Boston High School: Mike McHale

Recap: No. 10 St. Mary's 7, Needham 0

February, 21, 2014
Feb 21
WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The ultimate decision will be up to the committee, but St. Mary’s made one final statement that it belonged in the Super 8 on Thursday afternoon in the consolation game of the Ninth annual Cathedral Hockey Classic with a convincing 7-0 shutout victory over Needham.

“It was the second game in a row, we didn’t have a whole lot of jump in our step the first period,” Spartans head coach Mark Lee said. “We weathered the storm and finished the game strong. We put some pucks in the net when we had to and we’re happy with the outcome.”

Clay Yianocopolus started the scoring for the Spartans 9:26 into the first period on a terrific individual effort. The defenseman-turned-forward made a strong move to the net, but his initial shot was denied by Needham goaltender Mike McHale. Yianocopolus retrieved his own rebound behind the net and banked it in off McHale.

That first goal really gave St. Mary’s the spark it needed, as the Spartans would score twice more before the period ended. Jackson Allard tipped home a Connor Foley shot at the 13:04 mark, and 29 seconds later leading scorer Shawn MacBurnie found the back of the net off a nice centering pass from Foley.

The score stayed 3-0 well into the second period when Jordan Manthorne scored a short-handed goal. The senior captain was relentless on the forecheck, finally stealing away the puck and firing it on net. His shot deflected off a Needham defender and into the back of the net.

Foley added another goal just over a minute later to give St. Mary’s a 5-0 lead after two periods. Jon Powers and Yianocopolus assisted on the score.

Austin Frankel finished off a nice feed from Manthorne just 48 seconds into the third period to give St. Mary’s the 6-0 advantage. Later in the period Allard scored his second of the game when he batted home a loose puck in front of the net.

Spartans senior goaltender Bailey MacBurnie was pulled midway through the third period in favor of Connor Jennings. The two combined for the team’s fourth shutout of the season. Lee’s club has allowed just 36 goals over the 22-game regular season.

“Our strength is that we’re usually pretty disciplined in the defensive zone,” Lee said. “We got away from that against a very powerful Malden Catholic team yesterday. We got back to that today, blocking shots and taking lanes away.”

The loss ended the season for Needham and the high school careers of its four seniors.

“We knew it was going to be tough coming out here, playing two very good teams, regardless of who we played today,” Rockets head coach Mike Bertoni said. “We knew that it was going to be a challenge. We fought to the end today. As disappointing as it is, we have to credit the seniors for keeping the team together and battling to the end.”

St. Mary’s will have to wait until Saturday when the Super 8 selection committee decides the team’s fate. It will either be on to the Super 8 or the Division 1 North bracket for the Spartans.

“I think our record speaks for itself,” said Lee of his team’s Super 8 resume. “We’ve played all the top teams and we competed with them. Even the loss yesterday against Malden Catholic, we struggled in the first period, but battled and played well the last two.”

He added, “I think we’ve probably earned a spot to at least be in the play-in game. I really believe in this team.”

Recap: No. 6 Cathedral 9, Needham 0

February, 19, 2014
Feb 19
WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – High school hockey fans got their wish for a clash between Super 8 favorites in the championship game of Thursday’s Springfield Cathedral High School Tournament.

After Malden Catholic made quick work of St. Mary’s in the first semifinal, the host Panthers easily dispatched of Needham in the second semifinal, 9-0.

Cathedral scored four times in the first and five more times in the second period to allow the coach to rest some of his superstars in the third period.

“The kids worked hard and skated hard tonight. We had a game like yesterday [2-2 tie versus Bridgewater-Raynham] then today we put up nine,” Panthers head coach Brian Foley said. “We have the ability to score goals, but you never know when it’s coming.”

Defenseman Bryce Peritz had a big night on the score sheet, including the opening goal of the game and three assists. The big junior defenseman tipped in a long point shot from Quinnipiac commit D.J. Petruzzelli just 1:46 into the game to start the scoring onslaught.

“Bryce is a big kid. He’s a junior, one of our older kids. He’s been a leader for us defensively,” said Foley, the bench boss of a team with just one senior. “He’s improved dramatically, just mentally, playing the game a lot simpler. He’s been blocking a lot of shots and playing tough in front of the goal for us. He’s been very effective the last two weeks, especially.”

Holy Cross recruit Peter Crinella extended the lead to 2-0 at the 7:04 mark of the opening period. He roofed a wrist shot into the top corner of the net as he streaked down the left side.

Freshman Riley Prattson scored his first of three goals on the night as he circled from behind the net. He beat Needham goaltender Mike McHale above his glove with a laser of a wrist shot.

UMass-Amherst commit John Leonard connected for a goal on a nice setup from Prattson and Petruzzelli at the 12:18 mark of the opening period to give the Panthers a 4-0 advantage heading to the first intermission.

Cathedral scored five more times in the second period, including shorthanded goals by Dan Petrick and Prattson on the same penalty kill. The shorthanded goal gave Prattson a hat trick after he had already picked up the first tally of the period.

Leonard and eighth grader Devon Tongue also found the back of the net in the middle frame.

Foley’s team is a very young group, as evidenced by the goal scorers in the second period, with all in eighth, ninth and 10th grades.

“At this point in the season, no one is still a rookie,” said Foley of his younger players. “They’re playing older than their years. They’re really getting comfortable.

“Devon Tongue, especially, he’s really come onto the scene. Devon has made steady progress the whole season. He’s playing really, really well for us right now.”

Foley chose to rest senior John Liquori for the second half of the game, giving sophomore Owen Mastroianni a chance to see some ice time to close out the second period. Freshman sensation and Quinnipiac recruit Keith Petruzzelli came in for the third period.

Springfield Cathedral has tied Austin Prep and BC High already this season, but the Panthers see Thursday’s clash against three-time defending champion Malden Catholic as a pivotal contest in the team’s quest for a high seed in the Super 8.

“Every game is an important game,” Foley said. “It’s the last game of the regular season. It’s our tournament that we haven’t won in years. Malden Catholic is a great opponent. We’re going to be real excited to play [Thursday] night and give it our all.”

“We’re just trying to focus on playing Malden Catholic.,” Liquori said. “It’s a huge game to determine our seeding for the Super 8. We really don’t want to play a play-in game.”

Needham will face St. Mary’s in the consolation game tomorrow, a contest with a lot riding on it for both clubs. Needham needs a win to qualify for the state tournament, while the Spartans are still making a push to be included in the Super 8.