by flicking in a pass from Campbell.
But the Hawks answered back in a hurry. A minute later, Pat Walker cut the hosts’ lead in half by corralling the rebound of a wild shot by Jeff Giusti that went off the boards and around the net and wristing it past MSC netminder Dan Foster.
The Mounties then got their two-goal lead back with 2:10 left in the period when Erban flipped in the rebound of his own shot in heavy traffic near the left post of the net.
With six minutes left in the game, the Hawks again cut their lead to a goal on an unassisted goal by Shane Kavanaugh, who flipped in a wrist shot that hit the back of the net and quickly came out of the goal and back into play.
But the Mounties ended the suspense with 1:18 to play on a goal by Trevor Plante that he scored on a nice pass from Zachary Samborsky during a 2-on-1 break.
The Hawks outshot the Mounties, 25-23, but Foster, MSC’s first-year senior goalie, stopped 21 shots in a solid effort. It’s the most he’s faced this season, and he has turned away 69 of the 72 shots fired on him in his five games.
Mount St. Charles 0 - 3 - 1 -- 4
Bishop Hendricken 0 - 1 - 1 -- 2
First period: No scoring.
Second period: MSC -- Brian Campbell (Michael Magerman), :59; MSC -- Alex Erban (Brian Campbell), 1:35; BH -- Pat Walker (Jeff Giusti) 2:35; MSC -- Alex Erban (unassisted), 12:50.
Third period: BH -- Shane Cavanaugh (unassisted), 9:00; MSC -- Trevor Plante (Zachary Samborsky, Mike Magerman), 13:42.
Shots on goal: Mount St. Charles 23, Bishop Hendricken 25. Goalie saves: MSC -- Dan Foster (21 saves), BH -- William Palmer (21 saves).