Bernardians happy playing SPM even.
FITCHBURG - It's not often that Jim Conry walks away from a tie with a smile on his face, but the St. Bernard's High hockey coach had an ear-to-ear grin on Monday night.
And he has Josh Goliber to thank for that. The senior made 41 saves as the Bernardians (3-11-2) played St. Peter-Marian to a 2-2 standoff Monday night at the Wallace Civic Center.
"Josh has been our rock all year," Conry said. "We can count on him to make at least 35 saves almost every game. Tonight he made a few more."
St. Bernard's led most of the way, but moments after it killed a five-on-three SPM power play, the Guardians (4-10-3) scored the equalizer midway through the third period.
The Bernardians tried to clear the puck out of their zone, but it was intercepted by SPM's Zach Zona. Positioned just inside the blue line, the senior defenseman took a shot through traffic that deflected off Goliber's right leg and into the net at 7:28.
St. Bernard's almost went ahead again in the final minutes, but twice saw shots hit the crossbar.
"St. Bernard's came to play," Guardians coach Brian Allain said. "Sometimes the crossbar is the goalie's best friend, right? But I felt St. Bernard's worked very hard and could have beaten us. In fact, they almost did."
The Bernardians took a 1-0 lead in the first period when forward Liam O'Brien raced down the left side untouched and beat SPM's Ryan Carey (29 saves) with a backhander.
St. Bernard's then went ahead, 2-0, at 9:28 of the second period when Stefan Quattrucci converted a power-play goal from the right circle.
Two minutes later, Conor Leonard's 25-foot blast pulled the Guardians within a goal.
"It's late into the season, but I've never seen a team work this hard as our kids did tonight," Conry said. "It was a good team effort. St. Peter's may not have a very good record, but they're still a bigger school than us, so this is a nice tie to walk away with."