By Dylan Butler
After beating St. Raymond’s for the second time in a week last Thursday night at E.J. Murray Rink in Yonkers in what could very well be a preview of the CHSHL ‘C’ division championship series, Keith Morrice is confident the McClancy hockey team can beat the Ravens again.
And why shouldn’t he be confident? The Crusaders rallied from a 3-2 deficit to beat St. Ray’s, 4-3, on third-period goals by freshmen Anthony Vennitti and Stephen Ferguson to take over sole possession of first place in the ‘C’ division.
“We beat them twice — why not beat them again,” the junior forward said. “Without a doubt, I’m putting it on the line right now.”
As was the case in an 8-3 Jan. 15 win, McClancy (8-1) came from behind to beat the Ravens, who were again led by the league’s leading scorer Eddie Perez and sniper Renato Barca.
But after accounting for all three of St. Ray’s second-period goals, the duo was held in check in the third period by Vennitti and Ferguson.
“They did a great job trailing them the entire third period,” Morrice said of the two freshmen. “They just went out and watched them.”
They did more than that. Vennitti tied the game at 3 with an unassisted goal 2:28 into the third period, and Ferguson scored the game-winner on an assist from older brother Ryan Ferguson with 9:09 left in the game.
“When Anthony scored, it was just like a momentum push,” Morrice said. “From that time I knew we were going to take it.”
Stephen Ferguson, who is second in the CHSHL ‘C’ division in scoring, put the Crusaders on the scoreboard first with a shorthanded breakaway goal 3:52 into the first period on an assist from Vennitti.
“They were all up trying to score and I started to pinch. Anthony got the puck and I skated about half way up the ice,” Stephen Ferguson said. “I skated in alone on (St. Ray’s goalie Sal Incavaglia) and roofed the puck.”
But St. Raymond’s (6-2-1) answered back with back-to-back goals by Perez and Barca to take a 2-1 lead. Morrice tied the game at 2 for McClancy, beating Incavaglia with a low wrist shot on an assist from Stephen Ferguson before Barca scored his second of the period to give the Ravens a 3-2 lead heading into the third period.
“We were sloppy throughout the game,” said McClancy coach Mike Brenneis. “The energy wasn’t there but it was strong enough to hold on at the end.”
St. Joseph by the Sea 3, Holy Cross 2. Will Gill and Joe Temperini scored for Holy Cross (7-2-3, 5-2-3 CHSHL ‘B’), while Nick Carro netted a hat trick for St. Joe’s (5-5) Friday night at the Abe Stark Rink on Coney Island.
Molloy 4, St. Edmund 3. Sean Kearney and Sean Murphy each had two goals and an assist, Danny Scagnelli had two assists, and Bryan Elfant and Matt Lavanco added an assist apiece for Molloy (10-0-2 CHSHL ‘B’) Friday night at the Ice Hutch in Mount Vernon. Danny Gale had a hat trick for St. Edmund (2-8-1).
Holy Cross 6, St. Edmund 6. Ryan had a hat trick for the Knights, who led 4-2 after two periods, but Gale rallied the Eagles, scoring two third-period goals last Thursday.
Reach Associate Sports Editor Dylan Butler by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 143.