MALDEN, Mass. —The impressive season long unbeaten streak is over for the BC High Eagles and Malden Catholic’s Ara Nazarian had a lot do with it.
Nazarian scored the go ahead goal in the second period and the insurance goal in the third period as the No. 3 Lancers put an end to the No. 1 Eagles’ 14-game unbeaten streak by a score of 3-1 at the Valley Forum.
The UNH commit finished off a sweet move to his forehand early in the second period to give the Lancers a lead they would not relinquish.
“He is a high end talent kid and you expect that,” said Malden Catholic coach John McLean. “I thought he worked really hard tonight and he was focused. We gear up for these guys so we look forward to playing them. I wish we could play them more during the year.”
The Lancers opened the scoring in the first period when senior Patrick Wrenn finished off a nice cross-ice pass from Nick Botticelli for a 1-0 lead.
Momentum shifted as the Eagles came out flying in the second period and tied the game when Tim Larocque tipped home a point shot from Ryan Shea to tie the game.
Despite the go-ahead goal by Nazarian just under a minute later, the Eagles kept the pressure on, aided by three power play chances including an abbreviated two man advantage but they could not solve junior goalie Alex Reissis (26 saves).
Nazarian put the finishing touches on the win with just under three minutes left.
Jake Witkowski had the initial bid that Eagles goalie Brandon Payzant turned aside but the rebound fell to the stick of Nazarian, who had an easy finish into the open side that put the game away.
MC's win avenged the Lancers' 5-3 loss at UMass-Boston back on Jan. 7.
“We just needed to focus on the small plays at the blue lines,” said Nazarian. “In the past games we haven’t been putting in our effort at the blue lines and that is where we have been losing games. I don’t think they have had a game where they have been down 1-0 in a while so getting that first goal was key.”
Only small in stature: When MC goalie Alex Reissis emerged from the locker room, the team’s fireman hat — given to the game’s MVP — rested on his head.
Despite his small frame, Reissis played large for the Lancers, specifically during a 16-shot barrage from the surging Eagles in the second period.
“The defense played really well for me today and kept everything to the outside,” said Reissis. “We took a lot of penalties but the penalty kill played well again.”
There was no bigger save then with just over six minutes left in the game when a defensive turnover led to Eagles top scorer Steve DeForge bearing down on Reissis but the junior goalie calmly turned the bid aside.
“I think this is a big step for him in a real big game,” added McLean. “That was huge for his confidence but he played huge tonight.”