Malden Catholic’s 4-0 senior night victory over Smithfield (R.I.) on Saturday was highlighted by an act of selflessness by senior starting goalie Brendan Zinck.
The captain turned the net over to his best friend, Preston Tully, so his classmate could make his first varsity start.
Tully dazzled with a 25-save shutout, also the first of his career, as the Lancers improved to 5-10-3 with the nonleague victory.
“It was a lot of fun. I’m thankful that he did that for me,” Tully said of Zinck’s gesture. “He was playing so well this season, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to play. I’m so happy for the opportunity to show what I can do.
“It’s awesome. He’s a great kid, I’m always rooting for him, he’s always rooting for me.
Freshman Michael Doe opened the scoring in the first period.
Tully held his ground in a tough second period for the Lancers, fending off a peppering attack with five big saves on the penalty kill.
Seniors Michael Bourgeois and Conner Seeley scored, and junior Jalen Chu notched his first varsity goal in the third period.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to play my fair share of big games here at Malden Catholic,” said Zinck “I couldn’t be happier to see his first start on the varsity team.”
Zink brought up the idea to coach Chris Kuchar, and surprised the team naming Tully the starter during their Friday practice. They swarmed him in celebration.
I’ve coached a lot of captains, I’ve coached leaders. @ZinckBrendan is one of the best leaders, teammates I’ve ever coached. Asked me if his best friend and back up goalie could start on senior night! Then asked if he could announce it. No one knew. Special moment. pic.twitter.com/ufNS3Fo4hC— Chris Kuchar (@coachkuch9) February 18, 2023
“This was a special day for us. Not only to win, but to have what happened, it’s awesome,” said Kuchar. “Think of the ‘Me, me, me’ culture. How many kids are willing to give up a start for their friend on senior night? It’s just awesome.”
Said Tully, ““It was a special night getting the shutout win on senior night. The boys have worked hard all season and it was great to get rewarded tonight for all that hard work.”