Boston High School: Billy Vizzo

Recap: Hendricken (R.I.) 5, Notre Dame (Conn.) 3

February, 23, 2013
2/23/13
1:18
AM ET
WARWICK, R.I. -- All of a sudden, the bull's-eye on the collective backs of the Bishop Hendricken became larger.

That’s what happened Friday night when the defending Division I Rhode Island state champions beat defending Division I Connecticut champion Notre Dame High, 5-3, at Thayer Arena in a game that wasn’t as close as the final score might indicate.

“That’s as good a team as we’ve played all season,” Hendricken coach Jim Creamer said. “I really like the way we’ve played over the last week. We’re practicing well. We’re playing well. I think we’re moving in the right direction come playoff time.”

Ed Markowski led the Hawks (13-3-1) with two goals and two assists while the coach’s son, Matt, contributed a goal plus an assist.

While coach Creamer obviously was pleased with his team’s performance, just the opposite was the case with Green Knights coach Bill Gerosa.

“We were embarrassed by a better team tonight,” Gerosa said. “We didn’t come to play. Our scoring line [Billy Vizzo, Greg Zullo and Jesse Ruocco] did score except we gave up more than we got.

“We just had a total team breakdown, especially against their top line. Markowski, Creamer and [Andrew] Fera were terrific. But we were schooled tonight. It was an embarrassing display for Notre Dame and West Haven. A lot of it had to do with the speed of Bishop Hendricken.”

What made the final score even more noteworthy was the fact that the Green Knights (14-4-0) stepped on the ice having allowed only 23 goals in their previous 17 games.

“We’ve had one line that’s really been productive for us,” Jim Creamer said, referring to the Markowski-Creamer-Fera line. “They’ve been pretty consistent all year and had one of their better nights all year tonight.

“When they move the puck well, they generate good chances for themselves. And we got a power play goal with those guys involved. I think they were involved in four of the five goals. Then, we put out our fourth line and it chipped in late.”

Ryan Lynch put Notre Dame on the board at 6:48 of the first period when he skated in front of the net and slid the puck under starting goalie Mitchell Proulx (15 saves).

Hendricken tied it when Markowski unloaded a slap shot from the left circle that beat Luc Amatruda (28 saves) at 8:02.

The Hawks skated into the first intermission leading 2-1 thanks to Matt Creamer’s goal at 13:46 – a snap shot from the left circle.

Zullo tied it one last time at 6:07 of the second on a slap shot from between the circles. But Markowski gave Hendricken a 3-2 lead at 12:36 on a wrist shot from the slot.

“He’s a typical senior leader and a captain,” Jim Creamer said of Markowski. “He’s been very, very consistent all year.

“We’re only going to be as good as that line is so we need them to be good.”

Good describes Hendricken’s play in the third when it scored on a power play with Tucker Alberigo stuffing the puck past Amatruda at 1:31.

Then, as coach Creamer alluded to, the Hawks’ fourth line joined in the fun when Brandon Mitchell tapped home the rebound of a Sam Boulanger shot at 4:25 for a 5-2 lead.

In retrospect, that rendered a last-minute goal by Vizzo, who slid the puck past backup goalie Craig Colson (16 saves), moot.

“We have another game [Saturday night] so we have to get ready for that,” Gerosa said. “We have to forget about this one after an hour and get ready for that one, otherwise we’ll never improve.

“It was a disappointing effort from the goaltender on out. We’re a better team than this but we didn’t show it tonight.”

New England Roundup: Connecticut

March, 22, 2012
3/22/12
2:55
PM ET
Recappping last weekend's CIAC state championship games in boys and girls basketball:

ConnecticutCLASS LL BOYS: Top-seeded St. Joseph used an 18-0 run in the second half to knock off second-seeded Hillhouse 62-54.

St. Joseph (27-1) received a game-high 26 points from James Jennings, and 18 from Timajh Parker. Parker made 14 of his 15 free throw attempts.

St. Joseph didn't make a field goal in the second quarter, and Hillhouse (24-2) led by 13 in the third. It was the 11th state title for St. Joseph coach Vito Montelli, who has won a state-record 880 games (all at St. Joseph). Montelli guided St. Joseph to victory over Fairfield Prep in last year's Class LL championship game.

CLASS LL GIRLS: A Jessica Lynch layup with 21 seconds to play gave ninth-seeded Newtown the lead for good in its 44-42 triumph over 10-seeded Mercy.

Mercy (21-6) overcame a 13-point deficit in the third quarter to take a 42-41 lead with 29 seconds to play, but Lynch's basket came on the ensuing possession. Riley Wurtz tossed in a team-high 18 points for Newtown (22-4).

Mercy has lost the Class LL championship game in each of the last three seasons.

CLASS L BOYS: Treyvon Moore scored a game-high 25 points to help second-seeded Career, Magnet defeat top-seeded Northwest Catholic 51-49.

The victory handed Career Magnet (27-2) the program's first state title.

Northwest Catholic (23-4) missed 17 of its 20 field goal attempts in the first half and trailed 29-13 entering the third. Kuran Iverson scored 20 points, grabbed 17 rebounds and blocked four shots in the loss.

CLASS L GIRLS: A strong finish handed third-seeded Bacon Academy a 38-34 victory over top-seeded E.O. Smith.

Bacon (22-3) closed the game with a 12-0 run. E.O. Smith (25-2) failed to score in the final 5:49 and made one field goal in the fourth quarter.

Taylor McLaughlin led Bacon Academy with 13 points.

CLASS M BOYS: Senior Nolan Long, a 6-foot-9 center, scored 21 points and pulled down 11 rebounds as second-seeded Waterford collected the program's first state championship by beating fourth-seeded Watertown 71-57.

Senior guard Geary McLeon added 18 points, seven assists and five steals for the Lancers (25-2). It was the fourth loss for Watertown (24-4).

CLASS M GIRLS: Guard Fifi Walcott scored 16 points as top-seeded Weaver won its first state championship with a 55-47 triumph over second-seeded Tolland.

The Beavers (25-2) set a school record for victories en route to the title.

Kristin Schatzlein, Connecticut's Gatorade Player of the Year, scored a game-high 32 points in the loss. Tolland (24-4) committed 32 turnovers.

CLASS S BOYS: Vitor Melo collected 14 points and 13 rebounds to help top-seeded Immaculate defeat third-seeded Capital Prep 67-53.

Capital Prep (23-4) entered the game averaging 85.9 points per game, but was held to its lowest point total of the season. Immaculate (26-1) outrebounded Capital Prep, 49-30.

CLASS S GIRLS: Three players scored in double figures for top-seeded Coginchaug, which won its first state championship by beating second-seeded Capital Prep 58-48.

Lauren Esposito scored 18 points and grabbed nine rebounds for Coginchaug (25-2). Audrey Biesak scored 11 and Jessica Solomon added 10 for Coginchaug.

DeJane James tossed in 19 for Capital Prep (23-4).

HOCKEY: VIZZO PROPELS NOTRE DAME-WEST HAVEN

Billy Vizzo scored three goals as second-seeded Notre Dame-West Haven (20-3-1) defeated fourth-seeded Glastonbury (20-5-0) 5-0 in the Division I championship game.

It was the only time Glastonbury has been shut out this season.

In last weekend's other championship games, fifth-seeded Trumbull scored five third-period goals during a 5-3 triumph over seventh-seeded Branford in the Division II championship game; and Drew O'Leary made 18 saves to help top-seeded Newington/Berlin beat third-seeded Northwest Catholic 2-1 in the Division III championship game.

Sophomore Brendan Strobel scored twice for Trumbull (17-9-0). His second goal gave Trumbull a 4-3 lead with 1:35 to play.

Brandon Ralph and Brendon Richard scored in Newington/Berlin's victory.

Roger Brown is a freelance writer who has been reporting on high school sports in New England since 1992.

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