Boston High School: Frank Mazzei

Tewksbury takes D2 title in OT thriller

March, 20, 2011
3/20/11
9:59
PM ET


BOSTON -- Tewksbury senior Mark Petti scored 53 seconds into overtime, giving the Redmen their first state championship since 1995, 2-1, over the South sectional champions Franklin Panthers.

The game, the stage, it was all little overwhelming.

“It was just unbelievable, the last game of high school playing at the Boston Garden, and to score the game winning goal was just unbelievable.” said Petti after the game.

“It was back and forth, up and down”, Tewksbury head coach Derek Doherty said, “Franklin is a great team and it made for a really good state tournament game.”

The Redmen thought they had taken the lead at 11:17 in the first period. Rob Pruyne’s shot appeared to go off the crossbar and over the goal line, but the referee’s were quick to wave it off.

“He came over to me and said ‘Coach I’m 100 percent sure that the puck didn’t go in the net, it hit the crossbar and didn’t go in.’” Doherty explained, “He was confident when he came over and said it to me. So if he was confident then I was fine with it.”

The Panthers and the Redmen looked to be heading into the locker room scoreless after the first period until a flukey goal at 14:59 scored by James Marchand giving Franklin a 1-0 lead after one period of play. Tom Carlow had the initial shot which was knocked away by Redmen goalie Niko Cunha (18 saves) but the puck deflected off the boards behind the net, and trickled out in front of goal where Marchand was waiting and finished.

“Everyone didn’t put their heads down” Cunha said of the goal, “I told myself that doesn’t happen a lot, it’s not going to happen again. I made sure I was tracking everything, trying to smuggle the rebounds and it worked.”

Cunha made 11 saves in the second period including one where Marchand stole the put a few feet in front of the Tewksbury goal and had a shot point blank. Moments later the Redmen tied the game when senior Frank Mazzei scored on a rebound from a Cam Rowe shot at 10:22.

After that, it was a goaltenders duel. Franklin goalie Billy Spillane (22 saves) and Cunah, both seniors, went back and forth making impressive saves. With 10 minutes remaining in regulation Cunha made a split save on a Nick Bertoni break away, while Spillane made a stop on a Tewksbury two on one opportunity just one minute later. With 4:04 remaining Cunha made another breakaway stop on Mark Teehan and the game seemed dentin for overtime.

In overtime, it only took 53 seconds for Petti to score the winner for Tewksbury. Mazzei had the initial shot which rolled out from Spillane’s pads and onto the doorstep for Petti to smash in.



“I just came here to do what I had to do to and do my job to win.” Petti said, “And it just worked out that I scored it (the game winner). I saw that puck and I saw the empty net, I just fired it right in and it was unbelievable.”

“It’s tough to lose. We had a couple of chances in the third period, a breakaway and a two one we didn’t capitalize.” Franklin head coach Chris Spillane said postgame, “on the flipside they also had a beautiful two on one from 21 to 4 [Ryan Doherty and Petti]. “We’ll be a stronger team next year, we’ll build and learn from this and we’ll improve.”

“Any goalie that only allows one goal in three periods is a great goalie. Cunha said, complementing his opposing goaltender, “I told him in the line ‘You played a hell of a game.’

"It could have gone either way, it took a bounce like that to win.”

All eyes will be on the TD Garden Sunday as championships will be decided in six divisions of MIAA title games. We'll have you covered all day long, but until then, we provide to you a breakdown of each of the game and our predictions:

GIRLS’ TOURNAMENTS
Division 2

No. 4 Fontbonne Academy (16-2-5) vs. No. 2 Duxbury (20-3-0), 9 a.m., TD Garden
The Breakdown: The Ducks’ Taylor Shepherd can hold her own against the very best the state has to offer and along with linemates Liz Coleman and Erin McLoughlin, they’ve created one of the state’s most potent pairings. Make no mistake, the Green Dragons can also score with the best of them — with prolific sister duo Brianna and Lily Connolly leading the way—but Duxbury is strong from the net out with freshman Rachel Myette turning in a strong first season between the pipes.
The Pick: While the Dragons might be the deeper team, Shepherd is perhaps the most dynamic player in the state, and talent goes a long way this deep in the tournament. We like the Ducks to win their second title in three seasons. Fontbonne, 3-2.

Division 1
No. 8 Hingham (19-4-2) vs. No. 3 Acton-Boxborough (19-3-1), 8:15 p.m.

The Breakdown: Jane Freda scored a rather historic goal during the Harborwomen’s overtime upset of top-seeded St. Mary’s. Not only did she catapult Hingham forward on its march to the finals, she also ended the Lady Spartans’ 100-game unbeaten streak. Katie Walsh and Sarah Schwenzfeier have contributed a consistent scoring punch all season for Tom Findley’s team, while Beth Findley has been stellar in nets with a 1.30 goals against average to go along with nine shutouts. While it might not have as historic, Kati Goguen’s third-period goal lifted the Colonials in their upset win over Woburn in the semifinals. A-B boasts a staunch defense led by one of the best in the state in Caleigh LaBossiere and seventh-grader Cali Loblundo (90.6 save percentage) has been a revelation in goal.
The Pick: Instant karma’s going to get you, and we feel that Hingham has it on their side after toppling the state’s undisputed No. 1 team. Hingham, 2-1.

BOYS’ TOURNAMENTS
Division 3
Westfield (15-5-4) vs. Marblehead (20-4-3), 11:15 a.m.

The Breakdown: Defenseman Colin Arnold and forward Matt Gagnon were just freshmen when the Bombers won their last state title in 2008. This year, the pair were a major driving force behind Westfield’s run to the state title game, which included an upset over Central champion Hudson in the state semifinals. Marblehead’s seniors are trying to win their first state title as a group, despite having won three of the last four North sectional titles. Forwards Chris McLeod and Ryan Dempsey lead a dynamic offense, while you’d be hard pressed to find a better blue-liner in all of D3 than captain Jake Kulevich.
The Pick: We’re going with the emotional pick here and siding with the Magicians, but it’s also a reflection of their skill. This is a very talented and deep hockey team. Marblehead, 4-2.

Division 2
Tewksbury (18-5-1) vs. Franklin (17-4-2), 1:30 p.m.

The Breakdown: The Redmen won their first D2 North title since 1995, while the Panthers haven’t won a state title since 1983 – that’s a year after somebody named Laviolette moved onto bigger and brighter things and when current head coach Chris Spillane was playing. Something has to give and one of the hockey-rich towns will come away with a long-awaited title. Tewksbury is led by explosive forward Ryan Doherty, who leads the Redmen in scoring, along with Frank Mazzei and Derek and Mark Petti. The Panthers are very strong on the back end with defensemen Alex Taddeo, who’s among the state’s best, and netminder Billy Spillane, who’s been solid all year.
The Pick: It’s usually a safe bet to take defense over offense this time of year and we’ve always been a fan of the Panthers’ team defensive philosophy. Franklin, 3-2.

Division 1
Wakefield (14-6-4) vs. Marshfield (18-3-5), 3:30 p.m.

The Breakdown: Both of these teams had to defeat the No. 1 seeds, who also happened to be Super Eight tournament participants to win their respective sectional tournaments. The Warriors slipped by St. Mary’s in a one-goal decision while the Rams took a hammer to Springfield Cathedral in the South. Wakefield (No. 7 seed in the North) has been led on its Cinderella run by goaltender Joe Centrella, who’s big and plays high (think Martin Brodeur) while playing his angles well. The potent Marshfield offense is led by 100-point scorer Ryan Connors and Chris Perry.
The Pick: This game might be the hardest of the day to forecast. We went back and forth on this one before settling with the Rams. Marshfield, 2-1.

Division 1A
No. 2 St. John’s Prep (18-5-1) vs. No. 1 Malden Catholic (20-2-2), 6 p.m.

The Breakdown: This is the matchup everyone’s been waiting for, simply put, they truly are the two best teams in the state this season. Both are skilled. Both play fast. Both have the type of talent that draws attention from scouts. The Lancers top line of Brendan Collier, Ryan Fitzgerald and Mike Vecchione hasn’t seen a parallel in this state in quite some time. MC’s second isn’t far behind with Mike Iovanna, Nick Roberto and Garrett White stepping up their play in the tournament. The Lancers have plenty of talent along the blue line as well with playmaker Connor Evangelista and rising star Colin MacGillivray. Pat Young is a stalwart in net. The Eagles have perhaps the best player in the state in center Colin Blackwell, who’s put on an offensive display along with linemates John Farrow and Shane Eiserman. Winger Sam Kurker provides a power-forward presence on the Eagles’ second line. Junior netminder David Letarte has been steady all season long.
The Pick: We wouldn’t be at all surprised if this one turns into a barnburner, however, the most encouraging thing the Lancers might have going for them is the defensive clinic they put on during the second period of their crossover round win over BC High. If the Lancers forecheck like they did against BC High, they will be very hard to beat. Malden Catholic, 5-3.

Saugus, Tewksbury advance to D2 North final

March, 9, 2011
3/09/11
1:41
AM ET
NORTH BILLERICA, Mass. -- Tewksbury head coach Derek Doherty said he didn’t give any extra words of encouragement to his top forward before his team’s 6-1 dominating win against seventh-seeded Beverly, in the Division 2 North semifinal on Tuesday at the Chelmsford Forum.

There was no pregame speech, no extra allowance or even an extra serving of mashed potatoes at the dinner table thrown his way.

The sixth-seeded Redmen’s top forward is Derek Doherty’s son, Ryan, and the senior forward jumped right out of his playoff scoreless streak all on his own in grand fashion with a three-goal-game to send Tewksbury to its first sectional final since 2008.

“I said Ryan it’s my birthday can you give me a present please,” said a laughing Derek Doherty, whose Redmen (17-5-1) face Saugus on Friday night. “We don’t really talk about it. I’m Dad with him and it’s go take the garbage or let’s sit down and talk about schools.

“We are really a tight-nit group inside (the locker room),” he continued. “Everything that we talk about here is with each other. I don’t grab Ryan separately and say that you’ve got to do this, you’ve got do to that.”

The younger Doherty seemed to respond like he got some good old fatherly advice though as he scored two pretty unassisted goals.

Doherty’s first goal, which proved to be the game-winner, came at 8:26 of the second period. He used a series of moves to get around his defender, and as he made his move back to center in front of the Panthers’ goalie he fell down. But the rejuvenated goal scorer was able to get a stick on the puck as he was falling to the ice for what was then a 2-0 lead.

Beverly (16-6-1) got back to within a goal and had the man advantage with 2:14 seconds left in the second period, but Ryan Doherty took that advantage away when he buried a short-handed goal at 2:11 off a nice feed from Derek Petti.

“We come out every game the same way,” Ryan Doherty said. “Whether I score or Derek (Petti) scores it doesn’t matter. As long as the puck goes in the net I’m happy.”

Petti, Doherty and Frank Mazzei, who played parts of the game together on the front line, all set the tone offensively for the Redmen in a convincing third period to close out the win.

SAUGUS ANSWERS QUESTIONS
There were a lot of questions about what kind of team Saugus was heading into the D-2 North tournament. The Sachems only lost one game in the regular season, but with seven ties the skeptics had to wonder if this was a team that could hang tough with anyone, or a team who couldn’t put teams away.

The No. 5 Sachems (15-1-7) answered a few of those questions on Tuesday night when they eliminated No. 1 Wilmington (18-3-2) with a convincing 5-1 victory in the North semifinals in the first game at the Chelmsford Forum.

Saugus head coach Jeff Natalucci led some of his feelings out after the loss.

“I told these guys that we have one loss this year,” said Natalucci, whose team will face Tewksbury in the North finals on Friday. “We felt we really haven’t gotten the respect that we deserve. No one was really talking about us coming in to this tournament. We have one loss all season, but everybody wants to talk about the seven ties. … We got our chance tonight to show people.”

The Sachems showed everyone off the bat what kind of offense they possess with two goals in the first three minutes of the game, and three overall in the period before Wilmington could even respond.

Saige Tait scored 34 seconds in to the game, and Kurt Roderigues had a hat-trick and an assist.

Roderigues showed great awareness for his surroundings on two of his goals as he banged in rebounds off big blasts from his teammates.

“I just like to get open in front of the net and I let my teammates take the shot,” Roderigues said. “Hopefully I get the opening and put it home.”

The junior, who is one of the smaller players on the ice, showed a little bit of feistiness when he capitalized on a loose puck in front and stole it away from Wildcats’ goalie Joe Aucoin for his second of the night and a big 4-1 at 7:58 of the second period.

“The defenseman bobbled it and it came out front,” Roderigues said. “I just picked it up at the post and the goalie didn’t seem ready. He left his five-hole open and I slipped it through.”

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