Boston High School: Chris Stathopoulos

No. 8 CM skates to tie with Mount St. Charles

February, 16, 2011
WOONSOCKET, R.I. -- A late goal in the third period from junior forward Chris Stathopoulous helped No. 8 Catholic Memorial come away from Adelard Arena with a 3-3 tie with Rhode Island powerhouse Mount Saint Charles Wednesday afternoon.

With the tie, CM (7-7-2) now needs four points from its final four games to qualify for the Massachusetts Super Eight state tournament.

“I said to my kids that we had to come out and try to steal a point down here,” CM head coach Bill Hanson said. “We played awfully well that second period. That was huge for us tonight.”

On the tying goal, it was a poke check that started the play in motion. Before the puck could clear the zone, junior defenseman Jared Beckwith stretched with his stick at the blue line in front of the Mount bench to keep it in the offensive end. He dumped the puck into the zone to Kevin McCarthy, who found Liam Coughlin behind the net. Coughlin fed a perfect pass to Stathopoulous, who beat Mount goalie Dan Foster to the blocker side with 4:26 left on the clock.

“In this rink here, we didn’t play well along the wall,” Hanson said. “It was [get the] puck along the wall, chip, set up battles and get bounces. We got a bounce there.”

“Their good forecheck created a turnover and we left a man open,” said Mount co-coach Dave Belisle. “It was a bang-bang play and our goalie had no chance. When you turn the puck over in your own end on the break out, with guys skating one way away from the net, it was a quick turnover, they made a nice pass out front and [Stathopoulous] didn’t even hesitate, he just buried it.”

Mount (19-1-1) got on the board just 51 seconds into the game when senior Alexander Erban took a pass from Shamus Maloney and easily beat CM keeper Shane Starrett to the far side for a 1-0 lead.

CM tied the game at the 2:02 mark when Coughlin beat Foster off a nice feed from McCarthy. But the Mounties were able to take the lead right back just 34 seconds later when Michael Magerman fired a shot on net that Starrett stopped with his pad, but the rebound went right to the stick of Zachary Samborsky, who buried the shot into the back of the net for a 2-1 advantage.

In the second period, play was slow for both teams, although Catholic Memorial did carry the offensive play for the early portion. But the Mount was able to extend its lead at the 11:11 mark when Magerman won the faceoff draw to Trevor Plante, who slipped a pass to Samborsky in the slot. Samborsky buried his shot between Starrett’s legs for a 3-1 advantage.

The Knights didn’t waste any time getting that goal back, as Stathopoulous took a feed from Coughlin and beat Foster to the near side at the 11:18 mark, making it a one-goal game heading into the final period.

Mount carried the play for the better part of the third period, coming up with a number of quality scoring chances, even hitting the post on a shot from Callan Morisseau midway through the period. But Starrett turned away each opportunity, and CM rewarded that with the tying goal at the 10:34 mark.

This was the final nonleague contest for Mount Saint Charles, who finished 5-0-1 against some of the top teams from around New England and the East Coast. Belisle and his staff, which includes his father, legendary head coach Bill Belisle, hopes his team is able to use the experience of the game with CM to prepare it for another run at a state title.

“It’s a great non-league schedule and to accomplish what we did, I am very, very pleased with the effort of the boys,” Dave Belisle said. “It was a great year for the non-league, now we’ve got to finish the regular season and think about the playoffs. But this game is something that will get us working toward the playoffs.”

With the tie, CM now must get four points in its final four games to secure a coveted spot in the Super Eight. The Knights are back in action at Walter Brown Arena against another R.I. Catholic power, Bishop Hendricken, on Saturday night before travelling to Connecticut to face that state’s top team, Fairfield Prep, on Wednesday.

“We’re in desperation mode,” Hanson said. “We need to win these games and get points. We’ll be at our best, hopefully. To get a point from [Mount], they are just as good as any of those teams [left on CM’s schedule], if not better.”

Coming in, many people had been looking forward to the matchup of the two goalies from the respective teams. But CM started sophomore Shane Starrett over senior Tommy Knox, based on recent play. Starrett was in net for the team’s only point in the last two weeks, a 1-1 tie with No. 1 Malden Catholic. So Hanson started the sophomore, who is from Bellingham, just down the street from Mount’s home rink.

“[Starrett] has played very, very well for us,” Hanson said. “[Starrett] is a heck of a goaltender, and he’s only a sophomore. He stole a point for us against Malden Catholic and had a great game against St. John’s Prep earlier last week. He can play.”

After the game, Hanson said Starrett would be in net Saturday night against Bishop Hendricken.

The Starrett name should be familiar to fans of the Knights and of hockey in the region. His older brother, Peter, is playing at Harvard and had a couple of assists in a win over Boston University in the Beanpot consolation game Monday night; Troy is a freshman at Babson; and younger brother Beau is a freshman forward for CM.

While it isn’t official, the Mounties should be the top seed in the Division I playoffs when they start March 4. Mount is the defending champions and is seeking the 42nd state title banner in school history. This year, with eight teams making the playoffs in the top division, MSC will have to play in the quarterfinals against the No. 8 seed. In the past, the top seed was given a bye into the semifinals.

The state championship, a best-of-three series, is scheduled for Schneider Arena at Providence College on March 16, 18 and 19.

Mount Saint Charles 3, Catholic Memorial 3

First period: MSC Erban [19] (Maloney) :51, CM Coughlin [9] (McCarthy, Beckwith) 2:02, MSC Samborsky [19] (Magerman) 2:36. Penalties: MSC (Magerman, unsportsmanlike conduct, 2:00).

Second period: MSC Samborsky [20] (Plante, Magerman) 11:11, CM Stathopoulous [9] (Coughlin), 11:18. No penalties.

Third period: CM Stathopoulous [10] (Coughlin, McCarthy) 10:34. No penalties.

Power play: CM 0-1, MSC 0-0.

Goaltenders (saves/shots): MSC Foster 27/30, CM Starret (26/29).

Stathopoulos carries No. 5 CM over Hawks

January, 26, 2011

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Make no mistake about it, No. 5 Catholic Memorial’s 5-2 win over Catholic Conference rival Xaverian Tuesday night wasn’t a one-man show. Even though, at times, it may have appeared as such.

Chris Stathopoulos’ four-goal outburst helped the Knights out of an early 2-0 hole. Three of his goals were of the unassisted variety. But it wasn’t just Stathopoulos who led CM to victory. A persistent forecheck, some clutch penalty kills and the consistent play of Stathopoulos and linemates Tom Barrett and Kevin McCarthy were the driving force behind a crucial midseason victory.

“We just came out and played hard,” Stathopoulos said. “It’s not an individual effort, it’s a team effort. So I went out there with the boys and we got shots on net and we put it in the net.”

The fourth-ranked Hawks responded to head coach David Spinale’s call to carry play early in game with two goals within the first two minutes of play.

Xaverian (7-2-1, 2-1-0) scored on two of its first three shots on goal. Greg McWade was on the finishing end of some pretty transition, taking Billy Hildebrand’s feed and beating Knights netminder Shane Starrett (17 saves) stick side. Ryan Hall followed less than a minute later, banging home a rebound from the top of the crease off of Jason Salvaggio’s shot.

CM (7-5-0, 2-2-0) also scored on its first shot of the game, answering with Stathopoulos’ first marker of the evening 2:43 in.

After a fast start, neither team could find the net – despite some golden opportunities for the Knights to tie the game – until the nine-minute mark of the second period, when Barrett scored with assists from McCarthy and Stathopoulos.

“That line has really played terrific and they’ve carried for two games,” CM head coach Bill Hanson said of his second line.

As in the teams’ first meeting of the season, a 3-2 Xaverian win, Hawks goaltender Dave Michaels (32 saves) was again strong in net. But that didn’t stop Stathopoulos from taking over the third period, when he netted even-strength, short-handed and empty-net goals.

However, Hanson was most pleased with his team’s effort with a man-down in the third. He’s self-admittedly changed philosophy, allowing his team to play more aggressive on the penalty kill to take advantage of his team’s athleticism. The changes paid off with three successful kills within a five-minute span midway through the third.

“I thought we beat ourselves,” Hawks head coach Dave Spinale said. “On that fourth goal, we were on the power play. We turned it over and then we came back in our end and gave up a softy. We didn’t have poise, we didn’t have composure.”

Hanson labeled the game a “must-win” for the Knights, noting his team can match No. 2 Malden Catholic in the win column in the Catholic Conference standings with a victory over the Lancers on Saturday (2 p.m. at Walter Brown).

And while one player might have shouldered the load during last night’s test, the most encouraging sign was effort starting with his second line and permeating the roster — something Hanson knows is paramount if the Knights are to make a deep postseason run.

“I told the kids, just because one guy scored four goals, that doesn’t mean that he won the game,” Hanson said. “The whole team played terrific.”

No. 3 CM avenges '10, knocks off No. 2 Hingham

January, 8, 2011

BOSTON -- You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but there is nothing stopping the old pup from showing you a thing or two.

In a rematch of last year’s Super Eight championship, No. 3 Catholic Memorial avenged their title defeat with a 4-2 win over defending champion, No. 2 Hingham, at the Walter Brown Arena on the campus of Boston University.

The Knights are the kings of the Super Eight with 13 titles in all, their last coming in 2009. But the Harbormen stunned CM, 1-0, in last season’s finale preventing the Knights from back-to-back championships for the first time since they won three in a row in 2003-05. The win was the Harbormen’s first banner and was also only the second Division 1A crown for a public school in the history of the tournament (Reading, 2008).

But this time, the Knights showed they are back to lay claim to the top spot, as junior Cody Kingston’s goal 3:47 into the third period proved to be the game-winner in a game Catholic Memorial never trailed. If there was any sort of revenge factor, Catholic Memorial head coach Bill Hanson was not letting anyone in on that secret.

“Last year was last year, so (Hingham) have a Super Eight trophy at their school, but this is 2010-11 and no one has that trophy yet,” said Hanson.

Previously-unbeaten Hingham (4-1-3) controlled the first period, out shooting Catholic Memorial 11-5, and finding numerous scoring chances, as the Knights’ defense allowed the Harbormen to roam the slot and pick apart their blue line setup. Both teams, however, headed to the lockers without a tally.

After the scoreless first period, the Knights (5-3) finally broke through on a tip-in goal off the stick of junior forward Thomas Stanton at the 10:47 mark of the second. Sophomore defenseman Justin Ryder fired the puck from the left point, and Stanton had a perfect re-direct to beat Harbormen’s goaltender Derek McInnis (14 saves).

The lead didn’t last very long, as Hingham lit the lamp 2:42 later on a power play goal, courtesy of the Knights' third penalty of the second period alone. A tripping call on Stanton allowed Tim Driscoll, who had a goal and an assist, to punch home a rebound fired on net by fellow senior Marc Hetnik and the Harbormen were right back in the game.

But with only 40 seconds left in the period, sophomore Jack O’Hear gave the Knights a 2-1 lead on an assist from his brother, senior assistant captain Dan O’Hear (two assists).

“In the second (period) we adjust, in the third we adjust, and like I’ve told you guys before we just get better and better,” Hanson said about his team’s penchant for shutting teams down as the game progresses. “(We) were handling the puck better, made real good athletic plays, and we were opportunistic.”

No more so then in the beginning of the third period, when some great forechecking by senior Chris Stathopoulous on senior Jared Robichaud forced a loose puck out in front of McInnis and Kingston flipped the turnover into the Knights’ third goal of the game, a backhand tally right through McInnis’ five-hole.

“Kind of unfortunate, (Robichaud) was in the right spot down low, and we wanted him to center it,” Hingham head coach Tony Messina said. “He picked up the puck and made the wrong move to the center of the net -- unfortunately a good team like (Catholic Memorial) takes advantage of those mistakes.”

Said Hanson: “That’s (all) Stathopoulous and (Miles) McCarthy and they work so well below the faceoff dots. Cody just made a quick release, got rid of the puck, just got it to the goal, and I think that’s one (Hingham) might want to have back.”

Hingham was not finished, though, as Austin O’Connor cut the deficit in half when Driscoll’s blast rang the left post and went behind Knights’ goaltender Tommy Knox (17 saves) to the waiting stick of O’Connor, who was sitting on the right post for the easy tap-in poke.

But senior Dan Griffin picked up an untimely contact-to- the-head penalty with 2:45 remaining in regulation which ruined any momentum for Hingham to tie it up before the final horn and allowed Hetnik to double up the score on the power play with 2:11 left to play.

“Obviously you can’t take penalties in a game like this, especially a senior, we are going to learn from it,” said Messina. “Hopefully we will see (CM) sometime down in the future.”

HIN(4-1-3) 0 – 1 – 1 - - 2
CM (5-3-0) 0 – 2 – 2 - - 4

FIRST – None.
SECOND - CM – Thomas Stanton (Justin Ryder, Tom Barrett), 10:47; HI – Tim Driscoll (Marc Hetnik, Ryan Linehan), 13:17 (pp); CM - Jack O’Hear (Dan O’Hear), 14:20.
THIRD – CM – Cody Kingston (Chris Stathopoulous), 3:47; HI – Austin O’Connor (Driscoll, Alex Pompeo), 8:33; CM – Hetnik (Jack O’Hear, Dan O’Hear), 12:49

CM – Tommy Knox (17)
HI – Derek McInnis (14)