Curley upends the Sabres behind Stitz
Curley 6 — SSPP 3
EASTON — Two players serving game suspensions didn’t help the Sabres’ cause Friday afternoon at the Talbot County Community Center. Two players for Archbishop Curley didn’t provide any help either.
Sam Stitz scored five goals and Scott Swain contributed a goal and three assists as the Friars’ ice hockey team rallied from an early deficit for a 6-3 victory over Saints Peter and Paul High.
The Sabres got the puck past Curley goalie Shane Stone just 1 minute, 38 seconds into the game, but the Friars countered with the next four goals to take control.
Curley improved to 3-2-1 overall and in Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference play, while SSPP fell to 0-3-4, 0-23.
The two teams tied 4-4 at Ice World in Abingdon in early December.
“Last game we didn’t play really well towards the end,” Friars head coach Jim Stone said. “We gave up two twogoal leads in the last game. Defensive discipline — we just weren’t solid the last time we played. Each game that we’ve played to this point we’ve gotten better and better. We focused on making sure that we were solid on the defensive end and making sure we weren’t letting any skaters behind us. That was one of the big differences between this game and the last game.”
Stitz opened Curley’s scoring with a slap shot from the right wing past Sabres netminder Jack McPeake to tie the score at 1-1 with 8:28 left in the first period.
Less than a minute later, at 7:30, Stitz connected with a pass from Swain and sent it high into the right side of the net to make it 2-1.
McPeake and SSPP’s defense fought off a dominant Curley attack the rest of the first period to hold the Friars’ lead to 2-1. But Swain produced three shots on goal in the first minute of the second period, and his third found the net. Meeting a loose puck in front of the crease, he left-handed a riser into the right side of the goal for a 3-1 Friars’ lead 56 seconds into the period.
With 7:19 left in the second, Stitz wristed in a righthander after breaking free from the Sabres’ defense for a power-play goal, increasing Curley’s lead to 4-1. SSPP’s Joey Greaney had been whistled for an interference penalty with 8 minutes left.
“Sixteen (Stitz) and three (Swain) are our goal scorers. That’s kind of what we told them,” Coach Stone said. “The offense will take care of itself. We just got to play solid in the defensive end.”
The Sabres quickly countered to pull within 4-2 with 6:17 left in the second. Aubrey Perry slammed in a rebound off Shane Stone after offensive pressure by Hunter Hoffman on the
right wing. Hoffman skated free during a shorthanded situation a minute later, but Stone made the save.
Curley’s 20th shot on goal, compared to 10 at the time by SSPP, made it 5-2 with 2:52 left in the second. Swain worked the puck around the back of the goal and dished to Stitz who pumped in another wrist shot high right.
SSPP answered again to cut the lead to 5-3 with 1:42 left in the second. Hoffman sent in a wrap-around shot as the Sabres took advantage of a delayed penalty on Curley. McPeake left the net to give SSPP an extra attacker.
Stitz and Swain, though, connected again with just 29.6 seconds left in the second. On a break, Swain passed ahead to Stitz flying on left wing and he sticked the puck behind McPeake for what turned out to be the final goal.
“It was a tough game obviously,” Sabres head coach Will Weisman said. “We were short a couple guys … so we knew it was going to be a tough game from the start. Curley’s got a decent team this year. I think they’ll probably be a playoff team. … But we have five games left and we’re hoping to make a nice run these last five games. I know I have the team and the talent that can do it. It’s a shame that we haven’t put it all together yet. So we’re working on that. I’m hoping to be a playoff contender again.”
The top four teams in the six-team conference make the playoffs. SSPP is currently in fourth place ahead of Glenelg Country and Boys Latin.
FRIDAY, JAN. 4 GIRLS’ BASKETBALL
Kent Island 83, North Dorchester 20 STEVENSVILLE — Jordan Grard dropped 23 points, Ashley Rotert added 14, and the Buccaneers snapped a two-game losing streak while improving to 4-3 overall and 4-0 in the North Bayside.
Marissa Plumer chipped in 13 and Blair Goodrich rounded out the double-figures scoring with 10. The Eagles are 0-6, 0-5. BOYS’ BASKETBALL THURSDAY, JAN. 3 Kent Island 76, Washington 63 STEVENSVILLE — Ta’Quan Courney scored 26 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, leading the Buccaneers (42) to a solid victory.
Cole Kratovil added 17 points, four assists, and three steals, while Malachi Graham (three steals) and Ben Cox (10 boards) each scored nine for Kent Island.
The Jaguars dropped to 2-4. Follow me on Twitter @csknauss / email me at ck[email protected]dem.com
Archbishop Curley goalie Shane Scott reacts out from the crease after sticking the puck away from Sts. Peter and Paul High’s Joey Greaney during the first period Friday afternoon at the Talbot County Community Center.
Sts. Peter and Paul High’s Tony Evans tries to move the puck out of his defensive end between two Curley players during the first period Friday afternoon at the Talbot County Community Center.
Sts. Peter and Paul High goalie Jack McPeake prepares to block a shot by Curley’s Gavin Schissler (21) during the second period Friday afternoon at the Talbot County Community Center.