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 [was 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.
Eric 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."