By Jim Hintelmann
RED BANK – Despite bombarding the Monsignor Donovan net with a barrage of shots in the first period, Red Bank Catholic (2-1-1) met with a lot of frustration with Donovan goalie Alex Mollicos making save after save in keeping the game scoreless.
RBC, though, finally broke through in the second period with a six-goal eruption, three of them by senior defenseman Mike Stickle, and coasted to a 7-0 shutout over the Griffins Tuesday.
“Their goaltender was very good,” admitted RBC coach Ken Carson. “He made some nice saves on us, but we moved the puck well and I was happy with that.”
Depth played a role in the game also with RBC suiting up 22 players compared to just 11 for Donovan.
“They (Donovan) are shorthanded right now,” said Carlson. “A couple of their guys are out. They played with us in the first period but we finally wore them down in the second period.”
Fittingly enough, it was Stickle who finally broke the scoreless tie when he scored from in close just 32 seconds in the second period. Vinnie Gatta made it 2-0 at 4:40 with a goal from five yards away. Stickle followed with his second goal at 10:14, and then Kyle Ross, Vinnie Bauman and Stickle followed with goals in quick succession for a 6-0 lead.
Christian Constantino closed out the scoring for RBC with a goal in the third period. Overall, RBC had a commanding 48-7 advantage in shots.
“Stickle played mostly center for us last year,” said Carlson. “This year we moved him to defense and we think that is paying off.”
“That was my first hat trick in high school,” said Stickle, who also plays football and lacrosse. “I’m not normally a scorer. It just happened tonight, I usually play defense, but the coach moved me up to center today.”
Carlson has been pleased with the team thus far this season, but admits that there is still some things to be worked out
“We’re getting there,” he said. “We have a lot of work to do, but we are making some progress. Today was a good stepping stone but we need to work on more puck movement and need more scoring opportunities. We did both today, and that is a good sign for us.”
RBC has a big game Monday with rival Christian Bothers Academy at Wall.