Tonawanda News — The St. Joe's hockey doesn't take many days off. In fact, coach Rick Crozier has his team "going" at every opportunity.
The Marauders (16-2-1, 12-0-1 Federation) are on the ice, in a practice or a game, six out of seven days during the week, and Crozier said the most important thing he tries to teach his players is work ethic — a concept he learned as a student at the school in the early 90s.
That mentality has led the Marauders to an unbeaten season in the Federation through 13 games, including a pair of victories over the weekend over Niagara Falls and Niagara-Wheatfield. They beat the Falcons 5-1 on Sunday at Buffalo State's Ice Arena, and Crozier said hard work was the reason.
"I tell the boys all the time and this is what we live by: No one outworks us, no one," he said. "Most important thing we have to ask ourself at the end of every game is: Were we the hardest working team? No offense to Niagara-Wheatfield, they're a very skilled team, but we outworked them (Sunday)."
The Sunday matinee between teams likely determined the regular season league champion, and it didn't take the Marauders long to get on the scoreboard.
Just under two minutes in, Kyle Moslow stuffed a loose puck home to give the Marauders a 1-0 lead.
St. Joe's continued to build momentum by dominating in the second period, scoring three goals — all by the team's No. 2 line — to put the game out of reach.
Crozier said the second period was huge.
"We had it 15 shots to four in our favor," he said. "Any time you outshoot a good team — I mean (Niagara-Wheatfield) very much could represent our section in the public school championship in Utica in March. Any time you outshoot a team 15-4 you're doing something right."
Senior forward Eric Paradowski scored two goals in the second period, while line mate Dominic Perna beat N-W goalie Nate Sommers for a goal of his own. Perna blasted a quick wrister past Sommers, after a 180 spin move in the right circle, to give the Marauders their third goal.
Paradowski said it's nice to be so in tune with the rest of his line, but that the team can't be satisfied with what it's accomplished so far.
"My line is rolling right now. We're racking in the goals," he said. "When we find each other we know where each other is going to be. It's just pass, shoot, score. … We keep coming every game, and every night we try and give our best."
Senior forward Zach Klapp (Tonawanda) recorded an assist in the game, but Crozier said his contributions rarely show up on the score sheet.
N-W had an opportunity in the second period to get back in the game after the Marauders committed a pair of penalties. St. Joe's killed off the 5 on 3 disadvantage and Klapp made a huge play with about 20 seconds left in the last one, racing into the Falcons' zone to finish a check on the defenseman to insure the kill.
"We killed that penalty and I think Zach had one of his best games today," Crozier said. "That entire line — Moslow, Klapp and (James) Deakin — was fantastic for us. They worked real hard and Zach is one of those players that doesn't always get the recognition, but I thought he had a fantastic game."
Four of the St. Joe's goals came off rebounds surrendered by Sommers, and Paradowski said those are the type of goals the Marauders seek out. They run loose puck drills in practice and everyone out on the ice is looking to attack the net after big shots from the point.
Harlan LoVullo rounded out the scoring for the Marauders and N-W's Mike Parisi scored the only goal of the game for the Falcons.
The Marauders are back in action on Thursday for a 7 p.m. Federation clash with Williamsville North at the Northtown Center in Amherst.Contact sports editor Matt Parrino at 693-1000 ext. 4117 and find Tonawanda News sports on Twitter @tonanewssports.