Sophomore goalie Cal Christofori backstopped a shutout Saturday afternoon, Dec. 20, as the Belmont High School Ice Hockey squad kept the lid on Stoneham’s forwards for a 2-0 victory at the “Skip.”
The win put the Marauders at .500 coming after a tough 3-2 home loss to Melrose High School in the season opener.
“It was easy for me since my [defense] played so well,” said Christofori.
The defense, led by top pair Adam Cronin and Trey Butler, took charge in clearing the front of the slot.
“Most of the shots I saw coming which is important and there was a lot that were blocked. Everyone did a great job,” Christofori.
While the game was a mostly even affair with equal numbers of scoring chances for each side, Belmont capitalized on their opportunities. With five minutes to go in the first, senior captain Brian Garrett pounced on the puck a Stoneham player whiffed clearing from a face-off to the left of Stoneham goalie Peter Barry and sent a snap shot by Barry’s stick hand blocker.
Belmont scored on the power play only two minutes into the second period when Garrett’s line mate, big senior center Joe Paolillo rocketed a shot by Barry to double the lead.
After the goal, the game got a bit chippy as penalties began piling up and emotions got the best of some players.
In the midst of that, Chistofori stayed calm, coming up with many routine saves along with a few tough ones including coming across and out of his crease to take a one-timer from the stick of Stoneham’s Mike Halpin in the final 90 seconds of the second period.
While Stoneham took the game to Belmont in the final 15 minutes seeking the equalizer, Belmont’s collective defense plan only allowed the Spartans a few clear cut chances in the period.