Beverly Review: St. Rita bounces back for victory with 2 late goals

Beverly Review:  St. Rita bounces back for victory with 2 late goals

St. Rita senior Andrew Dicksen has scored prettier goals, more skilled goals, but as far as luck goes, he'll take it.

Facing off against Benet on Jan. 18 at Southwest Ice Arena, a wide-open Dicksen saw the puck roll right to him as the Redwings goalie fell down behind the net.

A quick slap shot, and the game was tied.

Just 8 seconds later, teammate Frank Napleton knocked in the eventual game-winner as St. Rita prevailed 3-2 in exciting fashion in Chicago Catholic Hockey League action.

"That was by far the luckiest bounce I've seen while playing at St. Rita," Dicksen said with a laugh. "When you get a goal like that, especially a lucky one, it can definitely lift spirits on the bench. We'd been struggling to get a good bounce."

Starting off the last week of the regular season, the league win came at a perfect time with the Kennedy Cup standings far from decided.

The win all but sealed a spot in the upcoming playoffs for St. Rita, which played Benet, Providence and Fenwick over 4 days.

"We wanted to get as many points as we could for a better seed so we can avoid that 1 or 2 seed in the first round," Napleton said. "[The standings] could have been close. It was a good win for us."

Following Dicksen's timely goal, Napleton scored on a assist from Nick Pyznarski.

The senior forward raced behind the net and delivered a spot-on pass to Napleton in the slot for the game-winner at the 11:49 mark of the third period.

"Kyle made a great play and passed it to me," Napleton said. "I was in the right spot. The goalie was down, so I was trying to hit it upstairs. I was fortunate. It definitely takes the pressure off. It was pretty awesome to get those 2 points for our goalie, Kyle, our fans and us."

Junior goalkeeper Kyle Gustafson helped set up the comeback with some impressive play in net. Just minutes before the Dicksen-Napleton combo, Gustafson dove to his right to stop a beautifully run play by Benet at the far post.

Gustafson's desperate lunge was just enough to block the shot, keeping St. Rita within striking distance at 2-1.

A steady defensive presence all season, Gustafson has been huge for the Mustangs.

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