NHIAA Hockey: Beliveau backbones Central win
MANCHESTER - Despite a high-pressure third period from Manchester Memorial, Manchester Central escaped with a 2-1 win at JFK Coliseum in NHIAA boys' hockey action Saturday night.
Central finishes the regular season at 11-7-0. Defending Division I champion Memorial is 7-8-3. Final seedings for the playoffs, which begin Wednesday, were awaiting late results from Saturday.
As Memorial pressed in the third period, Central senior goalie Ian Beliveau had the answer each time, making 10 saves in the third and 21 in the game.
"Our backbone, Ian Beliveau. It's been that way all year," said Central head coach Brian Stone. "That's good to see. Two goals has been doing it for us."
Central had to kill three penalties to close out the second period and another two, including 23 seconds of five-on-three time, in the third.
"That doesn't help us. We took too many again," Stone said. "Offensive chances were there and we take ourselves out of the game with penalties. We were rolling three lines and then I've got to shorten the bench."
The Crusaders skated a power play in the final minute and pulled goalie Aaron Shrum to create a six-on-four. A wild flurry in the final seconds could not produce the equalizer, however.
"We had I don't know how many opportunities. They just skirted by or we just missed," said Memorial head coach Mark Putney. "Whatever it was, we couldn't put one home."
Central led 1-0 with a goal at 5:42 of the first period. Jake Clark scored on a shot from above the left circle to ring off the bar and in.
Memorial tied the game at 1-1 at 10:07 of the first. Senior Brady Sufat slid a backhander past Beliveau inside the right post from the slot.
Central got the eventual game-winner at 1:40 of the second period when Colin Pacheco snapped a wrist shot past Shrum high glove-side.