Slow start costs BHS in defeat to Cards

NASHUA – The Bishop Guertin High School boys lacrosse team played the best it has all season for the first quarter of Thursday’s game against Bedford.

That turned out to be a really good thing for the Cardinals because they needed it.

Five different Cardinals scored goals in the first quarter for a 5-0 lead, but the Bulldogs hung around long enough to make things interesting in the fourth before BG pulled away for an 11-6 win in Division I action.

Charlie O’Brien and Nick Prunier each had three goals for the Cardinals (12-1) and Tim Hinrichs added two more, but Bedford goalie Sean Tierney (21 saves) came up big after the opening 12 minutes, as the Bulldogs clamped down and allowed just two goals in the second and third quarters.

"We came out ready to play," Bishop Guertin coach Chris Cameron said. "When you play a team of Bedford’s caliber, we’re not going to be flat. What was disappointing was that we jumped out, we did everything that we were supposed to do, and then, I don’t want to say it unraveled, because we made saves and we played defense. But little things add up and I told the guys that. We had a chance to really go up and then we got out of what we were supposed to do."

Colin Casey finished with eight saves for Bishop Guertin and Garret Bozek, Jordan Caito and Mike Barrett also scored goals.

Bedford (10-2) got three goals from Dakota Clark and two more from Colby Gendron, but the slow start ended up being too much for the Bulldogs to overcome.

"We can’t spot one of the best teams in the state five goals at the start of the game," Bedford coach Matt Geurard said. "Offensively, we made too many unforced errors. It wasn’t them stripping the ball, it wasn’t them making great checks, we just threw it away. For us, that’s uncharacteristic, but it’s a prime time game. You’ve got to limit those mistakes and we didn’t."

The Cardinals took the opening faceoff and got off a handful of shots before O’Brien hit Bozek from behind the goal for the game’s first score 1:35 into the first quarter. Caito followed it up with another goal 1:20 later and Barrett scored with 6:30 left in the first to make it 3-0.

Bedford looked like it might make up some ground when Prunier was called for a slash, but the Cardinals killed off the penalty and then took advantage of their own man-up situation, as Hinrichs scored with 4:07 left in the quarter. O’Brien made it 5-0 just 27 seconds later.

But then the Cardinals would go more than 13 minutes without scoring.

"Early on, we had good shots," Cameron said. "Bedford played hard and tough, but they didn’t play their greatest. They turned the ball over and then we played at that level. For good portions, it was a sloppy game."

Bishop Guertin led 6-2 at the half and 7-3 after three quarters, but Bedford started the fourth a man up and took advantage, as Clark scored just 19 seconds into the quarter.

The Cardinals took another penalty right after the faceoff and Gendron got a quick goal to make it 7-5 with 11:15 to play.

"I said at the start of the fourth quarter, we’re not looking for style points, we’re looking to get this win, so play smart," Cameron said. And all of a sudden 7-3 turns into 7-5. You’ve got to give them credit."

Hinrichs got one of the goals back less than a minute later and O’Brien made it a four-goal game again with 9:39 to play. Prunier tacked on two goals in 50 seconds, the second of which made it 11-5 with 4:11 to play.