WOODBRIDGE, NJ — A hot goaltender can stifle the most potent of offenses while putting the team on his back.
St. Rose netminder Mike Haran did both Wednesday night as the sophomore steered aside all 35 shots he faced carrying the Roses to a 3-0 shutout over St. Joseph of Metuchen at the Community Center in Woodbridge.
Haran withstood eight shots in the first period while Sean Grant provided the lead with his goal 7:07 into the action. The unassisted goal sent the tri-op made up of players from St. Rose, Donovan Catholic and Red Bank Catholic school systems into the first intermission with all the momentum after St. Joseph honored its senior class on “Senior Night” before the game.
St. Joseph peppered Haran with 15 more shots in a second-period onslaught, but St. Rose, which was out-shot 35-25, made the most of its opportunities and counted its shots.
Jack Foote capitalized on a turnover in the high slot, skated into the lane and snapped off a wrist shot that beat St. Joseph goaltender Nick Adams 3:54 into the middle frame for a two-goal lead before Nick Reed added to it just 2:27 later.
Reed, a senior, buried his own rebound at the side of the net as St. Rose skated into the third period on the road with a 3-0 lead. Chris Lordi assisted on both goals in the frame.
“We played with tempo tonight from start to finish which put the opponent on their heels early on,” St. Rose coach R.J. Hering said. “We transitioned well as a team through the neutral zone and penalty killers sacrificed their body to keep pucks away from the cage.
“Mike Haran was stellar in net for the full 45 minutes,” Hering said. “The defense was clearing rebounds and creating lanes for Mike to the shots. Gaps were great and they broke up a lot of plays in front and took away second-chance opportunities.”
Hering credited the play of Timmy Regan and Mike Frattarolli on defense.
“Standouts,” he said. “Both played huge minutes and moved the puck real well.”
St. Joseph, which honored 10 seniors before the game — Connor Angeles, Rob Beattie, Mark Borek, Daniel Bradshaw, Andrew Chan, Eric Freda, Norman Matyi, Joseph Morrello, Matthew Samarelli and Samuel Welsh — went on the offensive in the third, outshooting St. Rose 11-3, sending rubber from all angles, but Haran was up to task in what was just his second start this season.
“The St. Rose goaltender played a fantastic game,” St. Joseph coach Ryan Carter said. “We had 35 shots on goal and he turned away everything.”
“We made three defensive mistakes that St. Rose was able to capitalize on,” Carter said. “We have to continue to drive the net and get pucks to the area. There were a few times tonight that we’re just holding on to it too long which allows the back pressure to get into better position.”
Adams finished with 22 saves for St. Joseph, which has dropped three of its last five to sit 10-6 this season. The Falcons will look to get back on track on Friday against Edison.
St. Rose, the 2019 Winding River Tournament champions, continue to impress their first season as a tri-op. The Shore Conference program won five of its first six to begin the campaign, but had not won in five games after the calendar flipped to 2020. In a stretch that included three ties, Wednesday night’s triumph was its first to begin the New Year.
The Roses, which stand 7-2-5 overall, face two tough upcoming challengers in Morristown-Beard and Christian Brothers on tap. St. Rose is back in action hosting the Crimson on Friday.
1-0 SR Sean Grant (unassisted) 7:53-1st
2-0 SR Jack Foote (Chris Lordi) 11:06-2nd
3-0 SR Nick Reed (Chris Lordi, Sean Grant) 8:39-2nd
Shots: 35-25 SR; Haran, SR, 35 saves; Adams, SJ, 22 saves
Written by John Christian Hageny @JCCSPORTS
Special to HockeyClan
Main Image: St. Rose’s Ryan Butchko works on clearing the puck from the zone. He and the rest of the defense played a big part in the shutout during the St. Rose-St. Joseph Non-Conference hockey game at Woodbridge Community Center. 1/22/20. (Tom Smith | tspimages.com)
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