STONEHAM — Central Catholic goalie Colin Soucy did everything he could to hold off the St. John’s Prep onslaught.
The North Andover resident made saves standing up and sitting down. He made butterfly saves and stops from his stomach, and even took a shot square off his mask in a 39-save gem.
But despite Soucy’s brilliance, the No. 8 Raiders will be playing for their tournament lives tomorrow.
Top-seeded St. John’s Prep controlled the pace of play from the opening faceoff, tallying up a dominant 42-12 shot advantage on the way to defeating No. 8 Central Catholic 3-1 and tying their best-of-3 Super 8 first round series at 1-1. The third goal was an empty net score.
The two teams will play the deciding game of the series, with a trip to the Super 8 semifinals on the line, tomorrow night at 6 p.m. back at the Stoneham Arena.
“St. John’s Prep is the No. 1 team for a reason,” said Raiders coach Mike Jankowski. “We got away from some of the things were doing in Game 1 of the series (4-1 Central win). But Soucy gave us a fighting chance. He was fantastic.”
The junior netminder faced an intense Eagles attack from the start, making 14 saves in the first quarter alone.
One save, a highlight-reel sprawling stop was so impressive that even the St. John’s Prep fans treated the opposing goalie to a round of cheers.
“Soucy was tremendous,” said Prep coach Kristian Hansen. “Some of those saves were the best that I have seen all year. He stopped a one-timer on the power play and a few breakaways. He is legit and he is going places.”
Along with the slap shot he took to the face, Soucy also had his helmet knocked off as he was sent crashing into the net while making a stop on a Prep player that slammed into him.