Fairfield Prep hockey bests Catholic Memorial
Updated 2:54 pm, Thursday, February 24, 2011
Playing the best team it has seen in months was good enough for Fairfield Prep ice hockey head coach Matt Sather.
But the Jesuits did one better.
Prep got 36 saves from senior goalie John Galiani, and a goal and an assist from David White and Bryan Puffer as the Jesuits beat Catholic Memorial (Mass.) 2-1 on Wednesday afternoon at Wonderland of Ice.
"We just found a way to win," Sather said.
David Griffin tallied a pair of assists as the Jesuits won for the ninth time in 10 games.
Sather pointed out the second period as one of Prep's best this season, and the best of the game. The Jesuits tallied twice. White scored on a neat feed from Griffin at 3:58 to put the Jesuits up 1-0.
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"I thought we played great in the second period," Sather said. "It was probably our best period of hockey."
Puffer scored six minutes later, when he took a pass from Griffin and went around Shane Starrett to put the Jesuits ahead 2-0.
"That line had a great second period," Sather said.
Galiani lost the shutout when he was beaten by sophomore Liam Coughlin with just 1:12 left in the second. However, that was the lone blemish on his day.
"We knew [Coughlin] was one of their top guys," Galiani said. "He still got one by me ... he made some pretty sweet moves ... he's a good player, he's going to score."
Galiani made several good stops to keep the Jesuits ahead in the third period, stopping 18 shots in the third period.
"When you start thinking you have to be in 100 different places at once, that's when they get in your head," Galiani said. "I just sit back there and don't try to think about anything that is out of my control."
Sather was pleased with the way he has played, and especially over Prep's nine wins in 10.
"In the third, I thought [Galiani] played well," Sather said. "He's been great all year."
Sather credited Catholic Memorial as being the best team that his squad has seen since it took on Lasell College High School in Pennsylvania in December.
"They're probably the second best team we've played all year," Sather said.
Prep was pleased that the Jesuits could get a strong test right before the Division I state playoffs. The Jesuits will close their regular season on March 2 with a makeup game against Amity and then start states as one of the top-four seeds.
"I think you need teams to push the pace," Sather said. "I think they showed us, especially in the third period, how quick you need to be to play the game."
"They're always very good every year," Galiani said. "We enjoy the challenge."