Boston High School: Justin Ryder

D1 South: Hingham 8, Barnstable 1

March, 7, 2013
BOURNE, Mass. -- A packed house full of Barnstable fans was ready for the nightcap at Gallo Ice Arena. The Red Raiders’ fans were plentiful and loud. And just 91 seconds into the game, those fans were even louder when Colin Jones gave Barnstable (14-5-4) a 1-0 lead.

The fans’ joy would be short-lived.

Hingham stormed back into its Division 1 South semifinal and scored eight straight goals to advance to the sectional final with an 8-1 win. Junior forward Matt Brazel (two goals, six assists) had his hands in each of the team’s goals.

Hingham head coach Tony Messina was able to smile and make jokes after his team’s dominant performance on Wednesday night.

“I’m going to go back there and tell him [Brazel] that he played just alright,” Messina chuckled.

He added, “Today we played with some emotion. I knew that [Barnstable] would come out strong and they did, you know, they scored the first goal. We kind of took it over from there.”

Brazel scored twice in the first period, and laid off an assist for Justin Ryder, to get Hingham back into the game. The captain ended the night for Barnstable starting goalie Kevin Huska with a great move on a clear breakaway, which made it 3-1 at the end of the first.

Hingham (16-7-2) allowed Central Catholic to come from behind and steal its Super 8 play in game, but this time the Harbormen showed no mercy. They tacked on four goals in the second period, all assisted by Brazel. Junior Sam D’Antuono continued his goalscoring streak with a pair of goals around a score by Stephen Hughes. Freshman defenseman Luke McInnis added the team’s seventh just before the end of the second period.

“We told our kids after the first period that we were lucky to be ahead three-to-one,” Messina said about the team’s second-period explosion. “They like to throw that long pass forward off the boards. When that doesn’t work and we stop it, then we had the advantage on the transition and that’s what we did.”

John Carlson added the eighth Hingham goal early in the third period when he finished off a two on the goalie break with Brazel. Following the goal, Messina emptied his bench to assure that none of his stars picked up injuries or penalties once the game was out of hand.

With his team coming together and making a run at the Division 1 title, Messina believes that the difficulties that the team encountered this season have prepared it for tough tournament games.

“Just kind of quirky stuff has happened to us all year long. You know, if we’re not tested tough by now then we’re never going to be,” he said.

Hingham will await the winner of Archbishop Williams and Marshfield in the finals.

D1 South: Hingham 5, Norwood 4

March, 4, 2013
BOURNE, Mass. -- For one fleeting second everything stopped.

With Norwood down one and the clock winding under 30 seconds, a freak bounce put the puck in John Galvin’s wheelhouse and Hingham goalie John Grenier completely out of position. Galvin whiffed on the shot and Hingham held on to win a wild 5-4 Division 1 South quarterfinal yesterday at Gallo Arena.

“They played a great game, with intensity and fired up,” Hingham coach Tony Messina said of the Mustangs. “For some reason we didn’t. I told them we have to work the whole first period. They came back every single time. They weren’t very hard shots but they got through. It’s tough to explain.”

Hingham set the tone early.

Sam D’Antuono scored 3:07 to put the Harbormen up early. D’Antuono and his linemate, Matt Brazel, combined for six points on the afternoon.

Norwood answered late in the period with goals from Dan Wiseman and Jack Sheehan to go up 2-1 after 15 minutes.

D’Antuono scored 28 seconds into the second period to tie it, and Hingham continued to control much of the possession, but Norwood was able to capitalize on their chances. Mike Roy scored midway through the second to tie it.

Brazel scored 73 seconds later to put Hingham up 3-2.

“They’re go-to guys, it’s obvious,” Messina said of D’Antuono and Brazel. “That line was out there the all the time.”

Justin Ryder buried a rebound at the 5:53 of the third to put Hingham ahead to give Hingham its third lead of the game. Norwood’s Jordan Davis stepped up between the pipes, turning aside 26 shots, but the Hingham attack was too much.

Luke McInnis tipped a shot in with just under two minutes to go. Sheehan scored 27 seconds later with an extra attacker on the ice, which led to the frantic final minute, but it wasn’t enough.

“We hung tough, kept plugging away,” Norwood coach Bill Clifford said. “If John gets that one at the end we’re tied at five.

“I told them to keep their heads up. They’re champs in my book. They won their league, and went down swinging.”

When asked about transitioning to the South tournament after the loss against Central Catholic, Messina smiled and said “What loss to Central?”

Messina said that his squad has taken a water-under-the-bridge attitude to the game and is full committed to winning D1 South and the state title.

“I think they probably think about it every day, but we tried to refocus the next day,” Messina said. “We’ve have had two games in this tournament so far so I’m hoping they’ve refocused and forgotten about that game.”

After Hingham won a defensive zone faceoff with nine seconds left, one of the Harbormen pinned the puck to the boards and killed the final seconds. In the ensuing scramble Norwood’s Rourke Flynn was dropped from a hit from behind.

Flynn took exception to the hit and after some pushing and shoving he, and Hingham’s John Carlson, dropped the gloves and started fighting while a fracas involving at least half a dozen players broke out that took over a minute to bring under control.

Flynn was assessed a game misconduct retroactively while Carlson was not assessed any penalty.

Cape Cod Classic: Archies, BC High bounce back

February, 21, 2013

FALMOUTH, Mass. -- Wednesday was supposed to be a night of consolation games at the Cape Cod Classic hockey tournament at the Falmouth Ice Arena. However, a few surprising results over the first two days meant that three teams in the ESPN Boston boys’ hockey Top 25 rankings, and one team in the Last 10 Out, wound up meeting in the losers’ bracket.

The night began with No. 6 Hingham (12-7-2) and No. 9 Archbishop Williams (12-4-4) in a game that meant far more than consolation. Both teams were looking for another critical win to bolster their resumes ahead of Saturday’s Super 8 vote.

Both teams struggled under the weight of the game’s importance, but Archies rode the stellar play of goaltender Joe Vinay (27 saves) to pull out a vital 2-0 win over the Harbormen.

Archbishop Williams head coach Derackk Curtis believed that his team needed to get back to hard work and its style of play. He admitted that the allure of playing in the Super 8 and the praise heaped on his team may have affected the Bishops.

“We just wanted to go out and play like we could play, show a little bit of pride and commitment to the team and I think that it was a good game,” Curtis said. “In this tournament, we didn’t play to our fullest potential, but we just wanted to go out there and play up to our opponent.”

The first period was high on physical play but short on scoring opportunities as both teams focused on staying tight defensively. The second period was dominated by Hingham, but the Harbormen had no way past the Bishops’ senior goalie, who produced a series of highlight reel saves.

The best save of the night came at the expense of Hingham senior forward Justin Ryder. After holding strong to make two saves at his near post, Vinay swiveled and dove across the goalmouth to glove Ryder’s attempt to tap in at the far post.

It was a save that left the crowd in awe and added to the pressure that Hingham already felt. The Harbormen have hit a rough patch at the worst possible time and head coach Tony Messina rued his team’s missed chances.

“We’ve actually had a lot of those periods that we deserved a better fate, but you can only say that for so long,” Messina said. “Even the kids realize that. It’s frustrating, really frustrating.”

Archies came out strong in the third and finally broke the deadlock on a goal by Nick Menzel that was set up by fellow forwards Jake Reardon and Ryan Dunn. The Bishops held out against a late, desperate charge by Hingham and tacked on an empty-net goal just before the final buzzer.

Curtis remarked following the game that his team had done what it needed to do, but the team’s postseason destination was now in other people’s hands.

“I don’t think it was our perfect game, our best game, but it was good enough to win,” Curtis said. “I’ll take the win any day of the week, now you just got to hope that it was good enough to get someone to look at you.”

The nightcap held far less pressure as No. 3 BC High (13-3-3) faced off with Waltham (11-8-2) in a game that was dominated by the Eagles’ attack and the outstanding play of the Hawks senior goalie Nick Russo.

BC High outshot Waltham ,48-8, but, thanks to a heroic performance from Russo, only managed a 2-0 victory over the Hawks.

Waltham generally sits back and absorbs pressure, while hoping to catch a team with a lone goal that could win the game. The Eagles made that a difficult strategy with a goal just 1:24 into the game. Junior defenseman Sam Topham with a quick shot that snuck past Russo.

From that point on, a pattern emerged. The Eagles would attack, pepper the goal with shots, and Russo would do his best to repel everything that was thrown at him. He stopped one-timers, slap shots, and tips with a series of quick kick saves and solid positioning.

Despite Russo’s great game, the Eagles wrapped up the victory with 10:35 left in the second period. Sophomore Patrick Riley was on hand to tap into an empty net after Russo made three saves at his near post.

One player that epitomized the effort of BC High on Wednesday was junior captain Tom Besinger. The forward was battered for much of the game as the Waltham defense tried to limit his chances to find open ice. Still, Besinger created several great scoring opportunities, including three shots that rang off the post.

“When you’re as skilled as he is and you’re a difference maker like he is, you’re a target,” said Eagles head coach John Flaherty, who credited his playmaker for staying calm in the face of the constant hits. “Tommy’s got to come to expect that and know that’s going to happen.”

Flaherty was pleased with the effort and the team’s ability to bounce back after Monday’s loss to Austin Prep.

“Very happy with the effort,” he remarked. “The fact that we were able to play the way we played and to control the game against a very good team, I’m very happy with that. It’s a good bounce back from the misstep we took the other day and, going into St. John’s Shrewsbury. We needed a good game to close out the regular season.”

Recap: No. 1 Cathedral 3, No. 6 Hingham 1

February, 3, 2013

HINGHAM, Mass. -- With all the purple and red in attendance one could have confused yesterday’s game between top-ranked Springfield Cathedral and Hingham for the Super Bowl.

Make no mistake, for the overflow crowd at Pilgrim Arena on Saturday, it was much more important.

After a scoreless first two periods, the No. 1 Panthers broke through and were able to hold on and win a physical 3-1 game over the host Harbormen and solidify their spot as the best team in the state.

“Hingham is a storied powerhouse, [and] year after year we know they’ll be there in Super 8,” Cathedral head coach Brian Foley said. “It was going to be a defensive battle, and we were lucky to get a few goals there.”

The first 30 minutes were controlled by the Harbormen who pressed the tempo offensively and brought the crowd into the game with a series of thundering hits. Justin Ryder, Sam D’Antuono, and the Hingham attack buzzed around the ice, especially in the first period, but were unable to finish several golden chances.

Cathedral sophomore Peter Crinella finally broke the stalemate when he stuffed home a rebound 37 seconds into the third.

“Pete’s a goal scorer,” Foley said. “He got some nice rebounds, charged the net, and luckily beat the goalie. Big way to start to the third period.”

Fellow sophomore Nick Chaoush scored the eventual game-winner midway through the third on a breakaway.

Hingham head coach Tony Messina was able to sum up his opinion of the game in one word.

“Disappointed,” Messina said. “We had a good game going into the third, and having the game at home, I expected our team to come out on top. I told the guys we had our chance but we didn’t step up to the moment.”

The game went flying off the rails in the final minutes of the game. D’Antuono put the Harbormen (11-5-1) on the board with a power play goal with just under four minutes left.

The pace ratcheted up and came to a head a few minutes later when a near-fight broke out after a scrum in front of Cathedral goalie John Liquori. Gloves, sticks, and emotion littered the ice and by the time the snow settled each team had two players in the box. Hingham lost one of their biggest weapons in junior Matt Brazel for the remainder of the game, and Cathedral (13-0-2) had to finish the game the bulk of the game with three defensemen.

“[It] kind of threw us off with Brazel in the box for the last three minutes,” Messina said. “Very uncharacteristic of him.”

“We had three defensemen there and we were wondering who would go out, but luckily the younger guys stepped up on D to finish off that kill,” Foley said. “That was key for us.”

Johnny Leonard added an empty-netter late to seal it.

Liquori turned aside 19 Hingham shots and shined brightest during the extended penalty kill in the third.

“I’ve been waiting for these big games to come and I was ready,” Liquori said. “It was fun, nervewracking towards the end. That’s when we stepped it up.”

Liqouri gave credit to the blue liners in front of him, who kept lanes clogged and pucks in front of him.

“It’s rough, but my defense is great,” Liquori said. “They make it that much easier.”

Despite letting a big one get away from them, the Harbormen won’t have much time to stew over the loss as their schedule gets harder down the stretch.

The next eight days includes a trip to play a talented Marshfield squad followed by a visit from Winchester. The Harbormen finish the season at the Cape Cod Classic where they’ll open against Austin Prep in a game that will have major Super 8 implications.

Messina was blunt about the stretch run.

“It doesn’t get any easier,” Messina said. “Every game’s going to be just like that so get used to it.”

Recap: No. 9 Hingham 5, St. Mary's (Lynn) 0

December, 29, 2012
MALDEN, Mass. -- If a tie is like kissing your sister, then winning a consolation game at a holiday hockey tournament must be something of the same ilk.

That was the general feeling around the Hingham locker room after the No. 9 Harbormen thrashed St. Mary’s 5-0 in the consolation game of the Christie Serino Christmas Classic at the Valley Forum.

“Coming off that tough loss, collapsing in the third period, [the goal] was to come back and get a win,” Hingham junior captain Matt Brazel said.

Win the Harbormen did as they ran over a talented, but inexperienced St. Mary’s team from the start. Hingham registered 12 shots in first period, one more than the Spartans did in the entire game, and held St. Mary’s without a shot for the first 10-plus minutes of the game.

The Harbormen (4-2-0) finally got on the board exactly 12 minutes into the game when Joe Personeni snuck a wraparound past sophomore goalie Connor Jennings. Hingham added another just under two minutes later when Sam D’Antuono jammed the puck in on the power play.

D’Antuono finished with a hat trick.

“I was happy with our team’s effort right from the beginning,” Hingham head coach Tony Messina said. “We established a good forecheck and it helped the defensive zone.”

The Harbormen suffocated the Spartans whenever they were able to push the puck over the red line. St. Mary’s played noticeable better in the final two periods, but Hingham was always a step ahead.

A goal from Brazel in the final minute of the second period seemed to take the win out of the Spartans’ sails. Brazel also assisted on D’Antuono’s last goal.

“That line’s going pretty good,” Messina said. “That line is really strong. Unfortunately, we count on them to score a lot of goals for us.”

Senior Justin Ryder added three assists for Hingham.

“He’s a contributor on that second line and we have him there for a reason,” Messina said. “He adds an offensive punch to the second line.”

The Spartans played their strongest period of the game in the third, but Hingham was still able to power through and score a pair of goals.

“They were very senior, veteran-type team,” St. Mary’s head coach Mark Lee said. “We went out, worked hard, and I just think the bigger, stronger team just won. I think that has to do with their experience. They’ll be doing well at the end of the season.”

Repeating greatness is never easy.

Repeating the greatest year in St. Mary’s history: that’s a whole different story.

The 2012-2013 edition of the Spartans have over a dozen new faces and the jelling period has come with its share of lumps.

“There’s 15 new faces on that team,” Lee said. “What makes us competitive is that that team has a bunch of kids that want to work for you and do everything it takes to be successful. A lot of energy in there, but we’re going to have growing pains. I think we’re going to be a lot better towards the end of the year.”

The road doesn’t get any easier for the Spartans as they travel south on Wednesday to take on a talented Braintree team. Lee said that the thing this team needs more is playing in big games.

“I think our team grew as a team playing a team like Hingham, regardless of winning or losing,” Lee said. “We have an extremely competitive non-league schedule. We will be a battle-tested team regardless of our record and really help some of our players who haven’t experienced it yet.”

The Spartans get a rematch with Hingham at the end of January at Pilgrim. They have the talent and ability to be a more complete team by that game, but only time will tell whether this will be a year of success for St. Mary’s or a year of rebuilding.

Recap: No. 3 Hingham 4, No. 16 Norwood 1

December, 13, 2012
HINGHAM, Mass. – No. 3 Hingham boys’ hockey entered Wednesday’s season opener against No. 16 Norwood as if they were trying to shoot through the Great Wall of China.

The wall that stood in their way at Pilgrim Skating Rink was Mustangs senior netminder Jordan Davis. While the ESPN Boston preseason second-team All-State goaltender did his best to keep it a scoreless game, the barrage he faced made it a mere inevitability that one shot would break through.

Although the Harbormen outshot Norwood 10-1 in the first period, Davis kept it goose eggs on the scoreboard. That wouldn’t last, however, as Hingham opened up in the second period and into the third in a convincing 4-1 win over the Mustangs.

"We knew their defense was a little young, a little inexperienced, and we were trying to get the puck deep every time and shots just naturally come with that,” Harbormen head coach Tony Messina said. “We knew [Davis] was a great goalie and he proved it tonight. You need traffic in front, tips rebounds, those kind of things, it took us a while to break the seal."

Hingham (1-0-0) broke the stalemate with 9:12 to play in the second period as Sam D’Antuono snuck into the Mustangs’ zone on a short-handed breakaway. He beat Davis (39 saves) on the backhand to give the Harbormen a 1-0 lead. D’Antuono finished with a two-point game, adding an assist to Justin Ryder’s goal, Hingham’s last.

Defenseman John Carlson also had a two-point night for the Harbormen, ripping a slapshot into the back of the net at 12:54 of the third period. Carlson added the second helper on Ryder’s tally,

Patrick Colpoys netted the Harbormen’s third goal, a power-play tally with assists from Luke MacInnis and Corbin Robichaud.

John Galvin broke up John Grenier’s shutout bid for Norwood (0-1-0) with 7:56 to play, collecting a loose puck in the slot and beating Grenier stickside. Jack Sheehan and Rourke Flynn picked up assists on the play.

Hingham’s torrid start, controlling play for long stretches of time in Norwood’s defensive zone, might be attributed to a lesson learned by the Harbormen in some of their preseason performances.

“The last couple scrimmages, we were coming out kind of slow in the beginning,” Hingham junior captain and center Matt Brazel said, “so we were amped up in the beginning, and try to get as many shots as possible and crash the net.”

The Harbormen’s fast start in their season opener was matched by the Harborwomen, who opened their season in the nightcap at Pilgrim against Medway/Ashland.

The Harborwomen claimed a 7-1 win, led by Jane Freda’s hat trick. Hannah Falvey (2 goals) and Rachel D’Entremont (2 assists) also had multi-point games for Hingham.

Top 5: The quest for the Super 8 title

December, 14, 2011
With a good number of team's kicking off their hockey schedules on Wednesday night, we thought we'd take a closer look at our Top 5 preseason teams, handicapping the field of could-be Super 8 contenders this season:

(All records and stats from 2010-11)

1. Malden Catholic (21-1-2)
Players to watch: Brendan Collier, Sr. F, 24-39--63; Ryan Fitzgerald, Jr. F, 24-42-66; Mike Iovanna, Jr. F, 10-18--28; Tyler Sifferlen, So. F, 4-7--11; Brendan White, Jr. D, 2-7--9; Colin MacGillivray, Jr. D, 1-7--8.

Key losses: F Mike Vecchione, D Connor Evangelista, F Nick Roberto, G Pat Young.

The skinny: The returning Super 8 champions now have the bull's-eye on their backs, and they're OK with that. The Lancers finally finished the season on top, in no small part thanks to the leadership of Vecchione. Now the torch has been passed to Collier, who inherits the "C' this season. The Charlestown native and BU commit leads a re-tooled lineup. However, MC isn't without its questions. Top-line center Ryan Fitzgerald is on the shelf until around New Year's with a seperated shoulder. Catholic Conference All-Star Connor Evangelista is among the offseason defections and leaves a hole at the top of the Lancers' blue line corps. MC will also breaking in junior goaltender Connor Maloney after the graduation of Pat Young (1.33 GAA). On top of that, the Lancers have a new head coach in John McLean, who's filling in for Chris Serino, who's taken a medical leave. Still, for all those questions, there's still an awful lot of talent around with Iovanna figuring to make a big leap, playing the wing spot vacated by Vecchione. Freshman Ara Nazarian is a name that will be mentioned around the state for quite some time.

X-factor: White and MacGillivray. For all the attention paid to MC's front-line offensive talent, when you get down to the nitty-gritty of playoff time, teams need the horses on the blue line to take control of games. Both are more-than-capable defenders. Fitzgerald's younger sib, Casey, a freshman blue-liner is also a name to watch in the coming seasons.

2. St. John’s Prep (18-6-1)
Players to watch: Sam Kurker, Sr. F, 15-10--25; David Letarte, Sr. G, 2.52 GAA; Nick Pandalena, Sr. D, 2-10--12; Dillon Gargano, Jr. D, 1-1--2; Tyler Bird, So. F, 3-3--6.

Key losses: F Colin Blackwell, F Shane Eiserman, F John Farrow, D Joe Currie.

The skinny: Perhaps none of last year's Super 8 field lost more front-line talent than the Eagles. ESPN Boston Mr. Hockey Colin Blackwell matriculated to Harvard and is now tearing up the ECAC. Also, talented freshman Shane Eiserman left for the prep schools. What the Prep returns, however, could also be envy of most teams. It all starts up front with BU-commit Kurker, who's a true power forward in the old sense of the word; the Eagles will lean on Kurker to improve upon his 15-goal campaign last season. The Eagles also lost most of the blue line, with Nick Pandalena the only returner from their top 5. But the Prep is still built from the net out with Letarte returning between the pipes.

X-factor: Letarte. With a young defense in front of him and possible dip in scoring, it will take an even larger effort from the senior netminder to return Prep to a Super 8 title game.

3. BC High (15-6-3)
Players to watch: Matt Sullivan, Sr. F; Tom Besinger, So. F; Brian Furey, Sr. D; Peter Cronin, Jr. G.

Key losses: F Mike Cashman, F Terence Durkin, F Andrew White,

The skinny: Last year was about the Eagles' return to prominence. Now, this year is all about taking that next step. Still, the roster is young, but they're also battle-tested. "The guys we had last year were excellent leaders," BC High head coach John Flaherty said," now we're asking this group to build upon that moving forward, being leaders on and off the ice." That leadership now falls to Sullivan and Furey. Still, for a unit that's relatively young, there's some talent to be had, including Besinger who was among our Top 5 rookies to watch from last season.

X-factor: Cronin. The then-sophomore netminder turned some heads during the Super 8 tournament last season, as the Eagles went toe-to-toe with MC in the crossover round. If he can repeat that kind of performance, the Eagles are in good hands.

4. Catholic Memorial (8-10-2)
Players to watch: Liam Coughlin, Jr. F, 10-11--21; Jared Beckwith, Sr. D, 4-10--14; Shane Starrett, Jr. G, 1.77 GAA; Jack O'Hear, Jr. F.

Key losses: D Marc Hetnick, F Dan O'Hear, F Chris Stathopoulos, G Tommy Knox.

The skinny: By far the best team in the state not involved in the playoffs last season. With that said, the Knights were fairly green on the blue line last year and took their lumps. The hope is that they'll learn from those experiences. carrying into this season. CM figures to turn a weakness into a strength this year with a deep D corps led by Beckwith, in addition to returners Kevin Bletzer, Dennis Medeiros, Justin Ryder, Ryan Sullivan and John Allaire. The Knights also figure to be strong in net with Starrett after posting a .968 save percentage last year in nine games.

X-factor: Coughlin. An ESPN Boston All-Stater, bears watching in his second year with the Knights and could be the breakout performer of the year. He has the talent and size to change the complexion of game. If he applies himself physically, there's no defense in the state who can match him.

5. Woburn (18-5-2)
Players to watch: Casey Shea, Sr. F, 21-28--49; Danny Holland, Sr. F, 10-14--24; Jake Secatore, Sr. D, 1-12--13.

Key losses: F Alex Holland, D Brian Dulong, G Cam McGlashing, D Brian Smith.

The skinny: A year later, we still find ourselves wondering what could've been in the Super 8 tournament -- had the Tanners gotten a couple of bounces here and there. But, as Woburn head coach Jim Duran told us at the time, "Teams make their own luck in hockey." This year, the Tanners hope the luck breaks their way because they don't lack on talent. UMass-Lowell commit Casey Shea will be perhaps the most dynamic offensive threat in the state (save for the top-liners at MC), and Holland isn't far behind. This group can skate and make plays in tight spaces. In a word, they're fun to watch. The Tanners also return one of the steadiest D-men in the state in Secatore.

X-factor: Sophomore goaltender Jeremy Flibotte. He's tabbed to be McGlashing's replacement in net and saw time sparingly during last season. Can the netminder hold up to the rigors of postseason play? We'll find out.

BOSTON –- Tuesday was something of coming out party for Shane Eiserman. After the St. John’s Prep freshman forward netted a hat trick and factored in each of the Eagles’ goals in a 4-2 victory over Catholic Memorial at Walter Brown Arena, he was razzed by his teammates outside the locker room.

But Eiserman couldn’t help thanking his teammates for what they’d contributed to a crucial Catholic Conference victory.

“The defensemen really stepped up huge today, like Scott Derrickson played unbelievable,” Eiserman said. “It was just a huge win, offensively, defensively, it was just an all-around great win.”

Eiserman immediately put his stamp on the game, tallying Prep’s first goal a little more than 2:30 into the first period with assists from Christian Gutowski and Joe Currie. He went on to net the game-winning goal with nine minutes remaining and capped off the win with an empty-net goal in the final minute.

He also picked up an assist on Derrickson’s second-period goal.

“Shane’s fortunate to be able to handle that part of the game as a freshman, obviously, he’s a pretty big kid,” Eagles head coach Kristian Hanson said. “He’s just dedicated to the game.”

Aside from the first-year player’s exploits, the sixth-ranked Eagles (9-4-1, 4-3-0) dictated play for long stretches and outshot the No. 3 Knights, 30-13. Although sophomore goaltender Shane Starrett did his best to keep CM (7-6-1, 2-3-1) close in a 26-save performance, the Knights simply were their own worst enemy.

“We just didn’t have the compete level against them as we have against other teams,” Knights head coach Bill Hanson said. “We’re not as skilled as they are and unless we compete and win those little battles, we’re going to be in trouble.”

Despite falling behind, CM rallied to tie the game on Liam Coughlin’s power play goal with 3:08 remaining in the first.

However, Prep went to the room with a one-goal lead after Derrickson’s blast from the point on Eiserman’s face off win. It was just a small sampling of the Eagles’ dominance inside the circle as Prep’s centers took 27 draws against CM’s 12 face-off wins.

The Knights worked to tie the game once again in the second when sophomore defenseman Justin Ryder followed his shot into the goal (literally) off a 3-on-2 chance.

Prep took the lead for good in the third when Eiserman got some help from a talented senior linemate.

“He’s such a good player,” he said of winger Colin Blackwell. “It’s awesome to play with him. He makes me a better player on the ice.”

Blackwell put Eiserman’s game-winner into motion with a tremendous individual effort down the right wing boards. The Harvard commit sidestepped two Knights’ checks coming through the neutral zone before working the puck into the slot with a tape-to-tape pass onto Eiserman’s stick.

From there, the Eagles continued to clamp down on defense in front of netminder David Letarte, including a crucial penalty kill midway through the third period. Along with an impressive display of shot blocking, there was much to be impressed with in the Eagles’ effort.

“I think it’s a credit to the effort we put in defensively,” Kristian Hanson said. “We really made a conscious effort the last several games to the defensive side of the game and the kids have responded well to that. We’re playing our best hockey right and we have to continue doing that because we haven’t qualified for everything yet.”

No. 3 CM avenges '10, knocks off No. 2 Hingham

January, 8, 2011

BOSTON -- You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but there is nothing stopping the old pup from showing you a thing or two.

In a rematch of last year’s Super Eight championship, No. 3 Catholic Memorial avenged their title defeat with a 4-2 win over defending champion, No. 2 Hingham, at the Walter Brown Arena on the campus of Boston University.

The Knights are the kings of the Super Eight with 13 titles in all, their last coming in 2009. But the Harbormen stunned CM, 1-0, in last season’s finale preventing the Knights from back-to-back championships for the first time since they won three in a row in 2003-05. The win was the Harbormen’s first banner and was also only the second Division 1A crown for a public school in the history of the tournament (Reading, 2008).

But this time, the Knights showed they are back to lay claim to the top spot, as junior Cody Kingston’s goal 3:47 into the third period proved to be the game-winner in a game Catholic Memorial never trailed. If there was any sort of revenge factor, Catholic Memorial head coach Bill Hanson was not letting anyone in on that secret.

“Last year was last year, so (Hingham) have a Super Eight trophy at their school, but this is 2010-11 and no one has that trophy yet,” said Hanson.

Previously-unbeaten Hingham (4-1-3) controlled the first period, out shooting Catholic Memorial 11-5, and finding numerous scoring chances, as the Knights’ defense allowed the Harbormen to roam the slot and pick apart their blue line setup. Both teams, however, headed to the lockers without a tally.

After the scoreless first period, the Knights (5-3) finally broke through on a tip-in goal off the stick of junior forward Thomas Stanton at the 10:47 mark of the second. Sophomore defenseman Justin Ryder fired the puck from the left point, and Stanton had a perfect re-direct to beat Harbormen’s goaltender Derek McInnis (14 saves).

The lead didn’t last very long, as Hingham lit the lamp 2:42 later on a power play goal, courtesy of the Knights' third penalty of the second period alone. A tripping call on Stanton allowed Tim Driscoll, who had a goal and an assist, to punch home a rebound fired on net by fellow senior Marc Hetnik and the Harbormen were right back in the game.

But with only 40 seconds left in the period, sophomore Jack O’Hear gave the Knights a 2-1 lead on an assist from his brother, senior assistant captain Dan O’Hear (two assists).

“In the second (period) we adjust, in the third we adjust, and like I’ve told you guys before we just get better and better,” Hanson said about his team’s penchant for shutting teams down as the game progresses. “(We) were handling the puck better, made real good athletic plays, and we were opportunistic.”

No more so then in the beginning of the third period, when some great forechecking by senior Chris Stathopoulous on senior Jared Robichaud forced a loose puck out in front of McInnis and Kingston flipped the turnover into the Knights’ third goal of the game, a backhand tally right through McInnis’ five-hole.

“Kind of unfortunate, (Robichaud) was in the right spot down low, and we wanted him to center it,” Hingham head coach Tony Messina said. “He picked up the puck and made the wrong move to the center of the net -- unfortunately a good team like (Catholic Memorial) takes advantage of those mistakes.”

Said Hanson: “That’s (all) Stathopoulous and (Miles) McCarthy and they work so well below the faceoff dots. Cody just made a quick release, got rid of the puck, just got it to the goal, and I think that’s one (Hingham) might want to have back.”

Hingham was not finished, though, as Austin O’Connor cut the deficit in half when Driscoll’s blast rang the left post and went behind Knights’ goaltender Tommy Knox (17 saves) to the waiting stick of O’Connor, who was sitting on the right post for the easy tap-in poke.

But senior Dan Griffin picked up an untimely contact-to- the-head penalty with 2:45 remaining in regulation which ruined any momentum for Hingham to tie it up before the final horn and allowed Hetnik to double up the score on the power play with 2:11 left to play.

“Obviously you can’t take penalties in a game like this, especially a senior, we are going to learn from it,” said Messina. “Hopefully we will see (CM) sometime down in the future.”

HIN(4-1-3) 0 – 1 – 1 - - 2
CM (5-3-0) 0 – 2 – 2 - - 4

FIRST – None.
SECOND - CM – Thomas Stanton (Justin Ryder, Tom Barrett), 10:47; HI – Tim Driscoll (Marc Hetnik, Ryan Linehan), 13:17 (pp); CM - Jack O’Hear (Dan O’Hear), 14:20.
THIRD – CM – Cody Kingston (Chris Stathopoulous), 3:47; HI – Austin O’Connor (Driscoll, Alex Pompeo), 8:33; CM – Hetnik (Jack O’Hear, Dan O’Hear), 12:49

CM – Tommy Knox (17)
HI – Derek McInnis (14)