Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Prep advances to first Super 8 final
By Tom Layman
NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. -- Kristian Hanson has officially run out of things to say about his star forward Colin Blackwell.
The soon-to-be Harvard product willed No. 2 St. John’s Prep (18-5-1) into the Super Eight finals, the first for the Prep in school history, with three goals and two assists in a convincing 5-1 win against No. 4 Weymouth in the semifinals at Lawler Arena on Tuesday night.
“I say it after every game in the state, maybe the best high school player I’ve ever seen,” said Hanson, who happily took his place in his “lucky” corner after the game. “He certainly carried us tonight.”
Blackwell was just a freshman on the last St. John’s Prep team that made the Super Eight back in 2008. He remembered what if felt like to be on the losing end and miss an opportunity at playing on the Garden ice.
This time around he wanted to make sure the opportunity wouldn’t pass yet again.
“I was here my freshman year and I remember beating Hingham, it was kind of a nonsense game,” Blackwell recalled of the 1-3 showing. “Coach looked at me after we won and said, ‘You’ll be back here again.’ Never did I think in my senior year we would punch our ticket to the Garden and get an opportunity to finish it off.”
Blackwell lead a potent Prep attack that scored five goals on just 19 shots on goal. Shane Eiserman, a freshman who has fit in quite nicely next to Blackwell on the top line this season, added two goals.
Eiserman showed off a few moves, which Blackwell swore he didn’t teach him, to maneuver past a defender and beat Brian Brady at 4:42. Blackwell was credited with the assist.
The Wildcats (18-6-2) were able to hold Blackwell scoreless in the first period, even though he did manage to get a couple of good opportunities on Brady, but the second period was a little bit different.
Blackwell showed off his speed just 15 seconds in to the second period when he potted a short-handed break for the 2-0 lead. His second goal, and the Eagles’ third, might have been the most impressive.
He beat three defenders to get over the blue line and sniped Brady at 6:06. John Farrow was credited with the assist.
“He was going end to end and he wasn’t getting touched. … I’ve never seen speed like that. He’s just like a rocket ship,” said Cataldo.
“I think the first couple shifts I had a couple of opportunities,” said Blackwell. “Some people might grip their stick a little bit and get frustrated. I just try to shake it out of head. I know it’s a 45 minute game and I’m going to get more opportunities.”
Farrow found Blackwell streaking up the left side, and fittingly buried another break to close the scoring at 5:06 of the third period.
Prep will face Malden Catholic in the Div. 1A finals on Sunday at 6 p.m. at the TD Garden.