WORCESTER - Kyle Pettoruto may want to invest in new goalie equipment. The St. John's Prep senior was peppered with 45 shots as his third-seeded Eagles were upset by sixth-seeded Malden Catholic, 4-2, in the first round of the Super 8 at the DCU Center yesterday.
"I think [my equipment] is OK," said Pettoruto, managing to crack a smile.
The Eagles defense was not. The Lancers (12-5-4) outshot the Prep, 45-15.
"They outworked us, beat us to pucks, and muscled us off the pucks," said Eagles first-year coach Kristian Hanson.
The Prep (12-6-3) closed within 3-2 at 4:17 of the third period when Dan Lawton beat John Carbonneau (13 saves) on the glove side after executing a textbook two-on-one break with Evan Yanovitch.
Craig Carbonneau (two goals) iced the game with a breakaway goal with 42.8 seconds left.
"We knew Kyle is a great goalie," said Carbonneau, a junior forward. "We just had a bunch of good three-on-two breaks and got good shots on net."
Malden Catholic converted 1 of 5 power-play opportunities. The Prep went 0 for 2 with the man advantage.
It was the third meeting between the Catholic Conference foes this season. The teams skated to a 3-3 tie, and St. John's Prep won the second clash, 2-1.
Colin Prior, the Eagles' third-leading scorer (11 goals, 9 assists), played limited minutes after sufffering a leg injury on the first shift of the game.
"We couldn't generate any shots," Hanson said. "We were soft."
But that wasn't the only difference.
"We have a lot of skill players," Malden Catholic coach Chris Serino said. "Sometimes those skill players just want to do things with the puck. They don't want to go get the puck. I think our skill players used their speed to go get the puck."
Christian Cowles gave the Eagles a 1-0 lead at 2:38 of the first period, rifling a top-shelf shot from the left faceoff circle. Malden Catholic failed to capitalize on several two-on-ones as Pettoruto made 14 saves in the first period.
The Lancers scored the next three goals, capped by a beautiful deflection by Joe White at 2:05 of the third period. Christian Roberto forced a turnover in the Eagles' zone and fired a cross-ice pass to White, who deflected the puck over Pettoruto's left shoulder.
"We didn't have any effort defensively," Hanson said. "Our players thought, 'Kyle will save that, we don't have to get back.' "
Next up for St. John's Prep is Xaverian, a 3-1 winner over Hingham yesterday. The game will be played Thursday or Friday at Tsongas Arena. The Eagles are 0-2 against the Hawks this season.
"It was just a poor effort today," Pettoruto said. "That will definitely change next game. You can mark my words."
Malden Catholic, in its second Super 8 appearance, will play Hingham at Tsongas Arena Thursday or Friday. The Lancers won't underestimate the Harbormen.
"We got beat by a public school last year," said Carbonneau. "We lost to Weymouth in the first round and went on to lose the next two."