KINGSTON — With its leading scorer from a season ago still sidelined with a concussion he suffered in the season opener, Mount St. Charles Academy has found itself having to rely on a cast of players this winter -- some of whom were barely on the team’s radar a year ago -- to help pick up the slack offensively.
And that’s what helped Mount capture its Division I crossover affair with Barrington on a rare Wednesday night contest at URI’s Boss Arena. Five different players found the back of the net for the Mounties, who did all their damage in the first two periods and overcame a shaky third to post a 5-2 triumph.
The victory boosted the Mounties’ division record to 4-1 and marked yet another night they didn’t have the services of their talented center, senior Brian Belisle, who concluded last year with 26 goals and 29 assists and earned All-State recognition.
“He’s not going to get back on the ice until he’s 100 percent healthy, and he’s not right now,” MSC coach Dave Belisle said of his son. “It’s unfortunate. We really miss him. He controls the play so well for us, and at time, when we’re having struggles, he can make a big play for us. We really, really miss him.
“I think we’re starting to adjust without Brian as best as we can. I think the mindset is we are what we are right now. If he comes back, that will be great. If he doesn’t, this (team) is what we have and we’re going to go with it. We’re a good team with or without him. We have to have that attitude.”
The Mounties were a very good team in the first two periods of Wednesday night’s game. They outshot the Eagles by a 25-16 margin through those first 30 minutes and broke open a tight game by scoring three goals in the final 6:45 of the middle period.
Vincent Pearl scored the first goal of the contest 6:10 into play when he redirected a long slap shot from the point by Mike Corrente that slipped under the pads of Barrington goalie Andrew Gailbraith.
Ryan Badeau then doubled MSC’s lead at 10:47 with his second career varsity goal. He was all by himself in the center of the left faceoff circle when he gathered a sharp pass by Justin D’Abrosca, and he whistled a shot over Gailbraith’s right shoulder.
The Eagles, who were outshot 14-6 in the first period, made things a bit interesting 1:50 into the second by scoring on the period’s first shot. John Kraunelis did the honors by redirecting an off-balanced slap shot by Charles Vanier past MSC netminder Brian Larence, but the Mounties soon reclaimed the momentum.
Midway through the period, they made it a 4-1 game when Keegan O’Leary and Tyler Scroggins produced goals 16 seconds apart from each other, and with 49 seconds left in the period, Keith Phaneuf blasted a low slap shot past Gailbraith’s left pad.
Scroggins’ goal was his team-leading eighth of the season. D’Abrosca ended up with a pair of assists, and Larence finished with 29 saves, 14 coming in the last period as the Mounties failed to exhibit their ‘A’ or ‘B’ game and ended up outshooting the Eagles (0-7 in division play) only by a 34-31 count.
“We skated really well for two periods today, but we didn’t play a good period in the third,” said the MSC coach. “It was terrible and it was disappointing. We got outskated. We’re trying to put three good periods together. We did (last Saturday) against Cranston West, so that makes five out of (the last) six periods. And that’s not enough. We have to play three against La Salle or we’re not going to stand a chance.”
Speaking of La Salle, that’s who the Mounties have on Friday in a 9 p.m. showdown at Adelard Arena. The Rams entered its crossover game late last night at Boss with Coventry with a 4-1-1 mark.