Hingham closes Super 8 with win over Central

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. –- The Super 8 tournament picture didn’t become much clearer following Sunday’s game between fifth-seeded Hingham and eighth-seeded Central Catholic.

Goals by Steven Bellew and James Gordon helped Hingham prevail 2-1 in a game that eliminated Harbormen, but still left Central Catholic will a chance to advance.

The Raiders are 1-2 in Group 1 and will make it to the semifinals if Malden Catholic (2-0) defeats Weymouth (1-1) by more than one goal when the teams meet tonight at Tsongas Arena.

If the teams finish with the same record the first tiebreaker is goal differential. The second tiebreaker is head-to-head results. Central Catholic, which beat Weymouth 2-1, has been outscored 7-6 in its three tournament games. Weymouth has scored five goals and allowed five.

Central Catholic coach Mike Jankowski said he gave no thought to pulling goaltender Kyle Williams late in the third period even though his team trailed by a goal.

“None,” Jankowski said. “It’s a bit of an awkward situation, but obviously we’re playing to move forward. You want to play to win, but at the same time given the tournament you have [look at the bigger picture].

“This isn’t about one game, it’s about three games. I think we’ve shown that if we play with effort and energy we can play with anyone.”

If Weymouth wins tonight, Weymouth and Malden Catholic will move on to the semifinals. Hingham (1-2) was eliminated by goal differential. The Harbormen were outscored 13-6 in pool play. The Harbormen, last year’s tournament champion, lost to Weymouth (4-3) and Malden Catholic (8-1) in their previous tournament games.

“The math isn’t in our favor,” Hingham coach Tony Messina said. “We kind of knew that the way the game was going. Our No. 1 goal was just to play the game like you normally would. Just happy the crew stayed with the game plan. We played a pretty good game considering we were playing for pride. I’m proud of that.

“These last games, when the odds are against you, are tough to play.”

Tommy Evangelista scored for Central Catholic, which dropped its overall record to 18-7-1. The victory boosted Hingham to 14-7-4.

Each team scored in the opening period. After Bellew gave Hingham a 1-0 lead, Central Catholic pulled even when Evangelista got the puck past goaltender Derek McInnis with 3:23 left in the period.

The Harbormen regained the lead when Gordon beat Williams between the pads with a shot from the slot at 8:09 of the second.

“After that we had some point-blank chances that went wide,” Messina said. “They weren’t even on net. [Central Catholic’s Kyle Williams] is a good goalie and he’s a big kid, so there’s not a lot of room to shoot at. You tend to get picky when you’re in front of the net. Try to shoot at the corners and sometimes you miss.”

St. John’s Prep (2-0) will face BC High (2-0) in tonight’s final game. Both teams will advance out of Group 2.

“I loved the way we played in spurts,” Jankowski said. “I loved the way we played in the third period. Kyle made some big saves when we needed them.

“The stage is set. We are where we are.”

Editor's note: Central Catholic was eliminated from crossover round contention later in the day, following Weymouth's 5-4 loss to Malden Catholic. Weymouth advanced on the second tie-breaker on the ground of goal quotient.