DeMatha's early wave crushes Mt. St. Joe in Capitals Cup final

Undefeated season ends as Tier I Gaels surrender 4 goals in 1st period, 5-1

Ice hockey

February 26, 2002|By Mike Frainie | Mike Frainie,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Mount St. Joseph's dream-like season wasn't supposed to end like this.

The Gaels hockey team, which came into the game with a 20-0 record, fell behind by four goals in the first period and never recovered, losing to DeMatha, 5-1, in the Tier I Capitals Cup championship last night at the Gardens Ice House in Laurel before a crowd of more than 3,000.

The Stags made the most of their offensive chances as they got goals from five different players. The Gaels' problems boiled down to one person: DeMatha goalie James LaCour, who stopped 39 shots.

The Gaels dominated most of the play in the second and third periods, outshooting the Stags 32-11, but could not find a way to solve LaCour until Anthony DiNoto finally beat him with four minutes left.

"He was the difference," said Adam Levine, the Gaels' leading scorer. He was held to one assist. "That and we just couldn't catch a bounce."

DeMatha (22-9-2) started early. Just 4:10 into the game, Steve Friedman blasted a slap shot from the right faceoff circle over goalie Jerry Chernock's right knee for a 1-0 lead.

The Stags increased the lead 4:45 later when a shot from the blue line by Greg Costa was tipped in by Tom LaCour for a 2-0 lead.

DeMatha put the game out of reach late in the first. P.J. Aguiar scored from the right faceoff circle with 1:48 left, and the Stags increased the margin to 4-0 just 11 seconds later when Bobby Plant scored from 15 feet out.

Gaels coach Erv Terwilliger said the early start proved devastating.

"We didn't come out skating," Terwilliger said. "You can't spot a good team four, or even two goals, and expect to catch up. The better team won tonight."

The two teams met one other time, on Dec. 30, in the DeMatha Christmas tournament, with Mount St. Joseph winning, 7-1. The night wasn't a total loss for the Gaels. Mount St. Joseph's Tier II team, playing its charter season, defeated Sherwood of Montgomery County, 7-1, to win the Chesapeake Cup.

The Gaels (11-0-1) got hat tricks from Nick Tissue and Richard Haiber in the win. Sherwood fell to 14-1.

"I told them if we stayed within a disciplined, forechecking system that we'd have a chance to do this," said the Gaels' Tier II coach, John Poisal. "We played a defensive-oriented style, and it paid off for us. I'm really proud of the kids."

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