Londonderry ices Central
MANCHESTER — The odds were in Londonderry's favor. The odd periods, that is.
Londonderry owned the first and third periods, emerging with a 3-2 win over Manchester Central in Division I boys' hockey action at JFK Coliseum Wednesday night.
The Lancers won their fifth game in a row and improved to 6-2-0, scoring in the first and third periods while Central (5-2-0) scored the only goals of the second period.
"I'd like to see more first periods (like that) but at the same time, you take your hat off because Central obviously stepped up the second period," said Lancers head coach Peter Bedford. "They changed it. They figured out 'you know, we can't do what we're doing.' They got their legs back, which I knew they would, and had us on our heels a little bit."
Central led 2-1 after two periods, but a goal from Cooper Roy 31 seconds into the third period tied the game and got Londonderry moving again. Roy tucked a rebound chance inside the left post after Central goalie Ian Beliveau (31 saves) had made a stop on a Patrick Maloney shot.
"Us scoring that quick goal in the third period , that put them back and I think at that point we locked it down pretty well and we got back to playing the way we need to play," Bedford said.
A freshman, Maloney found himself playing on the first line with Curtis Harper out of action with a wrist injury.
"We had a freshman step up for us on the first line for Curtis Harper," Bedford said. "It's that next-man-up scenario for us. Patrick Maloney, he did a real nice job."
Brett Evangelista netted the game-winner at 4:40 of the third, taking a pass from Matthew Moriarty off the left wing boards and snapping home a wrist shot stick-side from the slot.
Central applied pressure late, but Lancers goalie Mitch Schirch (22 saves) stopped all eight Little Green shots in the third to hold on for the win.
"The first five or six minutes of the third, we didn't come out the way I expected," said Central head coach Brian Stone. "We had a little lull there and you've got to play 45 minutes. They banged in two and we had to try and crawl back. We had some chances, but just couldn't bury it."
Londonderry led 1-0 at 8:03 of the first when Roy scored on a wraparound goal.
Central stormed back in the second stanza, tying the game at 1-1 just 91 seconds into the period when Devon Sprague banked the puck off Schirch's stick and in. The Little Green took a 2-1 lead at 8:41 on another Sprague tally, this curling into the slot and firing a wrist shot past Schirch's glove hand.
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