LOWELL — Junior Kevin Regan scored the go-ahead goal a minute into the second period Sunday afternoon as eighth-seeded Central Catholic defeated top seed St. John’s Prep, 4-1, at Tsongas Center to kick of the Super 8 tournament.
After a dump into the zone by Central Catholic sophomore Billy Stahley, classmate Christian Thompson put a nice pass in front of the net. Regan tapped it in past goalie Billy Price — who was expecting the puck to come around the other side — to give Central (15-5-3) a 2-1 lead.
“They beat us twice this year. They’re a better team,” said St. John’s coach Kristian Hanson, whose team fell to 17-3-1. “In my mind, they’re the one seed and we’re the eight seed right now. They played us twice, they beat us twice. It’s a really tough matchup. There were a few other teams I would have preferred to play.”
Central Catholic junior Colin Soucy made 24 saves, many of which dazzled the crowd, including a diving stop on Prep captain Brian Pinho’s breakaway in the second period to preserve the one-goal lead.
“Colin has been phenomenal for us all year. Game in and game out, I can’t say enough good things,” said Central Catholic coach Mike Jankowski.
The scoring was opened in the first period by Central Catholic’s Lloyd Hayes, who put a rebound five-hole on Price, off assists from Alex Lester and Corey Webber, at 5:08.
Prep tied it at 10:37 on a power-play goal from Jimmy Currier, who backhanded home the rebound of a Tyler Bird shot.
Central Catholic senior captain Nick Gorski scored unassisted on a power play at 9:32 to make it 3-1, and Lester capped the scoring 1:49 into the third, with assists from Regan and Hayes.
“Defensively, we played really well,” said Jankowski. “We had a lot of jump right off the bat, we brought some intensity to it. I think we caught them a little bit off guard.”
The teams continue the best-of-three series Thursday at Stoneham Arena at 7:45 p.m..