LAWRENCE – Ask Central Catholic coach Mike Jankowski about the backbone of his team and he will tell you it begins and ends with goaltender Colin Soucy. As Soucy goes, so does his Raider hockey team.
On Wednesday night, with his team hosting a strong Springfield Cathedral club, Soucy bent – but didn’t break – in leading his team to its biggest win of the season.
Senior captain Lloyd Hayes netted the game-winner with 1:54 remaining and Soucy came up with a sprawling save late in regulation as the No. 6 Raiders squeaked by with a 5-3 victory over No. 3 Springfield Cathedral.
“You can’t say enough about Colin,” said Jankowski. “He’s played some great hockey. I say it every time that he’s our backbone, but he truly is. He made some big stops down the stretch there and really gave us the jump going the other way. “
Central Catholic (8-1-1) held a 2-0 lead after the first period behind goals from junior Eric Robbins and senior Alex Lester. Early in the second period, that Raider lead was pushed to three when Christian Thompson found a loose puck in space and rifled it past Cathedral goalie John Liquori (29 saves).
That’s when Riley Prattson got the hot stick for Cathedral (8-2-1). After tallying a goal midway through the second, Prattson potted a pair in the third. The freshman's first career varsity hat trick silenced the crowd at the Valley Forum and tied the game at three with just over seven minutes remaining.
Hayes reclaimed the lead for Central Catholic with less than two minutes left in regulation as the senior snapped a wrist shot past Liquori from the right wing hash mark to give the Raiders a 4-3 lead.
Cathedral nearly tied the game at four with under a minute remaining as it broke into the offensive zone on a 2-on-1, but Soucy (25 saves) sprawled across the crease and rejected Prattson’s bid for his fourth goal of the game.
“They were looking back-door all day, the whole game,” said Soucy. “I didn’t want to cheat because they like to shoot the puck, so once I saw [Prattson], I came over and threw the glove over there. It hit the bottom of my glove and stayed out.”
Hayes added an empty-net goal in the final minute to secure the Raider victory.
Several reporters and editors contribute updates, news and analysis to the High School Sports Blog.
- Bob Holmes: A Reading resident (Go Rockets!) and Boston College graduate, Holmes is the Boston Globe High School Sports Editor. We remind you now that his weekly picks are often made in jest so everyone just calm down when he picks against Everett for 11 straight weeks. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeHolmes.
- Craig Larson: A native of West Springfield (Leo Durocher anyone? Tim Daggett?) and Curry College graduate (a proud Colonel!), Larson is the sports editor for the Globe's regional sections: South, West and North, as well as a frequent contributor on the college beat. Abington to Xaverian: it all starts with the schools. Have a compelling story idea? Contact him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeLars.
- Zuri Berry: Berry attended the same high school as sports legends O.J. Simpson and Joe DiMaggio. (Guess which one is his hero.) He's a South Boston resident (formerly of Eastie) and the editor of the High School Sports blog as well as the go-to-guy for everything high school sports on Boston.com. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @GlobeSchools for all of the latest updates.
Then there are our winter correspondents:
- Emily McCarthy | @EmilyMcCahthy | BPS correspondent
- Jake Fischer | @GlobeFischer | Boys basketball
- Michelle Fenelon | @michfenelon | Girls basketball
- Andrew MacDougall | @Andy_MacDougall | Boys hockey
- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Girls hockey
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