WOONSOCKET – Prior to Tuesday night’s opener against St. Joseph’s Collegiate (N.Y.) Institute at its annual Holiday Face-Off Tournament, the last time Mount St. Charles skated against any kind of competition was a league matchup with Moses Brown 11 days ago.
Any signs of rust? Not at all.
The Mounties came out flying from the first period and never let up, rolling to a 5-1 victory over the Marauders at Adelard Arena. Sophomore Tyler Scroggins and senior captain Brian Campbell each scored twice for Mount, which takes on St. Dominic (Maine) Academy in the semifinals tonight at 8.
The Mounties out-shot St. Joes, 42-29.
“The energy was there tonight,” said MSC assistant coach Dave Belisle, whose squad’s last game was a 9-4 win over Quakers on Dec. 16. “There was a lot of energy. Thank God we did. We made some mistakes. We are going to continue to make them. I thought our second and third efforts overcame those mistakes. There were a couple of times in our own end, but I thought our effort was there.”
Right from the start, it was apparent that the Mounties meant business as it dominated the first period by keeping a considerable amount of the action inside the Marauder’s zone. Mount unleashed a flurry of shots at goalie Marc Allaire(36 saves) in the first few minutes and nearly scored its first when senior Callan Morisseau flicked a shot back to teammate Patrick Holmes from between the circles, but the freshman’s shot went just wide of the net.
Mount was finally rewarded for its hard work on a power-play opportunity at 9:06 of the period when senior Benjamin Handanyan blasted a shot from the point that deflected off the stick of sophomore James Casilli and right to Scroggins, who flicked in a shot to a wide open net from the right of the crease.
The Mounties, who out-shot St. Joe’s by a convincing 17-6 margin in the period, took a 2-0 advantage before time expired when Campbell scored at the top of the crease off a feed from freshman Keith Phaneuf and junior Brian Belisle.
“We let them right out of the stall. They were buzz saws out there,” Dave Belisle said. “They really attacked the puck. First man on the puck was awesome. He was beating them to the puck and creating turnovers. We had a lot of shots on the net. We had an enormous amount of shots on net in the early going, which helped us.”
The Mounties certainly had their chances in the middle period, too. St. Joe’s cut the deficit in half when junior Kyle Moslow found the net at 4:48. MSC senior Ryan Berard had a near-goal when he fired a shot from outside the crease that hit the right post. About a minute later, Campbell unleashed a shot from the right circle that also nearly found the back of the net.
Campbell managed to boost the Mounties lead back to two before the Zamboni cleared the ice, scoring a close-ranger at 11:46.
The Marauders best period was the last, but the Mounties still managed to keep their opponent from Buffalo away from the net. Mount took just 10 shots in the period and scored on goals from Brian Belisle and Scroggins.
Dave Belisle likes the progress of his young team, which began the season with a rare 1-2 mark before its win against Moses Brown.
“This is like the third game in a row that we have played well,” said the MSC coach. “We are making steps in the right direction. I really like what I see.”
Mount will now try and earn a slot in the finals on Thursday when it takes on St. Dominic tomorrow night. St. Dominic defeated Bishop Guertin by an identical 5-1 score.
“I watched their game,” Dave Belisle said. “They have some good senior leadership. Their tri-captains are excellent. They are a good skating team. It should be fun.”
In the other games of the tournament, La Salle College (Penn.) High defeated Cathedral (Mass.) High, 4-1 and Bishop Hendricken topped Fairfield (Conn.) Prep, 3-1
St. Joseph’s 0-1-0 - 1
Mount St. Charles 2-1-2 - 5
First period – 1. MSC, Tyler Scroggins (James Casilli, Benjamin Handanyan) 5:54 pp; 2, MSC, Brian Campbell (Keith Pahneuf, Brian Belisle) 11:27.
Second period – 3. SJ, Kyle Moslow (Matthew Berke) 4:48; 4. Campbell (Belisle, Brandon Borges) 11:46.
Third period – 5. Belisle (Steven Donahue, Handanyan) 8:48; 6. Scroggins (Phaneuf) 12:38.
Saves – MSC, Brian Larence 23. SJ, Marc Mallare 36. Shots – MSC, 41. SJ, 24.