March 8, 2006
For Bishop Eustace, losing to St. Peter's Prep in the NJSIAA ice hockey playoffs three out of the last four years was not going to quell the fire in its quest for a state title. Instead it fueled it.
The hungry Crusaders used their speed and the extraordinary goaltending of Colin Saltiel yesterday to defeat St. Peter's Prep of Jersey City, 6-3, despite being outshot and outplayed for much of the playoff game.
The victory at the Flyers Skate Zone in Pennsauken enabled Eustace (16-5-2) to advance to the state quarterfinals. The task does not get easier for the Pennsauken school, which plays undefeated Seton Hall Prep (19-0-2) on Saturday at the South Mountain Arena in West Orange.
Saltiel stopped 50 shots, many before the pivotal third period, which the teams entered in a 3-3 tie.
"The first two periods, we were biting too quick," Saltiel said. "But going into the third, we knew what their strategy was and we cut down on shots and made it a lot easier to stop."
Eustace, outshot by 53-19, spent much of the first two periods in its own zone, but was able to capitalize on some key mistakes by St. Peter's (12-8-4).
"We've gotten outshot in a lot of our high-level games, but most we've come out on top," Crusaders coach Mike Green said. "Hockey players know you play the scoreboard. You don't play the shot clock."
Eustace broke the 3-all tie with 13 minutes, 29 seconds left in the 15-minute third period after it caught the defense cheating up ice. The Crusaders got the puck to forward Mike Dwier, who, in turn, found forward Tyler Hancock for a two-on-one break. Hancock sailed it past goalie Kevin Fox to give Eustace the lead for good.
Hancock finished the game with two goals and one assist. Dwier added one goal and two assists.
"I sat up in the bleachers before the game and looked around and said: 'We're not going to lose it today,' " Dwier said. "Last year, it was really a shame seeing the seniors go down like that, and I wasn't going to let it happen."
St. Peter's 1 2 0 - 3
Bishop Eustace 2 1 3 - 6
Goals: BE- Tyler Hancock (2), Brad Schuler, Mike Dwier, Al Wooley, Chris Gentile. SP- Mike Dellutri (2), Bryan Robinson.
Saves: BE- Colin Saltiel, 50. SP- Kevin Fox, 14.
Courier-Post staff Three third-period goals, and solid work in goal by Colin Saltiel, helped Bishop Eustace defeat St. Peter's Prep 6-3 in the second
With the score tied 3-3, Tyler Hancock scored a minute and a half into the third period with an assist from Mike Dwier to give the Crusaders a 4-3 lead.
Seven minutes later, Chris Gentile scored to make it 5-3 with Kevin Grunther getting the assist. Then with 40 seconds left, Hancock took a pass from Brad Schuler and scored a breakaway goal.
Once again Saltiel was rock solid between the pipes for the Crusaders. He faced 18 shots in both the first and third periods and recorded 47 saves.
The game was tied 2-2 after the first period. St. Peter's took a 1-0 lead on Mike Dellutri's goal. But Bishop Eustace tied it on Schuler's goal off an assist from Dwier.
St. Peter's Prep went back on top, 2-1, on Bryan Robinson's goal, but Dwier scored an unassisted goal to tie the game.
In the second period, Dellutri scored his second goal for a 3-2 St. Peter's lead, but Al Wooley scored a power play goal from the point with 35 seconds left. Hancock got the assist.
The ninth-seeded Crusaders will play the winner of the Red Bank Catholic-Seton Hall Prep game either Saturday or Sunday.