WORCESTER — After three periods of back-and-forth play, the No. 7 Central Catholic and No. 2 Springfield Cathedral boys’ hockey teams ended in a 3-3 tie Monday at Holy Cross.
The first period was controlled by Central Catholic (8-2-2), which jumped to a 1-0 lead when junior defenseman Alex Lester scored just three minutes into the game.
Cathedral (9-0-2) had several scoring chances in the period, including two power-play opportunities, but was unable to cash in.
“We came out slow in the first, I thought,” said Panthers coach Brian Foley. “Our goalie [John Liquori] really kept us in the game. We just weren’t skating in the first.”
The second period was a different story for the Panthers, who scored three goals and began to dictate the pace of the game.
Johnny Leonard tied the game early in the period and then gave Cathedral a 2-1 lead with his second goal.
“With the second goal, Matt Foley shot the puck and it just came right to me on the deflection. Luckily, I was able to stick it in,” said Leonard.
Foley added a goal on a slap shot that went through the legs of Central Catholic goalie Colin Soucy, giving the Panthers a 3-1 margin heading into the third period.
But the Raiders wasted no time staging their comeback at the Hart Center.
After winning the opening faceoff, senior forward Mike Kelleher scored a diving goal just nine seconds in.
Central Catholic continued to battle, getting nine shots on goal during the final period. Its efforts finally paid off when junior forward Lloyd Hayes tied the score with six minutes left in regulation.
“Central is a great team. They’re very well-coached. We should’ve protected the lead but I think it was the correct score,” said Brian Foley.