BRISTOL—A hockey fan couldn’t have wished for more. Tristan Winata’s goal 60 seconds into three-on-three overtime gave St. Joseph’s Prep a dramatic 3-2 win over Holy Ghost Prep Wednesday afternoon in an Atlantic Prep Athletic Conference game at Grundy Arena.
Winata’s game-winner, his second goal of the afternoon, came when he collected a feed from goaltender Rocco Bruno and put a backhander past Firebird netminder Colin Mudrick just moments after the Firebirds had a chance of their own.
The result squared the Hawks’ record at 1-1 in the APAC and 4-1 overall and came five days after a loss to Malvern Prep in their conference opener.
“It’s amazing to be part of that experience,” Bruno said. “The game was real tight, real close, the adrenaline was pumping, and it’s a great overall feeling to come out with a win.”
Bruno had as much to do with his team’s success as anyone in the building. The Firebirds (1-1 overall and in the the APAC) outshot the Hawks 46-25; Bruno finished his day’s work with 44 saves. He spoke to the importance of staying focused.
“Not letting yourself being distracted,” he said. “I’ve got to make sure I’m paying attention to my D-men and talking to them. I have to keep control of a lot of things at once, but I can’t get distracted by anybody other than who’s on the ice.”
St. Joseph’s Prep assistant coach Van Stefanou said Bruno’s play gave his teammates an energy boost but stressed the senior netminder had plenty of help.
“I think it gives our team a lot of momentum going forward,” he said. “Rocco played out of his mind, but our whole defensive corps, and even the forwards coming back and helping defensively out really turned it around especially from the last game. Our focus this game was to protect the house and our guys did just that.”
The Hawks took a 1-0 lead when Shane O’Neill scored from the high slot just inside the Holy Ghost Prep blue line 11:32 into the first period. Winata made it a 2-0 game during a power play at the 12:12 mark of the second frame.
But the Firebirds didn’t buckle. Kieran Mulholland and Brady Baehser scored goals five minutes apart and with 10:48 left in regulation it was a 2-2 game.
And as time marched on the level of play at both ends of the ice picked up, something even Gump Whiteside, the losing coach, could appreciate.
“That’s a great game,” he said. “Win, lose, or tie, two good teams playing.”
Whiteside was pleased with the way his troops recovered from the two-goal deficit.”
“I really liked the way our guts responded in the third period,” he said. “We did everything we wanted to do. I told the guys after the game, when you get to overtime, anything can happen. We had that opportunity early and it didn’t go our way.”
St. Joseph’s Prep 1 1 0 0 1—3
Holy Ghost Prep 0 0 2 0—2
Frost-period goal: Shane O’Neill (SJP) from Jeffrey Hammond and Tristan Winata, 11:32
Second-period goal: Winata (SJP) from Jake Schulz and Patrick Sweeney, 12:12 (pp)
Third-period goals: KIeran Mulholland (HGP) unassisted, 1:10; Brady Baehser (HGP) unassisted, 6:12
Overtime goal: Winata (SJP) from Rocco Bruno, 1:00
Shots: St. Joseph’s Prep 25, Holy Ghost Prep 46; Saves: Rocco Bruno (SJP) 44; Colin Mudrick (HGP) 22
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For more information about Holy Ghost Prep CLICK HERE
Elsewhere: Hun School 4 Father Judge 0—Four different players scored goals as the Raiders won their season opener from the host Crusaders on Wednesday. Ryan Levesque, Justin Laplante, Charles-Etienne Jette, and Ethan Estulin were the goal scorers.
Stephen Chen (21 saves) and Julian Arsenault (10) combined on the shutout.
Hun School 1 2 1—4
Father Judge 0 0 0—0
First-period goal: Ryan Levesque from Tyler James, Mark Gall, 16:38
Second-period goals: Justin Laplante, 9:33 (SH)
Third-period goal: Elian Estulin from Laplante, Marino