Boston High School: Marc Hetnik

Catholic Memorial's Hetnik commits to BU

April, 1, 2011
Catholic Memorial senior defenseman Marc Hetnik will be playing hockey at Boston University, joining its 2012 recruiting class, Knights head coach Bill Hanson has confirmed.

Hetnik, along with Hanson, met with Terriers head coach Jack Parker on Thursday morning. The Chestnut Hill resident will play a year of juniors before heading to Commonwealth Ave., with the Vernon Vipers of the British Columbia Hockey League and the Omaha Lancers of the United States Hockey League emerging as top targets.

The Knights blue liner was also considering Boston College, Merrimack and Holy Cross among other schools.

More on this story to come.
WORCESTER, Mass. -- Dartmouth’s Garrett Allen once again proved why he was nearly impossible to stop during his high school career with the Indians.

During four years at Dartmouth, Allen topped off at 196 points and trails only John Sullivan’s 223 career points in the pantheon of the Indians’ all-time leading scorers.

Allen once again showed off his scoring acumen during Sunday’s second-annual MSHCA All-Star Classic played at the DCU Center, netting a hat trick while leading Team South to an 8-4 victory over Team North.

“It was just an awesome experience,” said Allen, who was named the game’s MVP and was honored during the ensuing Worcester Sharks game. “I was proud to be the first player from Dartmouth to be selected.”

The Dartmouth center also added an assist for a four-point game.

Allen, who played alongside Hudson’s Sean Parker and Xaverian’s Tommy Jenkins for most of the afternoon, also tallied the game-winning goal, scored during the third period for the hat trick.

“That was a just a bonus,” he added.

Marshfield’s Ryan Connors also tallied two goals contributing to the South effort. Catholic Memorial defenseman Marc Hetnik stepped up into the play to add a second-period goal for the South. Jenkins and Braintree's Jared Rizo also netted goals for the South.

Not to be outdone, Malden Catholic’s Garrett White continued his hot play -- dating back to his contributions leading the Lancers to their first Super Eight tournament win – also tallied a hat trick to lead the North attack.

“This is a lot of fun,” said South coach Brian Shuman, who is the bench boss at Canton High. “This is about the best collection of talent that you could hope to coach and the kids were all gentlemen, they didn’t just take things on themselves, they really played a team game.”

Here's a full list of participants in the senior all-star game:

Team North
2 Josh Gallagher, D Central Catholic
3 Nico DiSalvo, D Peabody
4 Sean Kavanagh, D Springfield Cathedral
5 Jake Kulevich, D Marblehead
6 Christopher Milne, D Danvers
7 Terry Murphy, D Waltham
8 Joe Nardella, D St. John’s (Shrewsbury)
9 John Sartell, D Wakefield
10 Terence Durkin, F BC High
11 Patrick Crosby, F Masconomet
12 Tom Crowley, F Reading
13 Ryan Doherty, F Tewksbury
14 Daniel Graham, F Arlington Catholic
15 Alex Holland , F Woburn
16 Nick Leonard, F Central Catholic
17 Kevin Peduto, F Acton-Boxborough
18 Devin Smith, F St. John’s (Shrewsbury)
19 Christopher Surette, F St. Mary's of Lynn
20 Matthew Swett, F Andover
21 Garrett White, F Malden Catholic
1 Kyle Berthiaume, G Andover
30 Zach Rondeau, G Springfield Cathedral
35 Steve Burgoyne, G Westford Academy

Team South
2 Steven Bristol, D Weymouth
3 Pat Cull, D Marshfield
4 Marc Hetnik, D Catholic Memorial
5 Chris Joyce, D Needham
6 Alex Pompeo, D Hingham
7 T.J. Ryan, D Newton North
8 Alex Taddeo, D Franklin
9 Mike Thiesing, D Archbishop Williams
10 Garrett Allen, F Dartmouth
11 Mike Cashman, F BC High
12 Tom Coleman, F Needham
13 Ryan Connors, F Marshfield
14 Tim Driscoll, F Hingham
15 Anthony Hardy, F Bridgewater-Raynham
16 Tommy Jenkins, F Xaverian Brothers
17 Jim Magrath, F Medfield
18 Sean Parker, F Hudson
19 Tyler Piacentini, F Weymouth
20 Jared Rizo, F Braintree
21 Haydon Voss, F Marlborough
1 Patrick Farrington, G Sandwich
30 Kyle Jacobs, G Pembroke
35 Chris Treon, G Westwood

ESPN Boston MIAA All-State boys' hockey team

March, 24, 2011
First Team
F - Colin Blackwell, St. John’s Prep
The senior center and captain led the Eagles with 45 points (24 G, 21A) while earning MVP honors from the Catholic Conference. Playing on Prep’s top lines, in addition to power play and penalty kill units, the Harvard commit was a +42 this season for the Super Eight finalists.

F - Brendan Collier, Malden Catholic
Collier was perhaps the most versatile player in the state. The junior BU commit scored the game-winning goal in the Lancers’ Super Eight championship, but the winger was also a mainstay of MC’s penalty kill units, playing defense. The Charlestown native tallied 63 points (24 G, 39 A) during the regular season while guiding the Lancers to their first D1A title.

F - Mike Vecchione, Malden Catholic
The Lancers captain and UNH signee led their potent offense with 70 points (26G, 44A) during the regular season. The senior winger also broke the Catholic Conference’s all-time single-season scoring record during MC’s run in the Super Eight. The Saugus native is looking at playing in either the British Columbia Hockey League or the United State Hockey League next year.

D - Connor Evangelista, Malden Catholic
The junior blue liner was perhaps the most underrated element to the Lancers’ Super Eight title run. Whether it was through an outlet pass springing the rush or on the penalty kill, the Wakefield native did it all. Evangelista was among the state’s top-scoring defensemen and contributed 25 assists during the regular season for the D1A champion Lancers.

D - Marc Hetnik, Catholic Memorial
The Knights senior was like having a fourth forward out there, who also readily handled the opposing team’s top players night after night. The Chestnut Hill native is considering BU, Holy Cross and Merrimack among his college choices and is likely to play in the British Columbia Hockey League next year.

G - Kyle Williams, Central Catholic
The junior netminder spearheaded the Raiders’ run to the Super Eight. With Williams carrying a bulk of the load, Central Catholic surrendered just 43 goals this season while posting a goal differential of +45. He was also a driving force behind the Raiders’ Super Eight run and turned in a strong performance in a near upset bid against Malden Catholic.

“Line Change” Second Team
F - Tim Driscoll, Hingham
After scoring the winning goal in the Harbormen’s Super Eight championship in 2010, the Holy Cross commit captained Hingham to a D1A return in 2011. The senior winger led the Harbormen with 34 points (12 G, 22A) during the regular season and is exploring opportunities to play a prep postgraduate year of hockey before enrolling at Holy Cross.

F - Ryan Fitzgerald, Malden Catholic
The talented sophomore was the fulcrum the Lancers’ prolific top line, centering Collier and Vecchione. The BC recruit was MC’s second leading scorer during the regular season, netting 66 points (24 G, 42 A) for the Super Eight champions.

F - Tyler Piacentini, Weymouth
The senior captain was the sparkplug to the Wildcats’ Super Eight run. While he was often the smallest player on the ice, Piacentini was typically the most visible, letting his play to the talking. With a 61-point regular season (31 G, 30 A), he finished fourth in the state in scoring to MC’s dynamic first line.

D - Chris Joyce, Needham
The senior blue liner was the Rockets’ third leading scorer and a stalwart on defense who seldom left the ice. Joyce tallied 24 points in the regular season (7 G, 17 A) while leading Needham to yet another Super Eight appearance.

D - Alex Pompeo, Hingham
The senior was among the state’s leading point-getters among blue liners and finished second on the Harbormen in scoring to Driscoll. Pompeo was an integral part of the Harbormen’s Super Eight title run in 2010 and their repeat appearance in 2011.

G - Donald Hesse, St. Mary’s (Lynn)
The Spartans netminder was among the state’s leaders in all goaltending statistical categories, including a measly goals against average of 1.90 during the regular season. Hesse spurred St. Mary’s to its first Super Eight appearance this season. The Salem native is considering playing hockey at several postgraduate prep schools next season.

Best of the Rest
F Garrett Allen, Dartmouth
F Mike Cashman, BC High
F Liam Centrella, Andover
F Tom Coleman, Needham
F Ryan Connors, Marshfield
F Liam Coughlin, Catholic Memorial
F Joe Czarnota, Reading
F Ryan Dempsey, Marblehead
F Ryan Doherty, Tewksbury
F Terence Durkin, BC High
F Kevin Emmerling, St. John’s (Shrewsbury)
F Tommy Evangelista, Central Catholic
F Riley Flanagan, Weymouth
F Dan Graham, Arlington Catholic
F Anthony Hardy, Bridgewater-Raynham
F Mitch Hamor, Beverly
F Alex Holland, Woburn
F Jack Jenkins, Billerica
F Sam Kurker, St. John’s Prep
F Chris Leblanc, Winthrop
F Nick Leonard, Central Catholic
F Conal Lynch, Boston Latin
F Chris Maguire, Waltham
F Jim McGrath, Medfield
F Dan O’Hear, Catholic Memorial
F Ross Olsson, Billerica
F Cam Owens, Wilmington
F Drew Oxley, Saugus
F Kurt Roderigues, Saugus
F Nick Roberto, Malden Catholic
F Jason Salvaggio, Xaverian
F Joe Scarfo, Winthrop
F Casey Shea, Woburn
F Devin Smith, St. John’s (Shrewsbury)
F Andrew Taylor, Oliver Ames
F Zach Wells, Barnstable
F Andrew White, BC High
F Garrett White, Malden Catholic
D Steven Bellew, Hingham
D Steven Bristol, Weymouth
D Sean Kavanagh, Springfield Cathedral
D Cam Kennedy, St. Mary’s (Lynn)
D Jake Kulevich, Marblehead
D Ryley MacEachern, Austin Prep
D Eric Muise, Peabody
D Alex Taddeo, Franklin
G Joe Cerulo, Wakefield
G James Cox, Braintree
G Peter Cronin, BC High
G Zac Rondeau, Springfield Cathedral
G Kyle Jacobs, Pembroke
G Chris Treon, Westwood

All Rookie Team (Top 5 to Watch for Next Year)
  1. Shane Eiserman, F, St. John’s Prep
  2. Tyler Sifferlen, F, Malden Catholic
  3. Tom Besinger, F, BC High
  4. Sean Cleary, G, Barnstable
  5. Nolan Redler, F, Winchester
Coach of the Year
John Flaherty, BC High
It took just one season for Flaherty, who took over for legend Joe McCabe, to get the Eagles back to the Super Eight after missing the playoffs in the previous two seasons. The BC High graduate guided the Eagles to a 15-6-3 record that included an appearance in the Super Eight crossover round. Flaherty also works at the school as its Director of the Fund.

Ice Hockey, BC High, St. John's Prep, Dartmouth, Arlington Catholic, Xaverian, Andover, Central Catholic, Billerica, Barnstable, Bridgewater-Raynham, Catholic Memorial, St. John's (Shrewsbury), Marshfield, Oliver Ames, Reading, Wakefield, Malden Catholic, Saugus, Westwood, Needham, Medfield, Tewksbury, Franklin, Weymouth, Braintree, Beverly, Winchester, Peabody, Pembroke, Boston Latin, Hingham, Springfield Cathedral, Ryan Fitzgerald, Austin Prep, St. Mary's (Lynn), Dan Graham, Chris Leblanc, Eric Muise, Dan O'Hear, Liam Coughlin, Marc Hetnik, Chris Joyce, Tom Coleman, Mike Vecchione, Brendan Collier, Sam Kurker, Steven Bellew, Alex Pompeo, Colin Blackwell, Nick Roberto, Connor Evangelista, Kurt Roderigues, Drew Oxley, Sean Kavanagh, Tim Driscoll, Marblehead, John Flaherty, Woburn, Casey Shea, Mike Cashman, Andrew White, Tyler Sifferlen, Garrett White, Zach Wells, Donald Hesse, Riley Flanagan, Tyler Piacentini, Zac Rondeau, Waltham, Jack Jenkins, Chris Maguire, Ross Olsson, Sean Cleary, Nolan Redler, Joe Czarnota, Cam Kennedy, Shane Eiserman, Kyle Williams, Tommy Evangelista, Terence Durkin, Tom Besinger, Nick Leonard, James Cox, Peter Cronin, Anthony Hardy, Ryan Connors, Wilmington, Cam Owens, Alex Holland, Ryan Doherty, Joe Cerulo, Ryan Dempsey, Kyle Jacobs, Jake Kulevich, Alex Taddeo, Garrett Allen, Liam Centrella, Kevin Emmerling, Mitch Hamor, Wintrhop, Conal Lynch, Jim McGrath, Jason Salvaggion, Joe Scarfo, Devin Smith, Andrew Taylor, Steven Bristol, Ryley MacEachern, Chris Treon

Handicapping the Super 8 'Watch List'

February, 15, 2011
Over the weekend, the Super Eight “Watch List” was compiled by the Massachusetts State Hockey Coaches Association. In what has proved to be a particularly wild year, 21 teams made the initial list for observation during the final two weeks of the season. The mere number of teams on the list is a testament to how truly even competition has been through the year.

Aside from our weekly Top 25 state hockey poll, we’re going to take a little time to break down the Watch List, making a case for each team and their chances at the big dance while ranking the likelihood they will be among the field in addition to couple of X-factors to their postseason success.

It goes without saying that there’s a lot of hockey left to be played, but here’s how we see them stacking up as of right now.

As always, feel free to sound off and leave a copy of your rankings in the comments section.

1. Malden Catholic (13-2-2)

Why they’re in: Wire-to-wire, the Lancers have been the state’s most consistent team, minus one hiccup against Hingham. The top line of Brendan Collier, Ryan Fitzgerald and Mike Vecchione is without parallel. Not only that, the Blue Blades have depth throughout. Simply stated, they’re the team to beat.

X-factor: So much has been written (we’re included) about the Lancers offense, but they have a defensive corps to boot led by Connor Evangelista and Colin MacGillivray, not to mention the very steady Pat Young in net.

2. Hingham (10-4-4)
Why they’re in:
There’s been some turnover from last year’s Super Eight championship team, but the Harbormen still have some important cogs in the fold from that squad starting with their captains: winger Tim Driscoll and defenseman Alex Pompeo. They form the nucleus of a group that’s been there and done that, evidenced by some clutch late season wins, like last week’s comeback win against St. Mary’s of Lynn.

X-factor: Rangy junior winger Matt Hughes (6-foot-2) has exhibited a quick release and knack for finding the back of the net. The Harbormen have gone through stretches where they’ve struggled to score. If Hughes is on his game, Hingham will be all that much tougher to beat.

3. St. John’s Prep (10-5-1)
Why they’re in:
The Eagles have assured themselves a second-place finish in the Catholic Conference with a 4-3-0 record thus far. Quite frankly, that should be a good enough resume to gain Super Eight entry in any season. In addition, Prep has Top 25 wins out of conference against Austin Prep, St. John’s (Shrewsbury), Springfield Cathedral and Woburn.

X-factor: The question entering the season was how far Harvard commit Colin Blackwell could lead the Eagles. But he hasn’t just had to do it alone. Freshman Shane Eiserman could soon follow Blackwell’s footsteps as a D-1 recruit. In net, Prep has it covered with junior David Letarte who’s underrated.

4. St. Mary’s of Lynn (12-3-3)
Why they’re in:
The Spartans aced their Catholic Central schedule with a 7-0-3 record, out-scoring their opponents 37-12. It all starts from the goal out with netminder Donald Hesse sporting a sub-2.00 goals against average. Sophomore Bobby Mullins has stepped up to shoulder the offensive load and leads the squad with 12 goals.

X-factor: The Spartans don’t have too many marquee out-of-conference wins, but we’re looking past that in this panel’s consideration of their merits on the strength of their conference schedule which includes three Top 25 squads in Archbishop Williams, Arlington Catholic and Austin Prep. St. Mary’s pushed Malden Catholic on Monday before losing, 3-2, but the Spartans have a couple more high profile non-leaguers on the docket with Springfield Cathedral and Weymouth.

5. BC High (9-4-3)
Why they’re in:
First-year head coach and longtime Eagles assistant John Flaherty set a goal to get his team back into the postseason this season. Not only has BC High qualified for the state tournament, it very well looks like they’re Super Eight bound. The Eagles started Catholic Conference play 0-3-1, but were able to salvage two wins down the stretch. Their 3-3 tie against Malden Catholic seemed to be a springboard for the team to believe in itself.

X-factor: A big tip of the cap goes to the Eagles’ senior leadership in keeping the young squad together, led by captain Mike Cashman, and assistant captains Jack Buckley, Brendan O’Malley and Andrew White.

6. Weymouth (15-2-1)
Why they’re in
: We expect that the Wildcats will put their finishing touches on Bay State Carey league title on Wednesday against Braintree despite a recent bump in the road with a loss to Needham. It’s hard to imagine Weymouth not being a shoo-in for the field of eight having been so dominant wire-to-wire. We could get a glimpse at how the Wildcats could play in the field with a string of late season tests against Catholic Memorial, Central Catholic and St. Mary’s in the next two weeks.

X-factor: It all comes down to defense in the postseason and with defensemen Andy Sheridan and goaltender Brian Brady, the Wildcats have senior leadership covered.

7. Woburn (12-3-1)
Why they’re in:
The Tanners hold a slight 1-point lead over Winchester in the tight race to the Middlesex League crown. Their demonstrative 4-1 win over Reading on Saturday could go a long way toward punching their ticket. The Tanners control their own destiny with two more scheduled league games (Stoneham and Winchester) and, if they take care of business, they should be in.

X-factor: Woburn seems to be peaking at the right time and hasn’t lost since their first meeting against Reading on Jan. 8. Juniors Eddie Aprile and Bobby Smith played up for their latest big game against the Rockets last week.

8. Catholic Memorial (7-7-1)
Why they’re in:
Bar none, nobody plays a harder schedule in the MIAA than the Knights every year. They’re accustomed to playing Super Eight-caliber hockey every time out and they get everybody’s best. For a CM team, they’re young, but they’re also plenty talented with defenseman Marc Hetnik leading the way. Sophomore Liam Coughlin (8-8-16) has been a revelation.

X-factor: Quite frankly, whether or not they have enough points to get to the tournament. It’s not often you’re taking a serious look at a .500 club come this time of year, but it again speaks to the quality of schedule in the Catholic Conference as well as out-of-conference. So here’s the gauntlet, five points in five games and they’re in.

9a. Central Catholic (12-4-1)
Why they’re in:
Less than a week ago, we had the Raiders ticketed for the top four of the eight-team field. After a lack-luster 1-1 tie against Billerica last Wednesday, Pandora’s Box opened. Now, as it stands as of publication time, the Raiders hold a 1-point lead over Billerica in the DCL/MVC with four games to play. The Indians also have four games to play. We’ll hedge that the winner of this pre-postseason mini tournament will have a chance at the Super Eight.

X-factor: Kyle Williams is that type of goaltender that can carry a team on a postseason run, but the Raiders can be dangerous if Tommy Evangelista and playmaker Nick Leonard are on point.

9b. Billerica (7-1-7)
Why they’re in:
If the aforementioned Raiders tail off and the Indians can pull of the DCL/MVC title, that’s it. On the plus side, the Indians have lost only one game, a 3-2 loss to Burlington. On the negative side, they’ve also only won less than half of their games as well.

X-factor: Health. The Indians were down five players in their 1-1 tie against Central Catholic, but the job head coach Mike Mastrullo pulled mixing and matching lines was masterful, plus his team came to play. It’s that side of Billerica that makes you believe.

11. Needham (10-5-3)

Why they’re in: Building steam.

X-factor: Experience, Super Eight that is.

12. Springfield Cathedral (11-7-0)
Why they’re in:
Aren’t the Panthers always in?

X-factor: Zac Rondeau = game-changer.

13. Winchester (10-5-1)
Why they’re in:
Surviving the Middlesex League.

X-factor: Ryan McGoff.

14. Xaverian (8-5-2)
Why they’re in:
A Catholic Conference team on the outs?

X-factor: Dave Michaels.

15. Braintree (10-4-3)
16. Reading (12-4-1)
17. Arlington Catholic (8-3-6)
18. St. John’s Shrewsbury (10-6-1)
19. Barnstable (11-1-3)
20. Austin Prep (9-5-3)
21. Marshfield (10-2-4)

No. 7 BC High holds off late CM rush

February, 13, 2011

BOSTON – It’s always a battle when longtime Catholic Conference BC High and Catholic Memorial meet and Saturday’s latest installment of the storied rivalry was no different. But it saw the two teams moving in different directions.

As the seventh-ranked Eagles held on for a 5-4 win with a wild third period, BC High clinched a spot in the MIAA tournament in fashion with the victory over their rival in the Dr. Edward M. Wright Memorial game played at Walter Brown Arena.

“We qualified, which is big,” first-year Eagles head coach John Flaherty said. “That’s been our goal, as we’ve said before, making the tournament is what you want to do and this gets us over the 20-points to qualify. Now, we see where everything else falls.”

BC High (9-4-3, 2-4-1) trailed for portions of the game, but the teams were tied 2-2 heading into the second intermission. The Eagles entered the third period with purpose in a three-goal outburst. CM fought back with two goals to counter, but the comeback bid fell short.

Marc Hetnik opened scoring on a beautiful end-to-end rush on a Knights’ power play with 3:24 remaining in the first.

CM took the 1-0 lead to the dressing room, but Eagles freshman defenseman Matt Doherty tied the game with another unassisted goal. A little more than a minute later, Kevin McCarthy scored his first of two goals with a power-play marker 5:27 into the second.

BC High struck again and the momentum shifted before the period was out on Sean Talbot’s power-play blast from the top of the circle with 1:17 left. Talbot jumped into the play off the Eagles bench, stepping in for Terence Durkin, who was shaken up on a check in the corner. Matt Sullivan found Talbot streaking up the middle of ice with the feed.

“We were on our heels a little bit with penalty kill after penalty kill,” Flaherty said after BC High was tasked with killing four CM power play opportunities until that point, “Then getting that one at the end was huge.”

The Eagles had a jump in their step in the third, stringing together three straight goals from Tom Besinger, Durkin and Jake Tenaglia to knock the Knights on their heels.

McCarthy countered with his second of the game and Jack O’Hear added another one late for CM, but only added up to another missed opportunity.

The third-ranked Knights, who sit at .500 with a 7-7-1 overall record and 2-4-1 mark in conference, still have a ways to go before they punch a ticket to the postseason.

And, with another game down, those opportunities are running short. Not to mention, CM’s slate in their remaining games is far from easy with out-of-state challenges against Mount St. Charles, Bishop Hendricken and Connecticut’s Fairfield Prep, in addition to a final league game against No. 6 St. John’s Prep and non-leaguer against No. 2 Weymouth.

“You can really look at those five goals and say that somebody just didn’t do what they were told,” Knights head coach Bill Hanson said. “BC High is good and they capitalized on it. Obviously, Flash [Flaherty] is doing a tremendous job with them. They got good goaltending when they needed it and that was it.”

Senior forward Mike Marsters was named the game’s MVP and received the 11th Edward M. Wright Award in a postgame ceremony.

Flaherty said it was a fitting honor to a player who oftentimes doesn’t get the recognition he deserves in what he puts into the team.

Meanwhile, Marsters was simply happy to be headed back to the postseason with his teammates.

“We moved the puck really and worked hard,” Marsters said. “We never stopped working in the corners We kept the pressure on them and got pucks to the net. Everybody did their jobs today.”

No. 5 CM ties up No. 2 Malden Catholic

January, 29, 2011
BOSTON -- In their first meeting of the season, No. 2 Malden Catholic put up a lop-sided 7-3 win over Catholic Conference rival Catholic Memorial.

In Saturday’s rematch at Walter Brown Arena on the campus of Boston University, the goaltenders ruled the day as the teams skated to a 1-1 tie. The Lancers’ Pat Young stopped 25 shots, including some clutch saves in the third period. Meanwhile, sophomore Shane Starrett turned in a tremendous 36-save performance between the pipes for the fifth-ranked Knights.

“If that was a tie, it should have been 7-7, not 1-1,” MC head coach Chris Serino said. “There wasn’t a lot of defense being played. That’s something we’re going to need to work on.”

CM was out-shot in the first period, 15-8, but sophomore goaltender Shane Starrett weathered the storm, making a number of saves on point-blank opportunities. No stop was finer than Starrett’s kick-out of Garrett White’s one-timer from the faceoff dot with 6:20 remaining.

However, White would pay Starrett back for his theft, finding the back of the net with 2:01 remaining in the first for a 1-0 MC lead.

After a penalty-free first period, both teams had a couple chances with the man-advantage in the second.

The Lancers (8-2-2, 3-0-2) were given a 5-on-3 power play after a CM cross checking penalty with 5:18 remaining. MC put four shots on goal during the two-man advantage (all of which were kicked aside by Starrett), but most of the chances were limited to the periphery, thanks to some dogged work by Knights forward Kevin McCarthy at the top of the triangle.

“He gives himself up out there all the time,” Knights head coach Bill Hanson said of McCarthy’s efforts on the PK. “It’s because of his athleticism, too.”

CM (7-5-1, 2-2-1) also saw two power-play opportunities go by the boards in the second with only one shot to show for them.

However, the Knights best chance to score in the second came at even strength. Lancers goaltender made a toe save on a Liam Coughlin shot with 30 seconds remaining, but the rebound stalled at the top of the goalmouth with winger Jack O’Hear perched on the doorstep. The quick put back by O’Hear was nabbed by the glove of Young, who made a jaw-dropping sprawling recovery.

CM finally cracked through for the equalizer with 6:41 remaining in the game. Knights defenseman Marc Hetnik pushed the play up ice as MC was slow coming off a defensive pairing change. The smooth-skating 6-foot-3 blue-liner made his charge up the left wing boards and fired a wrister on Young from inside the dot. The shot squeaked through Young’s right arm and near side post.

“What defensemen are supposed to do when they’re on a change is just to get the puck to their goaltender,” Hanson said. “It just happened to get by him.”

After a hard-fought battle, the teams gathered on their respective blue lines after the game and Hanson took a moment to send best wishes to assistant coach Bob Dwan, who will be deployed to Afghanistan on Monday. A Lt. Col. in the National Guard, Dwan is a Gulf War veteran who has spent the last four years as an assistant to Hanson. Also CM graduate, Dwan (’83) also played under the Knights’ bench boss as a four-year varsity player before going on to play at Providence College.

No. 1 Malden Catholic finishes No. 2 CM

January, 12, 2011

MALDEN, Mass. – They sure do finish with flair.

For the second straight game against a Catholic Conference foe, No. 1 Malden Catholic trailed in the third period. The Lancers clawed out of a 2-0 hole to come back and beat No. 3 St. John’s Prep last week, but, once again, MC found itself trailing late Tuesday night against No. 2 Catholic Memorial.

The Knights took a 2-1 lead 2:36 into the third on Liam Coughlin’s goal. That’s when the Lancers clicked into another gear, scoring three goals in a span of 1:12. MC netting six goals on 12 shots overall in the third period to finish in a flurry and a 7-3 victory over CM.

“In that five-minute stretch, we did everything right,” MC head coach Chris Serino said. “We handled the puck and we were moving it like that the whole game, we just weren’t finishing.’

The Lancers (7-1-0, 2-0-0) dominated play for long stretches of the first period and out-shot the Knights, 12-5. However, MC only mustered to sneak one goal past CM goaltender Tommy Knox in the first with Ryan Fitzgerald tallying his 11th of the season on a give-and-go.

The Knights (5-4-0, 1-1-0) evened the score 15 seconds into the second period when Dan O’Hear knocked in a rebound off Marc Hetnik’s shot.

“We played hard, we created turnovers, we generated some offense off of our forecheck,” CM head coach Bill Hanson said of his team’s effort in the second stanza.

The Knights hard work paid off again early in the third period on Coughlin’s marker assisted by Jack O’Hear – his second.

Yet, MC drew even with an unexpected lift from freshman Tyler Sifferlen. Defenseman Connor Evangelista sprung Sifferlen on a breakaway. He beat Knox top-shelf for the first of his two goals in the period.

“That really turned things around,” Lancers assistant captain Brendan Collier said of Sifferlen’s goal. “From there, we were able to keep getting the puck deep, forecheck their D and just wear them down.”

Collier kept the pressure on netting his 10th of the season 42 seconds later with assists from Fitzgerald and Paul Wrenn. Mike Iovanna added his seventh goal of the year on a two-on-one break for a 4-2 MC lead. Garrett White tallied his second point of night (1 G, 1A) with a power play goal set up by Mike Vecchione to give the Lancers a three-goal cushion.

Fitzgerald later added his second goal of the night, thanks to some gritty work in the corner by Vecchione who fed the puck into the slot from his knees.

Sifferlen rounded out scoring with his second of the night with 8.3 seconds remaining. Chris Stathopoulous also scored late for CM.

Serino credited the work of his third line, comprised of Sifferlen, Bob Keough and Jake Porazzo, in helping to keep the Lancers’ legs fresh throughout.

“We run three lines out there and we’re able to wear them down,” Serino added. “It helps us tremendously because we’re able to wear them down and we were able to bury the puck in the third period.”

Player Diary: CM's Tommy Knox

January, 4, 2011
Editor's note: Catholic Memorial senior goaltender Tommy Knox checks in with his first Player Diary installment of the hockey season with a recap of the Knights' early-season exploits and a look ahead.

This season for Catholic Memorial is filled with a lot of new faces who are led by a solid group of returning players. We are a relatively young team and are depending on some of the younger players to step up and contribute. Our team does not need much more motivation then the wise words of Coach Hanson.

The team this year is looking to accomplish the ultimate goal of every team in Massachusetts, win the state title and bragging rights for the year. To do that we need to accomplish some minor goals along the way. We need to take the season day by day and get better each time we take the ice. Whether it is a practice or game day, we need to come out competing harder and playing smarter than we did the day before. Another goal of ours would be to win the Catholic Conference, as we have done in the past. To accomplish these goals we need to have strong performances all year by our seniors like Marc Hetnik, Danny O’Hear, and Chris Stathopoulous mixed in with underclassman Liam Coughlin and Jack O’Hear.

For me, personally, I would like to accomplish one single goal: to be able to play well enough to allow my team to compete night in and night out. This will only give my teammates more confidence in my playing style and allow them to get better. Hopefully, that will lead me to play at the next level in hockey, while also opening a few eyes in the hockey world.

So far this season, we have gotten out to a good start playing a difficult schedule. We battled against an always strong Delbarton (New Jersey) team, but unfortunately came up short. We came back strong though later in the schedule to put together three very convincing wins against Central Catholic, Thayer Academy, and BC High. Once this CM team begins to push the rock uphill, it will be very hard to step in our path and at this rate we will be a very hard team to play against come late February and early March.

Fast start paces No. 3 CM over No. 8 BC High

January, 4, 2011
BOSTON -- They were pretty much even, save for about a minute in the first period.

Outside of the third minute of the opening period in Tuesday night’s game at UMass Boston, No. 8 BC High was right with No. 3 Catholic Memorial in many regards. But the Knights simply did a better job burying their opportunities in a 3-0 win to open the teams’ Catholic Conference slate.

“We’ve had bad first periods all year,” CM head coach Bill Hanson said. “We’d talked about that coming into tonight. We said that we had to win the first period for a change.”

The Knights (4-3-0, 1-0-0) jumped on the board 2:36 into the first when Tom Barrett back-handed the rebound from a shot by Harrison Connelly into the back of the net. CM was back at it 13 seconds later when Liam Coughlin scored as a result of some crisp transition passes from Marc Hetnik and Ryan Sullivan.

The quick flourish could’ve rattled the young Eagles (3-1-1, 0-1-0), but BC High returned stronger in the second period and out-shot the Knights, 11-4.

Still, the Eagles weren’t able to finish as CM netminder Tommy Knox stopped 24 shots and collected his first shutout of the season.

“Other than a minute in the first period, I think we competed,” BC High head coach John Flaherty said. “We out-chanced them for part of the time. They capitalized, they finished their chances. We didn’t finish ours.”

The Eagles squandered four power play opportunities in the second period. The CM penalty kill unit was up to the task, consistently disrupting passing lanes, taking away BC High’s chances down low and blocking numerous shots before they could reach Knox.

“Tommy Knox is a good goalie, but you have to make sure he isn’t able to see the puck,” Flaherty said. “I think we allowed him to do that. We allowed him to see pucks, and for him to get in position, and we didn’t bang home rebounds that were waiting there for us.”

Coughlin was involved again on CM’s third goal, scored by Dan O’Hear. On a 2-on-1 break, Coughlin made a perfect saucer pass across the faceoff dots onto the tape of O’Hear’s stick with 7:20 remaining.

Knights senior defenseman Leo Stapleton doesn’t see a whole lot of ice time. That is except for when CM has a penalty to kill. Hanson utilizes Stapleton exclusively on the penalty kill, so he saw plenty of action during the second period when BC High had four stints on the power play. The Southie native sacrificed his body often, blocking six shots and leading a defensive effort that likely would’ve even pleased Claude Julien.

“It shows that we’re playing with courage and that we’re being aggressive in our own end,” Hanson said about the Knights’ multitudes of blocked shots.

That ethos plays into CM’s directives a man down, as well.

“We held them to not real good scoring chances,” Hanson said. “What we try to do is take away the backdoor play and we did that.

Passing thoughts: CM vs. Needham

December, 18, 2010
BOSTON, Mass. -- It was an early season rematch for two of last year's Super 8 entrants when No. 3 Catholic Memorial and No. 12 Needham faced off at Walter Brown Arena on Saturday.

The Knights took a 4-1 victory on the strength of a hat trick from sophomore Liam Coughlin. The center, who played for the Walpole Express last season, scored the final three goals of the game, including a game-clinching empty-netter in the waning seconds of the third.

Knights senior assistant captain Dan O'Hear also logged a mutli-point game, scoring CM's first goal of the game and setting up Coughlin's first tally -- what would prove to be the game-winner -- in the second period for a 2-1 CM lead. O'Hear feathered a tape-to-tape pass across the goal mouth to Coughlin, who banked the pass home behind Needham goaltender Connor Murray (24 saves).

Coughlin struck again 8:39 into the second period before capping the hat trick with an empty-netter that came as CM (1-1-0) was shorthanded. The rangy forward also set up O'Hear's goal for a four-point game.

Tommy Knox stopped 28 shots to earn in the win in goal.

Needham (1-1-0) got its lone goal in the first period when D.J. Walsh tipped in defenseman Corey Hood's shot from the point to tie the game, 1-1.

Here's a couple of passing thoughts from the non-league battle:
  • After CM's season-opening loss to LaSalle Academy in Providence, Hanson ran his team hard through practice this week, stressing a full 45-minute effort. "We went for 45 minutes today, that's for sure. That's what we have to do to win. We have to be hard to play against and our go-to guys have go to get it done."
  • With only one defenseman returning from last year's squad -- senior captain Marc Hetnik -- CM was left a little green on the blue line. In an effort to get a little experience on the back line, Hanson moved forward Chris Stathopoulous to defense and is playing beside Hetnik on the Knights' top pairing. The inspiration to move the smooth-skater back to the blue line came from Stathopoulous' experience on CM's lacrosse team. He's a longstick defender in lax, so Hanson thought, why not in hockey, too? "The way his physical skills are, he can skate, shoot, why not move him back to defense? He's got that acumen." The transition has been hasty, however. "He only really has two weeks of coaching back there," Hanson said, "but he gets better every day." Yet, if Saturday's sampling is any indication, the Knights may have found a dependable component to their D. It's not the first time Hanson's tried it either. Hetnik also first played as a forward at CM before making the switch.
  • Needham head coach Bill Guisti has the benefit of having seven seniors on this year's roster and he's been encouraged by their play early on. Guisti said forward Sam Nickles and Scott Atkinson, both seniors, have been among his most consistent players through preseason and the Rockets' early games. Nickles seemed to have the puck firmly attached to his stick throughout and had several quality chances. Atkinson exhibited good vision and the ability to transition the puck out of his defensive end. "He rarely makes a mistake," Guisti said of Atkinson. In addition to senior captains Chris Joyce -- whom Guisti believes should be the best D-man in the Bay State Conference this year -- and Tom Coleman, Needham has an experienced nucleus. "We've got to take it one game at a time and we've got Wellesley next," Guisti said. "So that will be a good challenge, but it would've been nice to get out of here with a win."

No. 3 CM reloads for another run

December, 17, 2010
WEST ROXBURY, Mass. – Senior defenseman Marc Hetnik may have said it best, stating the first thing a Catholic Memorial hockey player inherits when donning their sweater is a big ole bull’s-eye.

“Because you’re always touted among the top teams in the state,” Hetnik said after Thursday’s practice at the Jim Roche Community Ice Center, “you have the expectations to live up to the history of this program. And you have a coach like Coach [Bill] Hanson that expects a lot out of you.”

When playing in perhaps the state’s toughest conference (the Catholic) and consistently playing perhaps the state’s toughest schedule (which includes top flight out-of-state competition as well), there’s no time for the No. 3 Knights to rebuild.

They simply reload, year after year.

“We’ve had some great success in the past,” goaltender Tommy Knox said, “but we have to be leaders out there and follow the footsteps of the great players who have been through here to continue that CM legacy.”

For CM’s handful of senior players, including Hetnik and Knox, all they’ve known are trips to the Super 8. The Knights were within an eyelash of repeating as Super 8 champions last year until Tim Driscoll and Hingham derailed their bid in a dramatic finals match.

The team CM returns is much different from the one that skated off the Garden ice in March, painfully shy of achieving their goal. For instance, Hetnik is the lone blue-liner who is back.

However, the returning Knights have taken lessons from last year’s bitter experience.

“We know that every goal matters,” said Knox, an Acushnet resident. “One goal and you can be out of a game. It’s important to play every shot as if it’s the shot that will make the difference in the game.’

With all-everything sniper Derek Collucci gone along with stalwarts T.J. O’Brien and Troy Starrett, leadership on the front lines will fall largely to assistant captain Dan O’Hear. Hanson is also counting sophomore Liam Coughlin to have a breakout season. The rangy forward -- who is the son of Southie’s finest, Kevin Coughlin -- skated last season with the Walpole Express junior team and should add punch up front.

But Hanson knows all too well that the Knights will have to light the lamp consistently to make it out of the ever-competitive Catholic Conference this year.

“Anybody can beat anybody,” Hanson said. “Malden Catholic is definitely at the top, there’s no two ways about it, and I think they have been for the last couple of years. I think we just got lucky to beat them.

“It’ll be a dog fight, as it always is.”

Hanson also wants to ensure that his skaters are the best conditioned athletes.

During speed trials at the end of Thursday’s practice, a couple of Knights were bent over, tossing their cookies (and whatever other contents they happened to have in their stomachs) onto the ice.

The extensive skating period isn’t just to prove a point, it has a greater purpose.

“If they can get through that,” Hanson said, “it makes the game seem easy.”

17-7-1 (Super 8 finalists)
Head Coach: Bill Hanson, 35th season
Players to watch: G Tommy Knox, D Marc Hetnik, F Liam Coughlin.
The skinny: Unlike last year’s squad which was long in the tooth, this year’s model is largely coming fresh off the production line. “We have talented players,” Hanson said, “but they’re just going to have to learn how to play against the highest level of hockey they’ve ever played against.” The blue line corps is also inexperienced with Hetnik as the lone carryover from last year, but it helps having a top flight netminder like Knox, who had a save percentage over .90 last season and has Boston University and Providence College among his college suitors, to cover up any early season mistakes. “We need to play with a lot of energy and use our team speed, play through checks and playing physical,” Hetnik said. “That’s how we’ll be successful.”