BRIGHTON--Connor Doherty and Andrew Stefura play hockey, not basketball, but the performance the two put on at Warrior Ice Arena on Wednesday night sure resembled an NBA-style scorer's duel.
In the end, it was Doherty's hat trick that lifted the Crusaders to a 3-2 victory over the Phoenix, Stefura's two goals not quiet enough in the Catholic Central Small opener for each team.
Lowell Catholic (1-1-0) picked up its first win of the season after a 4-2 loss to St. Joseph's (N.J.) over the weekend. Doherty scored on a feed from Nick Pereira at 9:09 of the first period to give the Crusaders a 1-0 cushion, but Stefura scored two in a row for the Phoenix (0-1-0) in the second to give his team the first lead of the night.
Doherty lifted Lowell Catholic back on top with two more goals of his own, each in the second period and the latter of which was a shorthanded offering.
The 3-2 score held for a final after goalies Colin Gleason (LC) and Jack O'Dea (SJP) held their opponents scoreless over the final 15 minutes of action.
The Crusaders play host to the Phoenix on Jan. 21 at the Chelmsford Forum for their second of two regular season meetings on the year.