Boston High School: Justin Fein

Recap: No. 4 BC High 6, No. 6 St. John's Prep 0

January, 17, 2015
Jan 17
BOSTON -- Even before the team’s recent two-game slump, BC High was in somewhat of a funk. The team was searching for an identity for the new season and was unable to put together a complete game. On Saturday, the Eagles might have turned the corner and found the identity they were intently looking for.

BC High scored a goal in the first 80 seconds of each period en route to a dominating 6-0 win over St. John’s Prep in a Catholic Conference game at UMass-Boston’s Beacon Arena.

“We wanted to get on top first, get an early one and get the momentum going our way. It was an early morning game so the momentum was big for us,” said Merrimack recruit Pat Kramer, who had two goals and an assist.

“You want to jump on a team, especially playing in your own building. We know they’re a good team and they’re going to work hard. We knew we had to capitalize and get out on top early if we were going to have a chance today,” added BC High coach John Flaherty.

The strong effort didn’t just stop after the first few minutes of each period. It was a dominant win for the Eagles from start to finish as they pulled back to 500 in the league at 2-2.

“Today was our best effort front to back. We played a complete 45-minute hockey game for the first time in a long time," said Flaherty. "From the drop of the puck until the final buzzer we played hard and we played smart. We protected pucks when we needed to and made good decisions."

Picked almost unanimously to win the Catholic Conference, the Eagles stumbled to two consecutive league losses against Malden Catholic and Xaverian before snapping the losing streak against Arlington Catholic Thursday night.

“We took a couple days there to refocus, watch some film and figure out what it is we need to do to be a better hockey team,” explained Flaherty. “We took one step forward with Arlington Catholic and another step forward today. We still have a ways to go, but we’re taking steps in the right direction.”

Big Game Players: There was no question who the two best players on the ice were Saturday morning. Kramer, the team’s first line center, had two goals and added an assist while Northeastern recruit Ryan Shea picked up a pair of assists and played very well defensively.

“You need your best guys to be their best, and I think our guys were today,” said Flaherty.

The first line was on the ice for five of the team’s six goals. It only took 1:10 into the game for the trio of Kramer, Jack Nisbet and Christian Simeone to assert their dominance. Nisbet sprung Kramer through the neutral zone after picking up a breakout pass from Shea. Kramer quickly buzzed right between two Prep defenders and deked goaltender Kyle Martin before tucking a backhand into the net.

BC High made it 2-0 with 3:19 to play in the opening period when Nisbet tipped home a Billy Roche blast from the point.

The Eagles struck early again to start the second period, needing just 1:16 to gain a 3-0 advantage. Kramer and Simeone connected on a pretty give-and-go, but it was an unselfish play by Simeone that allowed Kramer an easy tap home goal.

“That goal was all [Simeone]. He could have selfishly shot the puck, but he drew the defenseman to him and he kicked it back to Pat. All Pat had to do was tap it in,” said Flaherty.

Just a few minutes later Kramer showed off his immense vision and passing skills. On the right boards he sent a cross-ice pass to Roche who was cheating in the backdoor. Roche quickly sent a wrist shot past Martin for the 4-0 lead that chased the Prep goaltender from the game.

“Billy Roche had a strong game today, both offensively and defensively,” said Flaherty.

“These are the games that you need Patrick Kramer to be himself and be the elite player that he is. You need your best guys to be your best and I think our guys were today,” Flaherty commented.

Nisbet scored his second goal of the game in garbage time after collecting a saucer lead pass from defenseman Alec Flynn.

“[Nisbet] is a younger guy, but he plays strong on pucks. He’s tough and he can skate with [Kramer and Simeone]. He compliments those guys great. He’s the next big name from BC High hockey. He’s going to step out of the shadows of the guys here now and be a Division I player at some point,” Flaherty said.

As has been the case for most BC High games this season, there were several NHL scouts in the building, all of whom were treated to another strong performance from the defenseman they came to watch.

“Ryan Shea just dictates the play from the back end all the way up. His gaps were strong. His stick was very good. He didn’t give anybody any room,” said Flaherty.

Heart of Fein: When talking about BC High Justin Fein rarely gets mentioned with guys like Kramer, Shea and Nisbet garnering much of the attention. Fein doesn’t have the size or puck skills that some of his teammates possess, but he has as big a heart as anyone.

“Justin is a leader. He’s not big in stature, but he’s big in heart. He makes little plays. He just doesn’t stop. He’s the heartbeat of our team. When he’s going we’re going,” explained Flaherty.

Fein did a terrific job on face-offs, on penalty kills and in creating energy for his team to feed off.

“He’s strong. He makes the right decisions, he kills penalties and he wins face-offs. He does all the little things,” said Flaherty.

On St. John’s Prep’s first power play, it appeared as if BC High was the team with the man advantage. That was mainly due to Fein buzzing all over the ice and playing keep away from Prep defenders chasing after him.

“He can flat out fly,” said Flaherty.

Punctual Payzant: In a game that was so thoroughly dominated by BC High, it might seem to be a stretch to say that junior goaltender Brandon Payzant played his best game of the season. However, he was solid when he faced the minimal rubber that he did see Saturday, including a miraculous glove save in the second period.

“There’s a timeliness to his saves. We had a couple breakdowns early on and he made two or three big saves. He made a highlight reel save down there when it was just him. Their guy was alone and put a great move on him and he somehow got back and made that great save,” said Flaherty.

Payzant and the Eagles return to action Wednesday night with a non-conference game against defending Division 1 State Champion Reading.

Recap: No. 2 BC High 6, Falmouth 0

February, 16, 2014
FALMOUTH, Mass. – Speed kills.

That was apparent on Sunday night as No. 2 BC High showcased an intensity that couldn’t be matched by Falmouth on their way to a 6-0 opening round victory in the Buddy Ferreira Classic.

The Eagles dominated possession of the puck all game long with a fluid offense while their fore check kept the Clippers on the defensive.

Their advantage on time on attack can be seen in their shots, as the Eagles (13-1-4) outshot the host team 46-3 in the game.

“Just possession, you don’t want to give up the puck when you have it but also you want to make the puck dangerous,” BC High coach John Flaherty said. “Sometimes guys can get complacent and try to do too much with the puck but at the end of the day unless you get it to the net you are not going to score.”

After seven minutes of flirting with the game’s first goal, the Eagles finally got on the board. Their offensive unit peppered Jake Beaton with three consecutive shots, which concluded with Kayser Raei’s put back goal. Ryan Shea, who was named player of the game for BC High, was credited with one of his three assists.

Three minutes later, Steve DeForge drew a tripping penalty and scored the power-play goal on a backhander from the slot and 27 seconds after than, Justin Fein was the beneficiary of Tim Larocque’s feed on a 2-on-0 breakaway.

“One of the things we’re blessed with is depth,” said Flaherty. “We have depth and guys that play different roles for us. We are pretty comfortable with the balance that we have.”

The Eagles got a pair of goals in the second period from Patrick Kramer, Falmouth native Connor Noonan and a last-minute, third-period goal from Larocque.

“We want to play teams like that,” Falmouth coach Paul Moore said. “That is part of Buddy Ferreira’s legacy’s too, is Buddy always went after the tough teams. Win loose or draw you left it out there and the kids did. I’m proud of them for that.”

Busy day in net: Arguably the best player on the ice was Falmouth’s (11-6-2) net minder. Beaton faced 46 saves on the afternoon and made countless head turning saves and was named player of the game for Falmouth.

“Jake Beaton stood on his head. He’s been doing that all season,” said Moore. “We wont see a better team no matter how far we go in the state tournament.”

Flaherty is familiar with Beaton as Beaton started his high school career playing with BC High before leaving after one year.

“Those guys battled hard, Jake Beaton played a heck of a game,” Flaherty said.

Setting the stage: The Eagles will kick off the second day of the Buddy Ferreira Classic. BC High starts Monday’s slate of games with Austin Prep, which beat Waltham, 5-1, earlier in the afternoon.

“They are a very good team,” Flaherty said of AP. “A lot of guys up front and a good goalie. At the moment I think we match up well, we have a lot of different guys but so do they.”

Falmouth gets the late game, dropping the puck with Waltham at 7 p.m.

Recap: No. 2 BC High 5, No. 14 Reading 0

January, 14, 2014
READING, Mass. – No matter what the sport, there will come a time in each team’s season when its depth will be challenged.

On paper, entering this season, however, No. 2 BC High appeared among the state’s deepest squads. That was evident Monday night against No. 14 Reading at Burbank Arena. While shutting out the Rockets, 5-0, the Eagles had nine different players crack the scoresheet, spurred on by two-point games from winger Jake Lemanski (2 A) and defenseman Ryan Shea (G, A).

“I like the balance that we had,” BC High head coach John Flaherty said. “On the scoresheet, it was pretty balanced. We had a lot of guys contributing, so I’m happy with that. Reading’s a good hockey team and anytime you come up here to play them in this atmosphere, it’s a tough place to play.”

The Eagles (7-0-2) controlled the game from the onset, outshooting Reading 13-2 in the first period, while holding a 43-10 advantage for the game. But BC High was unable to get on the scoreboard until the final minutes of the first, when they found the back of the net twice to take a 2-0 lead to the intermission.

Aidan Foley turned an offensive zone faceoff win into an unassisted goal at 12:56. Then, with a minute remaining, Shea’s half-slap through a screen found its way to the net from the point on an assist from Kayser Raei.

BC High didn’t relent in the second with its specialty teams taking center stage.

Steve DeForge tallied the Eagles’ third at 10:43 on the power play before Patrick Kramer’s short-handed tally with just 7.1 seconds to play in the period.

Lemanski added assists on both goals, including the creation of Kramer’s short-hander. After a failed breakout pass from the Rockets’ defensive zone, Lemanski kept the puck in on the Reading (6-3-1) blue line. After gaining possession, the Eagles gained a 2-on-1. Lemanski sidestepped the defender and found Kramer on the doorstep, who finished on the backhand.

The Eagles rounded out scoring with 3:25 to play on Justin Fein’s second goal of the season with helpers coming from Connor Noonan and Alec Flynn.

Despite the deluge of shots in the Rockets' zone, Reading senior goaltender Ian Lapham stood tall, making 38 saves.

“We rolled 12 forwards and eight defensemen today, so we kept legs fresh,” Flaherty said. “We were able to use everybody. So as the periods went on, I think we were able to have a little bit more life.

“Any time you’re able to score a couple of goals, you can take some life away from the other team.”