Boston High School: Adam Tanner

Recap: No. 5 Woburn 3, No. 2 SJP 2

December, 29, 2011

WOBURN, Mass. -- St. John’s Prep and Woburn provided one of the many highlights to last year’s Super 8 tournament with a riveting overtime battle.

The Eagles got the better of that one, edging the Tanners 4-3, en route to their Super 8 final appearance.

Wednesday night’s matchup between the two squads didn’t disappoint either, but the No. 5 Tanners emerged with a more favorable result this time around, sweating out a 3-2 win over No. 2 Prep at O’Brien Rink.

Senior winger Danny Holland collected the game-winning goal midway through the third period, breaking a 2-2 deadlock.

“My wingman Johnny Dirienzo, he made a great pass coming across,” Holland said the goal. “I made a tip around one of the defensemen, I beat him to the corner, came out and just took a shot on net.”

Down the stretch, the Tanners defense held with senior captain Jake Secatore logging Chara-like minutes and sophomore goaltender Jeremy Flibotte making the saves.

Otherwise, the matchup was about as even as can be with the teams hitting the dressing room tied 1-1 at the first intermission and 2-2 after two.

Prep (3-1-0) claimed an early advantage with sophomore center Tyler Bird collecting his third goal on the young season. Woburn (2-1-1) tied the game just a minute later with John Concannon burying a wrister set up by talented freshmen siblings Nicholas and Christian Baldino.

The teams’ stars took over the action in the second, with two Hockey East commits trading goals.

UMass-Lowell commit Casey Shea broke his goalless skid with his first tally of the season. The Tanners senior captain skated circles around two Prep defensemen before beating goaltender David Letarte five-hole with a backhander.

With 12:31 remaining in the second, Prep star Sam Kurker left his imprint on the game. The rugged forward and BU-commit broke off the left wing boards, muscling off a Woburn defenseman before cutting to the slot and letting of a wicked wrister, beating Flibotte stick-side.

“We told ours wings to watch him coming off the wall in the second period,” Tanner head coach Jim Duran said of defending Kurker, who tallied his eighth goal of the season. “He was just too strong sometimes when he was coming off the half wall. He just fought through our checks.”

Woburn’s adjustments were evident in the game’s final minutes. The Tanners did good work to keep the Eagles to the outside and keeping sightlines clear for Flibotte.

“I don’t think we generated enough quality scoring chances,” Prep head coach Kristian Hanson said. “We had some shots from the perimeter, but we weren’t able to get to the net, try to get a rebound goal. I didn’t see that and I would’ve liked to.”

It’s not a stretch to say that the Super 8 squads from last season could find themselves in the same situation come the end of the season. But plenty has changed for Prep, which lost two-thirds of its top line from a year ago.

“It’s such a new group that, right now, it’s game by game,” Hanson said. “We have a lot players stepping into new roles.”

The constants for Prep are Kurker, Letarte and fellow senior captain and defenseman Nick Pandalena. Pandalena, who is committed to playing for BC’s golf team next season, is a big, physical blue-liner who’s not afraid of contact. With an improved skating game, Pandalena will be the crucial cog to an otherwise green blue line.

However, he wasn’t the only ESPN Boston preseason All-State defenseman on the ice. That honor also goes to Secatore, who proved his value in the third period. After a slow start to the game, the Tanner captain hardly left the ice during the final seven minutes of the contest, as Prep set up shop in the offensive zone and increased the forecheck.

Secatore’s effort is old hat to his teammates though.

“Jake Secatore, he’s just unbelievable,” Holland summed it up.

“He’s a great leader,” Duran added about Secatore, who played strong as a pairing with senior Adam Tanner. “He doesn’t say much, but he just works so hard in practice … He’s so strong, he skates so well. I just don’t think he realizes how good he can be.”

Shea does it all to play Woburn on

March, 1, 2011

BILLERICA, Mass. -- Typically, when Casey Shea is on his game, he isn’t standing center stage. A deft playmaker, the junior forward takes pride in playing an unselfish game, making the key transition pass or setting up a teammate for a goal.

During Monday night’s Super Eight play-in game at Chelmsford Forum, Shea was thrust into the spotlight with a performance to be remembered, scoring each of the seventh-seed Tanners’ five goals in a 5-2 win over No. 10 seed Springfield Cathedral.

“Casey’s at his best when he’s distributing the puck to everybody,” Woburn head coach Jim Duran said of Shea. “And he’s a finisher, he doesn’t always seem like that because he’s usually setting somebody up, but tonight he finished.”

Shea netted a natural hat trick during the first period, kicking Woburn (18-3-1) off to a 3-0 lead.

“We put them back on their heels,” Shea added.

He then scored for two more in the second period with one coming on the power play and another coming shorthanded, in the most unlikely of circumstances.

Shea first scratched the scoreboard midway through the first. He beat Cathedral goaltender Zac Rondeau, finishing on the backhand through the 5-hole. Assists went to Alex Holland and Cole Connolly on the play. Shea then transitioned a defensive zone turnover into his second goal with 2:31 remaining, beating Rondeau who was caught out of the crease.

He finished the trifecta with a power-play goal with five seconds remaining.

“We were cycling down low and nobody came near me,” Shea said.

So he stepped out front, in on Rondeau, faked the pass the slot and buried it 5-hole. It was the first power-play goal for the Tanners on three attempts with the man advantage in the period.

“Their goalie is good, but we capitalized on our chances early,” Duran said. “It took the wind out of their sails and they weren’t getting many chances.”

Although the Panthers (12-10-1) were given four power play chances in the second, they failed to cash in with any goals.

Meanwhile, Shea kept up his pace, nabbing his fourth of the game on the man-advantage with assists from Jake Secatore (his second) and Adam Tanner.

Shea’s fifth came on the strangest of hockey sights. With 7.7 seconds remaining in the second, when Rondeau vacated his net on a delayed penalty call. As Rondeau charged toward the net, an errant Panther pass back to the point skipped along the length of the ice into the Cathedral net.

Confusion ensued as to which player should receive credit for the goal. It was originally given to defenseman Brian Dulong by the official scorer. However, video taken by Boston Herald staff pointed to Shea as the last Tanner to touch the puck. The consensus among media row was that Shea had in fact scored No. 5 after taking a look at the incontrovertible evidence.

However, in addition to Shea’s brilliance, the Tanners put forth a solid defensive effort early on with senior goaltender Cam McGlashing making some key saves. Coupled with a pesky forecheck and a quality penalty kill, Woburn took the Panthers out of the game before they could even get started.

“That’s really the name of the game for us, getting turnovers and trying to get the puck to net and, hopefully, get a rebound.”

Cathedral head coach Brian Foley added, “I think if we could play them four times in a row, maybe we’d draw even, but clearly we caught them on their night. They did everything they needed to do to win.”

Sam Burke and Matt Peloquin scored late goals to get the Panthers on the board.

Cathedral now moves onto play as the top seed in the Division 1 South tournament while Woburn moves on to Saturday’s Super Eight play at Merrimack College.

No. 21 Woburn hits its stride

January, 6, 2011
WOBURN, Mass. – After a 3-1 loss to Wakefield on Monday, No. 21 Woburn returned to the rink for Tuesday practice. Then, head coach Jim Duran preached about the Tanners’ return to playing the style of hockey that makes them successful.

After taking a 4-1 Middlesex League victory over No. 17 Burlington on Wednesday at O’Brien Arena, it looks as though Duran’s team heeded his advice.

“On Monday, we lost a lot of one-on-one battles,” Duran said. “I think tonight was the first night that we’ve played to our potential, on the forecheck and trying to cause turnovers. That’s what we tried to do and that’s what we’ve had success year after year doing. I think the kids did that tonight.”

The Tanners (4-1-0, 4-1-0) took an early lead on Bobby Smith’s snipe 9:49 into the first period. Smith unleashed a wrist shot with laser precision underneath the crossbar and just above the shoulder of Burlington goaltender Nick DeSimone.

Yet for much of the first period the teams were even, playing a spirited, hard-hitting 15 minutes of play.

The second period, however, belonged to Woburn, which out-shot the Devils 15-7.

“We turned the puck over to them a lot in the neutral zone,” Burlington head coach Bob Conceison said. “I felt like our D was flat-footed a lot. They have quick forwards and they created opportunities off of the neutral zone forecheck.”

The Tanners’ continued pressure paid off when Eddie Aprile knocked home the rebound from an Adam Tanner shot for a 2-0 lead in the second.

Woburn picked up where they left off two minutes into the third on John Concannon’s goal assisted by Tom Arsenault and Jared Baker.

Burlington (3-2-1, 3-2-0) got on the board with 7:27 remaining in the contest on R.J. Caruso’s power play blast set up by Stephen Mattos and Joey Centrella. The Tanners closed out scoring with a tremendous individual effort by Casey Shea, who scored with a deke while going one-on-one with the goaltender. Smith added the assist to finish with a two-point game.

Tanners goaltender Jon Braese finished with 27 saves to earn the win.

It was clear their coach’s message has gotten through.

“I just the think the kids skated,” Duran said. “They wanted it and kept going, going and going.”

The Woburn girls’ hockey team made it a sweep of their border rivals with a 7-1 win over Burlington in the early game Wednesday at O’Brien.

Colleen Martell led the Tanners (5-1-0, 4-1-0), tallying a hat trick in her second straight game.