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The Frankfort Station 021617

48 | February 16, 2017 |

48 | February 16, 2017 | The frankfort station Frankfort Sports the frankfort station | February 16, 2017 | 49 Hockey Celtics moving on up to Kennedy Cup Finals Providence sweeps St. Rita in semifinals Brittany Kapa, Assistant Editor St. Rita’s fan section came in strong, loud and like a scene from “Braveheart,” complete with blue face paint. The team’s fans would leave quieter and much more reserved than they entered. On Thursday, Feb. 9, the No. 1-seeded Providence Celtics took on the No. 4-seeded St. Rita Mustangs in the semifinal round of the Kennedy Cup. St. Rita hosted Providence at Southwest Ice Arena in Crestwood for the second game of the series. Providence proved victorious by the end of the night with a 2-0 win, and the Celtics swept the series with back-to-back shutouts. Providence’s Ryan Iaciancio, of Tinley Park, kept his undefeated streak alive in the Chicago Catholic Hockey League with a 25-save performance en route to the team’s Thursday night victory. “I knew it was an elimination game for them, so I knew that they were going to bring everything that they had,” Iaciancio said. Iaciancio finished the game with a few memorable saves, one of which had him well out of the safety of the blue paint. Senior forward Josh Mooncotch scored the lone fullstrength goal with 2 minutes and 10 seconds left in the second period. Mooncotch was fed a pass from Jake Vennetti that got St. Rita’s goalie moving and allowed enough space for Mooncotch to bury the puck in the net off a quick wrist shot. Jake Rott picked up the secondary assist on that play. Mooncotch cited Iaciancio’s performance as one of the main reasons his team was so successful during the night. “He stood on his head,” Mooncotch said. “He’s been playing great the last two games. He kept us in and had two shutouts.” Providence’s second goal came at the very end of the third period after St. Rita had pulled goalie Mike Iwaniec in an attempt to even up the score. Kevin Horan made sure that did not happen with a buzzer beater goal into St. Rita’s empty net with less than a second to go. A common theme throughout the night for Providence was the team’s aggressiveness on the puck and its willingness to make good plays. Defensively, Jake Lawler, of Frankfort, was able to keep Providence’s offensive zone time up with a series of good keeps at the blue line. “We try and be as aggressive as we can, and if [we] get beat, we’re at least going to make you make a great play to beat us,” head coach Nick Iaciancio said. “Sometimes we have a tendency to go too hard and lose our discipline in there.” The team’s aggressiveness did result in four penalties throughout the game. Despite being a man short, the team was always able to have control of the game. Mooncotch was called on a crosscheck violation during the second period, and Providence was able to keep St. Rita from even getting a shot on net. “Our fourth line dominated play for a good portion of the time, which was a huge leg [up] for us to give everyone else a break, especially when you’re killing penalties,” Nick Iaciancio said of his team’s multiple successful penalty kills. The coach said he does not generally like to assign numbers to his lines, but he cited fourth-liners Cole Kaup, of Mokena; Cam Cutler, of Shorewood; and Shane Horan, of Orland Park, as the essential pieces in the success of killing those penalties. The team celebrated its victory after the game, but the players know that their next challenge looms ahead. Providence is preparing to take on Fenwick in the Kennedy Cup finals, and no one wants to lose focus before then. “We know we’re playing Fenwick in the finals, and we know they’re going to bring everything they have,” Ryan Iaciancio said. “We know that this final, anything can happen, so we have to bring our ‘A’ game.” Senior forward Tom Dickason (left) of Frankfort looks for the puck Feb. 9 in Providence Catholic High School’s win over St. Rita’s. Julie McMann/22nd Century Media This week in ... Boys basketball ■Feb. ■ 17 host Bolingbrook, 6:30 p.m. ■Feb. ■ 21 at Lockport, 7 p.m. ■Feb. ■ 17 at IHSA state ■Feb. ■ 18 at IHSA state Girls basketball ■Feb. ■ 16 at IHSA regional Boys swimming ■Feb. ■ 18 at IHSA sectional Girls bowling ■Feb. ■ 17 at IHSA state ■Feb. ■ 18 at IHSA state Wrestling ■Feb. ■ 16 at IHSA regional Girls gymnastics ■Feb. ■ 17 at IHSA state 295359_5.5_x_5.indd 1 2/9/17 9:31 AM