St. John's Prep overpowering in Super 8 finale

LOWELL, Mass. -- On paper, St. John’s Prep’s tussle with old Catholic Conference rival BC High came down to being nothing more than a statement game. Both teams already were set to advance to the crossover round of the Super Eight tournament before Sunday’s final pool play game at the Tsongas Center.

In reality, it turned into just that with Prep making a resounding statement on the ice, skating away with a 6-1 win and beating their Catholic rivals for the third time this season.

“Coming into tonight, we certainly didn’t think tonight would be an easy victory, number three,” Prep head coach Kristian Hanson said. “I think in the first game they outplayed us and we won. We’ve just done a better job of capitalizing, but opportunity-wise it’s been pretty equal.”

Prep also finished pool play with a perfect 3-0 record and will draw Weymouth in Wednesday’s crossover round. Meanwhile, BC High fell to 2-1 on the tournament and will face off against Malden Catholic in the crossover at Merrimack College.

BC High hadn’t surrendered a goal in tournament play, but Prep quickly eviscerated that memory, scoring twice in the first 30 seconds of play and three times during the first 1:37.

However, it was also a balanced Prep attack. Eleven different players made the scoresheet with three players finishing with multipoint games. Senior captain Colin Blackwell (1G, 2A) and freshman sensation Shane Eiserman (1G, 2A) each had three-point games while rangy winger Sam Kurker checked in with a goal and an assist.

Blackwell got the hit parade started with a goal just 10 seconds in and Devin Murray followed up with another marker just 30 seconds later. John Farrow followed one minute later for an instant 3-0 Prep lead.

“I don’t know what happened,” BC High head coach John Flaherty said of his team’s tumultuous start. “That’s my fault though, a coach has to get his team ready to play and that rests on me.”

Eiserman capped the first period offensive explosion on a breakaway with 25.5 seconds remaining.

BC High finally jumped on the board 4:35 into the second with a goal by Terence Durkin.

The third period saw more of the same from Prep with Kurker scoring short-handed off a 3-on-1 break, collecting a rebound from Eiserman's shot and depositing it into the net for a 5-1 lead with 6:33 to play.

Prep rounded out scoring with 4:41 remaining with Derek Palm's tally from Matt West and Tyler Bird.