Boston High School: Brendan White

KUA's Carle, White give college commitments

January, 31, 2013
Kimball Union Academy hockey has announced the commitments of two of its senior defensemen.

Alex Carle will lace them up at Merrimack College while former Malden Catholic standout Brendan White will land at Bentley University.

Carle, a 5-foot-11, 185-pound native of Anchorage, Alaska, is the younger brother of Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Matthew Carle. The Wildcats captain will join the Warriors for the 2014-15 season.

"The KUA community is very excited for Alex and his family," He is a great player who is also a great leader."

White, a Medford native, won back-to-back Super 8 titles with Malden Catholic before transferring to KUA this year.

"Brendan has worked extremely hard to get to the level he is at," Levine said. "He is a good kid who is fun to be around everyday."

Player Perspective: KUA's Nick Roberto

December, 18, 2012
Kimball Union Academy hockey wrapped up its first-ever Flood-Marr Holiday Tournament championship on Sunday with a 4-2 win over Westminster School. The Wildcats were led by senior forward Nick Roberto, who earned the tournament’s David Rogerson Trophy as its MVP.

Roberto, a Maine commit and Wakefield, Mass. native, also became the first KUA player to take home MVP honors since 1975.

Considered one of the top prep hockey teams in New England entering the 2012-13 season, the Wildcats are in the hunt for another NEPSAC championship this year.

We caught up with Roberto, who started his high school hockey career at Malden Catholic, in between games on Friday:

Q: You have some pretty skilled players beside you on your line with Casey Miller and J.D. Dudek. How do your skills complement each other?

A: “We’re always on the same page. We’re not selfish players, we’re always looking for each other. I like Casey because I’ve been playing with him for two years now. He’s a pass-first and shoot-second kind of player. He’s always looking. Dudek came over [transfer from Pinkerton Academy] and he’s just a hell of a player, he’s going to [Boston College], that says a lot. He brings a lot of skill to the line. I’m more of a grind-it-out player, but Casey and him, it’s all skill. That goal, my first goal [on Friday] was all Dudek, Casey drove the net and I was high and Dudek just made a nice pass. I was lucky to get it underneath the crossbar. And then, at the end of the game … At first, I thought it was going to be a little bit scary, but we got it. Casey just found a little hole on the ice and I tipped [the shot] up and batted it out of midair.”

Q: The tournament started a little tough for you guys, but you took over the third period of your first game against Salisbury with your two goals, including the game-tier and the game-winner. What was the difference?

A: “I think I played the worst two periods of my life, then the third period, Coach [Mike Levine] just told everybody to relax. I was a little snake-bitten with my stick and then I just came alive in the third. But it was a team effort.”

Q: You have a very talented roster and, as a result, there’s high expectations again for this team this year. What do you expect of yourselves as a team?

A: “I think today [Friday] really showed what we’re made out of as a team. It was the first time we’ve been losing for two periods and we fought back. No one gave up. Everybody was really positive on the bench, and that helps a lot. Coach wasn’t negative. He’s always helping us, encouraging us. We just starting playing hard, getting shots to the net and good things happened.”

Q: You have a couple of your old Malden Catholic teammates – Connor Evangelista and Brendan White – playing with you. What’s it like having been around those guys for so long?

A: “Well, Connor and I have been best friends since we were about three years old. We’ve gone to every school together: preschool, elementary school, middle school, MC and now here. We were roommates last year. Brendan came along this year, and I’m roommates with [Providence College commit] Niko Rufo this year, but I think Whitey’s in our room more than we are. It’s just fun up there with those two because we’ve been friends for such a long time.”

Q: You’re still a couple years away from Maine, but what are your hockey plans from here?

A: “I went up there a couple of weeks ago, I saw them play BC and we talked after the game. They said they don’t have that many openings for 2013, so then I can play a year of juniors and step right in and play. I’m fine with that, they’re really supportive of me – whatever helps. I’m not looking to go to college right now with the economy being what it is. I might as well live the dream some more and I’ll get there when I get there.”

ESPN Boston's MIAA Boys' Hockey All-State Team

March, 23, 2012
First Team:
All-StateF – Brendan Collier, Sr., Malden Catholic
The two-time ESPN Boston All-Stater closed out his senior season with a second straight Super 8 title and claimed our Mr. Hockey Award. The Charlestown native and Boston University commit scored 26 goals with assists for 65 points, a figure which led all Division 1 scorers. Collier, who also plays golf and lacrosse at MC, plans on playing a year of juniors next year before joining the Terriers.

All-StateF – Ryan Fitzgerald, Jr., Malden Catholic
The Lancers’ top-line pivot makes his second All-State team appearance, his first on the First Team. The North Reading native and Boston College commit again eclipsed the 50-point plateau (31-21-52), despite missing the first couple weeks of the season with a shoulder injury, and helped the Lancers to their second straight Super 8 title.

All-StateF – Sam Kurker, Sr., St. John’s Prep
When looking up the term power forward, the Eagles senior winger and captain fit the mold. The 6-foot-2, 210-pound forward finished with 32 goals and 28 assists for 60 points. The Boston University commit has also seen time with U.S. National Team Development Program and skated with the U-18 select team at the Ivan Hlinka Tournament during the summer.

All-StateD – Colin MacGillivray, Jr., Malden Catholic
The Lancers blue-liner is made in the mold of an old school rugged defenseman. The 6-foot-1, 185-pound Peabody native played on MC’s top pairing through the season while posting three goals and 10 assists for 10 points for the repeat Super 8 champions.

All-StateD – Nikko Markham, Sr., St. Mary’s (Lynn)
The Catholic Central Conference Most Valuable Player and Spartans captain finished a sound career by leading St. Mary’s to a No. 2 seed in the Super 8. The Salem native was among the top point-scoring blue-liners in the state with six goals and 12 assists for 18 points.

All-StateG – Peter Cronin, Jr., BC High
For the second straight season, the Eagles went as their netminder went, and Cronin led BC High to its first Super 8 finals appearance since 2007. Playing in each of the Eagles’ 25 games, the Norwell resident posted a 2.00 goals against average and a 91.7 save percentage.

2nd Team:
All-StateF – Kevin Emmerling, Sr., St. John’s (Shrewsbury)
Perhaps the most skilled skater in the state, the Pioneers’ center provided a dynamic offensive punch to their Super 8 run. The Whitinsville native finished third in Division 1 scoring with 26 goals and 30 assists for 56 points. Emmerling is exploring his options for next year and hopes to play college hockey.

All-StateF – Conal Lynch, Sr., Boston Latin
Lynch also showed that Charlestown is again a hotbed of hockey, carrying the Wolfpack to a DCL/MVC Div. 2 championship. Lynch finished second in Division 2 in scoring with 35 goals and 18 assists for 53 points. The Wolfpack captain is weighing his options in pursuing prep or junior hockey next year.

All-StateF – Matt Sullivan, Sr., BC High
The senior captain was a true two-way center with a high hockey IQ. The Duxbury resident anchored the Eagles’ top line, scoring 12 goals and 16 assists for 28 points and lifting BC High to its first Super 8 final appearance since 2007. He is pursuing prep and junior hockey opportunities for next season.

All-StateD – Casey Fitzgerald, Fr., Malden Catholic
The younger brother of Ryan, Casey catapulted himself onto the scene in his first year, filling the role of a puck-moving defenseman previously held by former All-Stater Conor Evangelista. The North Reading resident and Boston College commit tallied two goals and 15 assists for 17 points in his first year.

D – Peter Sikalis, Sr., Acton-Boxborough
The Colonials’ captain was the impetus behind their run to the D1 North semifinals. Sikalis had eight goals and 11 assists for 19 points while eating up boatloads of ice time for head coach Bob Lavin. The imposing 6-foot-3 defenseman is exploring his hockey options for next year.

All-StateG – David Letarte, Sr., St. John’s Prep
The captain has been the Eagles’ backbone during the last three seasons, leading Prep back to the Super 8 once again. Letarte had a 2.08 goals against average and a 91.3 save percentage in 18 games played. He is currently mulling over college and junior hockey offers for next year.

“Best of the Rest”
Nick Bertoni, F, Franklin
Tom Besinger, F, BC High
Tommy Bishop, F, Chelmsford
Matt Brazel, F, Hingham
Trevor Cimino, F, Burlington
Frank Crinella, F, Springfield Cathedral
Paul Curran, F, Milton
Vin D’Amato, F, St. John’s (Shrewsbury)
Jarrod Fitzpatrick, F, St. Mary’s (Lynn)
James Gordon, F, Hingham
Danny Holland, F, Woburn
Mike Iovanna, F, Malden Catholic
Connor Irving, F, Beverly
Mike Kelleher, F, Central Catholic
Chris Leblanc, F, Winthrop
Bobby Mullins, St. Mary’s (Lynn)
Ara Nazarian, F, Malden Catholic
Andrew Newis, F, Natick
Jack O’Hear, F, Catholic Memorial
Cam O’Neill, F, St. Mary’s (Lynn)
Jake O'Rourke, F, Medway
Cam Owens, F, Wilmington
Brian Pinho, F, St. John’s Prep
Dalton Rolli, F, Wilmington
Joe Strangie, F, Danvers
D.J. Walsh, F, Needham
Bryan Carter, D, Hudson
Connor Fenton, D, Braintree
Brian Furey, D, BC High
Pat Houghton, D, Westford Academy
Steve Mattos, D, Burlington
Nick Pandalena, D, St. John’s Prep
Jake Secatore, D, Woburn
Brendan White, D, Malden Catholic
Joe Cerulo, G, Wakefield
Jordan Davis, G, Norwood
Mike Donadio, G, Franklin
Bailey MacBurnie, G, St. Mary’s (Lynn)
Connor Murray, G, Needham
Connor Roddy, G, Medfield
Shane Starrett, G, Catholic Memorial
Steven Waites, G, Winthrop
Kyle Williams, G, Central Catholic

Coach of the Year
Chris Spillane, Franklin
Losing 15 seniors off of 2011's Division 2 state finalist team posed no problem to Spillane in guiding his team back to the Garden again. The 13-year Panthers bench boss is regarded as one of the finest in the state, but no season might have been more impressive for Spillane than getting this team back to the finals.

Karl Infanger, Natick
Mark Lee, St. Mary’s (Lynn)
John McLean, Malden Catholic

MIAA hockey championships primer, picks

March, 16, 2012
All eyes will be on the TD Garden Sunday as championships will be decided in six divisions of MIAA hockey title games.

We'll have you covered all day long, but until then, we provide to you a breakdown of each of the game and our prediction:

GIRLS’ FINALS Division 2
No. 1 Duxbury (21-0-1) vs. No. 7 Falmouth (16-4-1), 11 a.m., TD Garden
The Breakdown: If the Dragons win this game, they make a strong argument that they were the strongest girls’ hockey team in the state, regardless of division, with the potential for an undefeated season. As any strong hockey squad goes, the Dragons are built from goal out with sophomore goaltender Rachel Myette (0.91 GAA) looks for her second state title in as many seasons as starter. Duxbury’s blue line corps is regarded as the deepest in the state, led by ESPN Boston Ms. Hockey contender Martha Findley (4-19-23). Of course, Duxbury has plenty of offensive firepower to go along with their strong defensive play with junior forwards Hannah Murphy (18-27-45) and Lily Connolly (18-20-38) as leading scorers. Falmouth has been one of the stories of the tournament, making a run behind first-year head coach Erin Blood. The Clippers have also received strong play from a young goaltender in freshman Maddie Scavotto (1.26 GAA). Falmouth is also deep and experienced on the blue line with senior captain Brenna Callahan and junior Alexx Good. The Clippers have received scoring punch from a pair of freshman forwards in Kelly Ferreira (13-9-22) and Madison Haberl (11-12-23).

The Pick: The defending Division 2 champion Dragons spent half the season as the No. 1 team in our poll. We’re not about to go against them now. Duxbury, 4-1.

Division 1 No. 3 St. Mary’s (Lynn) (21-3-1) vs. No. 4 Arlington Catholic (20-3-1), 9 a.m.
The Breakdown: If two regular season meetings between these Central Catholic powers weren’t enough, we get a rubber match for all the marbles on Sunday. The Lady Spartans came away with two wins in the teams’ regular season series, including a defining 5-2 decision by St. Mary’s on Feb. 1 after they’d been upset by crosstown rival Winthrop/Lynn. Can’t underscore the coaching in this game enough, as Frank Pagliuca has turned in perhaps his finest performance behind the bench and Maggie Taverna has vaulted the Cougars back onto the state’s biggest stage in Year One. Taverna has been helped by one of the state’s most dynamic scorers in senior Natalie Flynn (19-15-34). Adrieana Rossini (8-14-22) has also come up with some huge postseason goals. On the blue line, AC has one of the state’s best in senior Rebecca Zappala. First-year transfers Kaleigh Finigan (30-goal season) and Brittani Lanzilli (25-28-53) have not disappointed while Alison Butler (team-leading 61 points) has taken a huge step forward. The Spartans blue line is airtight with preseason All-Stater Rachel Donahoe leading the group. Lauren Skinnion (7 SO) has been strong as a first-year starter in nets.

The Pick: Third time’s a charm? Not so. Spartans are too strong. St. Mary’s, 4-2.

BOYS’ FINALS Division 3
Medway (19-6-1) vs. Hudson (21-1-1), 1:30 p.m.

The Breakdown: This marks the return of one of the state’s great public hockey programs to its biggest stage in Hudson (seriously, look it up), with the Hawks making their first state finals appearance since 1978, when they took the Div. 1 title from Burlington. The Central sectional champions are strong up front with a trio of 30-point scorers in seniors Tyler Kirby, Tim Murphy and Blake Seymour. The Mustangs are paced by one of the state’s top snipers in Jake O’Rourke (43-13-56). This matchup will also feature two of most dominant D3 goalies in the state with Hudson junior Shane Barry and Medway junior Mike Narducci facing off with sub-2.00 goals against averages.

The Pick: We’re going with the storyline and perhaps the most consistent D3 team throughout the season. Hudson, 3-2.

Division 2 Wilmington (15-4-5) vs. No. 1 Franklin (19-2-3), 3:30 p.m.
The Breakdown: This might be the most intriguing matchup of the day. Both of these teams were among four Division 2 teams on the Mass. Hockey Coaches Association’s initial Super 8 Watch list a month ago and haven’t disappointed in the tournament. Franklin was here a year ago, when they had their hearts broken by Tewksbury in an overtime stunner. Many observers, including us, had last season pegged as the Panthers’ opportunity to break a nearly three-decade long drought, but Chris Spillane has showed why he’s one of the state’s premier coaches. It also hasn’t hurt that Franklin has received tremendous senior seasons from Adam Hall (17-25-42) and Nick Bertoni (25-15-40). Sophomore netminder Mike Donadio (1.64 GAA) has been a revelation. The Wildcats offense has taken off since Cam Owens’ (14-19-33) return to the lineup, while senior captain Dalton Rolli (9-16-25) is an underrated two-way presence. Junior forward Jake Rogers (12-6-20) has come up with some timely goals in the postseason. Sophomore netminder Drew Foley (1.69 GAA) has played his best when it’s counted most, carrying a three-plus game shutout streak into the Wildcats’ North sectional final with Winthrop.

The Pick: The last time the Panthers hoisted the trophy Coach Spillane skated. Unfortunately for the hockey hotbed, this isn’t the year either. Wilmington, 2-1 (OT).

Division 1 Burlington (17-2-6) vs. Milton (19-3-3), 8:15 p.m.
The Breakdown: The Red Devils pulled off a tough feat, bouncing back from a Super 8 play-in game loss (and a very competitive one at that) to pull themselves into the D1 championship. The Middlesex League champions have plenty of speed to burn, and senior assistant captain Trevor Cimino (17-22-39) is about as good a two-way forward as you’ll find. Along with Joe Berardi (22-13-35), Brett Romkey (17-3-20) and C.J. Grinnell (6-14-20), Burlington can score in piles. We’ve also come away impressed by their defensive corps led by Steve Mattos, in addition to Cody Crocker, Adam Crowley and Brien Diffley. The Wildcats ran the Bay State League gauntlet in the South sectional tournament to get to the Garden. Paul Curran (26-33-59) is one of the best pure scorers in the state, and along with top-liners Brian Higgins (23-29-52) and Terrance Walsh (16-33-49), Milton provides matchup problems. Blue-liner John Murtagh is a rock, logging boatloads of ice time, and senior netminder Jay Hankard is peaking at the right time

The Pick: Red Devils are simply too potent, but they’re the pick mostly because of the way they’re playing defensively right now in front of Derek DeCastro. Burlington, 6-3.

Division 1A No. 5 BC High (13-6-5) vs. No. 1 Malden Catholic (19-1-4), 6 p.m.
The Breakdown: After beating another Catholic Conference rival, St. John’s Prep, to advance to the final, Eagles head coach John Flaherty said he’s had a special feeling about this group. That feeling might have developed after BC High skated to a 2-2 tie with MC on Jan. 25, a game in which the Eagles in some regards out-played the Lancers. This will be the fourth meeting between these teams, with MC taking two wins, including a 3-1 win in the Super 8’s round robin last week. The crucible for BC High is which of their defensive units shows up: The out-of-sorts group that surrendered a 7-spot earlier this season to MC, or the cohesive group that bounced Prep and its top line? Of course, that all starts with junior goaltender Peter Cronin (2.00 GAA), who has turned in another solid tournament. Brian Furey leads a much improved blue-line group. The Eagles are also disciplined in their own zone, with Matt Sullivan (12-16-28) providing as much defensively as he does offensively. Everyone knows of the Lancers top line of Brendan Collier, Ryan Fitzgerald and Mike Iovanna, but freshman center Ara Nazarian has been the breakout star of the tournament, filling the scoresheet in every game and tallying five goals. It’s not just offense with MC, however, as you’d be hard pressed to find a deeper, more dynamic top three than Casey Fitzgerald, Colin MacGillivray and Brendan White. If netminder Connor Maloney plays as he did against Central Catholic in the crossover round, that’s game, set, and match.

The Pick: Doin’ it for CS5. MC, 5-3.

Super 8 recap: Malden Catholic 3, BC High 1

March, 6, 2012

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. -- When it was over, the scoreboard read: Malden Catholic 3, BC High 1.

But BC High coach John Flaherty wasn't so sure that was the correct final score.

Flaherty was upset with at least two calls in the third period of Tuesday's Super 8 contest: a disallowed BC High goal (net off its moorings) and an MC goal that hit the post but was ruled to have crossed the goal line.

"The confusing part with that is there is a goal judge, and the goal judge didn't put a light on,” Flaherty said. “The explanation was it hit the post – it hit the white post in the middle, rang around and came back. I'm pretty good in geometry and the way that came off an angle I didn't see it that way, but I have to trust their call because they were in better position than I was. We agree to disagree on that one.”

The top-seeded Lancers received third-period goals from freshman forward Ara Nazarian and junior defenseman Brendan White. The victory improved MC's record in pool play to 2-0.

“We played against a good team tonight … it was a good game,” Malden Catholic coach John McLean said.

The loss dropped BC High's tournament record to 1-1. The Eagles opened with a 4-2 victory over Hingham.

“I think we deserved a better fate,” Flaherty said. “I think we worked hard. I'm very proud of how my guys battled. MC is the No. 1-seeded team for a reason, and we gave them all we could.

“Tough to play that talent and then have the calls go against you like they did. I just don't understand why we don't have video replay in this league too. Everyone else has it. They have video in the rink. Maybe we should look at going with video at this level if that's what's gonna help.”

It was 1-1 entering the third. Tyler Sifferlen put Malden Catholic in front at 9:50 of the opening period, and BC High's Bartley Regan tied the contest 1:07 into the second.

“It was 1-1 after two,” Flaherty said. “I liked our chances. I liked how we battled back and showed some resilience. Unfortunately we just didn't get the bounces – we didn't get the calls down the stretch.”

Nazarian, a Boxford resident, has scored in each of Malden Catholic's two Super 8 games. His other goal came during Malden Catholic's 3-2 triumph over St. John's of Shrewsbury.

“I've known him since he was 5 years old,” McLean said. “A very good '96 forward. Strong. When he gets a chance he's gonna finish it. He's done it his whole life. He's gonna go on and play at the next level. He's a very skilled player and good players step up at the right time.”

Each team will complete pool play Sunday. Malden Catholic will play Hingham (1-1), and BC High will face St. John's of Shrewsbury (0-2).

“What we're gonna concentrate on is practice tomorrow,” McLean said. “We'll watch some film of Hingham tomorrow. Hingham's a very good team. Good coach. It's gonna be another tough game.”

ESPN Boston Super 8 primer

March, 2, 2012
There are less than 48 hours remaining before the puck drops on the real Super 8 on Sunday at Merrimack College.

So we’re taking this opportunity to break down the final eight:

1. Malden Catholic (15-1-4)
Marquee wins: Pretty much all of them, minus the Lancers’ one loss to New Jersey powerhouse Delbarton.

Players to watch: F Brendan Collier (22-34-56); F Ryan Fitzgerald (26-14-40); F Mike Iovanna (14-23-37); F Tyler Sifferlen (9-14-23); F Ara Nazarian (10-16-26); D Casey Fitzgerald (1-15-16); D Colin MacGillivray (2-8-10); Brendan White (2-16-18).

The skinny: As in the last couple of years, this year’s Super 8 is viewed as the Lancers’ tournament to lose. Again, they have the best line in the state with Collier, Ryan Fitzgerald and Iovanna saddling into Mike Vecchione’s former spot. But MC’s true strength is depth. Sifferlen and Nazarian would occupy a spot on mostly any team’s top line. Super frosh and BC commit Casey Fitzgerald has filled Conor Evangelista’s role dutifully as a puck-moving defenseman.

X-factor: Goaltending. Connor Maloney watched last year’s Super 8 from the BC High bench behind Peter Cronin. Now, it’s his time to shine.

2. St. Mary’s of Lynn (18-1-3)
Marquee wins: Malden Catholic (Kasabuski Tournament tie); Hingham (5-1); Cathedral (3-2).

Players to watch: F Bobby Mullins (9-20-29); F Jarrod Fitzpatrick (14-7-21); F Cam O’Neill (14-15-29); F Brendan Mageary (13-11-24); F Tim Aylward (10-10-20); D Nikko Markham (6-12-18); D Bryan Wilkins (1-7-8); G Bailey MacBurnie (1.30 GAA, 94.1 save %).

The skinny: So what were the Spartans to do without perennial league all-star Donald Hesse as their backbone? Well, Mark Lee found a more-than-legitimate starter in MacBurnie, a sophomore, who’s played well along with a defensive corps led by Markham. Fitzpatrick has been another revelation in his first season with the Spartans. St. Mary’s has greater scoring depth than in year’s past. And they’re young, as freshman Eric MacAdams (4-14-18) has impressed seeing top-line action.

X-factor: How do the Spartans react in a tight game. In last year’s Super 8 play-in stab, and the Div. 1 tournaments of year’s past, one-goal games have come back to haunt them. If they can sweat out a couple of close decisions in this tournament, they might find themselves at the Garden.

3. St. John’s Prep (13-5-2)
Marquee wins: BC High (3-1); Hingham (2-1); Central Catholic (4-0).

Players to watch: F Sam Kurker (26-26-52); F Brian Pinho (14-20-34); F Tyler Bird (9-5-14), F Andrew Brandano (8-6-14); D Nick Pandalena (6-10-16); D Brent Murray (0-4-4); G David Letarte (2.02 GAA, 91.5 save %).

The skinny: We still haven’t gotten over last year’s championship game; it was simply amazing hockey. There’s no Colin Blackwell, but Kurker (BU commit) has really blossomed this season and has taken this team on his back the way his former linemate did last year. Pinho and Bird, along with Kurker, are a formidable first line to skate against, and are strong in all three zones. Pandalena is a mountain of a defenseman, but beyond him, the Eagles blue line was green entering the season. Murray has elevated his play to comprise a formidable top pairing.

X-factor: Letarte. I believe we said this last year as well. When the senior is on his game, he can be airtight.

4. Hingham (16-4-2)
Marquee wins: Marshfield (6-2); Catholic Memorial (3-2); St. John’s of Shrewsbury (4-0).

Players to watch: F James Gordon (21-17-38); F Matt Brazel (11-20-31); F Matt Hughes (13-11-24); F Ryan Linehan (8-12-20); F Patrick Mannion (6-12-18); F Sam D’Antuono (6-19-25); D Nolan Driscoll (2-7-9); G John Grenier (1.88 GAA, 90.1 save %).

The skinny: If this team had a motto, it would be “lacking experience, but not young.” During the Harbormen’s most recent Super 8 runs, a good portion of this year’s roster watched from way down the bench, or up in the gallery. But this team has collectively raised its game and is benefitted by great coaching. Gordon’s 20-goal season has been a pleasant surprise and Brazel is one worth watching for the next two years. The real revelation has been Grenier between the pipes. The Xaverian transfer is among the statewide leaders in goals against average.

X-factor: Grenier. He doesn’t fit the current mold of a big, butterfly goaltender. Instead, he relies on aggressively challenging the shooter and cutting down angles. We’ll see how it matches up with the precision passing games of MC and St. John’s (S) in pool play games.

5. BC High (10-5-5)
Marquee wins: St. John’s (twice); Prep (5-3); Cathedral (3-0).

Players to watch: F Matt Sullivan (9-15-24); F Tom Besinger (10-15-25); F Bartley Regan (7-6-13); F Steve DeForge (6-13-19); D Brian Furey (3-6-9); D Sam Topham (1-9-10); G Peter Cronin (2.00 GAA; 91.5 save %).

The skinny: Cronin lead this team to the crossover round last year, falling just short of an upset of MC. He was the revelation of last year’s tournament and, as usual, the Eagles will look to their goaltender to continue his strong play. Besinger might be the shiftiest forward in the tournament not named Kevin Emmerling. He’s not big, but he sure can skate. Furey has done a nice job leading a young Eagles blue-line corps this season. ‘Moe’ Regan has produced some dirty goals and has thrived in his role as a power forward, coming off his EMass D1 Super Bowl win.

X-factor: Sullivan. The Eagles’ soft-spoken leader is a lead-by-example type, but thrives in big-game atmospheres. Wouldn’t be surprised at all if he’s a player we’re talking about months after the tournament.

6. Springfield Cathedral (10-6-6)
Marquee wins: BC High (4-3); Needham (1-0); CM (3-1).

Players to watch: F Frank Crinella (13-15-28); F Thomas Quinlan (11-5-16); F Peter Crinella (5-8-13); F Brendan Ashe (7-7-14); D Matt Foley (0-12-12); G John Liquori (2.40 GAA, 88.9 save %).

The skinny: The Panthers cracked the top six this year after getting bounced in a play-in game last year. This is a team that isn’t very flashy, but is consistently tough to play against, playing a brand of hockey that can be frustrating to opponents. Sophomore John Liquori has been steady, taking over for old stalwart Zac Rondeau. Liquori is the benefactor of a sound defensive squad that likes to play the body and takes care of its defensive assignments with diligence.

X-factor: Frank Crinella is perhaps the most talented player in the state who receives the least amount of deserved credit. This tournament could be a statement for him.

7. Central Catholic (13-3-5)
Marquee wins: Burlington (6-4, play-in game).

Players to watch: F Ryan Daigle (8-15-23); F Mike Kelleher (10-7-17); F Lloyd Hayes (15-8-23); F Alex Lester (7-9-16); F Zack Cote (10-4-14); D Jake Donahue (3-4-7); G Kyle Williams (2.13 GAA, 91.1 save %).

The skinny: Stop me if you’re heard this one before, but the Raiders again used a spirited second-half push after a slow start to get back into the top tournament. If they continue the fast and physical brand of hockey they played against Burlington, the Raiders will provide a tough test. Kelleher’s natural hat trick is a big boost to Central’s chances going forward; if he gets going, he’s one of the most potent pure scorers in the state.

X-factor: Williams. Shocking, right? As the goaltender goes, so goes the Raiders. And it’s no coincidence that Central played its best while last year’s ESPN Boston All-State netminder was at his finest.

8. St. John’s of Shrewsbury (15-4-3)
Marquee wins: Needham (5-4, play-in game).

Players to watch: F Kevin Emmerling (25-28-53); F Vin D’Amato (23-14-37); F Jay Duquette (11-22-33); F Hunter Burdick (6-9-15); D Nick Rutigliano (1-10-11).

The skinny: Akin to Central Catholic, the Pioneers took perhaps their biggest win of the season on Monday. In that shootout with Needham, they showed why they can go toe-to-toe with any team across the state with the top line of Emmerling, D’Amato and Duquette running and gunning …

X-factor: … but then there’s the defense. The Pioneers are going to need to tighten up in their own end. If they allow their three future opponents to enter the zone as they allowed the Rockets to run in the third period, there could be some lop-sided scores.

Recap: No. 1 MC 5, No. 4 Hingham 1

February, 11, 2012

MALDEN, Mass. -- Speed beat out physicality at the Valley Forum Saturday night, as the home ice No. 1 Malden Catholic Lancers defeated the No. 4 Hingham Harbormen, 5-1, in a potential Super 8 preview matchup.

In the process, the Lancers snapped Hingham's 13-game unbeaten streak. The Harbormen went 12-0-1, following their Dec. 21 loss to No. 2 St. Mary's of Lynn.

The teams exchanged first period goals, with MC (12-1-3) striking first on a shot by forward Ara Nazarian. The freshman’s goal came on assists from Tyler Sifferlen and Brian Cameron.

Hingham (13-3-1) answered back three minutes later when Harbormen forward Matt Brazel was spun around by contact to face a loose puck in the Lancer zone. Brazel charged from the blue line to net the only point of the night for Hingham.

The Lancers controlled the tempo and puck early and often, keeping goalie John Grenier busy in net.

“They’re a physical team,” Lancers assistant captain Ryan Fitzgerald said. “They tried to get us off of our game, which is speed, but we just kept at it, kept grinding.”

The grind never stopped. The Lancers’ wily play frustrated the aggressive Harbormen, with MC players regularly ducking under checks and winning loose pucks.

After a pad save, Fitzgerald caught Grenier leaning out of the crease and put the rebound in for the second Lancer goal. The score came on assists from Brendan White and Lancer captain Brendan Collier.

Malden grabbed a man advantage minutes later, leading to a goal from junior forward Mike Iovanna to wrap up the second period.

The Lancers kept up their slick skating in the third, but threw in some rough-housing of their own.

“Our grittier side came out at the end,” Fitzgerald said. “You saw on the last shift there were hits being thrown everywhere.”

In the last five minutes of play, the Lancers got the puck by the Hingham defense and Grenier twice more, again off of the sticks of Fitzgerald and Nazarian.

The surgical approach of the aptly named Lancers was summed up by head coach John McLean: “The key word is ‘discipline.’ If you go in our
locker room, it’s the first word on the board.”

“There’s no reason to take any retaliatory penalties,” he added. “You take the hit and make the play. We’re a pretty good hockey team, but we’re not good with four guys, we’re good with five."

“I think we had a good effort, good intensity,” Hingham head coach Tony Messina said. “But against a team like that, you give them one opening, they’re gonna take it.”

“They can score three goals in a shift, so 5-1, we don’t like the score, but it seems like it was closer.”

Coming off a 12-0-1 streak before Saturday’s action. Hingham could very well get a second crack at the Lancers.

“They’re a very good team. I think we’ll see them again in the Super 8,” McLean said.

The Lancers’ will again take home ice in their next matchup against Wakefield on Monday at 7:10 p.m. Hingham will take on Winchester on the road at 6 p.m., Monday.

Recap: No. 1 Malden Catholic 2, No. 6 CM 2

February, 9, 2012

MALDEN, Mass. -- For the second time in as many tries, No. 6 Catholic Memorial held a late third-period lead, only to settle for a tie.

Thomas Stanton provided the Knights with a 2-1 lead with less than three minutes remaining in Wednesday night’s Catholic Conference matchup with No. 1 Malden Catholic. And, while CM netminder Shane Starrett consistently stood on his head, stopping 41 Lancer shots, MC junior winger Mike Iovanna’s deflection of a point shot resulted in a 2-2 tie.

Remaining undefeated in Catholic Conference play at 6-0-2, MC wrapped up another regular season league title.

On the other hand, for CM (6-6-2, 2-3-2), it remains a struggle for points.

“I’ve said that in the last couple of weeks we’ve needed to steal a point here and there,” Knights head coach Bill Hanson said. “And we stole a point.”

The Knights now need six points in their final five games to qualify for the state tournament.

Aside from paring a point from the state’s top team, CM might have gained more in its play.

“Tonight definitely helps our confidence,” said Stanton, a senior assistant captain. “They’re a good team. We can play with them, we proved that. I think we just need to prove it to ourselves that we can play with teams like that.”

MC (11-1-3) was off to another quick start with Ryan Fitzgerald tapping in a one-timer off of Brendan Collier’s cross-ice feed at 2:57 of the first.

Neither team was able to find the back of the net until CM caught a dose of puck luck with senior captain Liam Coughlin banking in a puck off an MC defender’s skate with under nine minutes remaining in the third.

Stanton provided what look to be the game-winner before Iovanna got a piece of Brendan White’s shot from the point with 1:43 to play.

“[Starrett] made some good saves and it was tough to get it by him,” said Collier, the Lancers’ senior captain. “They hung around, and you can’t let good teams hang around. They’re scrapping for their lives right now.”

CM was successful clogging up passing lanes and sagging down low, defensively, with a boatload of blocked shots to show for it. While Starrett saw plenty of rubber tossed his way, the Knights rolled with the Lancers’ punches and turned in perhaps their best defensive effort of the season outside of their early win over St. Sebastian’s.

“I thought we adjusted very well in the third period,” Hanson said. “We said, hey, we’ve got a chance to win a hockey game here. We backed off on the forecheck, we weren’t that aggressive. We locked on their wings, locked on them in the offensive zone and the defensive zone, hoping that we’d get a turnover.”

Emerging unscathed from Wednesday’s game, MC earned an undefeated conference record for the second time in as many years.

It was a feat that wasn’t lost on Collier.

“It’s a great league, it’s probably the best in high school hockey,” he said. “To be undefeated, it’s just an honor. It just shows how good of a squad we have and how hard we work. Anybody can beat anybody on any given night."

Recap: No. 1 Malden Catholic 5, No. 2 SJP 2

February, 1, 2012
MALDEN, Mass. -- Malden Catholic’s explosive offense was at work again Tuesday night against a red-hot St. John’s Prep team that had won their last five games.

During the win streak, No. 2 Prep had scored 27 goals against their opponents and had only allowed two goals in that span. The Eagles carried the play for most of the first period, and jumped out to a 1-0 lead after captain Sam Kurker fed the puck across the slot to forward Brian Pinho, who buried the puck into an open net.

However, four goals in the second period propelled No. 1 Malden Catholic to a 4-2 lead heading into the final frame. The Lancers played a strong third period and were able to protect their two-goal lead before potting an empty-netter, polishing off a 5-2 victory.

“When you’re playing [Malden Catholic], no lead is safe.” Eagles head coach Kristian Hanson said. “They score in bunches, they’re a really talented offensive team. You know, they’re difficult to keep off the scoreboard.”

The opening frame was indicative of how St. John’s Prep had played during their five-game winning streak. They incessantly closed gaps on the speedy Lancer forwards, forcing the league’s best offense to shoot from sharp angles outside of the high slot.

For the Eagles (8-5-0, 2-4-0) though, it was a game of missed opportunities. The offense was able to generate turnovers in the neutral zone, allowing themselves two early 2-on-1 opportunities where they failed to get the puck to the net and produce a shot on goal.

Malden Catholic (9-1-2, 6-0-1) head coach John McLean felt his team did a good job of taking advantage of Prep's failure to score goals.

“Because they score the first goal, it doesn’t affect us,” McLean said. “We just play our game one shift at a time, we know we’re gonna score goals, you just can’t get nervous. You gotta just keep playing your game and the goals will come.”

The goals came quickly for the Lancers in the second period. On the power play, sophomore Patrick Wrenn put a rolling puck in the crease behind the outstretched glove of goalie David Letarte, tying the game, 1-1.

The offense erupted from there for Malden Catholic as captain Brendan Collier netted two goals in under three minutes to put the Lancers ahead 3-1.

“On both goals, I just tried to get to the front of the net.” Collier said. “That first one, you know, we forced them to turn the puck over, Fitzy found me in front and I was able to put it past Letarte.”

The second of Collier’s two goals came off a slap shot from the point off the stick of Brendan White before being deflected past Letarte (31 saves).

“That was a great shot [White] took from the point, again I just wanted to get to the front of the net.” Collier said of his second goal. “I just tried to get a piece of it, I did, and it went in.”

The Lancers then found themselves in some penalty trouble. While on the power play, the Eagles began to shift momentum back in their direction. A cannon from blue-liner Nick Pandelena was deflected off the post, and the rebound was blasted home by Pinho for his second goal of the night.

The Lancers found themselves shorthanded shortly after Pinho made it a one-goal game. With a chance for the Eagles to tie it up, freshman Ara Nazarian created a turnover at his own blue line and cleared the puck up the boards. Nazarian won a race for the puck and spun to his backhand delivering a tape-to-tape cross ice pass to line mate Tyler Sifferlen, who made no mistake, ripping a wrist shot past the left pad of Letarte.

It was a tough blow.

“They get that goal to make it 4-2, you know, obviously we could have tied it at three potentially on the power play," Hanson said. “I thought we had a number of chances that we just didn’t finish on. We could have made it a 4-3 game and anything could happen down the wire. Bottom line is we didn’t finish, we didn’t execute like they did. And we had a very poor second period.”

McLean felt the shorthanded goal was a turning point.

“I think it hurt them… they had a little momentum on the power play.” McLean said. “Shorthanded goals are tough to give up. But we have guys that can score shorthanded, and that’s a bonus for us.”

The third period saw both teams exchange chances up and down the ice, but neither team would budge. The score remained the same until the Lancer’s iced the game with an empty-net goal.

For the Eagles, one bad period and an inability to finish allowed MC to skate off the ice, victorious.

“It’s tough to keep them off the board for too long,” Hanson said of the Lancers' offense. “But you know we did have some breakdowns defensively. I thought we played a pretty solid system the first and third period but, for whatever reason in the second we kind of got away from that and they capitalized on it.”

The loss was Prep's first since Jan. 13, when MC defeated the Eagles, 5-3.

Top 5: The quest for the Super 8 title

December, 14, 2011
With a good number of team's kicking off their hockey schedules on Wednesday night, we thought we'd take a closer look at our Top 5 preseason teams, handicapping the field of could-be Super 8 contenders this season:

(All records and stats from 2010-11)

1. Malden Catholic (21-1-2)
Players to watch: Brendan Collier, Sr. F, 24-39--63; Ryan Fitzgerald, Jr. F, 24-42-66; Mike Iovanna, Jr. F, 10-18--28; Tyler Sifferlen, So. F, 4-7--11; Brendan White, Jr. D, 2-7--9; Colin MacGillivray, Jr. D, 1-7--8.

Key losses: F Mike Vecchione, D Connor Evangelista, F Nick Roberto, G Pat Young.

The skinny: The returning Super 8 champions now have the bull's-eye on their backs, and they're OK with that. The Lancers finally finished the season on top, in no small part thanks to the leadership of Vecchione. Now the torch has been passed to Collier, who inherits the "C' this season. The Charlestown native and BU commit leads a re-tooled lineup. However, MC isn't without its questions. Top-line center Ryan Fitzgerald is on the shelf until around New Year's with a seperated shoulder. Catholic Conference All-Star Connor Evangelista is among the offseason defections and leaves a hole at the top of the Lancers' blue line corps. MC will also breaking in junior goaltender Connor Maloney after the graduation of Pat Young (1.33 GAA). On top of that, the Lancers have a new head coach in John McLean, who's filling in for Chris Serino, who's taken a medical leave. Still, for all those questions, there's still an awful lot of talent around with Iovanna figuring to make a big leap, playing the wing spot vacated by Vecchione. Freshman Ara Nazarian is a name that will be mentioned around the state for quite some time.

X-factor: White and MacGillivray. For all the attention paid to MC's front-line offensive talent, when you get down to the nitty-gritty of playoff time, teams need the horses on the blue line to take control of games. Both are more-than-capable defenders. Fitzgerald's younger sib, Casey, a freshman blue-liner is also a name to watch in the coming seasons.

2. St. John’s Prep (18-6-1)
Players to watch: Sam Kurker, Sr. F, 15-10--25; David Letarte, Sr. G, 2.52 GAA; Nick Pandalena, Sr. D, 2-10--12; Dillon Gargano, Jr. D, 1-1--2; Tyler Bird, So. F, 3-3--6.

Key losses: F Colin Blackwell, F Shane Eiserman, F John Farrow, D Joe Currie.

The skinny: Perhaps none of last year's Super 8 field lost more front-line talent than the Eagles. ESPN Boston Mr. Hockey Colin Blackwell matriculated to Harvard and is now tearing up the ECAC. Also, talented freshman Shane Eiserman left for the prep schools. What the Prep returns, however, could also be envy of most teams. It all starts up front with BU-commit Kurker, who's a true power forward in the old sense of the word; the Eagles will lean on Kurker to improve upon his 15-goal campaign last season. The Eagles also lost most of the blue line, with Nick Pandalena the only returner from their top 5. But the Prep is still built from the net out with Letarte returning between the pipes.

X-factor: Letarte. With a young defense in front of him and possible dip in scoring, it will take an even larger effort from the senior netminder to return Prep to a Super 8 title game.

3. BC High (15-6-3)
Players to watch: Matt Sullivan, Sr. F; Tom Besinger, So. F; Brian Furey, Sr. D; Peter Cronin, Jr. G.

Key losses: F Mike Cashman, F Terence Durkin, F Andrew White,

The skinny: Last year was about the Eagles' return to prominence. Now, this year is all about taking that next step. Still, the roster is young, but they're also battle-tested. "The guys we had last year were excellent leaders," BC High head coach John Flaherty said," now we're asking this group to build upon that moving forward, being leaders on and off the ice." That leadership now falls to Sullivan and Furey. Still, for a unit that's relatively young, there's some talent to be had, including Besinger who was among our Top 5 rookies to watch from last season.

X-factor: Cronin. The then-sophomore netminder turned some heads during the Super 8 tournament last season, as the Eagles went toe-to-toe with MC in the crossover round. If he can repeat that kind of performance, the Eagles are in good hands.

4. Catholic Memorial (8-10-2)
Players to watch: Liam Coughlin, Jr. F, 10-11--21; Jared Beckwith, Sr. D, 4-10--14; Shane Starrett, Jr. G, 1.77 GAA; Jack O'Hear, Jr. F.

Key losses: D Marc Hetnick, F Dan O'Hear, F Chris Stathopoulos, G Tommy Knox.

The skinny: By far the best team in the state not involved in the playoffs last season. With that said, the Knights were fairly green on the blue line last year and took their lumps. The hope is that they'll learn from those experiences. carrying into this season. CM figures to turn a weakness into a strength this year with a deep D corps led by Beckwith, in addition to returners Kevin Bletzer, Dennis Medeiros, Justin Ryder, Ryan Sullivan and John Allaire. The Knights also figure to be strong in net with Starrett after posting a .968 save percentage last year in nine games.

X-factor: Coughlin. An ESPN Boston All-Stater, bears watching in his second year with the Knights and could be the breakout performer of the year. He has the talent and size to change the complexion of game. If he applies himself physically, there's no defense in the state who can match him.

5. Woburn (18-5-2)
Players to watch: Casey Shea, Sr. F, 21-28--49; Danny Holland, Sr. F, 10-14--24; Jake Secatore, Sr. D, 1-12--13.

Key losses: F Alex Holland, D Brian Dulong, G Cam McGlashing, D Brian Smith.

The skinny: A year later, we still find ourselves wondering what could've been in the Super 8 tournament -- had the Tanners gotten a couple of bounces here and there. But, as Woburn head coach Jim Duran told us at the time, "Teams make their own luck in hockey." This year, the Tanners hope the luck breaks their way because they don't lack on talent. UMass-Lowell commit Casey Shea will be perhaps the most dynamic offensive threat in the state (save for the top-liners at MC), and Holland isn't far behind. This group can skate and make plays in tight spaces. In a word, they're fun to watch. The Tanners also return one of the steadiest D-men in the state in Secatore.

X-factor: Sophomore goaltender Jeremy Flibotte. He's tabbed to be McGlashing's replacement in net and saw time sparingly during last season. Can the netminder hold up to the rigors of postseason play? We'll find out.

Recap: No. 1 MC 5, No. 14 St. Mary's 1

December, 13, 2011
MALDEN, Mass. – The defending Super 8 champion Malden Catholic Lancers picked up right where they left off with a 5-1 win over St. Mary’s of Lynn at Valley Forum on Monday night.

As we continue crisscrossing the state, continuing our hockey season preview work, here is a smattering of quick thoughts from the Lancers’ win:
  1. Not much has changed without Serino: Last night marked the debut of John McLean behind No. 1 MC’s bench, having taken over for head coach Chris Serino, who’s sitting out the season due to health issues. McLean, a longtime assistant of Serino’s going back to his tenure at Merrimack College, is a capable bench boss who’s well familiar with the system. “We have the same passion for the game,” McLean said after his first career victory. “We enjoy seeing kids improve and succeed. That’s what coaching is all about. That’s what keeps us going.”
  2. No Fitzy, no problem: With top-line center Ryan Fitzgerald on the shelf until around the New Year with a shoulder separation, McLean slotted freshman pivot Ara Nazarian between Brendan Collier (1 G, 2A) and Mike Iovanna (1 G, 1 A. The impressive 5-foot-10, 170-pound first-year skated made a lasting impression tallying two goals and an assist. Nazarian looks to be a player we’ll be hearing about for years to come, even if his top-line status isn’t going to last long. “It’s tough not having Fitzgerald,” McLean said. “But it can be good for other kids on the team. All our centers will get to move up and share a little bit more in the responsibilities. I don’t know if we’ll keep Ara up on the first line, but he’s going to be an impact player in this league for a time to come.”
  3. Continuity on D: Despite returning many key components from last year’s title team, the Lancers are a little green on the blue line. Despite having a pair of sophomores in their second pairing and a pair of freshmen on the third pair, MC does have an experienced top pair in Colin MacGillivray and ESPN Boston preseason All-Stater Brendan White. “We’re real young back there, but they’ve done a good job taking care of the younger kids, showing them how to do things,” McLean said.
  4. St. Mary’s replenished: Speaking of young talent, the Spartans should be in good hands for the years to come as well. Despite graduating four-year starting goaltender Donald Hesse from last year’s team, sophomore Bailey MacBurnie played a strong game in his first marquee start. He looked poised during a critical 5-on-3 penalty kill, turning aside three shots from in close on MC’s top line. The Spartans also got a spark from sophomore transfer Jarrod Fitzpatrick, who tallied St. Mary’s lone goal in the first. “He’s a nice addition as a sophomore transfer,” Spartans head coach Mark Lee said. “It seems like he’s been here for the full two years because he’s come in and fit right in from the day he got here. He’s got a lot of talent.” Along with junior Bobby Mullins and senior captain Tommy Braswell, the Spartans could find themselves atop the Catholic Central again this season.

Preseason MIAA boys' hockey All-State team

December, 9, 2011
Kyle WilliamsESPNBoston.comCentral Catholic goaltender Kyle Williams surrendered just 43 goals last season while being named to ESPN Boston's All-State team. This year, the senior netminder kicks off the season in the same place on our First Team preseason All-State team.
Here is ESPN Boston's preseason MIAA All-State boys' ice hockey teams:

F - Brendan Collier, Sr., Malden Catholic
F - Ryan Fitzgerald, Jr., Malden Catholic
F - Sam Kurker, Sr., St. John's Prep
D - Jared Beckwith, Sr., Catholic Memorial
D - Peter Sikalis, Sr., Acton-Boxborough
G - Kyle Williams, Sr., Central Catholic

F - Liam Coughlin, Jr., Catholic Memorial
F - Casey Shea, Sr., Woburn
F - Matt Sullivan, Sr., BC High
D - Brendan White, Jr., Malden Catholic
D - Jake Secatore, Sr., Woburn
G - Peter Cronin, Jr., BC High

F - Kevin Emmerling, Sr., St. John's (Shrewsbury)
F - Mike Kelleher, Jr., Central Catholic
F - Conal Lynch, Sr., Boston Latin
D - Connor Fenton, Sr., Braintree
D - Nick Pandalena, Sr., St. John's Prep
G - David Letarte, Sr., St. John's Prep

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. -- Blitzkrieg.

In 1939, journalists adopted the term for “lightning war” characterizing the swift German invasion of Poland.

In 1976, the Ramones integrated the term into one of rock ‘n’ roll’s great anthems and dominated the airwaves.

In 2010 and into 2011, the same term could be applied to Malden Catholic hockey’s propensity to overwhelm and overpower their opponents.

During Tuesday night’s Super Eight matchup with No. 6 seed Hingham at Merrimack College’s Lawler Arena, the top-seeded Lancers once again showcased their speed and skill in a blazing offensive display in an 8-1 win over the Harbormen.

This time MC was propelled by its second line. Garrett White contributed a four-goal game while Mike Iovanna tallied a three-point effort and two goals and Nick Roberto picked up two assists. And MC once again showed why they’re not only the most talented team in the state, but also its deepest.

“Everybody says we’re a one-line team and we’re not,” Lancers head coach Chris Serino said. “The second line is very good as well. They’re not like a second line, they’re more like a 1A.”

Perhaps more importantly for MC, their effort came after a self-admittedly lackluster effort in their Super Eight opener against Central Catholic, a 4-3 win. Still, the Lancers improved to 2-0 in tournament play while the defending Division 1A champions fell to 0-2.

Both teams got off to quick starts, with two goals scored on the opening three shots of the contest. James Gordon paced the Harbormen to a 1-0 lead with a goal less than three minutes in. The lead was short-lived as White countered less than a minute later to tie the score off an offensive zone faceoff win. It would be as close as Hingham would get to making a game out of it.

“We were very happy with our first period,” Harbormen head coach Tony Messina said. “We went up and down with them. But once the horses were out of the barn, when they come, they come.”

The Lancers again went on one of their tears, scoring five times in the second, including three in a three-minute stretch of the period.

White started off the hit parade with his second of the game with 10:43 remaining. Ryan Fitzgerald followed about a minute later with the third MC goal on a one-timer set up by Mike Vecchione. Vecchione, the UNH commit, broke the Catholic Conference’s single-season scoring record with the helper, notching his 74th point.

Iovanna put the Lancers out to a three-goal advantage with 8:22 remaining, with assists from White and Roberto. White netted his hat trick goal with 3:53 to play in the second before Iovanna finished the floury with his second of the game to cap off the second.

“We’re not finesse, we just get pucks to the net,” White said about the play of his linemates. “That’s how we score our goals.

“They were going hard to the corners, playing the body and then we try to hit each other in open space.”

Brendan Collier added MC’s seventh tally on the power play midway through the third before White netted his fourth of the night with 3:43 remaining with assists from Iovanna and Brendan White.

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.