Boston High School: Bob Keough

No. 1 Malden Catholic turns on the jets

February, 4, 2011

MALDEN, Mass. –- Is No. 1 Malden Catholic hockey just hitting its stride now?

It’s hard to judge by a team that has averaged over six goals per game through 14 games this season. You might not be able to tell such a difference in the Lancers’ prolific 9-0 blanking of No. 11 Xaverian at Valley Forum on Thursday. It might just seem like more of the same from a talented offensive squad, but there was a marked difference. That was in the way MC started.

“I think we played pretty good hockey today overall,” Lancers head coach Chris Serino said, alluding to his team’s full 45-minute effort.

MC (10-2-2, 4-0-2 Catholic Conference) in recent weeks has made it a habit — a bad one at that — of falling behind early before kicking it into high gear to beat teams in the third period. The Lancers bucked that trend on Thursday, systematically deconstructing the Hawks (7-4-1, 2-3-0) for three periods.

Seven players scored goals for the Lancers led by sophomore center Ryan Fitzgerald’s hat trick. Eleven players cracked the scoresheet for MC and five players had multi-point games, including Brendan Collier, Nick Roberto, Mike Vecchione, Brendan White along with Fitzgerald.

“We know what’s at stake in this game, we’re just one step closer to winning the division and [Xaverian has] played well this season,” Fitzgerald said. “We came out firing on all cylinders and it worked out good.”

“We’re definitely a talented group, but I think we’re starting to find our work ethic right now. With those two qualities, we should be good.”

Garrett White got the Lancers going with a blazing wrist shot from the slot for a 1-0 lead seven minutes into the first. Collier netted another with 11 seconds remaining in the first.

The damage could have been worse if not for Hawks goaltender Austin Miller. MC placed 20 shots on goal in the first period alone and Miller made 34 saves in just two periods of duty.

The Lancers’ barrage continued in the second with three goals from Fitzgerald, the last of which was scored short-handed.

Vecchione, Bob Keough, Brendan White and Roberto rounded up scoring with tallies of their own in the third when play turned increasingly chippy.

Several players had to be separated following the postgame handshake when jawing turned into a shoving match. The skirmish was broken up by referees and the teams' coaching staffs.

No. 1 Malden Catholic finishes No. 2 CM

January, 12, 2011

MALDEN, Mass. – They sure do finish with flair.

For the second straight game against a Catholic Conference foe, No. 1 Malden Catholic trailed in the third period. The Lancers clawed out of a 2-0 hole to come back and beat No. 3 St. John’s Prep last week, but, once again, MC found itself trailing late Tuesday night against No. 2 Catholic Memorial.

The Knights took a 2-1 lead 2:36 into the third on Liam Coughlin’s goal. That’s when the Lancers clicked into another gear, scoring three goals in a span of 1:12. MC netting six goals on 12 shots overall in the third period to finish in a flurry and a 7-3 victory over CM.

“In that five-minute stretch, we did everything right,” MC head coach Chris Serino said. “We handled the puck and we were moving it like that the whole game, we just weren’t finishing.’

The Lancers (7-1-0, 2-0-0) dominated play for long stretches of the first period and out-shot the Knights, 12-5. However, MC only mustered to sneak one goal past CM goaltender Tommy Knox in the first with Ryan Fitzgerald tallying his 11th of the season on a give-and-go.

The Knights (5-4-0, 1-1-0) evened the score 15 seconds into the second period when Dan O’Hear knocked in a rebound off Marc Hetnik’s shot.

“We played hard, we created turnovers, we generated some offense off of our forecheck,” CM head coach Bill Hanson said of his team’s effort in the second stanza.

The Knights hard work paid off again early in the third period on Coughlin’s marker assisted by Jack O’Hear – his second.

Yet, MC drew even with an unexpected lift from freshman Tyler Sifferlen. Defenseman Connor Evangelista sprung Sifferlen on a breakaway. He beat Knox top-shelf for the first of his two goals in the period.

“That really turned things around,” Lancers assistant captain Brendan Collier said of Sifferlen’s goal. “From there, we were able to keep getting the puck deep, forecheck their D and just wear them down.”

Collier kept the pressure on netting his 10th of the season 42 seconds later with assists from Fitzgerald and Paul Wrenn. Mike Iovanna added his seventh goal of the year on a two-on-one break for a 4-2 MC lead. Garrett White tallied his second point of night (1 G, 1A) with a power play goal set up by Mike Vecchione to give the Lancers a three-goal cushion.

Fitzgerald later added his second goal of the night, thanks to some gritty work in the corner by Vecchione who fed the puck into the slot from his knees.

Sifferlen rounded out scoring with his second of the night with 8.3 seconds remaining. Chris Stathopoulous also scored late for CM.

Serino credited the work of his third line, comprised of Sifferlen, Bob Keough and Jake Porazzo, in helping to keep the Lancers’ legs fresh throughout.

“We run three lines out there and we’re able to wear them down,” Serino added. “It helps us tremendously because we’re able to wear them down and we were able to bury the puck in the third period.”