By: John Nee '93
The Catholic League hockey standings look a lot like the NHL standings these days with several teams bunched together all fighting for a spot in the Kennedy Cup playoffs. On Thursday night the "Skating" Mustangs took a big step towards locking up their spot with a huge 3-2 win over Benet Academy at Southwest Ice Arena.
St. Rita scored twice in 8 seconds in the third period to turn a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 lead as they held on the final 10 minutes for the victory.
Senior Frank Napleton scored twice while senior Andrew Dicksen added the other St. Rita goal. Senior captain Nick Pyznarski notched 2 assists while junior Danny Dargan added an assist for the Mustangs. Junior goalie Kyle Gustafson secured the win in the nets by stopping 22 Red Wing shots on the evening.
The Mustangs scored first 4:20 into the game as Napleton lit the lamp for the first of his 2 goals on the night as Dargan and Pyznarski assisted. Benet would tie the score at 1 just 8 seconds later as the CCL rivals entered the second period all even.
Even though the ice seemed to be tilted in St. Rita's direction all night, Benet would notch the only tally of the second period at the 12:41 mark to take a 2-1 lead into the third period.
Dicksen would tie the score with a tally at the 5:03 mark of the third to set up Frank Napleton's heroics as he found the back of the net just 8 seconds later to give the Mustangs a 3-2 lead they would not relinquish.
There would be some excitement in the final 7 minutes of regulation, though, as Benet Academy had a 5 on 3 power play for 40 seconds, but the Mustangs killed off the 2-man advantage and sophomore Luke Napleton would draw a penalty to negate the second Red Wing power play as the Mustang faithful drove home happy. The "Mustang Maniacs" were out in full force dressed in their country best as they dogged the Benet Academy goaltender all night long.
The Mustangs will return to action Saturday night against Augustinian rival Providence with a 7:10 puck drop at SIA.