Even down a goal, Fairfield boys' hockey coach Mark Pettorini was happy with his team's effort in the first
period of Friday's FCIAC quarterfinals against St. Joseph.
But penalties hurt seventh-seeded Fairfield in the second period as the second-seeded Cadets scored two power-play goals Â-- one on a two-man
advantage -- and pulled away for a 5-1 victory at the Terry Conners Rink in Stamford.
"We skated with them the whole first period, (it's) 1-0," Pettorini said. "(We) came out flying (in the second period), (took) 12
minutes worth of penalties.
"That's a tough way to beat any team win when you're in the box that much. It's almost like a whole period. They popped a
couple power-play goals. That's kind of debilitating and takes a lot of the wind out of the sails."
who will face New Canaan or Greenwich in the semifinals on Wednesday. Fairfield dropped to 9-10 with two regular-season
games still left on the schedule, including a contest at Branford on Saturday
St. Joseph outshot Fairfield 8-3 in the first period, but managed only a 1-0 lead. Petrini scored the goal at 3:11 when
he grabbed a rebound of Corcoran's shot and flipped a backhander into an open net.
"We've been struggling all year to put teams away early and that seems to be our nemesis," St. Joseph coach Marty Crouse
said. "We keep teams hanging around. We outshoot them 2-to-1 and only have a goal to show for it."
After Fairfield fell behind 4-0, Michael Aquila scored the Mustangs' only goal at 7:15 of the third period following a
wild scramble in front.
Fairfield 2-1 last Saturday.
But St. Joseph began to pull away in the second period Friday as Corcoran converted the 5-on-3 with a blast from just inside
the blue line at 5:47. Just over three minutes, Laoue, who was stationed on the doorstop, potted a rebound for another
power-play tally and a 3-0 St. Joseph lead.
"We popped one, but we had a rough time generating some offense on this team," Pettorini added. "I brought a
defenseman up front there for a little just to see if we could get something down. We got one, but a little bit too late."
In the first period, Fairfield did an excellent job shutting down Keator as Jack O'Rourke shadowed the Cadets'
But Keator finally made his presence felt when he beat Frawley with a snap shot from the slot for his first goal with 2:13
left in the second period.
The senior forward then completed the scoring with a spectacular goal as he skated into the slot, deked Frawley and
flipped the puck into an open net with 5:16 remaining.
"(Keator's) taking an extra couple hits here and there," Crouse said. "He picks and chooses his battles well, and that's the
way he has to play. He's a marked man. Every body knows it, but he's effective with or without the puck."
When the Mustangs fell behind by three goals, they were forced to abandon their strategy of focusing on Keator.
"First period, we locked up on him," Pettorini. "We had a kid (O'Rourke) chasing him around. We kind of contained him.
Second period, we got down a few goals. At that point, it was worth us to cut him free and try to get some kind of offense