Boston High School: Devin Murray
March, 14, 2011
LOWELL, Mass. -- On paper, St. John’s Prep’s tussle with old Catholic Conference rival BC High came down to being nothing more than a statement game. Both teams already were set to advance to the crossover round of the Super Eight tournament before Sunday’s final pool play game at the Tsongas Center.
In reality, it turned into just that with Prep making a resounding statement on the ice, skating away with a 6-1 win and beating their Catholic rivals for the third time this season.
“Coming into tonight, we certainly didn’t think tonight would be an easy victory, number three,” Prep head coach Kristian Hanson said. “I think in the first game they outplayed us and we won. We’ve just done a better job of capitalizing, but opportunity-wise it’s been pretty equal.”
Prep also finished pool play with a perfect 3-0 record and will draw Weymouth in Wednesday’s crossover round. Meanwhile, BC High fell to 2-1 on the tournament and will face off against Malden Catholic in the crossover at Merrimack College.
BC High hadn’t surrendered a goal in tournament play, but Prep quickly eviscerated that memory, scoring twice in the first 30 seconds of play and three times during the first 1:37.
However, it was also a balanced Prep attack. Eleven different players made the scoresheet with three players finishing with multipoint games. Senior captain Colin Blackwell (1G, 2A) and freshman sensation Shane Eiserman (1G, 2A) each had three-point games while rangy winger Sam Kurker checked in with a goal and an assist.
Blackwell got the hit parade started with a goal just 10 seconds in and Devin Murray followed up with another marker just 30 seconds later. John Farrow followed one minute later for an instant 3-0 Prep lead.
“I don’t know what happened,” BC High head coach John Flaherty said of his team’s tumultuous start. “That’s my fault though, a coach has to get his team ready to play and that rests on me.”
Eiserman capped the first period offensive explosion on a breakaway with 25.5 seconds remaining.
BC High finally jumped on the board 4:35 into the second with a goal by Terence Durkin.
The third period saw more of the same from Prep with Kurker scoring short-handed off a 3-on-1 break, collecting a rebound from Eiserman's shot and depositing it into the net for a 5-1 lead with 6:33 to play.
Prep rounded out scoring with 4:41 remaining with Derek Palm's tally from Matt West and Tyler Bird.
March, 9, 2011
NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. –- Entering their second Super Eight playoff game, St. John’s Prep captain Colin Blackwell and his teammates knew they hadn’t yet played their best hockey.
“That first game is always the biggest, but there are no excuses after that,” the Harvard commit said.
The Eagles’ second effort was bit more convincing than their first, taking a 5-1 win over sixth-seeded Needham Tuesday night at Merrimack College’s Lawler Arena.
Still, Prep head coach Kristian Hanson wasn’t leading on that his team had just won a crucial tournament test and improved to 2-0 in Super Eight play while sending the Rockets to their second tournament defeat.
“I don’t know how to say it, but I don’t think we played especially well,” Hanson said.
Regardless of the Eagles’ level of play, what was without question was the offensive output of Prep’s first line. Freshman Shane Eiserman (2G, 1A) and Blackwell (1G, 2A) each had three-point games. Winger John Farrow also continued his strong Super Eight play with a pair of assists.
Prep carried play almost exclusively throughout the first period, outshooting Needham, 10-4. Yet, the Eagles could only sneak one past Rockets goaltender Connor Murray (19 saves).
It looked as though that’s the way it would stand when the teams took to the dressing rooms, however, Eagles defenseman put a cannon shot on goal with next to no time remaining on the clock. The puck blazed past Murray and shot back out of the net as time expired, leaving the Rockets and most in attendance dumb-founded. The official pointed to center ice and Prep skated away with a 2-0 lead.
Earlier in the period, Eiserman collected the Eagles’ first goal, tapping in a feed from Blackwell, who snaked his way through the Needham defense to set up the goal. Farrow also added a helper on the play.
Later in the period, Blackwell and Farrow each added their second assists of the game on Pandalena’s goal.
“We knew they were going to try to throw everything at us because they’d lost their first game,” Blackwell said. “So for the first period, we knew we had to get off to a good start.”
Blackwell continued weaving circles around Needham defenders in the second, putting Prep out to a 3-0 lead with his goal 57 seconds into the period. He broke through the neutral zone with speed, crisscrossing his way past two Rocket defenders before finishing on the backhand.
Needham cracked the scoreboard with 2:08 remaining in the second with D.J. Walsh batting in a one-timer off of Jamie Arnao’s centering pass from the corner after shedding the check of a Prep defenseman.
“When we got that goal, I thought we might come out with a little jump in the third period and try to get back in it,” Needham head coach Bill Guisti said.
The Rockets were provided two golden opportunities to chip away at the two-goal deficit with a pair of power plays sandwiched together midway through the third. However, Needham was held without a shot.
“Our penalty kill’s been very effective all year long,” Hanson said. “We’ve been right around 90 percent all year long and we haven’t given up a goal on the power play in the Super Eight.
“We work a lot on the PK and we watched a lot of film on Needham, trying to know what they were going to try to do and defend it.”
Devin Murray provided the Eagles with a three-goal lead with 4:04 remaining in the game, putting back a rebound of a Sam Kurker shot. Matt MacDonald also picked up an assist on the play after providing a pretty outlet pass, setting up a 3-on-2 rush that led to the goal.
Eiserman capped off scoring, collecting another tape-to-tape crossing pass from Blackwell at the top of the crease and putting it into the back of the net for a 5-1 final.
January, 19, 2011
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- According to Ryan Hall, anybody could’ve scored any of his four goals in No. 1 Xaverian’s 6-4 win over Catholic Conference rival St. John’s Prep on Wednesday.
The Hawks’ senior captain took a selfless approach to explaining the reason for his success, while scoring the final two goals in a comeback victory at Foxboro Sports Center.
“It was a lot of [Jason Salvaggio], [Tommy Jenkins] and the defensemen getting the puck down low,” Hall said. “That allowed me to bang home some dirty goals, definitely all the credit to my linemates.”
Xaverian’s top line of Hall, Jenkins and Salvaggio accounted for all but one of the Hawks points (sophomore forward Bobby Hall also tallied an assist). Hall added two assists in a six-point performance, while Jenkins and Salvaggio had four-point efforts with a goal and three assists each.
“They’ve been red hot,” Hawks head coach Dave Spinale said of his top line. “Ryan Hall’s been fabulous and the other two guys are skilled playmakers.
“Ryan’s kind of the power forward, he grinds it out. His game is hit, shoot and pass. And, if he keeps shooting, he’s going to get his share.”
Xaverian (7-0-1, 2-0-0) climbed back from two, two-goal deficits in the second period to tie the score, 4-4, with one minute remaining in the second. Hall completed the comeback with two third-period goals to down the ninth-ranked Eagles (5-3-1, 1-2-0).
Prep carried play in the first period, out-shooting the Hawks, 16-4. However, the Eagles were only able to sneak one past Xaverian goaltender Dave Michaels (24 saves). Matt McDonald had Prep out to a 1-0 lead on a give-and-go set up by Tyler Bird.
The Eagles built a two-goal lead on with Jon Farrow netting a goal on a deflection of defenseman Matt West’s shot from the point.
Xaverian returned fire two minutes later with the first of its three power play goals.
The play started with a terrific save by Michaels, who robbed Derek Palm on a two-on-none chance with a toe save. The Hawks quickly worked the rebound up ice ahead of the Eagles’ backcheck Hall buried his first goal of the night on a glove-side wrister.
“He’s made timely saves all year,” Spinale said of Michaels beauty of a stop, “certainly, that’s been big for us. He does that a lot. That was a two-goal swing for us there.”
The teams then went back and forth for the remainder of the second.
Prep responded on Colin Blackwell’s rebound put back 8:46 into the second. The Hawks again cut the deficit to one on Hall’s second tally on a pretty pass from Salvaggio. Devin Murray put the Eagles ahead 4-2, pulling the puck out of a scrum in front of Michaels and out-working a group of Xaverian defenders.
Salvaggio scored the Hawks’ third goal while falling backwards into the boards, after knocking home Hall’s centering pass in front of Prep goalie David Letarte (24 saves).
Jenkins knotted the game, 4-4, with 54 seconds remaining in the second. He batted home the puck from midair on a play that appeared to be played with a high stick.
Hall completed the comeback in the third period — when the Hawks out shot Prep, 13-3 — with a pair of power play goals.
CLEARING OUT THE CREASE
Spinale had high praise for the Eagles, who he called the “most skilled team” the Hawks have seen all year.
“Off the rush, they’re deadly,” he added.
A lot of those accolades can be attributed to Harvard commit Colin Blackwell. The senior sniper scored Prep’s third goal of the night, banging home a rebound on Joe Currie’s shot.
However, Blackwell was knocked out the game for a portion of the first period after a grizzly looking hit along the attack zone boards. The Eagles captain lay motionless on the ice for couple of tense moments and then skated off under his own power. He missed one shift and returned later just before the first intermission.
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