Boston High School: Brian Cameron

Four-peat for Malden Catholic seniors

March, 16, 2014
BOSTON -- Imagine going all four years of high school without knowing what it’s like to lose the last game of the season. From the start of your career straight through to the end, the only experience is one of ultimate success.

For four Malden Catholic seniors -- Brian Cameron, Nick Rolli, Tyler Sifferlen and Pat Wrenn -- Sunday’s 5-3 win over Austin Prep at the TD Garden was the culmination of one of the most impressive stretches in the prestigious tournament’s history.

“It feels great to win another Super 8 championship,” said forward Tyler Sifferlen. “Being a leader of this team, my last year here, it’s good to go out with a win.”

Sifferlen’s Malden Catholic career has come full circle. He scored the opening goal in the overtime classic that the Lancers played against St. John’s Prep in his freshman year and he added the opener in this year’s final as well -- the third time that the UMass-Lowell commit has scored in four years.

He reflected, “It feels good scoring in the Garden especially, you know, NHL rink and it’s just unbelievable.”

Sifferlen added, “I’m just working hard and wouldn’t have done it without everyone on this team.”

The overtime win over Prep began the run for the Lancers and was followed by a victory over BC High and then wins over Austin Prep in each of the past two seasons.

Lancers head coach John McLean would not allow it to be called a dynasty.

He explained, “No … it’s a win and I don’t know what the records are we just try to win every game and get two points. It’s awesome, don’t get me wrong, but we just need to get ready for next season. We’ll enjoy it tonight and take some time off and see what we have for next year.”

It is only the second time that a team has won four Super 8 titles in a row (the other being Catholic Memorial from 1998-2001). Senior defenseman Nick Rolli credits the coaching staff for making the title a priority, and an expectation, every season and not allowing the team to feel satisfied with winning the title.

“Every year, the first practice of the year, the coaches stress how important we have to work to be able to get to this point and not just to get to this point but to win,” Rolli explained. “That’s our goal every year from the first day of training camp. To have it happen four years in a row is pretty special.”

Like his classmate, Rolli also got on the score sheet on Sunday afternoon. He assisted on the opening goal by Sifferlen and then got one of his own with a blast from the point in the second period.

“It meant the world to me…My last high school game and getting the chance to score and help my teammates win the game,” he said. “That’s what meant the most -- to help my team win.”

Taking the ice at the TD Garden and sharing the same sheet as the Bruins is a daunting experience for a high school player. As Rolli noted, “It’s a dream come true.” But, for the Lancers, playing at the Garden has become an expected occurrence and that experience allows them to overcome the nerves that come with playing in a final.

Rolli remarked, “I think being here a couple of times really helps and everybody just seemed to click together. We played here the first game of the Super 8 and that helped get the jitters out; it’s just another ice surface with more people.”

McLean admits the team will miss its two senior captains next year, but he noted that this is an opportunity for one of the younger players to step in and fill the void -- as Sifferlen and Rolli both had to during their careers.

“I’ve known these guys for a long time and it’s going to be tough to see them go,” McLean said. “They’re the leaders off ice, in the locker room, and on the ice and it’s going to be tough to replace those type of players. And the next guy is going to have to step up if we want to keep doing this.”

Reflecting on four title-filled years, Sifferlen had no problem picking out his favorite moment. He immediately highlighted the championship that the Lancers won for longtime head coach Chris Serino, who stepped away from the program in 2011-12 before passing away last fall from throat cancer.

“That was a big one and all these years have definitely been for him,” said Sifferlen.

Looking back on his four years at Malden Catholic, Rolli was having a hard time putting into perspective just how he felt about the accomplishments that have come his way.

He said, “My father took me here ever y year to the Super 8…and I’ve always dreamed of playing here and playing for Malden Catholic.”

“[The] best moment…[is] right now. Being a champion…I’m letting that sink in right now…great moment.”

Super 8: No. 2 Malden Catholic 6, No. 7 CM 4

March, 6, 2014

LOWELL, Mass. -- There are times when changing goaltenders can be the difference between victory and defeat.

That seemed to be the case when Malden Catholic and Catholic Memorial met Wednesday night.

Trailing by two goals early in the second period, MC coach John McLean pulled freshman goaltender Kyle Casey and inserted junior Alex Reissis. The Lancers turned their two-goal deficit into a one-goal lead by the end of the period, and went on to defeat CM 6-4 at the Tsongas Center.

The win gave second-seeded MC a two-game sweep in the Super 8 best-of-three quarterfinal-round series.

“We have two very good goalies,” McLean said. “You have to get by five guys to get a shot on net, so I don’t blame the goalies on any shot. Reissis came in and did what he had to do. I thought he did a great job.

“If need be I have the confidence to put Casey in any game in any situation.”

Junior forward Zach Sullivan scored twice for seventh-seeded Catholic Memorial (10-9-4). Both goals came during Catholic Memorial power plays. The Knights also received goals from sophomore defenseman Tim Weinstein and junior forward Anthony Panaggio.

Senior left wing Tyler Sifferlen and senior right wing Brian Cameron each scored twice for MC (18-4-0). Sifferlen’s second goal came with 1.8 seconds remaining in the second period while the teams were skating four-on-four. The goal handed MC a 5-4 lead.

Junior defenseman John McLean and sophomore center Matt Filipe also scored for MC, which has won the last three Super 8 tournaments. Filipe’s goal came while MC was short-handed and made it a 4-4 contest.

MC outshot CM, 40-16.

“I’m proud of the kids, McLean said. “They worked hard tonight. We accomplished what we wanted to accomplish.”

Up next: MC will play either third-seeded Springfield Cathedral (16-2-5) or sixth-seeded Duxbury (16-3-3) in the tournament’s semifinals, which will be held March 12. Cathedral and Duxbury will play the second game of their best-of-three series Thursday night (6 p.m.) at Tsongas Arena.

Cathedral won the opener, 4-1.

Cathedral beat MC, 5-2, during the regular season. Duxbury and MC have not met this season.

“We haven’t seen Duxbury yet, but if we play Cathedral we know what we’re getting since we played them out in Springfield,” Filipe said. “All the boys are amped up.”

Net assets: Reissis, an Arlington resident, entered the tournament with a 2.09 goals-against average and a .901 save percentage in 11 games. He made 21 saves when MC beat CM in the series opener.

Casey, who lives in Boxford, entered Wednesday’s contest began with a 2.22 goals-against average and an .880 save percentage in nine games.

“We didn’t give Kyle much support, so you can’t put the blame on him,” Filipe said. “We just tightened up in the D zone when (Reissis) got in there.”

Recap: No. 1 Malden Catholic 11, No. 3 CM 0

February, 15, 2014

MALDEN, Mass. -- Since Catholic Memorial defeated Malden Catholic, 5-3, last month, the two teams have been heading in opposite directions.

That fact was perhaps never more apparent than Friday night at the Valley Forum when the Lancers skated away with an 11-0 triumph over the Knights.

Since the loss to CM last month, Malden Catholic has reeled off six consecutive victories, allowing just two goals over the last four games.

“It’s huge,” said sophomore forward Matt Filipe of his team’s recent momentum. “We had that loss to CM a few weeks ago and after that game we started playing really well.”

John McLean’s Lancers were firing on all cylinders Friday night as they jumped out to a 6-0 lead after one period.

Filipe had a hat trick in the opening period to blow the doors off the contest.

“He’s a man child,” said McLean of his second line pivot who recently committed to Northeastern. “He’s a monster. He’s not afraid to go to the net and that’s what it takes. He can skate. He’s big and strong. When he cuts to the net he uses his size and is not afraid to go there. He’s been that way since was a Mite.”

“It was a good first period and it was an overall good win for the seniors,” said a humble and well-spoken Filipe of his team’s final home game of the season.

McLean was pleased that his team did not let its foot off the pedal and continued pushing hard all game, including two quick goals to start the second period after such a strong first period.

“When the score gets like that guys tend to care more about points than playing team hockey,” McLean said. “We calmed them down, got back to our systems and things were fine after that.”

UNH recruit and Mr. Hockey hopeful Ara Nazarian had a pair of goals, but it was also a good night for some of the secondary scorers who found some added confidence by finding the back of the net. Jack Adams, Patrick Wrenn and Brian Cameron all scored in the lopsided affair.

On the other hand, Catholic Memorial has struggled since the meeting last month, going 1-4-1 in the six games following, including two consecutive blowout losses this week.

Bill Hanson’s team was shut out, 6-0, by BC High on Wednesday.

Catholic Memorial is still a team that will be heard from come tournament time, and will be dangerous, especially with a veteran head coach and a goaltender in Brandon Collett, who could get hot and steal a few games.

“CM was off tonight,” McLean said. “They are a good team and have a good coaching staff. It’s one of those things that happens once in a while. They’re a good team and they’ll be there in the playoffs. We’ll have to worry about them if we play them.”

The Knights will have a chance to bounce back on Monday facing fellow Super 8 hopeful Central Catholic.

McLean, the always business-like bench boss of MC, refused to think further ahead than his team’s next contest against Marshfield on Monday.

“We have to get ready for Marshfield on Monday,” he said. “We’re playing in a barn these kids have never played in. We have to beat Marshfield first so we’ll start training for them. We’ll worry about the Super 8 when the seedings come out.”

Following that the Lancers will face St. Mary’s in the first round of the Springfield Cathedral High School Tournament before playing either Cathedral or Needham in the second round.

Then it will be off to the Super 8 where MC will likely be a one or two seed in the tournament they have captured three consecutive years.

“We’re going for that number one seed,” said Filipe.

Recap: No. 2 MC 3, No. 9 St. John's Prep 1

December, 31, 2013

BOSTON – Outdoor hockey, by its nature, is unlike its counterpart played in the somewhat friendly confines of the rink. And so Saturday’s participants in a high school triple-header at Frozen Fenway had to adjust on the fly.

Take the case of Malden Catholic senior forward Brian Cameron.

“The puck, it’s bouncing all over the place like a bouncy ball,” the Wakefield resident said.

Cameron and his teammates not only had to adjust to corralling the puck on a sometimes uneven surface, it altered the way the No. 2 Lancers approached their Catholic Conference-opener against No. 9 St. John’s Prep — the day’s final and marquee matchup.

MC head coach John McLean implored his team to begin throwing pucks to the net, after a sluggish start in which neither team registered a shot-on-goal through four minutes of play. The emphasis was headed as the Lancers emerged with a 3-1 victory, thanks for a late second-period goal from Cameron.

“I think it was Jack Adams that threw it to the front of the net,” McLean said of Cameron’s goal with five seconds to play in the second. “We told them, I don’t know if it was intended that way [as a pass], but you go to the net and the puck will get there. To get that with five seconds left was huge for us.”

The Lancers (5-0-0, 1-0-0 Catholic) staked a 1-0 lead at 10:58 on Austin Goldstein’s tally off an expiring MC penalty kill.

That’s the way it stood until the Lancers set up shop in the Eagles’ zone at the tail end of the second.

“Pat [Wrenn] had an awesome faceoff right back to me, we were trying to get it on the net. And Jack [Adams] worked hard down low,” Cameron said of the lead-up to his eventual game-winner. “I don’t even know if he saw anybody out front there, but he made a great pass.”

That made the finish easy for Cameron, who was camped out on the far-side post, beside Eagles freshman netminder Zach Laramie. He tipped home the tape-to-tape saucer into an awning net for the 2-0 advantage.

St. John’s Prep (3-2-0, 0-2-0) whittled the lead back to a goal at 3:08 of the third with Ted McNamara burying Jimmy Currier’s feed.

However, the Lancers quickly volleyed back as senior Jared Silva — who’d taken Cameron’s shifts after he left the game with an ankle injury—scored the answered goal less than three minutes later.

“Brian [Cameron] hurt his ankle, so Jared [Silva] stepped right in and popped one in which is great for us,” McLean said. “We have those guys that are waiting. We’re pretty deep, so we were extremely happy for him.”

Swingin’ for the fences: Despite leaving the game on a stretcher in the third period, Cameron was in good spirits postgame, having left an indelible mark on the game.

Cameron marked his goal with a celebration in homage to the day’s setting, using his stick as part of a home-run swing. While McLean wasn’t thrilled by his player’s histrionics, it befit the moment.

“It’s something you dream about, playing at Fenway and scoring the game-winning goal,” Cameron said, in a near mixed metaphor.

The game was a mere backdrop to the pageantry of the day. The Lancers dressed in the Red Sox clubhouse and, along with the Eagles, wore special-design sweaters for the occasion — with MC’s taking a nod to the game-day blues the “Blue Blades” wore for the 1949 season.

“Coming in here, being the Red Sox locker room, their jerseys were already set up by the time they got here,” McLean said. “It was a special day.”

Enough to fight off the biting cold and a bum wheel.

“The goal definitely helps the pain in my ankle,” Cameron said.
FRANKLIN, Mass. – Malden Catholic hockey is accustomed to taking the best shot from their opponents, and Franklin brought it through the first period of Friday night’s tilt at Pirelli Veterans Rink.

The Panthers, who are making the jump to the Division 1 ranks this season, but played against the Lancers as an exclusionary game, came out with jump and the team defense in front of senior goaltender Devon Maloof held.

Yet, after scoring his first of three goals with seconds remaining in the first, Lancers sophomore center Matt Filipe got his team untracked, setting off a five-goal barrage in the second period of a 7-2 win over the No. 23 Panthers.

Through two games, No. 2 MC has now scored 15 goals.

Here’s more from tonight non-league game:

On point: Filipe already has six points through two games on the heels of his hat trick Friday. Perhaps none of his goals was more impressive than his power-play tally at 11:13 of the second.

Filipe gave the Lancers (2-0-0) a 5-1 lead after winning an attack zone faceoff through his opponents’ legs and then worked his way toward the crease, finishing on the backhand after sweeping across the paint.

Along with a two-goal game from senior Brian Cameron, Filipe provided the spark after a lack-luster start for the three-time defending Super 8 champions.

“He’s a man playing with boys now, which is scary,” Lancers head coach John McLean said of Filipe.

McLean credited his hot start as the result of an increased offseason commitment.

“Last year, he was a freshman, and you could see it. But all of a sudden this year … He lifts four days a week, he eats right, he trains right, goes to bed and it’s showing,” McLean said.

Filipe wasn’t the only of MC’s young guns to make an impression against Franklin. Freshman goaltender Kyle Casey stopped 22 shots to notch his first varsity win.

“The forwards weren’t mentally ready to go at the start,” McLean said, “but I thought the defensemen were good and Kyle Casey, freshman goaltender, made some key saves to keep them off the scoreboard.”

Blue-line depth: Both teams had to see good things from their defenseman.

For MC, Nick Rolli and John McLean are entrenched veterans. But the Lancers’ top four has rounded out nicely with Chris Hopkins and Will Lawrence making contributions Friday. Lancers freshman blue-liner Matthew Yianacopolus is one to watch for the future as well.

However, the Panthers matched MC’s “D” stride for stride in the first, with a commitment to playing within their system.

“With a team like that, it’s not the guy with the puck that’s going to beat you, it’s the second or the third guy,” Franklin head coach Chris Spillane said. “We talked about that, we practiced that. We did that well in the first period. Everybody stayed home. We were playing the puck, playing aggressively and making them work for their space.”

Franklin (1-1-0) has veteran leadership on the back line from senior captain Kyle Powers. Juniors Kyle Filbert and Mason Saunders showed good instincts, particularly in the first period, when the Panthers effectively snuffed out MC’s up-tempo transition game through the neutral zone.

However, that changed in the fateful second.

“I think the bigger, stronger, better conditioned kids showed themselves in the second period,” Spillane said. “We had a couple of goals where we couldn’t finish and every puck battle, they won.”

Recap: No. 9 Malden Catholic 4, No. 4 CM 3

January, 27, 2013

BOSTON -- When Ringo Starr sang “It Don’t Come Easy” all those years ago, he mind as well have been musing about No. 9 Malden Catholic’s fortunes of late. Entering Saturday night’s Catholic Conference showdown with No. 4 Catholic Memorial at Walter Brown Arena, the Lancers were on an uncharacteristic three-game losing streak.

But, for a change, MC played with the lead against the Knights, building a four-goal cushion by early in the third period. Still, the Lancers had to sweat it out, as CM countered for three late goals.

Yet, MC paid its dues and held on for a 4-3 win and two critical points, as the Lancers moved back to .500 at 5-5-3.

“We’ve had a rough couple of games,” junior forward Brian Cameron said. “We just wanted to work hard. We just wanted to get it over the red line, get it in, get in with the forecheckers with two guys staying high and then work from the dirty areas and get pucks to the night. That’s what we did tonight.”

The Lancers (1-4-2 Catholic Conference) amassed their lead with contributions coming throughout their forward lines.

Ara Nazarian put MC in the rare position of playing with the lead, potting his 13th goal of the season at 9:41 of the first, set up on Nick Rolli’s outlet pass.

The Lancers extended their lead in the second with Cameron’s first goal on the year, with Austin Goldstein and Will Lawrence picking up helpers.

And they seemed to all but snuff out CM’s comeback hopes with two early goals in the third. Cam Ferry marked his return to the lineup after being held out with a concussion with a goal at 2:44 of the third. Less than a minute later, Lancers captain Mike Iovanna scored what would prove to be the game-winner with a tip-in of point shot from John McLean III.

Then, midway through the third, it all changed.

“The problem is that we’re not used to playing with the lead,” MC head coach John McLean Jr. said. “I don’t think we’ve ever had a lead this year like that [four goals]. We made some mental mistakes that we didn’t make in the first two-plus periods.”

John Maher broke up the shutout bid of Lancers goaltender Alex Reissis (17 saves) at 7:11 of the third. CM freshman defenseman Frank Cosolito then drew the Knights within two goals with his first career goal. Less than a minute later, Liam Coughlin made it a one-goal game with his 22nd goal of the season, with assists from Sean Heelan and Cosolito.

CM (8-4-2, 2-3-0) played with an empty net for the final 48 seconds, but was unable to get a shot on goal despite having an attack zone faceoff.

Now, as the Lancers mount their late push toward a playoff berth, it’s all a matter of what the reigning Super 8 champions do with the momentum.

“We just need to keep rolling,” Cameron said. “Our ultimate goal is to make it to the Super 8 and this was a huge win for us, a Catholic Conference win.”

In recent weeks, John McLean Jr. has referenced the Lancers being “too cute” with their play. As a result, MC made a concerted effort to get back to basics in practice this week, coming off of Tuesday’s loss to St. John’s Prep.

The difference was evident.

“I thought we had a good three, four days [of practice] with everybody back,” McLean said. “We got back to doing the basic things. We got to the red line, we dumped it in and we did the dirty work. Tonight, we didn’t score on rushes, it was all about getting it deep, and working hard and grinding them.”

Similarly, CM has been mired in a bit of a recent scoring slump. The Knights (0-3-2 in their last five) are now winless since their 7-4 win over MC in the teams’ first meeting on Jan. 8; and they’d been held to just five goals in their last four games entering Saturday’s action.

So, while falling short of breaking their losing skid, there were positives to be gleaned from the Knights’ three-goal, third-period outburst.

“We’re in a five-game, I don’t want to call it a tailspin because we haven’t played badly, but we’re in a stretch where it’s not going in the net for us,” CM head coach Bill Hanson said. “We needed something like that third period to happen, for a little infusion of confidence, for us to say, ‘Hey, this is what we are.’”

ALLSTON, Mass. –- There’s no mystery that a great part of Malden Catholic hockey’s recent success can be attributed to some very talented top lines. The two-time defending Super 8 champion Lancers still have perhaps the state’s best line in Mike Iovanna, Ara Nazarian and Tyler Sifferlen returning for the 2012-13 season, but the question heading into this season is where else they’d find goals.

If Saturday’s 5-1 victory over New Jersey powerhouse Delbarton School is any indication, the Lancers might just have the depth in store to think about a three peat. MC (1-0-0) got contributions from throughout its ranks, particularly its second line of Brian Cameron, Cameron Ferry and Pat Wrenn, in a sound win over the Green Wave in the teams’ annual early season meeting.

“We’re just trying to work all four lines, trying to get as much chemistry as possible, get going and get as many goals early as we can,” said Wrenn, a junior center.

The teams engaged in a tightly checked first period, but the Lancers took a 1-0 lead to room for the first intermission after Cameron worked the end boards and sent a pretty back-handed pass to the slot onto the tape of Wrenn’s stick.

MC opened things up during a three-goal onslaught in the second. Defenseman John McLean’s blue-line blast gave the Lancers a two-goal cushion at 3:15 of the second. Then, Wrenn added his second of the game at 10:55. Ferry capped the outburst with a Lemieux-like bank shot from a steep angle at 13:51.

“Everyone was feeling jitters a little bit,” Wrenn said. “We started hitting our stride more [in the second period] and started playing more as a team.”

Delbarton broke up Connor Maloney’s shutout bid with M.J. Mellilo’s goal with 3:28 remaining in the game. While Delbarton’s defense did its best to limit the quality scoring chances of the Lancers’ top line, Iovanna rounded out scoring with a rising wrister with 32.9 seconds to play.

MC head coach John McLean Sr. talked about the expectation he has for the Lancers’ second line filling some of the scoring void this season.

While it didn’t start the way he’d envisioned, McLean was pleased with the group’s overall effort. In total, MC’s second line combined for three goals and two assists on the evening.

“I expect that from them,” McLean said. “They’re two juniors and a senior and they’re going to have to play that way.

“The first couple of shifts, they just didn’t click. But after we had some words, they turned it around. We can’t have one line, that doesn’t work. Then I thought they played great. [Wrenn] was flying around, doing all the dirty work and I really like his game tonight.”

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.