Boston High School: Brandon Mitchell

Recap: Bishop Hendricken (R.I.) 5, Franklin 1

December, 26, 2014
WOONSOCKET, R.I. – Bishop Hendricken’s roster lists forward Ryan King as a sophomore.

A case could be made that his class year is a typo especially given the performance he delivered Saturday in a first-round game of the 19th annual Mount St. Charles Holiday Faceoff Tournament at Adelard Arena. King played like anything but a sophomore as he posted the first hat trick of his young interscholastic career which enabled the Hawks to skate by defending Hockomock League champion Franklin, 5-1.

“He’s capable of that,” said Hawks coach Jim Creamer. “He got what he deserved today. Ryan’s had a great year so far. He’s working hard. He’s put in a lot of effort in the summer and through the fall. Today was a day that he deserved. He’s sort of been building to this.

“Maybe his weakness at some points has been his inconsistency. But overall I’ve found him to be really consistent from day one all the way through. I’m thrilled that he had that success today.”

The fact that King dropped a hat trick on Franklin (1-1-2) as opposed to a lesser team made his play all the more impressive.

“He did it in a good spot and in key areas,” said Creamer. “The three goals were outstanding. He also did great on faceoffs. He did a great job in the defensive zone. All those little things, when he does them well he’s going to have a tremendous amount of success and I’m thrilled that he did today.”

Better late than never: As far as King was concerned he was due for an outburst like this one against the Panthers.

“I was feeling good today,” said King. “I came in and needed a big game. I was kind of dry the last few games. I wasn’t putting the puck in the net.

“I just wasn’t moving my feet and today I felt good.”

King commenced moving his feet before the game was barely two minutes old.

After Ryan Shea (8 saves on 11 shots) blocked a Jason Comeau shot, King back-handed the puck into the upper-left corner. Franklin tied the game at 5:10 when Ryan Spillane slid a backhander under Matt Kenneally (20 saves). But King put the Hawks (5-1-0) ahead for good at 7:13 during a power play. King stole the puck in the left faceoff circle, skated in on Shea and beat him top shelf.

From a team perspective, that was a premonition of things to come because Hendricken out-scored Franklin 3-0 and outshot the Panthers 12-6 in the second period.

“We all look at it and go ‘They tied Springfield Cathedral’ and we scrimmaged CM (Catholic Memorial) last week,” said Creamer. “We want to get better as the year goes on.

“(Franklin) is a veteran group. There are a lot of seniors on that roster. They’re big, strong kids. It’s a very good team and they’re going to have a lot of success as the year goes on. “

Back-breaking goal: Arguably the goal that de-clawed the Panthers came 39 seconds into the middle period when Hendricken was skating short-handed – and which, again, resulted from a Franklin turnover.

This time Alex Leite stole the puck in the neutral zone, skated in and had his shot blocked by Shea. But Brandon Mitchell pounced on the rebound and slid the puck into an open net for a short-handed goal.

That score prompted coach Chris Spillane to remove Shea in favor of Nick Jasinski (11 saves on 13 shots) who had his own problems with the Hawks.

Andrew Hopgood upped Hendricken’s lead to 4-1 at 4:10 with an assist from Reilly Miller. Miller was positioned behind the cage when he threw the puck in front and it deflected off Hopgood’s stick and past Jasinski.

King then completed his hat trick at 11:52. After Matt Rickard tried to score on a wrap-around, Jasinski blocked the shot but King stuffed home the rebound.

“We got some ugly goals today,” said Creamer. “But we got a couple that just because we were working hard we created some turnovers. We had a little puck luck at some points. But when you’re working hard those things go your way.

“We really have been consistently working hard. We call it keeping things simple. We talk about it all the time and that’s sort of what happened today.”

From a more subjective standpoint, a victory over a team the caliber of Franklin should help the Hawks when the Rhode Island Division I Tournament begins and they make a run at dethroning perennial state champion Mount. St. Charles.

“I think it definitely will help our team,” King said of the conquest of Franklin. “We’re going to come out (Saturday) and we’re going to play big and, hopefully, win again.”

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

February, 23, 2013
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.”