By Joe Sager
MT. LEBANON – Just get to the net.
It was a simple approach, but one that proved to be effective for Bishop Canevin in a 6-5 win over Chartiers Valley on Monday in a PIHL Class AA battle at the Mt. Lebanon Ice Rink.
The Crusaders (3-0-1) faced a 4-0 deficit 3:42 into the second period, but rallied for six-straight goals to take the win against the rival Colts (1-1-0).
“We were down 4-0 in the second and we knew we had them beat. We kept getting chances, just crash the net is all we had to do and it worked,” said Canevin’s Garrett Godlewski, who scored twice. “They are one of our biggest rivals. We knew, coming into the game, it was going to be a tough game, a one-goal game. We were prepared.”
Anthony Franks got Chartiers Valley on the scoreboard first 4:22 into the game. He weaved his way around goaltender Nikita Meskin for a shorthanded goal and a 1-0 advantage.
Cullen McMahon added a power-play tally with 5:23 remaining and Robert Ferrari scored 2:23 later for a 3-0 Colts advantage.
Franks unleashed a wrister from the slot for his second goal 3:42 into the second period and a 4-0 edge.
“These games are just chaos. The kids are so amped. I talked about a few points before the game about penalties and about what Franks likes to do and we went out there and did the complete opposite and they were up, 4-0,” Canevin coach Kevin Zielmanski said. “It’s exciting for the players and it’s a nice comeback, but it can be draining for coaches. Our scoring was spread out and it was in front of the net, which is where we have to go. We have to get to the net.”
The Crusaders got to the net in the second. Nick Rajakovich banged in a rebound 5:50 into the period to get Canevin on the scoreboard and trim the deficit to 4-1.
Godlewski’s deflection of a Brennan Adams shot on the man advantage brought the Crusaders within 4-2 with 9:12 remaining in the second.
Patrick Large slammed in a pass at the top of the crease for a power-play goal with 4:50 to play in the second to make it a 4-3 contest.
Austin Large’s wrister from the far circle tied it at 4-all with12:49 to play.
Ross Langford swept in a loose puck 1:07 later to give Canevin a 5-4 lead early in the third.
Godlewski slammed in a pass on the backdoor for a 6-4 Crusaders lead with 3:51 to play.
Rich Monti’s goal brought Chartiers Valley within 6-5 with 1:29 to go, but Canevin survived for the win.
“After the first period, our coach told us we needed find ourselves deep down and I guess we did that and came back and won,” Patrick Large said. “That’s our biggest rival and we’re going to have to fight with them every time we play them.”
It was a frustrating defeat for the Colts after their strong start.
“We came out exactly the way we talked about. To see it slip through our fingers is tough. But, I told the boys they need to remember what a loss like this feels like because we’ll see these guys again,” Chartiers Valley coach Sean Biancanello said. “You have to give Bishop Canevin credit because they took advantage of our turnovers in the defensive zone and they buried every opportunity they had. We talked about not making those mistakes and how they can change the game in a blink of the eye. We saw that happen tonight. Our strength is our defense, so to see those mistakes are eye opening. It’s something we’ll fix in practice.”
Chartiers Valley welcomes Greater Latrobe on Monday, while Bishop Canevin travels to Erie to take on Cathedral Prep the same night.
“I picked Cathedral Prep as the preseason No. 1 team in my eyes,” Zielmanski said. “It’s going to be an incredible challenge to play them.”