BOSTON -- The Springfield Cathedral Panthers did not show any signs of bus lag in the opener of their best-of-three Super 8 opener on Sunday.
The third-seeded Panthers, which captured the Catholic West Hockey League title with a 3-0-1 record, started strong and finished in the same fashion in a 4-1 win over Duxbury High School.
With the win, the Panthers continue a 12-game unbeaten streak and will go for the two-game sweep at 6 p.m. on Thursday night. Freshman Keith Petruzzelli (Wilbraham, Mass.) led them to that point in his first state tournament appearance, making 21 saves.
Junior Zac Prattson (Tolland, Conn.) scored the opening goal of the game just 2:36 into the first period. Against Duxbury junior goaltender Tucker Kelly, Prattson stepped in front and tucked a loose puck five-hole to put Cathedral up 1-0.
The Dragons leveled the score 48 seconds into the second period as senior Matt Saia ran off the half wall and fired a wrister into the back of the net for his ninth goal this year.
Cathedral swung the momentum back in its favor at 12:36 of a very even middle stanza as freshman Riley Prattson (Tolland, Conn.) tied his brother on the scoreboard with a wrister to beat Kelly.
After weathering the storm for much of the third period, the Dragons slipped back, surrendering two late goals to result in the final score.
Junior defenseman Matt Cieboter (Springfield, Mass.) laid a beautiful home run pass to his classmate and captain Peter Crinella (East Longmeadow, Mass.) with 2:09 left. The Holy Cross commit gathered the puck in stride and buried his team-best 29th goal of the season five-hole on Kelly.
Less than a minute later, sophomore Johnny Leonard (Amherst, Mass.) gathered a loose puck on the side wall and tucked it into an empty net.