Boston High School: Andrew Somerville

Recap: No. 3 Austin Prep 3, No. 9 AC 2

January, 25, 2014
Jan 25
ARLINGTON, Mass. -- The postseason is still a few weeks away, but Catholic Central League rivals Austin Prep and Arlington Catholic may have given the large throng of vocal fans inside Ed Burns Arena Saturday night a taste of things yet to come. We can only hope the dramatics that were on display will be seen again in late February.

Arlington Catholic was in control of a two-goal lead through the first 30 minutes only to watch in anguish as Austin Prep stormed back with three unanswered third period markers to squeak out a 3-2 triumph.

"It shows we've got some character," Austin Prep head coach Louis Finocchiaro said. "This is a tough building to come into and win a hockey game in. Not to mention going into the third period losing 2-0. The kids showed no quit and those are the type of kids you want on your hockey team. We played a God-awful second period but were able to rebound in the third. We just need to find it for three periods instead of one."

Sophomore winger Mike Egan's goal at 12:12 proved to be the difference as No. 3 Austin Prep, winners of five straight, improve to 8-2-2 and 5-0-2 in the CCL. Egan's tally was the pinnacle of a dominating closing period by the visiting Cougars. For the first two periods, Austin Prep's offense was at a standstill as ninth-seeded Arlington Catholic (8-2-1, 3-2-1) was in constant check mode, knocking Austin Prep off its skates along the boards and in the open ice.

In between, the hometown Cougars were able to find the back of net twice. At 10:05 of the first period, forward Ryan Tierney got a gratuitous bounce of the puck off the blocker of Austin Prep goaltender Elijah Harris and swiftly knocked it past the junior while on the power play. Despite being out-shot in the frame, Arlington Catholic dictated the tempo for much of it.

Junior Ryan Smith increased Arlington Catholic's lead to two goals at 8:40 of the middle period. The goal was set up by sophomore forward Andrew Somerville, who stole the puck along the left half wall, skated behind the Austin Prep goal and dished a pass to Smith in front of the net, who sent a one-timer past Harris (21 saves).

"During those first two periods I thought we played as well as we had in a long time," said Arlington Catholic head coach Dan Shine, who was denied career win No. 500 and will try again on Wednesday when Arlington Catholic travels to Archbishop Williams. "Credit to Austin Prep, they were down 2-0 and waited for their opportunities to capitalize. It was a great high school hockey event and obviously our kids are disappointed. I told them that we have to learn from this, be willing to accept what happen and move on from it. We can't do anything about tonight. It's over and we have to be ready for Wednesday. As much as we took it to them in the first two periods they obviously took it to us in the third."

Shine, who celebrates a birthday on Sunday, downplayed the quest for 500, stating he is more concern about his team attaining victories and doing well in the postseason instead of personal accolades.

Coming into the third, you had a sense that Austin Prep would not go down quietly. There is too much talent on this club for that to happen. Just 1:24 into the period, Austin Prep proved it. Ryan McDonough, a junior forward, was able poke in a rebound to put his team on the board.

A few minutes later, with Arlington Catholic defenseman Jon-Luke Dee sitting in the penalty box for interference, Austin Prep sniper Bobo Carpenter knotted things at 2-2 with a blast coming from just inside his own blue line that sailed over goalie John Richard's right shoulder.

Suddenly, every ounce of momentum inside this old barn had shifted to the side of Austin Prep.

But it didn't last long. Just seconds after Carpenter's goal, Austin Prep's J.J. Layton (roughing) and Anthony Cieri (interference) were whistled into the box simultaneously giving Arlington Catholic a 5-on-3 opportunity. Austin Prep did a yeoman-like job killing it off.

Then, moments later, Mike Disciullo was nailed for a tripping violation putting Arlington Catholic back on the power play. Once again, Austin Prep rose to the challenge, frustrating Arlington Catholic inside its defensive zone, blocking shots out front and allowing Harris to become a stop-gap between the pipes.

"Our penalty kill was phenomenal at the end," Finocchiaro said. "We rolled into a diamond defense and took the shooter away from the middle and we defended off of the shot. Decent teams will get shots off, especially in 5-on-3 situations. What you have to do is defend off the shot afterwards, clear out, pick up the rebounds and let the goalie get a clear look at the shooter.

“This is a big win for us because it is against a league rival and a big league game. We could've easily rolled over tonight and gotten blown out but we didn't."

With time winding down and all indications pointing to a well-deserved tie by these two state powers, Austin Prep had other ideas. Egan received a long pass from Andrew Cross at Arlington Catholic's blue line and out-worked defenseman Brian Goggin inside the zone toward the net before beating Richard (24 saves) with a backhand shot sparking a wild eruption from the Austin Prep bench. Arlington Catholic worked in vain to notch the equalizer but would be denied as time ran out on them.

"After the second period our coaches told us that we needed to pick it up," Egan said. "We needed to come out and play with more heart. We did that and we were able to finish. After Bobby's goal, the intensity off of that really carried us from there. We just need to continue to play hard from here on out and let things come together."

Recap: No. 3 AC 2, Bishop Guertin (N.H.) 1

January, 20, 2014
Jan 20
ARLINGTON, Mass. -- Arlington Catholic may have skated away from Monday afternoon's non-conference hockey tilt with a feeling it deserved better.

For the record, the Cougars held off Bishop Guertin, 2-1, inside Ed Burns Arena, but for their effort, the belief here was this one should not have been that close.

But in the game of hockey, even if you are dominating your opponent, a win is still a win no matter how you attain it. The No. 3 Cougars will take it and move on.

"Hey, a win is still a win right?" said Cougars longtime coach Dan Shine, who picked up career victory No. 499 with a chance for 500 when AC hosts Austin Prep Saturday night. "We'll take the win."

The Cougars controlled the offensive end for much of the 45 minutes, putting up 38 shots, including 19 in the second period. Had it not been for the brilliant performance by Cardinals goaltender Griffin Scanlon, it's anyone's guess what the finally tally could have been.

"I thought their goalie played real well and I thought they did a good job closing up gaps in the middle of the rink," Shine said. "We did have a lot of nice clean shots that were blocked by their defensemen. That's just good defensive play by our opponent because I felt we did a lot of things right. We've been harping on our kids to move the puck, get in space and create opportunities. At times today we were doing that but again, it goes back to their goalie playing very well for them."

The Cougars, which suffered their first loss of the season last Saturday against St. Mary's of Lynn, improve to 8-1-1. BG, whose roster is made up primarily of underclassmen, drop to 2-8-1.

Throughout the season, the Cardinals have found life difficult once they have the puck inside an opponent's defensive zone. Scoring goals has been a premium. However, against AC, the offense was able to strike first.

Just 1:39 in, and with his team already on the power play, sophomore winger Mike Barrett pushed back a rebound from the right point to give BG the early 1-0 lead.

It lasted for approximately three minutes. The Cougars defensemen had been doing an admirable job moving the puck around the perimeter just inside the blue line and hardly receiving any pressure from the Cardinals. While all this was going on, the AC forwards and center were switching in an out in front of the crease in an attempt to screen Scanlon on a long shot or re-direct anything coming from outside. The latter of two came into play after junior Ivan Mikhaylov deflected a shot in front that sailed over Scanlon and into the net, knotting things at 1-1.

Following the first intermission, AC took its game up a notch. Perhaps not happy with their play over the opening 15 minutes, the Cougars picked up their speed and skill strengths. Passes had become much tighter and more direct, and their ability in handling the puck across the neutral zone and along the half walls was more precise. Throughout the period, the Cardinals found themselves often chasing any Cougar with the puck on his stick or getting caught out of position.

It took AC all but 1:10 into the frame to take the lead. After two hard shots were stopped by Scanlon in succession, the goalie was unable the corral the second attempt. The puck slid out to the front of the net where sophomore Andrew Somerville was standing all alone. The forward flipped it into the net.

"We're just looking to capitalize on any chances that we can get," Somerville said. "We try to work the puck deep and play our game. Ugly wins like this do happen but we still got the win. We do need to start coming out better to begin games. It seems in the first period we come out a little slow and then we tend to catch up later on. It's been working for us so far but that's not always going to be the case so we need to focus on coming out to start games on a better edge."

AC was resourceful throughout the second period, attacking Scanlon virtually on every shift down ice. Scanlon, however, proved his worth. After giving up Somerville's marker, he never flinched and stoned the Cougars the rest of the way in keeping his team in this contest.

"Griffin played really well for us," said Gary Bishop, now in his 22nd year with the Nashua, N.H. based school. "He's been a very good goaltender for us in all of his four years here. He doesn't panic and made some great stops today. This could've been a 4-1 game at the end of the second period. We're happy with our goaltending. We just need to find ways of getting the puck into the back of the net. We've been struggling all year long to convert. We don't get plenty of chances but we do get some chances. We just haven't been able to finish. We're not bearing down around the net."

The Cardinals put up a much-better effort in the third period. At both ends of the ice, they were matching the Cougars stride-for-stride. On two occasions, they had solid opportunities to notch the equalizer.

However, AC senior netminder John Richard (17 saves) came up a pair of big stops when he needed to help keep the Cougars in front for good.