Boston High School: John Concannon

Recap: No. 5 Woburn 3, No. 2 SJP 2

December, 29, 2011
12/29/11
2:26
AM ET


WOBURN, Mass. -- St. John’s Prep and Woburn provided one of the many highlights to last year’s Super 8 tournament with a riveting overtime battle.

The Eagles got the better of that one, edging the Tanners 4-3, en route to their Super 8 final appearance.

Wednesday night’s matchup between the two squads didn’t disappoint either, but the No. 5 Tanners emerged with a more favorable result this time around, sweating out a 3-2 win over No. 2 Prep at O’Brien Rink.

Senior winger Danny Holland collected the game-winning goal midway through the third period, breaking a 2-2 deadlock.

“My wingman Johnny Dirienzo, he made a great pass coming across,” Holland said the goal. “I made a tip around one of the defensemen, I beat him to the corner, came out and just took a shot on net.”

Down the stretch, the Tanners defense held with senior captain Jake Secatore logging Chara-like minutes and sophomore goaltender Jeremy Flibotte making the saves.

Otherwise, the matchup was about as even as can be with the teams hitting the dressing room tied 1-1 at the first intermission and 2-2 after two.

Prep (3-1-0) claimed an early advantage with sophomore center Tyler Bird collecting his third goal on the young season. Woburn (2-1-1) tied the game just a minute later with John Concannon burying a wrister set up by talented freshmen siblings Nicholas and Christian Baldino.

The teams’ stars took over the action in the second, with two Hockey East commits trading goals.

UMass-Lowell commit Casey Shea broke his goalless skid with his first tally of the season. The Tanners senior captain skated circles around two Prep defensemen before beating goaltender David Letarte five-hole with a backhander.

With 12:31 remaining in the second, Prep star Sam Kurker left his imprint on the game. The rugged forward and BU-commit broke off the left wing boards, muscling off a Woburn defenseman before cutting to the slot and letting of a wicked wrister, beating Flibotte stick-side.

“We told ours wings to watch him coming off the wall in the second period,” Tanner head coach Jim Duran said of defending Kurker, who tallied his eighth goal of the season. “He was just too strong sometimes when he was coming off the half wall. He just fought through our checks.”

Woburn’s adjustments were evident in the game’s final minutes. The Tanners did good work to keep the Eagles to the outside and keeping sightlines clear for Flibotte.

“I don’t think we generated enough quality scoring chances,” Prep head coach Kristian Hanson said. “We had some shots from the perimeter, but we weren’t able to get to the net, try to get a rebound goal. I didn’t see that and I would’ve liked to.”

SEE YA LATER?
It’s not a stretch to say that the Super 8 squads from last season could find themselves in the same situation come the end of the season. But plenty has changed for Prep, which lost two-thirds of its top line from a year ago.

“It’s such a new group that, right now, it’s game by game,” Hanson said. “We have a lot players stepping into new roles.”

The constants for Prep are Kurker, Letarte and fellow senior captain and defenseman Nick Pandalena. Pandalena, who is committed to playing for BC’s golf team next season, is a big, physical blue-liner who’s not afraid of contact. With an improved skating game, Pandalena will be the crucial cog to an otherwise green blue line.

However, he wasn’t the only ESPN Boston preseason All-State defenseman on the ice. That honor also goes to Secatore, who proved his value in the third period. After a slow start to the game, the Tanner captain hardly left the ice during the final seven minutes of the contest, as Prep set up shop in the offensive zone and increased the forecheck.

Secatore’s effort is old hat to his teammates though.

“Jake Secatore, he’s just unbelievable,” Holland summed it up.

“He’s a great leader,” Duran added about Secatore, who played strong as a pairing with senior Adam Tanner. “He doesn’t say much, but he just works so hard in practice … He’s so strong, he skates so well. I just don’t think he realizes how good he can be.”

Super 8 ends in tie for Needham, Woburn

March, 13, 2011
3/13/11
2:03
PM ET
NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. –- It wasn’t the experience either team envisioned when the Super Eight tournament field was announced.

Sixth-seeded Needham and seventh-seeded Woburn each entered Sunday’s third-round game with an 0-2 record in pool play and no chance of advancing to the semifinals. Each team completed the tournament without a victory as well, as the teams skated to a 2-2 tie at Merrimack College’s Lawler Arena.

“Very proud of the way our kids played,” Woburn coach Jim Duran said. “It’s such a difficult game to come back and play when you’re not really playing for anything except for pride. There was no bologna out there. It was a good showing by both teams.”

Needham was trying to protect a 2-1 lead, but Woburn’s John Concannon capped the scoring with 5:28 to play. Because St. John’s Prep (2-0) and BC High (2-0) had already secured spots in the semifinals from Group 2, there was no overtime period.

Following the game, Needham coach Bill Giusti suggested it might benefit everyone if the tournament format is changed.

“It’s a tough game to play when you have two 0-2 teams,” he said. “I think maybe the format should be changed and maybe go to a Hockey East format (best-of-three series) and the winner moves on. Really I don’t think there’s gonna be any more games or any more time. Not only that, it makes the first and second seeds that much more important.

“I think it’s a better way. Unfortunately we’ve been involved in this game two years in a row. Last year with Winchester 0-2 and us 0-2. No one is in the stands either.”

Junior forward Daniel Holland also scored for Woburn, which completed its season with an 18-5-2 record. Junior defenseman Jake Secatore assisted on both Woburn goals.

The Tanners won a play-in game against Springfield Cathedral, and then lost one-goal games against St. John’s Prep (4-3 in overtime) and BC High (1-0) before Sunday’s contest.

Needham received goals from junior forwards D.J. Walsh and Timmy Parlato. The Rockets completed their season 12-8-5. The Rockets lost to BC High (2-0) and to St. John’s Prep (5-1) in its other tournament games.

“A tie was probably just for both of these teams,” Guisti said. “Luckily both teams were pretty disciplined.”

Woburn opened the scoring when Holland converted a rebound from close range at 4:46 of the second period.

Needham answered quickly. Walsh tied the contest 32 seconds later, and Needham took its first lead when Parlato beat goaltender Cam McGlashing on a shot from the right point at 7:12 of the second. Parlato’s goal came with one second left on a Needham power play.

“We talked before the game, not only did we want to play this for the seniors but also we wanted to play it for next year,” Duran said. “We showed we can play in the tournament. If we came here and had lost 5-0 they might have said we were just lucky to hang in there against those two teams [BC High and St. John’s Prep].

“I think we had a good effort tonight, and I think this gives us a lot of experience for next year. It gives us an idea do of what to expect and what it takes to get to that next level.”

No. 21 Woburn hits its stride

January, 6, 2011
1/06/11
12:28
AM ET
WOBURN, Mass. – After a 3-1 loss to Wakefield on Monday, No. 21 Woburn returned to the rink for Tuesday practice. Then, head coach Jim Duran preached about the Tanners’ return to playing the style of hockey that makes them successful.

After taking a 4-1 Middlesex League victory over No. 17 Burlington on Wednesday at O’Brien Arena, it looks as though Duran’s team heeded his advice.

“On Monday, we lost a lot of one-on-one battles,” Duran said. “I think tonight was the first night that we’ve played to our potential, on the forecheck and trying to cause turnovers. That’s what we tried to do and that’s what we’ve had success year after year doing. I think the kids did that tonight.”

The Tanners (4-1-0, 4-1-0) took an early lead on Bobby Smith’s snipe 9:49 into the first period. Smith unleashed a wrist shot with laser precision underneath the crossbar and just above the shoulder of Burlington goaltender Nick DeSimone.

Yet for much of the first period the teams were even, playing a spirited, hard-hitting 15 minutes of play.

The second period, however, belonged to Woburn, which out-shot the Devils 15-7.

“We turned the puck over to them a lot in the neutral zone,” Burlington head coach Bob Conceison said. “I felt like our D was flat-footed a lot. They have quick forwards and they created opportunities off of the neutral zone forecheck.”

The Tanners’ continued pressure paid off when Eddie Aprile knocked home the rebound from an Adam Tanner shot for a 2-0 lead in the second.

Woburn picked up where they left off two minutes into the third on John Concannon’s goal assisted by Tom Arsenault and Jared Baker.

Burlington (3-2-1, 3-2-0) got on the board with 7:27 remaining in the contest on R.J. Caruso’s power play blast set up by Stephen Mattos and Joey Centrella. The Tanners closed out scoring with a tremendous individual effort by Casey Shea, who scored with a deke while going one-on-one with the goaltender. Smith added the assist to finish with a two-point game.

Tanners goaltender Jon Braese finished with 27 saves to earn the win.

It was clear their coach’s message has gotten through.

“I just the think the kids skated,” Duran said. “They wanted it and kept going, going and going.”

TANNER SWEEP
The Woburn girls’ hockey team made it a sweep of their border rivals with a 7-1 win over Burlington in the early game Wednesday at O’Brien.

Colleen Martell led the Tanners (5-1-0, 4-1-0), tallying a hat trick in her second straight game.

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