Tim Galley stood on his head to help St. Francis out to an early lead, but St. Joe's came roaring back for a 7-3 win in the Federation private school semifinals.
After the first 15 minutes, the St. Joe’s hockey team was left looking for answers about how to solve St. Francis goaltender Tim Galley.
The Marauders were outshooting the Red Raiders 14-2 after the opening period, but found themselves trailing 1-0. But something must have clicked between the first two periods because the team found the answer they were looking for pretty fast.
Backed by a 28-shot, five-goal second period, the Marauders found their groove and took care of business against the Red Raiders 7-3 in a Monsignor Martin Athletic Association semifinal match-up at Niagara University’s Dwyer Arena on Tuesday (Feb. 19) night.
“We just talked about what we needed to do…just to settle down,” Marauders head coach Randy Crozier said of the message between periods. “We were under the impression that we had a lot of good scoring chances, but their goalie was just making some great saves on us. We felt like once we got the first one in, we’d be OK.”
Eric Paradowski led St. Joseph’s in scoring with a goal and three assists. He said that getting things going after a shaky start was just about keeping their heads up.
“We came into the locker room and said ‘we have to get it together.’ We knew we had to up the pressure to find the back of the net,” he said while wearing the Marauder hard hat, an award given to the team’s hardest working player of the game. “We were all in positive spirits. We just knew it was going to come.”
St. Francis’ Tyler McTigue, one of the WNY Federation’s top scorers this year, finished with two goals in the loss. He intercepted a pass and roofed a shot past goaltender Nick George just a minute into the contest to put the Red Raiders up 1-0. That lead lasted only through the first period.
Defending private school champion St. Francis advanced to the semifinal with a 9-4 win over St. Mary’s in a play-in game on Feb. 12. Ryan Stefaniak notched the hat trick in the win, while Nick Ferrino and McTigue each added two goals.