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Tuesday, February 15, 2011
No. 4 Prep shuts out No. 3 Woburn

By Joe Vieira

WILMINGTON, Mass. -- The official beginning of Super Eight watch-list season started with a bang last night at Ristuccia Memorial Arena, where No. 4 St. John’s Prep soundly defeated No. 3 Woburn, 6-0.

The Eagles (10-5-1) got off to a 1-0 lead in the first period on a breakaway goal for Colin Blackwell (goal, two assists), and pulled away on four second-period goals.

“I think the first period was kind of a 50-50 game,” Blackwell said. “They took it to us, they worked down low pretty well, so we came into the second period just firing on all cylinders, trying to get pucks to the net. Once we got pucks to the net we got some power plays and maintained possession of the puck down low and took the momentum and it swung our way.”

The Prep made a point of crashing the net in the second period, and the results were overwhelming.

Sam Kurker (goal, assist) made it 2-0 just t 1:54 into the frame, punching in his own rebound after taking a backhander from the right circle. John Farrow pushed the lead to 3-0 just 34 seconds later on a back-door feed from Shane Eiserman, and added a second goal at 8:05 from the low slot.

“That was something we talked about between the first and second period, was getting more traffic in front of the net,” Prep head coach Kristian Hanson said. “ I think we were getting some perimeter shots in the first period. We wanted to kind of penetrate that perimeter and get in front and get some traffic. The kids were buzzing and once we got that second goal we built off that.”

Kurker, who missed the Prep’s 4-1 loss at Springfield Cathedral on Saturday with an injury, made an impressive diagonal pass across the slot at 12:27 to set up Eiserman for a power play goal that extended the lead to 5-0.

“I’m disappointed in the result, but not disappointed in the game,” Woburn head coach Jim Duran said. “I thought we played pretty good, just when you make mistakes against really good teams they capitalize on them, and we left too many guys in front of the net.”

Woburn (12-3-1) had good scoring opportunities of its own, but the St. John’s Prep blue liners had an excellent game in front of goaltender Dan Letarte, who robbed the Tanners on several good chances.

“We talked tonight about playing like a Woburn,” Hanson said. “Play like a team like that; that plays with a lot of heart and desire and blocks shots, and that’s what makes them successful. Sometimes I think we get away from that because we think we’re maybe too talented to block shots, and we’re not. You need to do the small things, the simple things, get dirty, and that’s how you’re successful.”

Senior and first-year varsity player Matt West was particularly effective in that area, as he saved two goals when the game was still in doubt by blocking shots on open nets.

“I thought we had a lot of good chances,” said Duran. “I just think (St. John’s Prep) was a little bit quicker, and when we have those chances we have to bury them, and we didn’t do that, and their chances, they buried them.”