Mt. St. Joe wins 9th straight MIAA title

Schilling makes 17 saves in shutout

Mount St. Joseph 5 Calvert Hall 0

Ice Hockey

February 23, 2007|By Todd Karpovich | Todd Karpovich,Special to The Sun

Mount St. Joseph coach Erv Terwilliger said there is no great secret to the Gaels' dominance in Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference hockey.

The Gaels win by simply outworking their opponents, and yesterday their efforts paid off as they captured their ninth straight league championship with a 5-0 win over Calvert Hall at Mount Pleasant Ice Arena. The Gaels remain the only team to win the title since hockey was recognized as an MIAA sport in 1998.

Although the Gaels blew open what had been a close game with four third-period goals, the difference in the game was the play of goalie Brooks Schilling. Schilling stopped 17 shots, recording his fourth league shutout of the season.

"I just saw the puck well, and in the third period we just played great," Schilling said. "They always play us tough, but we played well at the end."

Mount St. Joseph scored the only goal of the first period on a power play when Brady Earle and Brad Hresko worked the puck to Matt Buonato, who was camped out in front of the net and flipped the puck past Calvert Hall goalie Stefan Blount (38 saves). It was Buonato's team-high 16th goal of the season.

The Cardinals (12-8, 5-4) responded with several checks that changed the momentum, but despite the aggressiveness on defense, the forwards could not beat Schilling. Penalties also hurt the Cardinals, who had eight, compared with one for Mount St. Joseph.

The Gaels (12-2, 9-0) enjoyed a two-man advantage late in the second period after Calvert Hall's Michael Palomo (holding) and Jason Brover (unsportsmanlike) were sent to the penalty box. Mount St. Joseph failed to convert, and the Cardinals just missed tying the game when a clear almost found Brover streaking across the ice after his penalty.

"We didn't let up, even though we didn't play real smart in the second period," Terwilliger said. "This is our ninth championship. It was all on the line. They just came out [in the third period]. They wanted it and they just turned it up."

The Gaels took over the final period and Jon Rodriguez added their second goal on a hard, low shot with 9:43 left. The third goal came just two minutes later when Mark Cisar knocked in a rebound. Jake Natoli and Andrew McCrumb each scored in the final five minutes.

Calvert Hall coach Mike Shramek said the eight penalties caught up with his team, which was outshot 43-17.

"Five on five, we felt like it was a game we could be in, but on special teams we knew that was going to be a big difference for us," Shramek said. "The better team won today. I'm proud of our guys; we worked hard all year."

Goals: MSJ-Buonato (Earle, Hresko), Rodriguez (Earle, Hresko), Cisar (Contillo, Fitzhugh), Natoli (Beier, Courtney), McCrumb (Natoli). Saves: CH-Blount 38; MSJ-Schilling 17.

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