Boston High School: Chris Stathopoulous

No. 1 Malden Catholic finishes No. 2 CM

January, 12, 2011
1/12/11
2:39
AM ET


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Player Diary: CM's Tommy Knox

January, 4, 2011
1/04/11
11:27
PM ET
Editor's note: Catholic Memorial senior goaltender Tommy Knox checks in with his first Player Diary installment of the hockey season with a recap of the Knights' early-season exploits and a look ahead.

This season for Catholic Memorial is filled with a lot of new faces who are led by a solid group of returning players. We are a relatively young team and are depending on some of the younger players to step up and contribute. Our team does not need much more motivation then the wise words of Coach Hanson.

The team this year is looking to accomplish the ultimate goal of every team in Massachusetts, win the state title and bragging rights for the year. To do that we need to accomplish some minor goals along the way. We need to take the season day by day and get better each time we take the ice. Whether it is a practice or game day, we need to come out competing harder and playing smarter than we did the day before. Another goal of ours would be to win the Catholic Conference, as we have done in the past. To accomplish these goals we need to have strong performances all year by our seniors like Marc Hetnik, Danny O’Hear, and Chris Stathopoulous mixed in with underclassman Liam Coughlin and Jack O’Hear.

For me, personally, I would like to accomplish one single goal: to be able to play well enough to allow my team to compete night in and night out. This will only give my teammates more confidence in my playing style and allow them to get better. Hopefully, that will lead me to play at the next level in hockey, while also opening a few eyes in the hockey world.

So far this season, we have gotten out to a good start playing a difficult schedule. We battled against an always strong Delbarton (New Jersey) team, but unfortunately came up short. We came back strong though later in the schedule to put together three very convincing wins against Central Catholic, Thayer Academy, and BC High. Once this CM team begins to push the rock uphill, it will be very hard to step in our path and at this rate we will be a very hard team to play against come late February and early March.

Passing thoughts: CM vs. Needham

December, 18, 2010
12/18/10
4:55
PM ET
BOSTON, Mass. -- It was an early season rematch for two of last year's Super 8 entrants when No. 3 Catholic Memorial and No. 12 Needham faced off at Walter Brown Arena on Saturday.

The Knights took a 4-1 victory on the strength of a hat trick from sophomore Liam Coughlin. The center, who played for the Walpole Express last season, scored the final three goals of the game, including a game-clinching empty-netter in the waning seconds of the third.

Knights senior assistant captain Dan O'Hear also logged a mutli-point game, scoring CM's first goal of the game and setting up Coughlin's first tally -- what would prove to be the game-winner -- in the second period for a 2-1 CM lead. O'Hear feathered a tape-to-tape pass across the goal mouth to Coughlin, who banked the pass home behind Needham goaltender Connor Murray (24 saves).

Coughlin struck again 8:39 into the second period before capping the hat trick with an empty-netter that came as CM (1-1-0) was shorthanded. The rangy forward also set up O'Hear's goal for a four-point game.

Tommy Knox stopped 28 shots to earn in the win in goal.

Needham (1-1-0) got its lone goal in the first period when D.J. Walsh tipped in defenseman Corey Hood's shot from the point to tie the game, 1-1.

Here's a couple of passing thoughts from the non-league battle:
  • After CM's season-opening loss to LaSalle Academy in Providence, Hanson ran his team hard through practice this week, stressing a full 45-minute effort. "We went for 45 minutes today, that's for sure. That's what we have to do to win. We have to be hard to play against and our go-to guys have go to get it done."
  • With only one defenseman returning from last year's squad -- senior captain Marc Hetnik -- CM was left a little green on the blue line. In an effort to get a little experience on the back line, Hanson moved forward Chris Stathopoulous to defense and is playing beside Hetnik on the Knights' top pairing. The inspiration to move the smooth-skater back to the blue line came from Stathopoulous' experience on CM's lacrosse team. He's a longstick defender in lax, so Hanson thought, why not in hockey, too? "The way his physical skills are, he can skate, shoot, why not move him back to defense? He's got that acumen." The transition has been hasty, however. "He only really has two weeks of coaching back there," Hanson said, "but he gets better every day." Yet, if Saturday's sampling is any indication, the Knights may have found a dependable component to their D. It's not the first time Hanson's tried it either. Hetnik also first played as a forward at CM before making the switch.
  • Needham head coach Bill Guisti has the benefit of having seven seniors on this year's roster and he's been encouraged by their play early on. Guisti said forward Sam Nickles and Scott Atkinson, both seniors, have been among his most consistent players through preseason and the Rockets' early games. Nickles seemed to have the puck firmly attached to his stick throughout and had several quality chances. Atkinson exhibited good vision and the ability to transition the puck out of his defensive end. "He rarely makes a mistake," Guisti said of Atkinson. In addition to senior captains Chris Joyce -- whom Guisti believes should be the best D-man in the Bay State Conference this year -- and Tom Coleman, Needham has an experienced nucleus. "We've got to take it one game at a time and we've got Wellesley next," Guisti said. "So that will be a good challenge, but it would've been nice to get out of here with a win."

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