PITTSFIELD -- It should be no surprise that Eric Leitch said he felt comfortable with the puck after St. Joseph's 7-1 win over Belchertown at the Boys and Girls Club rink.
He spent the entire first period, after all, proving that.
Leitch scored three times in the first and added a goal in the second period to lead the way for the Crusaders.
"Keeping it in their zone, moving the puck and just getting inside [were working]," Leitch said.
St. Joe's made the most of its 22 shots Wednesday, jumping ahead of the Orioles by two goals just a little more than 7 minutes into the game. In fact, the Crusaders scored a goal in the first two minutes of each period.
"Even though we were successful against this team early in the season, I think [Eric] wanted to set the record straight, that it wasn't just a fluke," St. Joe's coach Tim Kelly said.
Leitch left the offense to his teammates after handling the Crusaders' first four goals. Derek Romejko scored, and Luke Perry added a pair of third-period goals.
Andrew Leitch was impressive in front of the net, as the senior goalie stopped 25 of 26 Oriole shots -- including a first-period breakaway and another early odd-man rush. He gave up just one goal, a Tommy Daley tally early in the second period.
"I think his positioning helps out with that," Kelly said. "He's always ready [and knows] where the puck is. He just positions himself in the right location.
The game got chippy in the third period, which is no surprise for a six-goal game that featured a running clock late. The teams combined for more than 10 penalty minutes in the final frame, including a pair of unsportsmanlike-conduct penalties.
What was more important to Eric Leitch, though, was that all aspects of St. Joe's game were solid.
"You don't have to score to have a good game," he said. "A lot of guys had a great game tonight. Danny Flynn and Andy Cella, our young guys, were working hard. I've been trying to tell [the defense] to be physical and lay the hit on them. They didn't let anything inside them, which is great."
St. Joseph's 7, Belchertown 1
Belchertown 0 1 0 -- 0
St. Joseph's 3 2 2 -- 7
SJ -- Eric Leitch (Brett Pecor), 0:41
SJ -- E. Leitch (Mike Bloom), 7:04
SJ -- E. Leitch (Dan Flynn), 12:48
B -- Tommy Daley (Jonathan Rodriguez), 1:19
SJ -- E. Leitch (unassisted), 1:46
SJ -- Derek Romejko (Cody O'Dowd), 9:39
SJ -- Luke Perry (UA), 0:28
SJ -- Perry (Lance McColgan), 10:01
Saves: B -- Kyle Mikulski 15. SJ -- Andrew Leitch 25.
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