Boston High School: Jimmy Tierney

D2 South: Medfield 3, Oliver Ames 0

March, 7, 2014
Mar 7
BUZZARDS BAY, Mass. - Going into Thursday night’s Division 2 South semifinal, Medfield coach Toby Carlow knew that goals would be at a premium against Oliver Ames junior goaltender Jimmy Tierney. Luckily, for the Warriors, they would only need one.

Brett Thomas scored with just fewer than six minutes remaining in the first period and Medfield (17-3-3) tacked on a pair of empty net goals in the final minute, as the Warriors beat Oliver Ames 3-0 at Gallo Arena and advanced to the sectional for the first time.

“They’ve got an outstanding goaltender over there and he can win you a game,” said Carlow. “We knew that…we knew that we had to keep to our game, keep to our style and we’ll get our chances and, you know, we did. We got one chance really and we put it in the back of the net.”

With 5:45 left in the first period, Thomas was on the post to tap in a rebound after good work from Robert Treiber and Lou Cappucci. Tierney almost got to that point-blank shot, but it was an early lead for the Warriors, which was one of the goals that Carlow set for his team before the game.

He explained, “We knew that a kid like him, as good as he is, to get comfortable in net only makes him better. To get one early was big because it puts a lot of pressure on their team, which we knew was having some trouble on the offensive side of the puck.”

Medfield controlled most of the play with far more of the puck possession and a 34-22 advantage in shots. OA was content to try and sit back and not allow Medfield’s speed to cause odd-man rushes and let Tierney keep the score low.

“We tried to clog up the middle a little bit,” said first-year OA coach Mark Homer. “They’re a quick team, there’s no doubt about it and not just the first line but all three lines. You take the middle of the ice, try to stay on the strong side of the puck and try to put the puck on net as often as you possibly can and hopefully you get a break.”

Tierney lived up to the billing to prevent Medfield from getting a second goal, although John MacLean had a wrist shot ring off the crossbar midway through the second period. Homer could only marvel at how much the netminder has meant to the Tigers in their run to the semifinal.

“Jimmy speaks for himself in the way that he’s played the last six or seven games,” said Homer. “He made some unbelievable stops out here tonight to keep us in the game. Right now, I don’t think there’s a better goaltender out there. He was in a zone.”

OA (12-9-2) had two goods scoring opportunities in the opening minute of the third period on rebounds from Medfield goalie Dan Graham, but no one was able to get a stick to them and the chances were cleared. The Warriors then gained control of play again (dominating 18-10 in shots in the third) but could not find the goal to put the game away.

In the closing minutes OA had a few other chances as it started to be more aggressive pushing forward and leaving forward Matt Campanella high in the neutral zone in hopes of catching Medfield in a quick transition. The Tigers would get two more good chances -- a pass into the slot just rolled off the blade of an open OA forward and then a shot from the point handcuffed Graham but Medfield cleared the rebound.

With 56.3 on the clock, Jack Scannell stole a pass at the blue line and skated in unopposed to fire home an empty net goal to make it 2-0. Twenty seconds later, Justin Hirschfeld added a second empty netter and let Carlow, and the bench, breathe a lot easier.

When asked about his reaction to Scannell’s goal, Carlow smiled and replied, “A big sigh of relief because it’s such a tense game and one bounce of the puck and it’s a tie game. Anything is possible at that point.”

Homer reflected, “The score doesn’t indicate the game -- we were one shot away. We’re probably not the most talented team compared to some of the teams in here, but we have more damn heart than any other team that you’ve probably seen.”

He added, “We took one of the best teams in Division 2 to a 1-0 game with two minutes left what more could you ask for as a coach? That scoreboard is not going to determine how I feel about this team.”

This was the third time in the past four seasons that Medfield has reached a sectional semifinal (the previous two were in D3) and the first time that it has advanced to the finals.

“This is the third time that we’ve been in this game with this group of guys and never gotten by it,” said Carlow. “I was just really happy for them to get over this hump.”

Medfield will play Canton in the final on Sunday at 4:45 p.m. at Gallo.

Recap: Mansfield 6, No. 25 Oliver Ames 2

January, 9, 2014
Jan 9
BROCKTON, Mass. - The game plan was simple for Mansfield: be as aggressive on the forecheck as they could.

They did that and it worked, forcing turnovers that led to goals in a 6-2 win over previously unbeaten No. 25 Oliver Ames.

The Hornets pressure paid off right away, dumping the puck down into the zone before junior Jared Collins fed senior Kyle Hurley on the doorstep for a one time goal that put Mansfield up 1-0, just 2:45 into the game. The period would end 1-0 in favor of Mansfield, which outshot the Tigers, 13-6.

"That was probably our best first period this year," said Mansfield coach Rick Anastos. "We followed it up with an even better second period I thought. It was an overall good effort on both team's part."

Mansfield's pressure paid off once again, this time while on the penalty kill. As their power play came to a close, they were whistled for a minor to put them on the kill. As Oliver Ames tried to bring the puck out of their own end, junior Adam Blackman came away with the steal and went in alone on goal and beat OA goalie Jimmy Tierney to make it 2-0 Mansfield with 9:03 left in the second period.

Less than a minute later, back at even strength, the Hornets continued to push the puck into the offensive third. Sophmore Billy Grant took possession of the puck on the edge of the face-off circle to the left of Tierney and fired a wrist shot that found the back of the net.

"As the game went on, we had some lapses," Oliver Ames head coach Mark Homer said. "When you play good teams, they are going to take advantage of that."

But as expected, Oliver Ames fought itself back into the game.

The Tigers started the final frame on a power play and took advantage 52 seconds in. Senior Colin Lozzi hooked up with classmate Matt Campanella, who fired an absolute snipe past Mansfield goalie Dan Moyer to make it 3-1.

The Tigers made things even more interesting six minutes later as junior defenseman Thomas McCormack sent the puck up along the boards and it was corralled by junior Tyler Provost. Provost faked around the defender before sending a perfect cross-ice pass to classmate Timmy Doherty. Doherty took control of the puck before firing in a shot from close range to make it 3-2 with 7:56 left.

"In the locker room between the second and third periods, we told them 'Look, it's 3-0, they are coming out full force,’” Homer said. “They aren't going to lie down and more than likely going to score, because they are a good team. When they do, that’s the time you need to not panic and just play your game.'

“When they scored that second goal, there was no panic on the bench and there was no let down either."

Just when it looked like Oliver Ames was going to be back in the game, Blackman proved why he's one of the best players in the Hockomock. After Oliver Ames was caught up in a delayed offside, Collins found Blackman in the slot and his wrist shot beat Tierney, scoring with just 2:47 remaining in the game.

"He's just good," Anastos added. "That's what we want from him."

Mansfield added to their lead with two goals in the final two minutes. Senior Ryan Burns intercepted a D-to-D pass in his own end and took it alone the distance before slotting it into the back of the net to make it 5-2. Collins capped the scoring with 1:15 left with a low shot that was able to find the back of the net.

"It wasn't any one thing that went wrong this us, I thought it was several issues," Homer added. "I can put it this way, our forwards didn't score enough goals, our defense let up too many goals, and our goalie didn't stop enough goals. There was no blame on any individual player."

Mansfield outshot Oliver Ames 41-24 in the game and Anastos knows that putting six past Tierney is no small feat.

"He's the best goalie in the league," Anastos said of Tierney. "We had 41 shots, I mean he's really good, there's not much else, he's just real good. We just wanted to shoot, shoot, shoot, and we excited it on the ice and he played outstanding. And I thought our goalie Dan Moyer played real well too."

Mansfield improves to 5-1-0 and will host Milford on Saturday at 5:20 p.m.

The Tigers dropped their first game of the season and are now 3-1-1. They'll be back in action when they take on North Attleborough, Saturday at 6:30 p.m., at the Foxboro Sports Center.

Our MIAA boys' hockey All-State Team

March, 28, 2013
All-StateF - Liam Coughlin, Sr., Catholic Memorial
Finished third among all Division 1 players in scoring, while leading the Knights back to the Super 8 for the first time since 2009-10. The South Boston native put up 28-20-48 totals, tied for first among Catholic Conference scorers this season.

All-StateF - Ara Nazarian, Soph., Malden Catholic
ESPN Boston’s Mr. Hockey award winner this season, Nazarian had 26-22-48 totals for the regular season, along with nine goals and five assists during the Super 8 tournament for the three-time defending champions. The Boxford resident and center is the first underclassman to win the Mr. Hockey award.

All-StateF – Brian Pinho, Sr., St. John’s Prep
The Providence College commit led the Eagles to a No. 1 seed in this year’s Super 8 tournament. The North Andover resident compiled 12-24-36 totals this season and, in January, was ranked No. 117 among North American skaters in the NHL Central Scouting’s Midterm Rankings.

All-StateD – Casey Fitzgerald, Soph., Malden Catholic
The North Reading resident earned his second Super 8 title with the Lancers, playing on all defensive units and is one of two players making a second-straight appearance on our All-State team. The Boston College commit had 5-17-22 totals on the season and recently was accepted in the United States National Team Development Program’s U-17 team.

All-StateD – Matt Foley, Sr., Springfield Cathedral
The two-way blue-liner finished third on the Panthers in scoring with 10-16-26 totals this year while leading them to another Super 8 apperance. A Longmeadow resident, the captain is deciding among prep schools for next year, as well as offers to play in college.

All-StateG – Peter Cronin, Sr., BC High
The only repeating First-Team All-Stater this year, Cronin finished in the top five among Division 1 netminders in both goals against average (1.40) and save percentage (94.6) while starting all 23 of the Eagles’ games. He is currently considering colleges among playing opportunities at the prep school and junior levels.

All-StateF – Tom Besinger, Jr., BC High
The Eagles’ top center and captain was force to reckon with in the circle, in addition to leading the Eagles with 35 points (10 goals and a team-best 25 assists).
All-StateF – Cam Owens, Sr., Wilmington
Finished his high school career with back-to-back Division 2 state championships. Owens racked up 30 points, playing alongside All-State honorable mention Brendan McDonough. Owens is currently weighing prep and junior options for next year.
All-StateF – Nolan Vesey, Sr., Austin Prep
The senior captain led the Cougars back to the Super 8 for the first time since the 2009-10 season and all the way to a finals appearance at the Garden. Vesey led AP in goals (18) and points (31) while kicking in 13 assists.
All-StateD – Nick Gorski, Sr., Central Catholic
A player who head coach Mike Jankowski repeatedly called his “most improved player” since freshman year, the Raiders captain played on all units, leading Central to another Super 8 appearance.
All-StateD – Jack Williams, Sr. Springfield Cathedral
A major component to perhaps the state’s best blue-line core, Williams did a little bit of everything for the Panthers, including playing forward on power-play units. The Suffield, Conn. resident tallied four goals and 19 assists for 23 points. He is currently weighing his playing options for next season.

All-StateG – Colin Soucy, Jr., Central Catholic
The break-out star of this year’s Super 8 tournament, Soucy nearly delivered the Raiders to a quarterfinal-round upset of No. 1 seed St. John’s Prep in his first year as Central’s starting netminder.

Best of the Rest – Honorable Mention
Tyler Bird, Jr., St. John’s Prep
Tommy Bishop, Sr., Chelmsford
Matt Brazel, Jr., Hingham
Brian Brooks, Jr., Canton
Mike Carbone, Sr., Marshfield
Bobo Carpenter, Soph., Austin Prep
A.J. Couto, Sr., Danvers
Ben Cox, Sr., Medfield
Peter Crinella, Soph., Springfield Cathedral
Cam Curley, Sr., Franklin
Sam D’Antuono, Jr., Hingham
Jordan Dow, Sr., Lincoln-Sudbury
Josh Edwards, Sr., Blue Hills
Brendan Greene, Jr., Winchester
C.J. Grinnell, Sr., Burlington
Marc Happy, Jr., Wachusett
Lloyd Hayes, Jr., Central Catholic
Kevin Hock, Frosh., Catholic Memorial
Mike Iovanna, Sr., Malden Catholic
Andrew Irving, Sr., Beverly
Connor Irving, Jr., Beverly
Ryan Jones, Sr., Coyle-Cassidy
Jack Kilty, Sr., Medway
Pat Kramer, Soph., BC High
Tom Koopman, Jr., Marblehead
Matt Kustra, Sr., Natick
Brendan McDounough, Jr., Wilmington
Anthony Lespasio, Sr., Bedford
Jack O’Hear, Sr., Catholic Memorial
Derek Petti, Sr., Tewksbury
Eddie Pratt, Sr., Xaverian
Nolan Redler, Jr., Winchester
Tyler Sifferlen, Jr., Malden Catholic
Mike Sorenti, Jr., Archbishop Williams
Sean Spohr, Sr., Westfield
Max Turcotte, Sr., Holliston
Max Willman, Sr., Barnstable

Matt Burchill, Sr., Marshfield
Derek Butler, Jr., Natick
John Carlson, Jr., Hingham
Adam Crowley, Jr., Burlington
Nick Edwards, Jr., Blue Hills
Sean Heelan, Sr., Catholic Memorial
Kurt Leavitt, Sr., Canton
Bryan Nelson, Soph., St. John’s (Shrewsbury)
Nick Rolli, Jr., Malden Catholic
Ryan Shea, Frosh, BC High
Sam Topham, Sr., BC High

Tim Birarelli, Soph., Beverly
Alex Buckley, Sr., Newburyport
Brandon Collett, Frosh., Catholic Memorial
Jordan Davis, Sr., Norwood
Derek DeCastro, Sr., Burlington
Drew Foley, Jr., Wilmington
Nolan Greene, Jr., North Quincy
Elijah Harris, Soph., Austin Prep
John Liquori, Jr., Springfield Cathedral
Al Lynch, Jr., Framingham
Evan Morelli, Sr., Reading
James Offner, Soph., Winchester
Nick Russo, Sr., Waltham
Jimmy Tierney, Soph., Oliver Ames

D2 South: Franklin 3, Oliver Ames 1

March, 13, 2013
BOURNE, Mass. – The storylines from Tuesday’s sectional final at the Gallo Ice Arena will sound very familiar to anyone that has followed Division 2 hockey for the past few years.

For the third straight season, the Franklin Panthers took home the sectional title and, for the fourth straight season, Oliver Ames’ season ended against Franklin. The Panthers scored the game’s first three goals and held Oliver Ames to just 17 shots to claim a 3-1 victory and return trip to the TD Garden.

The Panthers started quickly with a goal inside the opening 30 seconds of the first period.

Aiden Isberg flipped the puck in front of the net to fellow senior Cam Curley and Franklin’s leading scorer in the postseason threw the puck on net. Somehow, through traffic, the puck slipped past Oliver Ames star goaltender Jimmy Tierney and stunned the huge OA crowd stationed behind the net.

Curley remarked, while sporting a freshly broken tooth, that getting in front on the scoreboard was a priority for the Panthers. He also commented that he did not even know that the puck had gotten through.

“I got as much on it as I could and I knew that if I put it on net, good things would happen. I had no idea that it went in until Dennis Pisani started yelling,” he noted.

Curley added, “Me and my linemates talked about getting that first one. We got to the net, we put it on net and it went in. And it made it easier for us to play.”

Franklin head coach Chris Spillane also spoke about the importance of getting an early goal past Tierney, who has been one of the stars of the sectional to that point. He credited a change in style for the Panthers’ strong defensive performance.

“We changed up our forecheck and trapped them,”Spillane said. “They struggled to get the puck out of the zone. I think that was a huge part of our success, not letting the big kids stretch their legs through neutral ice.”

Franklin doubled its advantage with just less than three minutes to go in the first period. Eight seconds into the game’s first power play, Tierney robbed Franklin with a great kick save only to have the rebound go directly to senior forward Pat Slason, who buried his shot over the sprawling goalie.

The Panthers made it 3-0 midway through the second period on a well-worked goal from the third line. Nick Downie and Alec Borkowski combined at the blue line before defenseman Kyle Powers drove at the net. Powers sent the puck through the crease where Borkowski was on hand to tap home his second goal in as many games.

“That’s the way we have been the last couple of years; three or four lines,” said Spillane. “You never know when your number is going to get called and you better be ready when we call it.”

Oliver Ames scored a consolation goal in the game’s final minute. Kyle Hayes scored an unassisted goal with a rocket of a shot over the shoulder of Franklin goalie Devon Maloof. Maloof was not tested frequently, but was solid in net for the Panthers.

Oliver Ames head coach Jim Sullivan was proud of his team despite the loss and was proud of the Tigers’ deep run in the tournament.

“We still had the potential to come back,” said Sullivan. “The only way I look at it is someone had to win, someone had to lose. You know, we went all the way and gave it all that we had, can’t be down.”

He added a positive not about the OA program, “We’re moving one step at a time - maybe next year.”

Franklin will now look to a rematch of last year’s D2 final against Wilmington at the TD Garden. Both coach and senior captain are hoping that the third time is the charm.

“We’ve been there three years in a row and been bridesmaids two years in a row,” Spillane reflected. “I just told these kids that I will not be the Marv Levy of high school hockey.”

Curley related, “This is great right here, but I want that big one. Three years in a row I’ve been there and haven’t won one. Especially with them taking it from us last year, we want it bad.”

This has not been the perfect season and Franklin has not been the dominant team of years past, but regardless of how they got there, in their final season before a move to D1, once again the Panthers are the last team standing in D2 South.

D2 South: Oliver Ames 2, Canton 0

March, 7, 2013
BOURNE, Mass. -- The last time Canton lost in regulation was back on Jan. 2. That game was a 1-0 shutout against Oliver Ames and sophomore goalie Jimmy Tierney.

History repeated itself on Wednesday night in Bourne.

In the Division 2 South semifinal against the Tigers at Gallo Ice Arena, Canton once again ran into a dominant goaltender and failed to find the back of the net. Despite 37 shots on goal, the top seeded Bulldogs were shutout 2-0, sending Oliver Ames (17-4-2) into the sectional final.

“If I was younger, I would stand on my head too and show you what he did,” said Oliver Ames head coach Jim Sullivan of his star netminder. “He kept us in that game as usual. What a kid!”

Canton head coach Brian Shuman could only shrug and praise Tierney for once again proving to be too tough to beat.

“He’s probably not only one of the best goalies in D2, but in the state,” remarked Shuman. “We had our chances but we just couldn’t bury them. He’s one of those guys that haunts other teams with how well he plays.”

The Oliver Ames defense limited the opportunities for Canton’s top scorers, Brian Brooks and Pat Ward, through physical play and by keeping the Bulldogs (16-4-2) out of the middle of the attacking zone. Andrew Mancini and Andrew Romans continually cleared Canton players from in front of the crease to give Tierney a chance to see the puck.

Tierney credited his defenders for the shutout and noted that he was ready for a barrage of shots from the Hockomock League champions.

“It’s definitely better because you start feeling the shots earlier,” Tierney said. “The defense kept all the shots outside so it was good. I don’t think they had any shots in the slot.”

OA’s goalie may have stolen the show, but it was Romans that gave the Tigers the win. The defenseman pinched in on a power play and flicked an unstoppable wrist shot into the top corner from the edge of the faceoff circle. Tyler Provost picked up the assist.

The goal came with 7:55 left in the second period. The remaining 23 minutes of the game were increasingly desperate for Canton, as the Bulldogs threw everything at the OA net. Unfortunately for Canton, there was no way past Tierney.

Justin Davidner wrapped up the win for the Tigers with an empty net goal with 48 seconds left on the clock.

Sullivan was thrilled that his team was heading to the finals and even happier to do it by going through a league rival, which he believes is proof of the strength of the Hockomock. He was already looking forward to the next game against the winner of Franklin and Mansfield.

“It’s nice to get this far,” Sullivan said. “We haven’t been this far, I think since the 80’s. It’s just one more step, one more goal, and one more game.”