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
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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