Sophomore defenseman Paul Edson’s goal in the second period stood as the game-winner as host St. John’s Prep upended Pope Francis, 2-1, in Sunday’s championship game of the second annual Peter Frates Winter Classic at Merrimack College’s Lawler Arena.
The tournament is a fundraiser for ALS. Pope Francis (then Springfield Cathedral) won last year’s inaugural event. All four of this year’s participants are HNIB Top 10 clubs.
Senior forward Danny Tighe staked the No. 1 Eagles to a 1-0 lead in the first period and Edson doubled the margin early in the second. That was more than enough of a cushion for senior goalie Kyle Martin, although No. 3 Pope Francis junior forward Riley Prattson made it interesting when he connected for the Cardinals’ lone goal with just under 10 minutes to play.
Defense ruled the day as Prep had a slight 20-17 advantage in shots. St. John’s ran its record to 3-0-1 while Pope Francis sits at 4-1-1.
No. 2 B.C. High continued to impress as it raced past No. 9 Central Catholic, 8-2, erupting for four third-period goals in a dominant performance. Billy Roche and Kayser Raei potted two goals apiece for the Eagles, who improved to 4-0-1. Central is 4-1-1.
St. John’s Prep edged B.C. High, 2-1, in OT (a tie under MIAA rules) on Anthony Quatieri’s goal. Joe Kelly gave B.C. High a 1-0 lead early in the third period – ending Prep’s season-opening string of scoreless hockey at eight-plus periods – but St. John’s Scott Newton tied it in the final minutes of regulation.
Pope Francis also advanced in OT on Saturday (an MIAA tie), tripping Central Catholic, 4-3. Sal Kacoyannakis had the game-winner, offsetting a two-goal performance by Central’s sophomore standout Jake Wise.
The tournament featured a 3-on-3 OT format, yielding wide open hockey.