Finn scores game-winner in 3-2 triumph as Marauders win for the seventh time in 10 years
3/15/2011 – Buffalo, NY – Story courtesy of BuffaloNews.com – The ability to ride the waves of a game has been a hallmark of St. Joe’s hockey all season.
That trait served the Marauders well Sunday afternoon, as they closed out the season with a 3-2 win over St. Anthony’s to win the Private School State Championship at the Buffalo State Ice Arena.
It was the seventh state title for St. Joe’s in the last 10 years, but first for head coach Rich Crozier.
“It absolutely is a tradition and a source of pride for us,” Crozier said. “We look at ourselves as one of the top high school hockey programs.”
The Marauders proved their worth, taking a 2-0 lead on a pair of goals by Aaron Iannello.
St. Anthony’s came back to tie the game at 9:13 of the third, but St. Joe’s responded 45 seconds later with a goal by senior Rob Finn to earn the win. “It was an unbelievable individual effort by one of our three seniors,” Crozier said. “[Finn] took the puck from the blue line and he wasn’t going to be stopped. He went wide, cut in and finished on a scramble in front of the net. That cliched the championship for us.”
The ability to keep their composure despite blowing a two-goal lead was a key component for the Marauders.
“All season long, whenever they met a challenge, they responded,” Crozier said. “That’s what the talk was on the bench when they tied the game. The talk was that we could still do this. There wasn’t any complaining or getting down. We stuck together all year and I loved the way we responded.”
Key for St. Joe’s also was the play of goaltender Marc Mallare, who recorded 30 saves in the win.
“Mallare was terrific,” Crozier said. “He made some big saves for us. He had the shutout against Canisius and the shutout against St. Francis to get us here. In the playoffs you ride your goaltender and we did that.”
St. Joe’s ends the year with a 23-4-2 record.