WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Four of the top 20 teams in MIAA Division 1 took to the frozen tundra at the Olympia Ice Center for the Pope Francis Invitational semifinals on Tuesday evening.
St. Mary’s shut out Central Catholic, 4-0, in the first game before Pope Francis held serve on home ice for an 8-3 win over Belmont in the nightcap. The Spartans and Cardinals will meet at 1 p.m. Wednesday in the championship game. Central Catholic and Belmont will battle in the consolation game at 11 a.m.
St. Mary’s was buoyed by freshman goaltender Anthony Palmer’s fourth shutout of the season and two goals from senior left wing Brady Bullock. Junior center Benjamin Fry and defenseman Marc Hilton added insurance markers for Mark Lee’s team.
In an unexpected rout of Belmont, junior forwards Jacob Petrin and Mossy Kearney both recorded hat tricks for Pope Francis. Classmates, defenseman Zachary Buffone and right wing Wade Wegrzyn also scored for Brian Foley’s squad.
Here are takeaways and prospect notes from both games.