Boston High School: Kayser Raei

Super 8 semi: Austin Prep 2, BC High 1 (SO)

March, 14, 2014
Mar 14

LOWELL, Mass. — J.J. Layton’s goal in the eighth round of the shootout propelled No. 4 see Austin Prep past No. 1 BC High, 2-1, in Thursday’s semifinal, setting up a rematch of last year’s final in the Super 8 championship game at the TD Garden on Sunday.

“I thought it was a tremendous high school hockey game. It was like a heavyweight fight, back-and-forth. It was an even hockey game. I’m happy we ended up with the better end of the stick in the shootout,” said Austin Prep head coach Louis Finnochiaro.

Austin Prep had a few ups-and-downs throughout the regular season, compounded by injuries to key players, but the Cougars appear to be hitting their stride.

“We had a big time effort from everybody from start to finish. We haven’t had that all year. We played three complete periods of hockey. We had everything going tonight,” stated Finnochiaro.

The Cougars will have the chance to knock No. 2 Malden Catholic, 3-1 winners over No. 3 Springfield Cathedral in the other semifinal Thursday, off its perch. The Lancers defeated Austin Prep, 3-2, to win their third straight Super 8 crown last March.

“I’m proud of our kids to get back to the final two years in a row. That’s an accomplishment itself. Obviously our goal is to go there, not hoping to win but expecting to win. Hopefully we can have some redemption back there in the finals. Our goal is to win this thing,” stated Finnochiaro.

Layton delivers in shootout: J.J. Layton has become known for his heavy hits and solid play in the defensive zone, but his offensive prowess was the difference in the eighth round of the shootout.

The big blue liner barreled in on the BC High net before quickly wristing a shot that sailed past the blocker of goaltender Brandon Payzant.

“Usually shootouts don’t go that far so I wasn’t even planning on going in,” Layton said. “Everyone told me to shoot. I came in slow and took the shot and it ended up going in. I’m still in shock right now.”

Layton showed he is a tough customer by playing through some dehydration issues in the third period. His foot cramped up, causing him to limp off the ice midway through the final period of regulation.

“He was a little dehydrated and started to cramp up a little. We got him some fluids. He always puts in a big time effort. It was appropriate for him to get the final goal in the shootout to win the game for us,” explained Finnochiaro.

Bobo Carpenter and Eric MacAdams were the other scorers for Austin Prep in the shootout, scoring in the second and fifth rounds, respectively.

Clutch performer: MacAdams broke through with the game’s first goal at the 10:54 mark of the second period. The sophomore winger busted up the right side, beating a BC High defender and cutting in on goal before lifting a shot above the shoulder of Payzant for the 1-0 lead.

“We were trying to get odd-man rushes the whole game,” MacAdams said. “[Cam Russo] fed me a good pass. I always try to get it to the net instead of swooping it around. Try to get a penalty or a scoring chance. Luckily it went in.”

MacAdams came up clutch again in the shootout with his Cougars on the verge of elimination. Going in the bottom of the fifth round with his team needing a goal to stay alive, his deke beat Payzant wide.

“There was a lot of pressure,” Finocchiaro said. “Finishing that up was phenomenal to keep us in and to get to sudden death. He kept his composure and did a nice job.”

Not including the shootout tally, MacAdams has tallied three goals and added an assist over the past two games.

Transition game: Down 1-0 after two periods and needing some momentum, the Eagles struck quickly in the third period, evening the score in just 29 seconds.

As it has so often this season, BC High executed a transition play to perfection. Defenseman Trevor Davis used the boards to get the puck from behind his own goal line to Steve DeForge in the neutral zone. DeForge passed it up to Patrick Riley who beat Austin Prep goaltender Elijah Harris to his five-hole.

“It gave us momentum for the whole period,” BC High head coach John Flaherty said. “We had some chances, but didn’t get the bounces. I’m proud of the fact that we came out and responded the way we did in the third. We gave ourselves a chance to win.”

“Giving that up, it was big for them. The momentum changed a little bit. We were able to withstand it and finish up [regulation] in a tie,” said Finnochiaro.

Goaltenders duel: There was a sequence in the final minute where Carpenter had a swat at a rebound from point blank and BC High sophomore Kayser Raei had a golden opportunity in the slot just a few seconds later.

Neither puck found the net as two of the best goaltenders in the state stood tall and answered each other’s big saves.

“That’s a big time save, he comes up special in the playoffs,” said Finnochiaro when asked about his goaltender’s huge save in the final minute.

Harris, who had a terrific tournament as a sophomore last season, saved his best for the playoffs again this year.

“He’s a great goaltender,” Finocchiaro said. “He played well for us in the first series against Central and played well again tonight. He gave us a solid three periods tonight and he’s tough to beat in the shootout,”

His teammates were quick to talk up their backstop as well.

“He’s amazing,” Layton said of Harris. He’s the best goalie in the state. When he’s behind you playing well everything just seems to flow.”

Payzant was equally superb at the other end, making some terrific stops.

“Brandon has been great all year,” Flaherty said. “He gets overshadowed because of the systems we play, but we relied on him today. We don’t have a chance to tie it in the third if he wasn’t as good as he was in the first two periods.”

Flaherty proud: BC High’s terrific season came to an end in heartbreaking fashion, but there is still much to be proud of for Flaherty and his team, especially the seven seniors.

Co-captains Steve DeForge and Sam Topham were the two goal scorers for the Eagles in the shootout. DeForge, who also had an assist in the game, seemed to always come up with clutch goals throughout his high school career.

“We’ll look back on this and realize we had a good year,” Flaherty said. “Wins and losses, trophies and titles, I don’t need those to tell me how great the kids in that locker room are.”

Recap: No. 2 BC High 6, No. 4 AP 2

February, 18, 2014
Feb 18

FALMOUTH, Mass. – If there was a need for any further proof that this year’s Buddy Ferreria Classic at Falmouth Ice Arena could be a preview of Super 8 action to come, Monday’s matinee tilt between No. 2 BC High and No. 4 Austin Prep would satisfy.

The Eagles and Cougars came out of the starting blocks fast, pacing each other up and down the ice sheet.

But it was in the second period when BC High emerged, scoring three goals in a span of less than five minutes, while taking a 6-2 victory and advancing to Thursday’s championship game against Duxbury.

"The first period was a little bit more of a track meet,” Eagles head coach John Flaherty said. “The second period was a little bit more indicative of what we're capable of doing as a hockey team, with speed, passing, finding the guy that's open. When we did that, we were able to put three by them."

BC High (14-1-4) opened scoring at 6:26 of the first, as Tim Larocque snuck a wrister under the crossbar.

The Cougars (12-4-4) drew even on a power play from defenseman Andrew Cross, who was pinching up in the offensive zone and threw one in from the wing off the skate of an Eagles defenseman at 10:29.

"It was a heavyweight bout, there was a little bit of feeling out and it was a 1-1 hockey game,” AP head coach Louis Finocchiaro said. “Then, the second period, for whatever reason all season, the second period's been when we've fallen apart."

The Eagles’ onslaught began at 7:37, when Sam Topham skated up the point to the right wing circle and got Cougars netminder Elijah Harris sliding one way. The puck didn’t come off Topham’s stick cleanly after the dish from Chris LaLiberte (1 G, 1A) and the misdirection fooled Harris, who was playing the percentages.

Then, at 9:39, the Eagles put on a passing clinic. Defenseman Alec Flynn made a nice touch pass at the red line to set up BC High’s transition through the neutral zone. Jake Lemanski then skated the wing and skittered a pass over to Patrick Kramer (1 G, 1 A), who buried it on the back-hand after a single deke.

Just a minute and 41 seconds later, Kramer was in on the act again, this time providing a highlight reel assist. From below AP’s goal line, the Merrimack commit sent a saucer pass back into the slot, skipping over the outstretched stick of a Cougars defenseman and onto the tape of Kayser Raei for the goal.

"Not many kids can make that play, and having the ability to see that and make that pass,” Flaherty said.

It was an example of the Eagles’ concerted effort to set up shop deep in AP’s zone.

"We tried to use our speed and get past their defensemen,” Kramer said. “We had to get Elijah [Harris] moving side to side because he's a good goalie and that's the only way we were going to beat him."

The Cougars attempted to lodge yet another third-period comeback, behind an early Mike Egan goal, but the Eagles distanced themselves.

Larocque added his second point of the game with an assist on a goal from LaLiberte, before Trevor Davis closed out the victory with an empty-netter.

"When we're on and are playing good hockey, we're tough to beat,” Finocchiaro said. “We've talked about it, our coaching staff, we've talked about it, we've tried to drill it into their heads, but we just haven't been able to play 45 minutes of hockey."

Recap: No. 2 BC High 6, Falmouth 0

February, 16, 2014
Feb 16
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. 1 BC High 5, No. 11 St. John's (S) 2

January, 30, 2014
Jan 30
DORCHESTER, Mass. – There was a power surge Wednesday night at UMass-Boston’s Clark Athletic Center and it came from the BC High power play. The unit scored three of the team’s five goals as the Eagles cruised to a 5-2 victory over St. John’s of Shrewsbury.

“We moved the puck well. We try to talk about doing a little more with the puck. We got good shots and some good net presence,” said BC High coach John Flaherty.

The first 10 minutes were scoreless, but BC High scored two power play goals 1:53 apart to break the game open.

Pat Kramer and Steve DeForge quickly moved the puck around the perimeter before finding Sam Topham on the weak side who was able to snap a shot into a wide open net with the defense and goaltending unable to get over in time for the first goal of the game at the 10:01 mark.

“Pat Kramer was carrying it up the wall. I yelled for the chip down low and he cycled it down. I kind of just tried to get it on net. There was a screen in front and it went in,” explained Lemanski.

After a mostly ineffective power play Connor Noonan was able to convert when the puck squirted out from in back of the net. He moved away from the goal slightly before roofing a backhand from in tight. Kayser Raei assisted on the score.

The Eagles weren’t done. Jake Lemanski gave the Eagles a 3-0 lead heading to the locker room for the first intermission when he scored a bad angle goal with 46 seconds to play in the opening period. Raei and Kramer got credited with assists on the goal after the duo did a nice job cycling in back of the net.

St. John’s sophomore Chris Stalmok cut the lead to two when he scored on a turnaround shot 3:45 into the second period, but that would be as close as the Pioneers would get.

Eagles defenseman Billy Roche scored on an end-to-end rush less than three minutes later, cutting in from the left side, skating between two defenders before sweeping it into the back of the net.

“He stayed with the puck, Billy has good hand-eye,” Flaherty said. “He made a nice rush up ice. The puck wasn’t bouncing the way he wanted it to, but he didn’t give up on it. He stayed with it and was able to put it in the net.”

Lemanski added another power play goal in the third period to with assists going to Ryan Shea and Kramer.

“Pat had it on the wall. He looked for the point, but it was covered," Lemanski said. "I just tried to get open in front with my stick on the ice. We preach that a lot in practice. He laid it out there and I just tapped it in."

“He’s a huge contributor for us on and off the score sheet. Jake can really shoot the puck. He fires the puck and has a good knack around the net. He’s playing with a couple really good players. He’s a complimentary player to a degree, but when he gets the puck around the net he can score goals,” said Flaherty.

“We try to get movement all over the ice. We don’t want anyone standing still. We don’t want them to suck us in. We try to move the puck quick and get shots through,” explained Lemanski on the success of the Eagles on the man advantage.

The power play unit is aided by two of the best puck moving defensemen in high school hockey, Topham and Shea.

“It’s a great help to have those guys back there. They have experience and skill. It’s good to be able to do those things and have them handle it and settle it down back there,” explained Flaherty. “Those guys are an asset not only moving the puck up ice, but controlling the puck in the zone,” he added.

Kevin Quinlivan added a late goal for the Pioneers, but the outcome was never in doubt thanks to the Eagles’ terrific power play and some stellar penalty killing led by sophomore goaltender Brandon Payzant.

“You look at the score and what will get lost is the fact that Brandon Payzant played an excellent hockey game,”Flaherty said. “He squared up to pucks and he made some very good saves through traffic. We killed all our penalties and it was mainly because of our goaltending. We ran around a little too much and he bailed us out quite a few times.”

Notes: Boston College head coach Jerry York was one of several college coaches in attendance. Merrimack and Northeastern were also represented in the stands by assistant coaches… BC High is off until next Monday when it faces rival Catholic Memorial at Conte Forum on the campus of Boston College… St. John’s (Shrewsbury) looks to get back on track Saturday at the DCU Center against St. Peter-Marian.

BC High's Kramer: Merrmiack the 'right fit'

January, 14, 2014
Jan 14
BC High hockey junior forward Patrick Kramer emerged as one of the state's most feared goal-scorers a year ago.

This year, the 6-foot-1, 180-pound Bridgewater native is still on a clip of about two points per game through the first month-plus of the season, but he's added another trait to his resume: that of playmaker. Kramer has 14 assists through nine games and is clicking on his line alongside fellow junior Jake Lemanski and sophomore Kayser Raei.

Last week, Kramer announced his verbal commitment to Merrimack College, with the intent to land with the Warriors for the 2016-17 season, or perhaps sooner.

With the Eagles jumping out of the gate to a 7-0-2 start, we caught up with Kramer after BC High's latest victory, a 5-0 blanking of No. 14 Reading:

On his decision to commit: "I got the offer and I went up on a visit last Monday. I really liked the school, it's a good fit for me. I like the coaching staff, so it felt like the right fit and I decided to commit."

On the BC High connection at Merrimack: "Coach [Mark] Dennehy's a great guy and any chance you have to play for a guy like that it's a good time. Seeing guys like Sam Marotta and all the goalies that have gone up there, there's a history. It's a good fit."

On what the coaching staff sees his role as: "They want a two-way player who finishes all their checks. They want me to keep doing what I'm doing here [at BC High], they want me to keep doing that and going forward, to bring that to their system up there."

On his high assist total this year: "The way our lines work this year is that I have two great finishers on my line [Lemanski and Raei]. I'm going to do whatever I can with the puck on my stick to make sure we're getting goals. If that's picking up apples, it doesn't matter."

On how he feels BC High has performed to this point: "We're clicking. We've got a lot of momentum going right now. We need to just keep building on that. We have good team chemistry all around and we just want to keep that going."

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

January, 14, 2014
Jan 14
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.”

Recap: No. 2 BC High 2, Hendricken (R.I.) 2

January, 12, 2014
Jan 12
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – BC High coach John Flaherty was content to exit Brown University’s Meehan Auditorium with a point on Saturday afternoon and not wonder about what might have been.

As a means of explanation: The No. 2 Eagles and perennial Rhode Island power Hendricken played to a 2-2 tie which was the official result. But because Massachusetts schools don’t play overtime, Flaherty and Hawks coach Jim Creamer decided in advance that, if the game was tied after regulation, the teams would play a five-minute, sudden-death overtime in hopes that one team would emerge “victorious.”

Patrick Kramer’s second goal, at 3:43 of OT, enabled the Eagles (6-0-2) to prevail, 3-2.

“We’ll take the point,” Flaherty said. “Obviously, we wanted a better fate. But down 2-0 going into the third period against a very good team, to get two goals and a point especially when we killed as many penalties as we had to kill – especially a 5-on-3 – it was an uphill climb against a very good hockey team."

Since Massachusetts schools must win 50 percent of their games in order to qualify for their respective state tournaments, the Eagles now have 14 of the 20 points required to extend their season.

A case could be made that the Eagles preserved their chances of earning a point when they killed off a 5-on-3 penalty for 1:45 in the third period with the game tied 2-2. During that span, BC High limited the Hawks (8-0-2) to one shot on goal.

“The fact that we got out of there without giving up one was huge,” Flaherty said. “We had all the momentum going for us and then a couple of calls (holding on Alex Flynn and hitting from behind on Pat Riley) put us down 5-on-3. To be able to kill that and only give up one shot was a great job by the guys on the ice that we used to kill the penalty.

“We’ve done a pretty good job on the PK all year. But the two goals we have up today were power-play goals (each came off the stick of Jamie Armstrong). It just seemed like we were killing a lot of penalties today. We gave up two power-play goals but killed probably another four or five.”

The Eagles were 2-for-4 on the PK.

Hendricken scored its initial power-play goal at 13:25 of the first period when Armstrong, the son of former Providence Bruins coach and current St. Louis Blues scout Bill Armstrong, gunned home a slap shot from the left circle.

Then, at 6:10 of the second, Armstrong beat Brandon Payzant (16 saves) on a wrist shot from the slot.

The Eagles commenced their rally early in the third period when Ryan Shea beat Matt Kenneally (27 saves) with a slap shot from outside the top of the right circle at 2:15.

Kramer went to work shortly thereafter when he whipped home a shot from the right circle after a set-up by Kayser Raei at 3:35. He then ended the game in OT when he blasted home a slap shot from the high slot.

“[Kramer] was a major difference out there,” Flaherty said. “He scored a nice goal to get us even. And Ryan Shea had a real nice goal to get some momentum going our way.

“There isn’t an easy game on our schedule and we don’t schedule easy teams. We came down here in a tough environment and played a very good team. They worked hard in slowing us down. They didn’t give us lanes and didn’t allow us to get into a flow in the game.

He continued, “They scored two very nice power-play goals and we had to play catch-up. Again, down 2-0 after two periods with only 15 minutes of hockey to play, we’ll take a point.”

Conversely, Creamer realized his Hawks let one of New England’s top teams off the proverbial hook.

“We were in a good spot coming into the third,” he said. “But they’re a really good team – probably the best team we’re going to play all season. We made some poor choices coming into the third period.

“We let them off the hook a little bit and they stepped it up a little bit so credit to them. But it’s frustrating.”

That being said, Creamer also admitted it wasn’t all doom and gloom on a rainy afternoon.

“It was a positive day for us in general,” he said. “We certainly would have liked to have had the third period back. But we’ll learn from that and get better. Our compete level was outstanding. That’s the real thing I can take away is our compete level was top-notch. We certainly didn’t shy away."

One Hawk who definitely didn’t “shy away” was Kenneally who kept his team in contention especially during the second and third periods when BC High outshot Hendricken by a combined margin of 22-10.

“We got great goaltending today,” Creamer said. “He did a great job of making the first save and eliminating rebounds. That’s something he’s really worked on. It was really noticeable today. I thought he was outstanding.”

DORCHESTER, Mass. – When one of yours is down, you rally around the ranks.

No. 2 BC High did just that Tuesday night at UMass-Boston while facing Catholic Conference rival and statewide No. 1, Malden Catholic.

In the 24 hours leading up the Eagles’ bout, head coach John Flaherty had his mind elsewhere – in particular, with his mother who was hospitalized due to illness. That’s exactly when his BC High squad, in the words of senior captain Steve DeForge, told their coach they “had his back.”

And the Eagles backed it up, storming out of the gate and finishing strong while snatching a 5-3 victory over the Lancers.

“He’s back and forth, taking care of her and taking care of us,” said DeForge, who scored two goals. “We talked about it yesterday in practice, we need to pick him up, how he picks up every day. I think we did it today.

“She’s always there for us as well. She’s always looking out for us and I think we made her really happy and we made him really happy to get this win tonight.”

The matchup marked the second time in less than two weeks’ time in which the Nos. 1 and 2 teams in ESPN Boston’s statewide Top 25 have gone head to head. Following MC’s 4-1 win over former No. 1 Austin Prep a little more than a week ago, the Eagles (6-0-1, 2-0-1 Catholic Conference) became the second straight second-ranked team to topple No. 1.

That motivation, coupled with the inspiration of playing for Flaherty’s mother, who constantly keeps up with the team, proved enough.

“We wanted this win, they’re the top team in the state,” said sophomore forward Patrick Kramer, who led all scorers with four points. “We worked on trying to be better offensively because obviously we weren’t very good against Xaverian [Saturday].”

After a sluggish start against Xaverian in their last league game, the Eagles entered Monday’s action with a purpose. BC High outshot the Lancers 9-2 in the first period and took a 2-0 lead to the room at intermission on two goals set up on assists from Kramer.

Senior defenseman Chris Pekrul got the Eagles started in the right direction, scoring on a point shot off of Kramer’s dish at 4:49 of the first. The goal came with a sixth BC High attacker on ice, following a delayed penalty call against MC.

BC High struck again before the period was out with sophomore winger Kayser Raei scoring his first of the season at 10:43. Kramer picked up his second of four assists on the 3-on-2 break.

“First line through fourth line, we were rolling lines, everybody was working hard,” DeForge said. “We were getting clean break-outs, a lot of offense as well. Luckily, we put a few away and that’s just from getting traffic in front, digging down and working hard out in front of the net.”

But, as they have been known to do in recent years, the Lancers (5-1-0, 1-1-0) turned it up for the second period, upping their intensity and rattling off three straight goals.

MC sophomore center Matt Filipe continued his tremendous start in the new year with back-to-back goals within four minutes to tie the game, 2-2. The Lancers took their first lead of the game with 1:07 remaining in the period, as Ara Nazarian forced a BC High defensive zone turnover before finishing with a top-shelf wrister.

However, the Eagles pulled even before the stanza was out, thanks to their first of three goals on the power play (3-for-6). Kramer worked down low to find DeForge cutting toward the goalmouth. After a tape-to-tape pass, the Eagles had knotted it up again with six second remaining in the second.

“With six seconds left, it got the crowd going and gave us a little momentum to bring into the locker room,” DeForge said.

With all even, the Eagles turned their attention to their next task.

“Our goal in the third period is that we wanted to win 15 minutes in that last period and that’s what we did,” Flaherty said.

BC High capitalized on an early power-play opportunity with Connor Noonan ripping a wrist shot from the slot for what would prove to be the game-winner at 3:26, with an assist from Ryan Shea.

The Eagles capped scoring with 1:22 to play with DeForge tallying his second goal in the midst of a five-minute major power play.

“We got beat by a better team tonight,” Lancers head coach John McLean said. “They worked harder than us. They had a better power play than we did. They killed penalties better than we did. They had a better forecheck than we did.”

Much improved: After a lackadaisical start to Saturday’s tilt at Xaverian, Flaherty preached starting fast to his team.

“They’re a great team and we knew that if we were going to beat them, we had to start fast and capitalize on opportunities,” he said. “I thought we did that in the first. In the second period, we started standing around a little bit and, again, if you give some of their players the time and space, they’re going to burn you.”

While the Eagles’ key to success was the power play – while shutting out the Lancers on their three man-up bids – BC High helped its chances with a fast start, playing from ahead and setting the pace of play through the first period.

But what was most important is how the Eagles rebounded from a string of three MC goals in the second.

“If you’re given an advantage, you have to capitalize because they’re going to on theirs,” Flaherty said. “We knew the special teams were going to be huge coming into today, we talked a lot about it coming into today in practice – both the kill and the PP.”

With some undisciplined play, the Eagles were not only able to draw even but skate away with the victory.

“The kids compete, they play hard,” McLean said. “I told you before, I think some of [the penalty calls] were questionable. But we’ll take them. It is what it is. They’re on the scoresheet so we’ll take them. We got beat.”