Boston High School: John Maguire

Recap: No. 4 Austin Prep 5, Waltham 1

February, 16, 2014
Feb 16
7:11
PM ET
FALMOUTH, Mass. – “We should have just stayed on the Bourne Bridge.”

Waltham head coach John Maguire was not enthused about his team’s first few shifts against No. 4 Austin Prep (12-3-4), Sunday at the Buddy Ferreira Classic. The Cougars established their dominance right out of the gate, scoring three times over a span of just under three minutes early in the first period and never looked back as they rolled to an easy 5-1 victory in the opening round of the annual Cape Cod tournament.

“For us to hand them three goals like that. We didn’t really show up, that was depressing,” Maguire said. “They’re probably three or four goals better than us, but I didn’t like the way we played early. After that we settled in okay.”

AP’s bunched first period goals started just 84 seconds into the contest when Jake McKenelley broke the seal, cutting across the middle and wristing a quick one past starting goalie Brendan Develin.

At 3:55 the Cougars went up by a pair with a power-play goal from Mike Egan, who collected a rebound in the left wing corner and bounded in a Plinko chip from there. Eighteen seconds later Ryan McDonough broke with speed up the seam and beat Develin with a nifty crossover move to make it 3-0.

AP head coach Louis Finocchiaro liked the early hop that his club had.

“We came out strongly. After that I thought we were a little complacent,” the coach said. “In any tournament, the most important game is the first one and I thought we had had good puck movement and puck possession.”

Waltham (7-7-5) had a hard time adjusting to the speed of the game in the first period. AP outshot the Hawks 13-1 for the frame, with the first bid to reach the net coming with just 15 seconds left in the first, off the stick of Jake Miller.

The Hawks got their skates under themselves in the second and played a much better frame. A Brendan Hopkins power play goal at 5:08 cut the deficit to two goals, as the forward jammed in a rebound of a Kevin Snow shot.

AP got that one back late in the period, regaining their three-goal lead when Bob Carpenter floated a wrister from the high slot. Cam Russo, camped in front with his back to the net, redirected it past Waltham goalie Shamus Egan, beating the relief netminder to the stick side to make it a 4-1 game. Carpenter later capped the scoring, with seven seconds left to play, with a power play goal sniped from high in the zone.

AP squares off with No. 2 BC High Monday at 1 p.m., in what promises to be the game of the tournament at the Classic.

The Hawks are back at it tomorrow against Falmouth. They need to pick up three points in their last three games to qualify for the MIAA tournament.

On Tuesday, Waltha squares off with Westford Academy and will have one more Buddy Ferreira Classic contest later in the week.

Recap: No. 3 Central Catholic 4, No. 17 Waltham 1

January, 7, 2014
Jan 7
12:41
AM ET
SALEM, N.H. – In a battle of the top two teams in the MVC/DCL 1, Central Catholic showed that it liked its perch at the top.

The Raiders scored two goals in the first period and controlled tempo for most of the game en route to a 4-1 win Monday over Waltham at the Icenter.

Richie Greenberg led the Raiders with a goal and an assist.

“It was a big game,” Greenberg said. “[It] meant a lot to win and beat an undefeated team like that. Hopefully, we can keep it going.”

Central's offense swirled for long stretches of the game and dominated possession.

The Raiders (6-0-1, 3-0-1) made it a busy night for Waltham goalie Shamus Egan, who had to deal with 37 shots. Greenberg got the action going by poking a turnover to initiate a two-on-one before finding linemate Eric Robbins who buried a shorthanded goal midway through the first.

Greenberg gave Central some insurance with an unassisted goal with only five seconds left in the first.

“They were able to convert tonight which was nice to see,” Jankowski said of the line of Greenberg, Robbins and Kevin Regan. “They've been doing everything but finding the back of the net and finish, and they were able to do that tonight — real happy for them. They were able to capitalize tonight.”

Waltham (4-1-2, 2-1-1) broke through early in the second when Ben MacEwen forced home a shot in a scrum in front of Central goalie Colin Soucy. The Hawks were able to get 16 shots on cage, but quality scoring chances were hard to come by.

Central gave Waltham numerous chances to inflict damage, but the Hawks were unable to convert on any of their eight power plays, including a pair of 5-on-3 situations.

“To be honest with you we're down 2-0 after one, but it could have been more, but popped one on the first shift of the second and we made it competitive,” Waltham coach John Maguire said. “They're as good as advertised. They just came at us in waves.

“Our power play is struggling and has been struggling. We've got to find a way to get that fixed and hopefully soon.”

Conrad Jepson ferried home a goal from the point to put Central up 3-1 late in the second. Jepson led a tough defensive effort by Central that curtailed Waltham all over the ice while also adding to the offensive attack.

“They transition so well and take care of business in their own zone,” Jankowski said. “Offensively, it's nice of them to chip in because they do all the dirty work that no one seems to get credit for, but tonight they were able to get the back of the net. They rewarded themselves for a change and got a bit of the limelight.”

Central's Jeff Thompson scored his second career goal with just over five minutes left in the game.

THAT’S A BIG POND: A standard ice hockey rink is 200 by 85 feet. But the main sheet at the Icenter is 200 by 100 feet. That extra 3000 square feet allowed Central's speed to flourish and set the tempo of the game. It's an advantage that Jankowski did not understate.

“It's nice because it takes a while for teams to adjust to that surface,” Jankowski said. “Once they do. it's a little less of an advantage, but at the beginning especially when we know we have that extra space and we have the speed to utilize that space. It's a fun team to watch. I'm excited to see where it's going to go down the road.”

Maguire said he thinks the rematch, in Waltham's smaller rink, will be closer but did not make any excuses.

“I think they're so good it's not going to make a difference in terms of win and loss, but it certainly makes a difference in terms of their ability to skate,” Maguire said. “I think it would have been a more competitive game in terms of shots and flow of the game in a smaller rink like Waltham.

“That being said, the reason they won the game today is that they're a better team than us.”

Maguire and his Hawks will get that second crack against Central on Feb. 12.

Hockey teams kick off season at Regan Summitt

December, 9, 2013
12/09/13
1:42
AM ET
MARLBOROUGH, Mass. -- It is never easy replacing a legend, but that is the task which has been handed down to first-year St. John's (Shrewsbury) coach Mike Mead.

Mead's Pioneers, along with many of the state's other top-echelon programs, took part in Sunday's Fifth Annual Garrett Regan Hockey Summit at New England Sports Center. The event is named after the former 26-year Hingham High coach and Massachusetts State Hockey Coaches Hall of Fame inductee who passed away in June 2008.

Mead, who was appointed to the position last September, takes over for Brian Murphy, who stood behind the St. John's bench for 29 seasons, posting an overall record of 392-217-63, including a pair of Division 1 state titles (1999, 2004) and a handful of Super 8 appearances.

Mead is no stranger to St. John's. He served as an assistant under Murphy for 16 years, leaving in 2007 to spend more time with his family. He is also head of the Math Department at the school.

"Brian is a great friend and was a great mentor," said Mead. "He kind of broke me in. When this opportunity happened I jumped at it. My kids are little older now so everything sort fell into the right place at the right time for me."

Mead exudes the fact that the Pioneers have a plethora of depth, including a freshman team with 25 members. "We have a lot of kids who came back and tried out," he said. "We have good numbers and good depth. I don't really know the kids yet so with our tryouts I did things by grade. I didn't do it with returning players. We did juniors and seniors one day and freshman and sophomores the next. What I have seen so far I have been pleasantly surprised."

St. John's will, again, be paced by senior defensemen Bryan Nelson (23 points last season), Connor McCann, senior forward Kevin Butler and senior goaltender Mario Pizzeri.

Mead is also counting on senior forward Chris Adams and junior forward Dan Barlock to make their presence felt.

"We'll try to be aggressive on the forecheck and having two men on the puck," Mead said. "The biggest thing for us will be on offense. I feel we are a strong defensive team. I'm going to need some of our seniors to put the puck into the net."

Lancers quest for four: Malden Catholic began its quest for a fourth consecutive Super 8 crown, taking on Springfield Cathedral, another Super 8 qualifier from a year ago.

The Lancers controlled the opening frame, building a 4-1 lead before the Panthers rallied for three unanswered tallies to earn a 4-4 tie in the 2-period scrimmage.

By most people's observations, MC is the prohibitive favorite to claim another Super 8 crown again this season.

Despite the losses of two of their most prolific players (Casey Fitzgerald and Mike Iovanna, who combined for 56 points a year ago), there is still plenty of talent to carry the Lancers again this season. Junior forward Ara Nazarian (26 goals, 24 assists) leads the way. Senior forward Tyler Sifferlen, junior forward Austin Goldstein, sophomore forwards Matt Filipe and Jake Witkowski along with defensemen John McLean, Nick Rolli are solid. As of now, Alex Reissis appears to be the front-runner between the pipes replacing departed Connor Maloney.

"We lost some major contributors but we have a good bunch of younger kids who have come in that should fill those spots fine," MC head coach John McLean said. "The issue is you cannot replace a Casey Fitzgerald (who joined the United States National Team Development Program). He was a special player but the guys that are going to play need to step up.

“As far as our expectations I just worry about the next game. We don't think about the Super 8. Right now we're rolling everyone and everyone is getting to play. When we work we're good and when we don't want to work then we're just average. All that matters is winning the last game of the year. Last year was a long learning curve for us. Hopefully our leaders this year will step it up and take us to the Garden again. We have a lot of good, young strong players. It's just a matter of them gaining the confidence to play at this level."

Against Springfield Cathedral, Sifferlen netted a pair of goals, with Goldstein and Rolli accounting for one apiece.

"I think we have a good group of young core guys on this team," said Nazarian, a UNH commit. "We have good leadership from our older guys. It's a good mix of young and older guys. I think things are looking good so far. There is one goal here and that's to win the whole thing. That is our mindset. We won last year so we know every team we play is going to give us their best so we need to give it our best every game. This is a whole new season so we're just focusing on winning it again and not look back on last year."

Raiders on the rebound: Having reached the third round of last year's Super 8 before falling to St. John's Prep, Central Catholic remains hopeful for another stab at the big dance. Raiders head coach Mike Jankowski is a main reason as to why this program has emerged as a driving force statewide.

With Central everything begins from the net outward. Senior goaltender Colin Soucy, arguably the best high school netminder in the state, will be relied on heavily to get the Raiders back into Super 8 contention.

"We've had a lot of success of late," Jankowski said. "The culture has changed here and we are getting kids coming back from juniors and prep schools and believing in this program and high school. We want kids to enjoy their high school experience here. The schedule we play keeps is very competitive and it keeps our kids engaged and maintains them playing at a high-level. There's nothing like high school hockey in terms of the relationships and friendships the kids build. It's an awesome brotherhood that all teams should experience."

For years, Central often flew under the radar, constantly being overshadowed by other programs. But due to their recent success, that is no longer the case. Jankowski wishes it was not like that but when you win consistently, you now have a target on your back.

"Now, instead of coming in as a dark horse which we like to ride, there is a new expectation level which has been set here but I think we're ready for it," he said. "Colin is back and what he did for us, especially at the end of last year, was remarkable. For the kids to have that confidence in him at his position just gives us that added advantage. The goalie position where it makes a difference in a team's won-loss record. Colin is just a great example of being a great character kid."

Panthers on the prowl: With the loss of two key contributors last year, Springfield Cathedral will be looking to its youthfulness to help them make a return visit to the Super 8. Gone are defenseman Matt Foley and forwards Artie Potter and Dominic Blad. But who returns should play a key role in the Panthers postseason hopes. It all starts with goalie John Liquori. The team's lone senior, Liquori played himself into a top-level talent a year ago. Forwards Peter Crinella (a Holy Cross commit), Johnny Leonard, D.J. Petruzzelli, Cole Foster, Zac Prattson and Riley Prattson will give Cathedral the ammo it needs on offense.

Defense will be a work in progress, but Bryce Peritz, Jordan Tetreault and Cam Griffin return.

Also make note on freshman goaltender Keith Petruzzelli over the next couple of years.

"We've got babies but they're all good," Panthers coach Brian Foley said. "Our first two lines are going to score goals. We had a great first week of practice and you noticed how much they improved in just one week. It'll be fun over time to see how these guys mature this year. I think this will be our most-offensive team that we've had ever. All of those kids did a lot of work on their strength and speed during the off-season. I also think our defense and goaltending will be outstanding as well."

BC High movin’ on: With the loss of all-everything goaltender Peter Cronin, all is not lost at BC High. Brandon Payzant, a sophomore, was Cronin's understudy a year ago and by the looks of things, he appears to be a quick learner after playing solid between the pipes today against St. Mary's of Lynn.

"Brandon was with us last year as a freshman," Eagles coach John Flaherty said. "Obviously he had a great kid to watch and learn from. Peter was great working with Brandon so he now has a year of experience under his belt in practice and being around these guys. Now he is able to get some game experience. He's a good athlete and someone who will be able to step in and carry the load for us. We are also carrying eight defense (spearheaded by Sam Topham) where we hope to find the right combinations in order to keep the puck out of our zone."

On offense, BC High will count on Patrick Kramer (25 points), Steve DeForge, Chris LaLiberte, Tim Larocque, Jake Lemanski and Connor Noonan to work the puck into opposing team's defensive zones.

"We have a lot of experience back," Flaherty added. "It is just now we need guys to play bigger roles for us. Overall we are returning seven defensemen, 11 forwards and one goaltender and most of them have been around for a few years and it is our hope this is the year they blossom."

Hawks a sleeper?: Don't rule out Xaverian as a potential candidate to do some big things this season. Reaching the Division 1 South quarterfinals last season, the Hawks should be a better unit this year in spite of the departures of Eddie Pratt (17 goals last year) and defenseman Mike Brennan. They are led by forwards Antonio Marini (35 points last year), Tim Sweeney (24 points) and Jake Farrell (14). Defensively, Rick Smith and Ryan Walsh will be keys in shutting down opposing offenses.

Shot in the arm for SMH: After spending last season at Brewster Academy, St. Mary's of Lynn head coach Mark Lee was overjoyed learning that goalie Bailey MacBurnie was returning for his senior year.

Two years ago, as a sophomore, MacBurnie secured a 1.38 goals-against-average in helping the Spartans earn a No. 2 seeding in the Super 8 Tournament. With him back in the crease, expect St. Mary's to make another solid postseason run.

"Bailey can certainly be a difference maker for us," Lee said. "I think with this team we are putting a lot of kids in a position to allow them to gain great experience because overall we are a young team. I think we'll get better as the season goes."

With another year under their respective belts, you can look for forwards Jordan Manthorne and Jon Powers, the only two players to reach double digits in scoring last season, to lead to carry this club offensively.

Burlington moves on from repeat: Defending back-to-back Division 1 state champion Burlington will count on its defense to help the Red Devils in their quest for a third state title.

"So far I'm happy with our progress even though it has only been a couple of days," said Burlington head coach and recently-inducted Mass. State Coaches Association Hall of Famer Bob Conceison. "We have a strong defense and some forward that are young so it will be a work in progress to get our offense going. This is kind of a similar team to last year in that our offense started to come together at the end of the year. It's going to take a while for our offense to gel. We lost some firepower on offense last year (losing C.J. Grinnell and Joe Bernardi) but our defense is back."

The Red Devils also lost goalie Derek DeCastro to graduation and hope to fill the void with senior Mike Guleserian.

The Hall calls: Longtime Hudson head coach Mike Nanartowich will be inducted into the Mass. State Coaches Hall of Fame in May, along with Murphy, Waltham head coach John Maguire and Stoughton front man Dan Mark. Two years removed from his Division 3 state championship triumph over Medway, Nanartowich, now in his 24th season, regards Shrewsbury as the favorite in Central Mass. this year.

The Colonials return a front line of Dan and Jack Quinlivan along with David Belbin. Last season the trio combined to score 125 points. However, never never rule out the possibility for the Hawks at making a serious charge by season's end.

"You still have to go out and show up for every single game," Nanartowich said. "Right now you have to give the edge to Shrewsbury because of the people that they are returning as well as Wachusett and its depth. But at this point, I just think Belbin and the Quinlivan brothers can be the most-dominant line in all of Central Mass. this year. How you take care of their speed and skill requires a lot of game planning. As for us, we will still go out and play everyone straight up like we always do."

In regards to going into the Hall of Fame, Nanartowich remains humble over the selection. He passes the credit over to the players and coaches he has worked with over the years as the reason for the honor.

"I'm going in with a bunch of great guys and guys who have won at a good level," he said. "For me, all that hard work of watching tape, going to various rinks to scout and those commitments you make in the off-season with your team has paid off in winning a state championship and now it has paid off in terms of being recognized by your peers."

Hawks longtime assistant coach Mike Correa added that the honor bestowed on Nanartowich is certainly well-deserved.

"There is probably no one who does more for his players or works harder at preparing kids, not only for the game but life lessons as well, than him," Correa said. "Winning the 2012 state championship is not the reason why he should be in the hall. It is all the dedication he has brought to all the kids who have played in this program over the years which stands out to me."

D1 North: Winchester 4, Waltham 2

March, 8, 2013
3/08/13
1:50
AM ET


NORTH BILLERICA, Mass. -- The crowd was even and the student sections were equally loud, but only Winchester had Nolan Redler and Brendan Greene.

The junior duo combined five points to power Winchester past Waltham, 4-2, and into Monday’s Division 1 North final.

Redler had a pair of goals and an assist while Greene scored a goal and had a helper.

“They see the ice so well,” Winchester head coach Matt Spang said. “I’d be lying if I told you I was teaching that to them. They just see the ice so well and do a good job.”

Waltham (13-9-2) struck first when junior Justin Provencher shot across his body and tucked the puck into the top corner.

Winchester (16-5-3) responded less than three minutes later when Redler found Danny Marx on the power play to tie it heading into the break.

“It took us a little bit to get our legs, but once we did and we settled in I thought we played we played well,” Spang said. “I’ve got a young team, so it just takes them a little while to get settled in. We knew that coming in. We thought the first five minutes would be tough on us. We handled it, we got out of the first period 1-1, and then we just played from there.”

The Sachems controlled the second period and Redler and Greene each had their moments. Greene stuffed a rebound home less than three minutes into the period to put the Sachems ahead for good. Greene later found Redler with a perfect tape-to-tape pass that Redler easily guided into the goal.

Waltham pressed physically and — with a bigger team — was able to dole out some impressive hits.

However, the Hawks’ attack had trouble cracking netminder James Offner. The sophomore had 19 saves for the Sachems.

“Part of it is a credit to them, but part of it we have to play better puck possession,” Waltham head coach John Maguire said. “They took advantage of our mistakes.

“They have some skilled kids. It’s unfortunate that we made it even easier for those skilled kids in turning the puck over. It’s tournament hockey. [It] could have went either way for a little while.”

Redler added his second after an incredible one-man effort early in the third period to put Winchester up three. Waltham’s Sean Kelley scored three minutes later to cut the deficit, but that’s how the game would end.

FIRST-LINE CHEMISTRY
In sports consistency is king. Playing with the same people, over time, will develop a sense of timing and awareness that’s almost instinctual.

That’s how it is for Redler and Greene.

“We’ve been playing together since we were eight years old,” Greene said. “We have such good chemistry.

“We’re always with each other in school, out of school, always hanging out. So it just shows on the ice. We always know where each other are. We love each other on and off the ice.”

Coming into the tournament, the duo had combined nearly 40 percent of Winchester’s points, and there’s still more hockey left in 2013 for Redler and Greene.

ALL MIDDLESEX AT TSONGAS
Monday’s North sectional final will pit the Sachems against league-rival Burlington. The teams met in Burlington on Jan. 19, when the Red Devils coming away with a 3-0 win.

D1 North: Waltham 3, Arlington Catholic 2 (OT)

March, 4, 2013
3/04/13
12:32
AM ET
STONEHAM, Mass. — Arlington Catholic clawed its way back to force overtime, but Waltham goalie Nick Russo stole the show making 39 saves as the Hawks held on to beat the Cougars, 3-2, in the Division 1 North quarterfinals.

Russo was by far the star of the game as it took the Cougars (11-7-4) until the third period to find the back of the goal.

“He doesn’t get rattled,” Hawks head coach John Maguire said. “The pressure was relentless on him for while, and they had more jump in their offense than us. He made some very key saves.”

Bryan Longmoore had a goal and an assist for Waltham (13-8-2) in the win. His helper set up Joe Tully on the game-winning goal in overtime.

Arlington Catholic’s Marc Vercellini put on a show in the third period especially as he single handedly brought the Cougars from down, 2-0, to a 2-2 tie. He finished the night with a goal and an assist.

“We told Marc [Vercellini] in the locker room that tonight was the best game he has ever played at Arlington Catholic,” Cougars head coach Dan Shine said.

Waltham’s Kevin Snow started the scoring within the first two minutes of the second period after a scoreless first. Snow beat Arlington Catholic goalie John Richard (16 saves) in close on a wrist shot.

“[Snow’s] line has been carrying us a lot this season, and it was just a simple case of guys going to the net,” Maguire said. “We talk about dirty goals, and that was definitely one.”

Play started to get very physical as both teams delivered a few bone crunching hits, and Brendan O’Connell had a great chance to tie the game up. O’Connell was able to walk right out in front of the goal from behind on Russo, but Russo stayed with the speedy forward to keep his Hawks up, 1-0.

Before the period ended, Longmoore added a goal, which sent the Hawks into the intermission up two goals.

In the third period, Arlington Catholic amped up its offensive attack throwing everything it had at Russo. Vercellini was in the middle of all of it, as he set up Ryan Tierney with a beautiful one-timer by undressing the defense on his way to the goal.

“That was a big time move he made to get by the defense, and he put the puck right on Ryan Tierney’s stick, he buried it,” Shine said.

Vercellini kept the offensive pressure up throughout the period, and the Cougars finally got the tying goal with only 2:39 remaining in the third. It was of course Vercellini who tied things up as he tipped in a shot from the blue line.

“I saw it hit his stick and go into the net, and that is how you beat a good goalie like Russo,” Shine said.

Neither team could find twine before the end of regulation, so the game went to overtime. In overtime, Tully was the hero as he backhanded the game-winner past Richard, keeping Waltham’s season alive.

“I just saw the play creating as Longmoore was coming down with the puck, and I saw a lane on the right side to the net,” Tully said. “I called for the puck, and I found an opening to score. I just watched it slowly go in, and it was pretty surreal.”

Russo stands on head for Waltham

February, 17, 2013
2/17/13
5:33
PM ET


FALMOUTH, Mass. -- Waltham isn’t going to impress you with an array of beautiful offensive hockey. While the Hawks are returning to postseason play with an 11-6-2 record after Saturday’s 1-0 win over Super 8 hopeful Archbishop Williams, Waltham has scored just 39 goals on the season.

Thankfully, playing behind a stout defensive unit led by senior goaltender Nick Russo, the Hawks have maintained a +13 differential in goal ratio and allowed just 26 pucks in their net this season.

In the last couple of seasons, the Hawks have been a .500 team, and then a snake-bitten sub-.500 team last year, when they suffered through a chain of more one-goal losses than just about any squad in MIAA hockey.

The formula hasn’t changed for John Maguire’s team, but maybe it’s just an element of puck luck that created the difference this year. More likely, it’s an element of sound fundamentals in the defensive zone, on display in the Hawks’ shut-out win over Archies on Cape Cod. While 45 shots found their way to Russo, the Hawks’ goaltender saw just about every one of them.

“Sean Kelley, Steve Hanley, Nick Sutherland, Sean Richard, and couple more guys, they’re all great,” Russo said. “They let me see the puck, they keep things wide and they clear things out in front on rebounds.”

While the Hawks continued dodging fate, Waltham finally worked to score the lone goal of the game with 1:52 remaining in the third. Justin Provencher’s blast on the power play was the difference.

“They outplayed us in the first, but it was a whole-team effort,” Russo said. “But then we were even, then [Provencher] put one in and that felt amazing.”

Of all the teams in this year’s Cape Cod Classic, Waltham might be the underdog. They didn’t make the Super 8 Watch List, in fact, they’re the only team in the eight-team field in Falmouth not to have made a Top 25 poll appearance this season.

But Saturday showed the Hawks aren’t to be trifled with and, if Russo continues to make stops at a prodigious pace, they will prove a tough out in the upcoming state tournament.

“These are all tournament teams, or Super 8 teams, so winning down here is huge,” Russo said. “It gets you ready for the tournament.”

MONDAY'S CAPE COD CLASSIC SECOND-ROUND SCHEDULE
Duxbury vs. Hingham, 1 p.m.
Archbishop Williams vs. Arlington Catholic, 3 p.m.
Austin Prep vs. BC High, 5 p.m.
Waltham vs. Falmouth, 7 p.m.

Second round sizzles at Cape Cod Classic

February, 22, 2011
2/22/11
1:44
AM ET


FALMOUTH, Mass. -- The most highly anticipated matchup in Monday’s second round of the Cape Cod Classic came in the form of two Super Eight “Watch List” teams facing off.

Both No. 5 BC High and No. 22 Austin Prep entered the game with a sense of urgency, matching each other stride for stride in an up-and-down first period at Falmouth Ice Arena. Yet, the Cougars were unable to match their intensity with their result on the scoreboard as Eagles netminder Peter Cronin turned aside 17 shots for his second straight shutout of the tournament and, coupled with a balanced scoring attack, BC High took an important 4-0 win.

Following a 5-0 blanking of Super Eight lister Hingham on Saturday, the Eagles are sitting pretty with a game to go.

“Peter [Cronin] is playing very well and he’s a good goalie,” BC High head coach John Flaherty said. “I was allow him to see the shots, he’s going to make the saves. The last couple of games he’s made it look easy for him, not that it’s been easy for him, but he’s made it look that way.”

The Eagles (12-4-3) finally broke the first-period stalemate on Brendan O’Malley’s goal with 3:36 to play on a crossing pass from Sean Talbot with Mike Cashman picking up a second assist.

BC High struck again with 3:28 remaining in the second with Chris LaLiberte banging one home from the top of the crease.

The Eagles preserved their second straight shutout effort with some key penalty kills in the third period.

Cronin and Co. kept the Cougars (10-6-3) off the board despite three power play chances. BC High also got one of its own a man down, with Matt Sullivan’s short-hander off a 2-on-1 break with an assist from Mike Marsters. That marker rounded out scoring with five minutes to play.

“Our PK’s been pretty good all year, it’s too bad that we have to use them so much though,” Flaherty said. “We need to stay out of the box a little bit better than we are.”

Andrew White scored earlier in the third off some pretty transition play with an assist by LaLiberte, who capped off a two-point game.

HOME COOKIN’ FOR FALMOUTH


Falmouth head coach Buddy Ferreira described the Clippers second-round matchup with Waltham as a “couple of .500 teams going at it.” But, with stakes so high, both squads brought their top game.

Of course, Falmouth is always a tough out as tournament hosts, but the Hawks had desperation on their side. Waltham entered the game two points shy of a state tournament berth with two games to play.

While the Hawks got half of what they needed, picking up a point for working to a 2-2 tie with the Clippers in regulation, Falmouth got the best of them in a shootout victory.

“Last game [a 2-0 win over Arlington Catholic] really boosted our confidence and this game just set it off,” Clippers junior defenseman Travis Howe said. “It meant so much to our team and Coach [Ferreira] even.”

The teams were deadlocked, 1-1, after the second intermission, but Waltham (7-7-6) showed grit, working for the go-ahead tally a little more than a minute into the third on Chris Maguire’s put back of a rebound on D.J. Feeney’s shot.

Although Falmouth (9-9-3) continued putting shots on Hawks goalie Patrick Jordan, they were repeatedly rebuffed.

Finally, with the benefit of a power-play advantage, Howe netted the equalizer with an unassisted goal, beating Jordan stick side with a slapper.

In desperate need of points, Waltham head coach John Maguire pulled Jordan inside of 30 seconds remaining for an extra-attacker. Already on a power-play after a Falmouth holding penalty with 55 seconds remaining, the 6-on-4 advantage still wasn’t enough to help one past Clipper netminder Brandon Moore.

The teams played to a scoreless overtime session before moving to the shootout, which Falmouth won, 2-0. Howe scored the Clippers first shootout goal before Matt Kinchla iced the victory, beating Jordan on a backhander.

“This is a big positive for us,” Ferreira said of his young squad. “We have seven sophomores who see regular ice time, so it’s been tough. But this is big to prove them they can come back in a game like that.”

The Clippers will face BC High for the tournament championship Thursday in Falmouth. The Hawks need one elusive point in their next tournament game against Austin Prep to qualify.

THIRD TIME A CHARM FOR ARCHIES



Although Falmouth’s comeback put an emphatic stamp on an exciting day of hockey, it wasn't the only game Monday to go an extra session. No. 19 Archbishop Williams’ finally got the monkey off its back with a shootout win over 17th-ranked Arlington Catholic.

Although the shootout victory counts only for the tournament (the game is recorded as a 3-3 tie toward MIAA records), Bishops head coach Derackk Curtis took the game for what it was as a vast improvement over their previous two meetings against their Catholic Central rivals. The Cougars won each of those earlier league contests.

“We haven’t been playing real well lately, so it was good to battle back and get that monkey off our backs,” Curtis said. “We haven’t been able to beat AC all year and going back to the state championship and losing to them at the Garden … It’s good for team chemistry and the morale of the guys, they deserve it.”

The Bishops (9-5-5) were down 3-1 entering the third period, but tied the game in regulation with a pair of goal inside the final four minutes.

Stephen Boardman drew the Bishops within one, going to the backhand on a deke in close against AC netminder John Busa with 3:27 remaining.

Dan Gibbons knotted the game at 3-3 less than a minute later, knocking one home from the doorstep.

After playing to a scoreless 5-minute overtime period, the teams went to the shootout. The Bishops took the best-of-five, 2-0, with successful tries by Michael Sorrenti and Mike Boyle.

Bishops sophomore netminder Brian Nazzaro made all four saves in the shootout, capping off a stellar game that included several saves during AC’s power play opportunity that spanned the final minute of the third and the first minute of the overtime.

The win unofficially snapped a three-game losing streak for the Bishops against the Cougars (8-5-7) which spanned back to last year’s Division 1 state title game.

“They came back and played hard,” Arlington Catholic head coach Dan Shine said. “We had a couple of chances to get the game-winner, but we didn’t get the bounces.”

HINGHAM AVENGES DUXBURY DRAW
When South Shore rivals No. 2 Hingham and Duxbury met earlier this season, the teams skated to a 2-2 tie at the Ed Taylor Tournament at Pilgrim. The Harbormen escaped with a win via a shootout in that holiday contest.

On Monday, with Hingham smarting over a 5-0 blanking at the hands of fifth-ranked BC High during Saturday’s opening round of the Cape Cod Classic, they were looking to rebound in their second-day matchup against the Dragons.

Hingham returned with a convincing 6-0 shutout over Duxbury and regained some of the momentum they’d built earlier in the month.

“We were playing pretty good hockey coming in, we’d won our last five games,” Harbormen head coach Tony Messina said after Monday’s win. “[Against BC High], it was our own fault. They’re a good team and we didn’t do the things we needed to do to win.

“We wanted to restore some of that confidence we’d been playing with.”

Hingham (12-5-4) got out to a 1-0 first-period lead, but exploded in the second period for three goals, sparked by defenseman Steven Bellew’s slap shot from the point off a failed Dragons clearing attempt.

“We have a good amount of guys who have been there,” Messina said when asked about the tenor of the room leading up to Super Eight selection Saturday. “We know what we have to do to get there.”

The Dragons (7-7-7) still need two points to qualify for the state tournament and have a crack against Arlington Catholic next.

Stalemate between No. 12 Billerica, Waltham

January, 16, 2011
1/16/11
12:33
AM ET
WALTHAM, Mass. -- Saturday night’s 3-3 tie between Dual County League/Merrimack Valley Conference foes Billerica and Waltham at Veterans Rink was much of the same from both sides.

Mike Mastrullo thinks his No. 12 Indians are still searching for their identity. Meanwhile, Hawks head coach John Maguire saw his team battle, then only to see another two-goal lead fall by the wayside.

In the end, both teams skated away with their fourth tie of season, unable to claim a vital second point in conference.

“That’s been our year,” Mastrullo said, “either we’re good or we’re bad. But when we’re persistent and we do the things we’re capable of doing, then things go well.”

Billerica (3-0-4, 2-0-2) certainly put their best effort forward to start, carrying play in the Waltham end for long stretches of the opening period.

Jack Jenkins had the Indians to a 1-0 lead 10:33 into the first on a terrific individual effort. After an outlet pass from Russ Tedford led Jenkins through the neutral zone, he had only one Hawk defender to beat. With a deke and a drag of the puck through the defender's legs, Jenkins broke in on Waltham goaltender Patrick Jordan and went top shelf, glove-side for the goal.

The Hawks (3-2-4, 1-2-3) drew even with the aid of their first of two power-play goals on the evening. Doug Usseglio knocked home a rebound off Chris Maguire’s shot to make it 1-1.

“I thought our penalty kill was fantastic and our power play was two-for-three, so you can’t ask for anything better than that,” John Maguire said. “Most of our guys play on both units, so I was really happy with their effort.”

After a scoreless second period, Waltham started the third period with a flurry of activity.

The Hawks put in their second power play goal of the game 23 seconds into the third on Chris Maguire’s tally, assisted by Terry Murphy and Usseglio. Mike Hanley struck 29 seconds later with a goal set up by Jack LeClair, giving Waltham a two-goal cushion.

However, Saturday’s game became the fourth time the Hawks have surrendered a two-goal lead in the third period.

John Kelleher one-timed a perfect feed from Jenkins into the net to cut the Indians’ deficit to one. Billerica tied the game with 3:30 remaining on Ross Murphy’s goal with an assist by Ross Olsson.

Jordan, who weathered the storm admirably for the Hawks in the first period, finished with 20 saves. Bob Bourgeois had 19 saves between the pipes for Billerica.

“They play the game that comes to them,” Mastrullo said of his group. “When they want to play, that’s the way they can play. It’s a challenge. It’s a mindset they need to have that they’re going to win any game they’re coming into. We haven’t established that yet.”

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