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Published: Sunday, 1/8/2006

Sellout crowd watches St. John's top St. Francis in hockey

Sliding St. Francis forward Chris Jaeger tries to knock the puck away from St. John's Zach Milano. Sliding St. Francis forward Chris Jaeger tries to knock the puck away from St. John's Zach Milano.

Several hundred high school hockey fans hoping to watch a game between heated rivals St. John's and St. Francis were turned away at the gate last night at Tam O'Shanter in Sylvania.

The Titans avenged an earlier loss to St. Francis with a 4-0 shutout before a standing-room-only crowd of more than 1,500. Fans saw a contest that had the intensity of a tournament game.

St. John's scored a power-play goal, an even-strength goal and a short-handed goal in the second period. The Titans added another goal with the man advantage in the third to skate away with a victory in the Northwest Hockey Conference Red Division.

St. Francis, which defeated the Titans 4-2 last week, dropped to 10-5-0 overall and 3-1-0 in division play. St. John's improved to 11-5-1 and 2-1-1.

"Our intensity was very good from the get-go," said St. John's coach Mike Hayes. "We did a great job defensively. Last week, we gave up a lot of odd-man rushes."

The Titans' Cam Havenstein had a goal and an assist, and goalie John Unger posted 29 saves. Mike Henson had two assists.

"To get the shutout was icing on the cake," Unger said. "You can't get a shutout without the defense playing good."

Both teams had strong support from their student sections.

"The crowd was going nuts and that helps us out a lot. It gives us momentum," Havenstein said. "We took it to them."

St. John's erupted with two goals over the first 2:47 of the second period. The Titans' Matt Kennedy scored on the power play just 1:03 into the period.

Just 1:33 later, Chase Parsell lit the lamp on an assist from Ross Maxon.

The Titans then stuck the dagger in with only 37 seconds left in the second period with a shorthanded goal. Henson made a big hit at center ice, knocking the puck loose and leading to a breakaway for Dan Johnson. Johnson beat St. Francis goalie Myke McAninch with a backhander to make it 3-0.

McAninch made 27 saves for the Knights, who went 0-for-8 on the power play.

Havenstein then put his squad up by four with a power-play goal just 29 seconds into the third period.

Contact Mark Monroe at: mmonroe@theblade.com or 419-724-6110.

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