Boston High School: Ean Mendeszoon

Recap: No. 8 St. John's Prep 3, No. 13 Winchester 1

February, 20, 2014
WILMINGTON, Mass. – With zero room for error, St. John's Prep played as perfect a game as possible.

The Eagles jumped out to a lead in the first two minutes against Winchester and controlled the Sachems for much of the game en route to a 3-1 win at Ristuccia Arena. The win means that Prep will qualify for the Division 1 tournament with a win over Wakefield on Friday.

“Our tournament started about a month ago,” Prep coach Kristian Hanson said. “Tonight was absolutely do-or-die. The kids responded, they played a pretty solid game.”

Much of Prep's offense this season has run through its top line, but last night it was second-liner Ted McNamara who stole the show. McNamara scored two goals for Prep in the first period.

“Balance for team success is so critical,” Hanson said. “I didn't think our first line played well tonight honestly. They looked slow; they looked like they were off their game. It was nice to see the second line step up. We need other guys to contribute if we're going to win games. [McNamara] can definitely score goals. It was a big two he got tonight.”

For Winchester, Wednesday was another valley in an up-and-down season. Brendan Andrews scored the Sachems' lone goal with just more than two minutes left in the first period only to have McNamara answer with his second 61 seconds later.

Winchester coach Matt Spang was unenthused about his team's performance.

“We thought we had to buy tickets to the game and we played like it in the first two periods, we were just watching,” Spang said. “We decided to skate in the third, carried the play in the third, but we decided to watch for two periods. You can't watch for two periods and expect to win a hockey game.”

Ean Mendeszoon had St. John's third goal when he boomed home a shot from the point late in the second period.

LARAMIE RISES: For a first-year varsity player St. John's Prep goalie sure looked like a mature veteran between the pipes for the Eagles. The freshman turned aside 18 shots for Prep and looked smooth doing so.

“It was the type of game, especially late, where they got a lot of opportunities, and we were just sitting back,” Hanson said. “Zach had to make some big saves and he responded. That's what you need a goalie to do.

“I think tonight was a huge performance. That's what it's going to take for us to win games: goaltending. He was very solid tonight.”

When Winchester brought the pressure, Laramie sharpened even more, turning aside all eight shots he faced in the third period.

DEFENSE WINS: Winchester's top line of Brendan Greene, Nolan Redler and David Troiano is one of the most formidable in the state. Aside from Redler's secondary assist on the Sachems' goal, the Eagles were able to shut them down completely.

“All week we were emphasizing that line,” Prep defenseman Ryan Byrne said. “We just tried to shut down anything they had and we did basically.

“We knew they were tough. We just had to get on top of them and keep pounding them into the ground.”

The Eagles defense was at its best late in the third, giving up the body, dirtying up passing lanes, and pressing out to the blue lines. Prep's size advantage in the back allowed them to clog more space and suffocate Winchester.

Recap: Central Catholic 5, St. John's Prep 3

January, 5, 2014
WILMINGTON, Mass. – For the first forty-three minutes and fifty-three seconds, Central Catholic never led St. John's Prep.

For the final 1:07, they did not trail.

The Raiders surrendered the first two goals, but Alex Lester batted home a puck in the waning moments to propel Central to a 5-3 win. Lester added an empty netter with two seconds left to seal the win.

Lester's linemate, Lloyd Hayes, facilitated much of Central's offense with three assists, including the initial shot that led to Lester's game-winner.

“We're always talking about team depth and chemistry, and usually [goaltender Colin] Soucy's our backbone out,” Raiders head coach Mike Jankowski said. “Today they found a way past him a lot easier than usual. The kids answered the call. They stuck up, they came to bat for them.”

After a quiet opening 10 minutes the Eagles made their move. Mark Etherington tipped home an Ean Mendeszoon shot to put Prep on the board. He followed that up 17 seconds later by burying a pass from Jim Currier in front past Colin Soucy to put the Eagles up 2-0. Prep was only able to put seven more shots on net after Etherington's goals.

St. John's Prep assistant coach Jeff Tache said that he was pleased with Etherington's performance but that the team as a whole has to do better defensively.

“I thought he played a great game,” Tache said of Etherington. “He hustles all the time and that's all you can ask for.

“I thought it was a good overall effort. Defensive breakdowns late in periods is what cost us this effort. Again, they worked hard and probably deserved a point out of this. Hopefully we can just move forward and learn from these mistakes.”

After Prep's goals Central took over. The Raiders outshot the Eagles, 27-10, and were able to outskate and outmuscle the Eagles as the game wore on. Eric Robbins put the Raiders on the board, putting home a pass from Richie Greenberg with 1:15 left in the first period.

The teams traded goals in the early portion of the second period and Prep goalie Zach Laramie kept the Eagles ahead. The freshman turned aside nine of the 10 shots he faced during the second period. St. John's locked down on special teams as well, especially during a 71-second 5-on-3 penalty kill.

Central tied the game at three five minutes into the third when Sean Holly threw a lazy wrist shot at Laramie that the goalie misjudged and skipped over his glove to tie the game. Hayes' pass opened up Holly for his goal.

“He's been fantastic all season long,” Jankowski said of Hayes. “He's been there not only [with] points but with positional play, physicality. He's doing just a great job for us.”

Soucy turned aside seven shots and added the secondary assist on Lester's empty netter.

“He always talks about it,” Lester said with a laugh. “He likes to think he gets assists so for him to finally get one is pretty cool.”

GROWN-UP RIVALRY: Central-Andover may be the traditional rivalry, but the annual game with St. John's Prep has become one of the biggest games on Central's calendar as the team has risen the past six years.

Dating back to the 2007-2008 season, the teams have played 10 times with St. John's holding a slim 5-4-1 advantage.

Lester and Soucy both said that St. John's is easily among their top rivals.

“It's always a big rivalry and we just want to keep it going,” Lester said. “We've had some big wins now and we just want to keep it rolling.”

“St. John's has always been our rivals,” Soucy said. “They got us in Super 8 last year and we wanted to come and show that last year was last year and this is our new team this year. It was a big win for us.”

With the annual regular season game usually played between Christmas and mid-January, it's a good measuring stick for both teams that have Super 8 aspirations each and every season.

“It does set a tone for us moving forward about where we sit and a good barometer for us,” Jankowski said. “We want to compete against the best.”

ESPN Boston preseason MIAA boys' hockey All-State

December, 16, 2013
Presenting our MIAA boys' hockey preseason All-State team:

1st Team
F – Bobo Carpenter, Jr., Austin Prep
F – Ara Nazarian, Jr., Malden Catholic
F – Tyler Sifferlen, Sr., Malden Catholic
D – Ean Mendeszoon, Sr., St. John’s Prep
D – Nick Rolli, Sr., Malden Catholic
G – Colin Soucy, Sr., Central Catholic

2nd Team
F – Peter Crinella, Jr., Springfield Cathedral
F – Lloyd Hayes, Sr., Central Catholic
F – Nolan Redler, Sr., Winchester
D – Andrew Cross, Sr., Austin Prep
D – Bryan Nelson, Sr., St. John’s (Shrewsbury)
G – Elijah Harris, Jr. Austin Prep

3rd Team
F – Patrick Kramer, Jr., BC High
F – Antonio Marini, Sr., Xaverian
F – Pat Shea, Jr., Marshfield
D – John Carlson, Sr., Hingham
D – Adam Crowley, Sr., Burlington
G – Brandon Collett, Soph., Catholic Memorial

Mendeszoon, Shea generating interest

August, 26, 2013
As St. John's Prep hockey rising senior defenseman Ean Mendeszoon astutely put it: "Once you go there, you can never come back."

The 6-foot-4, 185-pounder found his time last weekend with Quebec Major Junior Hockey League club Titan d'Acadie-Bathurst to be enjoyable. But the North Andover resident wants to keep his options open.

Mendeszoon, who led Eagles defensemen in points with a goal and seven assists last season, made the drive with his mom back from New Brunswick in order to preserve his NCAA eligibility.

"I'm leaving it open, for now," Mendeszoon told ESPN Boston earlier this week, "but I'm looking to commit hopefully sometime during the fall."

As of right now, Mendeszoon (a 1996 birth date) does not have a Division 1 offer, but that will change soon. The blue-liner is scheduled to make repeat visits to Providence and Union in the coming weeks. He's also visited Vermont.

Plus, the Ivys have come calling with Brown, Cornell and Harvard expressing interest.

Shea on his way: There's another Catholic Conference defenseman drawing the attention of Hockey East schools of late.

BC High rising sophomore defenseman Ryan Shea ('97) has received interest from the likes of UNH, Merrimack, Brown and UConn, a source tells us. After a strong showing at the U.S.A. Hockey Festival with the Boys' Select 16s, it's possible others could follow.

Of course, it's always a possibility that Boston College could come into play with Shea, who had three goals and nine assists in his only varsity season with the Eagles. After all, the Milton native's father, Danny, was a second-team All-American at the Heights.

Recap: No. 2 St. John's Prep 4, No. 8 CM 1

January, 31, 2013
WILMINGTON, Mass. -- Andrew Brandano scored twice for St. John’s Prep as the Eagles shut down Liam Coughlin and Catholic Memorial’s lethal offensive weapons, 4-1, Wednesday night, in a Catholic Conference clash.

St. John’s Prep (12-2-0, 6-1-0 Catholic Conference) goalie Billy Price continued his stellar play turning away 18-of-19 shots. Price made several big saves, including robbing Coughlin from point blank on several scoring chances.

“A lot of his saves were quality stops,” St. John’s Prep coach Kristian Hanson said. “Billy has been solid for us all season, and that was no different tonight.”

Although Coughlin was held off the score sheet that didn’t mean he played poorly because he was still a force in the offensive zone.

“He is one of the best players in high school hockey, and I think he stood out there tonight because he did a terrific job,” Catholic Memorial head coach Bill Hanson said. “It takes more than one player to win hockey games.”

Catholic Memorial (8-5-2, 2-4-0) has run into a bit of a rut going 0-4-2, but there is one thing it must do differently next game:

“Score more goals,” Bill Hanson said.

In the first period, both teams came out like a house of fire throwing bodies around on occasion. St. John’s Prep challenged Catholic Memorial goalie, Brandon Collett early and often. Collett turned away several one-time attempts from point blank, which included a sliding pad save on Justin Longo. Collett had 26 saves on the night.

“They have a young goalie [freshman], so we knew that we needed to get a lot of shots on goal (30),” St. John’s defenseman Ean Mendeszoon said.

In the second period, St. John’s Prep scored two early goals inside of the first three minutes. Brian Pinho started the scoring sliding the puck through Collett’s five-hole on a breakaway.

“[That goal] absolutely got us going because we had a poor first period,” Kristian Hanson said. “We needed something to get us going, so what was a big goal for us.”

Only 1:13 later, Cam Shaheen flung a perfect pass to Paul Crehan, who was waiting by the back post. Crehan buried the puck on a bang-bang play.

Catholic Memorial would answer on the power play though as Beau Starrett buried a rebound past Price, cutting the Eagles lead to only, 2-1.

“After they scored that power play goal it kind of put us in a little bit of a funk,” Kristian Hanson said.

Catholic Memorial’s Kevin Hock came right back on a breakaway following the Starrett goal. Hock fired a shot and followed his own rebound, but Price was able to turn away both shots.

In the final seconds of the third, Brandano tallied his first goal of the night on a play set up by Jimmy Currier. Brandano looked as if he was going to shoot as he charged the goal, but he went to the backhand.

“I thought about just shooting, but I went backhand because I saw the goalie sliding over,” Brandano said.

Brandano put the game out of reach midway through the third period, as he followed his down rebound and beat Collett.

“It was a really nice team play,” Kristian Hanson said. “We got the puck up to Currier, and he found Andrew [Brandano]. He was calm and patient with the puck because he didn’t just shoot out, and he buried it on his own rebound.

Recap: No. 3 SJP 5, No. 6 Austin Prep 1

January, 20, 2013

STONEHAM, Mass. -- Reading a 5-1 box score on paper looks as though the winning team had its way offensively. But, in hockey, as in many team sports, numbers can belie how important a sound defense is to influencing offensive prowess.

That was certainly the case Saturday night in No. 3 St. John’s Prep’s 5-1 non-league win over No. 6 Austin Prep, dealing the Cougars their first loss of the season. The Eagles’ victory was enabled by a stifling defensive display by their blue-liners. St. John’s held the Cougars in the single digits in shots on goal for the game, outshooting the Cougars 31-9 and controlling the flow of the game.

The Eagles were so effective in their own end, at times, it was easy to overlook them.

“We just played solid D and kept it simple, getting the puck up to the forwards, grinding, getting the puck out,” junior defenseman Evan Leclerc said. “We were just playing simple, true hockey.”

The Eagles (9-2-0) also played with the lead nearly from the get-go, as Tyler Bird opened scoring at 2:43 of the first on a partial break, sprung by an outlet pass from Ryan Byrne. St. John’s went to the room after the first with a 2-0 advantage after Cam Shaheen’s third goal of the season, with assists from Justin Longo and Paul Crehan.

They kept the pedal to the medal, starting the second period with a goal just 58 seconds in. Leclerc tallied his first of the season after some nice work down low by forwards Brian Pinho and Andrew Brandano.

The Cougars (6-1-3) broke up the shutout bid at 8:22 of the second with Brent Hill setting up a snipe from George Sennott.

The Eagles rounded out the second with Longo tallying his second point of the game, tallying an unassisted goal on a broken play.

Jack McCarthy increased St. John’s lead to four at 1:53 of the third.

“Coming in, Austin Prep was undefeated, so we knew it was going to be a tough game,” Eagles head coach Kristian Hanson said. “I think the kids really rose to the challenge tonight. I think from the first shift that our energy was pretty good. We have good team speed, but when we want to be physical, I think we can be a dominating physical team. I think we did that well tonight.”

Even with a goal in two, the most impressive part of Leclerc’s game came in the Eagles’ defensive zone. Leclerc thwarted a couple of Cougars rushes with bone-rattling hits.

“He was very physical,” Hanson said. “Yeah, he had the goal, but we thought he did a lot of little things. He was quick, he was physical, he made good decisions with the puck. He was one of our best guys out there tonight.”

Along with the all-around solid effort of its defenseman, including Brent Murray and Ean Mendeszoon, St. John’s also saw its depth in play.

Longo, a fourth-liner, chipped in with a two-point game (1G, 1 A).

“He’s an unsung hero type, but he’s had some huge goals for us this year,” Hanson said of Longo. “He’s a fourth-line guy, but he has the skill level of a first or second line guy. That fourth line has really played well this year. They play well in any kind of situation.”

Recap: No. 4 St. John's Prep 4, No. 2 CM 1

January, 13, 2013
BOSTON — After being outplayed in the first period, St. John’s Prep took control of the game and rallied its way past Catholic Memorial in a potential Super 8 match preview, 4-1, Saturday at Walter Brown Arena.

St. John’s Prep (6-2-0, 2-1-0 Catholic Conference) couldn’t buy a scoring chance in the first as Catholic Memorial and Liam Coughlin made easy work of the Eagles. Coughlin led the first period charge for the Knights as he gave Catholic Memorial the early, 1-0 lead. The Knights outshout St. John’s Prep by an 8-1 margin during the first period.

“We only generated one shot in the first period, and [our struggles] kind of carried over from Wednesday against BC High,” St. John’s Prep head coach Kristian Hanson said.”

Luckily for the Eagles, their goalie, Billy Price (29 saves) was doing his best impression of Tim Thomas; Price tries to model his own play after the former Vezina Trophy winner.

“Billy has been playing well all year, and he played well tonight,” Hanson said. “He did a great job keeping his composure, especially late in the game because they put a ton of pressure on him.”

St. John’s was outshot, 30-19, but the Eagles were able to keep Catholic Memorial on the perimeter and outside on most of their shot attempts.

“Our defense this season has been great,” Prep defenseman Ean Mendeszoon said. “We are always getting pucks away from net and blocking shots. We’re just doing our job and that’s not really too much. We also try to keep our opponents to the outside and perimeter so they can’t get good quality chances down low.”

In the second period, Prep came to life in all aspects of the game. Coughlin was not getting the looks he was in the first as the Eagles keyed in on the Knights' star scorer.

“Catholic Memorial is a very talented team with kids like Coughlin on it,” Hanson said. “We are paying attention to whom their [top] players are, so that we can limit their opportunities.”

St. John’s finally broke through late in the second period as Nic Gianelli flipped a backhander by Catholic Memorial goalie, Brandon Collett (15 saves), on a breakaway.

Before the end of the period, the Eagles were able to take the lead as Justin Longo rifled a rebound shot to the back of the net with Collett down and out.

“The rebound just came right over to me, and I got a little lucky because I just was able to put it in.”

In the third, it only took 13 seconds for Andrew Brandano to bang home a rebound goal, which came off of a two-on-one rush with Tyler Bird.

With 2:59 remaining in the third, Catholic Memorial (8-2-0, 2-1-0) went to the power play with Gianelli in the sin bin. Unfortunately for the Knights, Price stood tall, and the St. John’s penalty kill never let the Knights get a quality opportunity.

“Our guys did an excellent job tonight by getting in the shooting lanes, forcing them to the perimeter, and preventing the back door chance,” Hanson said.

Catholic Memorial was not done making a last minute push though as Collett sprinted to the bench for an extra attacker. The Knights were looking for their fourth comeback win of the season.

“We have been behind a number of games this year, and have been able to come back,” CM head coach Bill Hanson said.

The Knights had some late pressure on Price, but once again the St. John’s net-minder was not giving in. Price turned away several shots from in the slot and through traffic before Bird iced the game with an empty netter.

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

January, 5, 2013
WILMINGTON, Mass. – Kristian Hanson had seen the scene play out before. Sure, his St. John’s Prep hockey team had No. 1 Malden Catholic on the ropes in the third period, up by two goals. And, in previous experiences, Hanson had seen those leads – perceived to be “safe” – vanish into the ether.

“I don’t feel comfortable until that last second ticks off,” Hanson quipped about playing against the two-time defending Super 8 champions.

Hanson and Co. will sleep tight tonight, having handed the Lancers their first MIAA loss in nearly two calendar years while finishing a 3-2 victory at Ristuccia Arena on Saturday. The loss is MC’s first in-state loss since Jan. 15, 2011, (a 2-1 loss to Hingham) and snaps the Lancers’ 40-game MIAA winning streak.

“MC obviously has a reputation as being a third-period team,” Hanson said. “They were down by two to Austin Prep and they were down 2-1 to BC High last week and those both ended in ties. We’ve had personal experience being up on them in the third period that we haven’t been able to hold on.”

The No. 9 Eagles (5-1-0, 1-0-0 Catholic Conference) trailed 1-0 at the first intermission, but strung together three straight goals, including two in the third period to hold a 3-1 lead in the final minutes of the game. MC’s Pat Wrenn added a goal with less than two minutes to play, sliding one past Eagles netminder Billy Price (20 saves) on a deflection off a defenseman’s skate, but Prep escaped another potential Lancer comeback bid.

Eagles senior forward Andrew Brandano figured prominently in the victory, factoring on Prep’s first two goals.

Brandano broke in for an unassisted goal at 6:58 of the second period, drawing the teams even at 1-1. He then set up Prep’s go-ahead tally at 11:11 of the third, throwing a puck at MC goaltender Connor Maloney (18 saves). Mark Azarian deflected the slap-pass to the right of Maloney. Brandano and captain Brian Pinho had the assists.

“We had some really good chances in the first period and we had a golden opportunity in the first period, with the puck sitting on the goal line and missed out,” Hanson said. “Sometimes those chances come back to bite you later in the game.

“But we got lucky on Brandano’s goal in the second period. That maybe gave us a little bit more confidence offensively and we were able to get two after that.”

Prep added an insurance marker that would later prove to be the game-winner on the power play. Tyler Bird shoveled a pass back to defenseman Ean Mendeszoon and the lanky blue-liner’s slapshot beat Maloney stick side.

Perhaps the greatest loss MC (3-1-2, 0-1-1) suffered on Saturday came in the third period when UMass-Lowell commit winger Tyler Sifferlen went down with an apparent lower body injury. Sifferlen was injured when he locked knees with a Prep defenseman on a clean hit in the neutral zone.

Lancers head coach John McLean accompanied Sifferlen to the hospital for observation and wasn’t available postgame.

While Prep might have fallen behind, the Eagles pressed the issue on the forecheck throughout the first two periods.

And while they didn’t have anything to show for it, Brandano felt as thought Prep would break through if it maintained the pressure.

“We were on them from the start,” Brandano said. “Even though we were down one, we just kept on it.”

The Eagles used the forecheck to generate several high quality scoring chances in the first and second, only to see Maloney make opportune saves. Brandano forced a defensive zone turnover for a chance midway through the second and fellow winger Nic Gianelli also turned some dogged work in the MC zone into back-handed shot from his knees, with Maloney making a nice save, at the end of the first.

“We’ve had some problems scoring goals early on this season, so one way to correct that is to keep getting pucks to the net from all angles, eventually one goes in,” Hanson said. “You’re not to score if you don’t shoot.”

For the first time in several years, Prep is breaking in a new goaltender, after the graduation of steady starter David Letarte.

But Price has filled the bill in the early going. He was ready when called upon against MC and kept rebounds to a minimum. Everything else, his defensemen, led by senior captain Brent Murray, cleared.

“Billy’s given us a chance to win every game we’ve been in, that’s all you can ask for,” Hanson said of Price. “He made big stops, he looked great today. He was composed, didn’t get rattled in front of the crowd and facing MC.”