The Salesianum Sallies (4-6-0) kept a third-period blitz from the St. Mark’s Spartans (8-2-0) at bay en route to a 4-2 victory on Wednesday afternoon (Jan. 31) at the Patriot Ice Center in Newark, Del.
After Sallies winger Joey DeFilippis was assessed a tripping penalty eight seconds in while crashing the net off the initial faceoff, the Spartans were the first side to maintain attacking pressure, but were kept scoreless by Salesianum goalie Graham Burke through 18 shots in the first two periods. The Sallies broke through at 9:04 in the first period on a play which developed from a defensive-zone faceoff. Cam Bergeman, winning the faceoff, kicked the puck back to defenceman Dylan Johnson in the left corner, who hit DeFilippis at the right point with a long cross-ice outlet pass. DeFilippis carried in on a breakaway for a stick-side goal past St. Mark’s netminder Billy Pierce.
The Spartans had a prime opportunity to tie the game in the fourth minute of the second, manufacturing a two-on-one chance, but Kelly Stroik was denied by a Burke glove save, one of 32 he made on 34 total shots faced. DeFilippis added a second goal with just over two minutes left in the middle frame, receiving a drop pass from Bergeman above the right dot for another stick-side tally. Bergeman then connected directly in front of the crease for a power-play goal with 25 seconds remaining, putting the Sallies up 3-0 at the second intermission.
Penalty trouble nearing the midpoint of the third period caused Salesianum to lose their shutout. With Bergeman serving an interference minor and chaos in the low slot, St. Mark’s winger Kelly Stroik tapped the rebound of a Will Ralsten chance past Burke to put the Spartans on the board with 8:22 to go. Lance Ralsten found the back of the net for St. Mark’s as well with 2:11 remaining, sniping a drop pass from Patrick Swain out of mid-slot to close the margin to a single goal.
A second Bergeman goal iced the Sallies’ 4-2 victory, their second in a row after defeating the Delaware Military Academy, with 1:13 remaining. The freshman centre fired point-blank on Pierce from the low slot, beating him over his glove. In all, Pierce stopped 20 of 24 Salesianum shots in a game effort for the underdog St. Mark’s side.
The two teams meet again on Friday, March 2 at Fred Rust Arena as part of the rescheduled Hockey For A Cause event to support the Delaware Foundation Reaching Citizens with Intellectual Disabilities.