Having dismantled archrival Loyola Blakefield in a 10-1 triumph in December, Calvert Hall players might have let their collective guard down when the archrivals met Friday night at the Mount Pleasant Ice Arena for the 19th time to win Brother Andrew Cup — the ice hockey version of the annual football Turkey Bowl between the Towson-area Catholic schools.
Calvert Hall coach Mike Shramek said that his team had no problems staying focused in what turned out to be a 7-1 victory.
"Motivation isn't a challenge in a game like this," Shramek said after the Cardinals increased their all-time series lead to 11-7-1. "If anything, trying to keep them even and composed is the real issue."
Whatever the coach did worked, as the hosts dominated the first two periods before the Dons gained a modicum of respect by scoring their only goal on senior defenseman Matt Ortenzio's rebound with 5:25 remaining in the match.
"I was really upset that they scored," Calvert Hall senior goalie Ryan Cornelius said, noting two-man advantage he was facing. "I made the save (on senior defenseman Sean Stanton's shot) and kicked it out, and he (Ortenzio) popped it in."
By that time, though, the Cardinals (5-10-4) had built a commanding lead. They led after the first period, 3-0, on goals by senior forward Tim Carson, sophomore forward Ryan Dieter and junior forward Costa Pizanis.
Calvert Hall followed that with an even more productive middle period on two goals by freshman forward Patrick Rega, and one each by sophomore forward Tim Blount and Pizanis.
Meanwhile, the score could have been much worse had it not been for a sterling effort from junior goalie Robert Weigman (25 saves) for Loyola (9-6-3).
"In the last three or four games, Robert has really stepped it up," Loyola coach Mike Lortie said. "He's been keeping us in games and is continuing to make tremendous progress."
Cornelius (15 saves) said that the Cardinals knew nothing would come easy in the biggest game of the year.
"We handled them pretty well last time," he said. "But they always come out flying when they plays us."