January 11, 2007 @ Aldrich 8:00
Hill-Murray took sole possession of first place in the Classic Suburban with a 4-1 win over defending Class A state champion St. Thomas Academy. Nick Larson's third goal into an empty net sealed the victory for Joe Phillippi, who turned in another solid goaltending performance finishing with 27 saves.
The Pioneers had many scoring chances early in the game, racking up odd man rushes and goalmouth scrambles but no goals until Bo Dolan came through at 6:04. Tyler Zepeda's shot was blocked but went right to Dolan in the high slot, and his wrister from 40 feet beat Aaron Crandall on the blocker side.
The second period featured an ongoing parade to the penalty box by both teams. Hill-Murray limited the Cadets' chances on the power play throughout the game, but St. Thomas tied the game with an even strength goal at 9:36. Phillippi made two good saves, but Kevin Sienko put in the second rebound from close range.
Hill-Murray regained the lead with a power play goal two minutes later. Ryan Furne made a backdoor pass to Larson from the right point and Larson beat Crandall on the short side to make it 2-1.
James Saintey made a great bid to tie the game again late in the period, stickhandling through several defenders and going in alone on Phillippi, but his backhand hit the top of the crossbar.
On the first shift of the third period, Larson fed Furne up the left side and redirected Furne's return pass into the net from close range to make it 3-1.
St. Thomas used an extra attacker for the final two minutes, but Larson finally cleared the zone and fended off two defensemen for his third goal, completing his second hat trick of the season.
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