Boston High School: Patrick Kramer

Super 8 semifinals notes and picks

March, 13, 2014
Mar 13
2:15
PM ET
Before the puck drops on tonight’s Super 8 semifinals matchups at Tsongas Center (6 and 8 p.m.), here’s a smattering of note from the tournament along with picks:

Panthers’ prowess: Springfield Cathedral flexed its offensive muscle in its close-out victory over Duxbury a week ago, scoring three goals on the power play in a 6-3 final.

The key to the Panthers’ near perfection on the man-advantage in the tournament is both in its scheme and its personnel.

Let’s start with the scheme. Brian Foley has implemented an umbrella-style power play – meaning there’s a single “blue-liner” -- in the case of Cathedral, that’s talented freshman defenseman Dan Petrick – who plays in the middle of the ice sheet. The pivot men are two players who play along the half-wing boards and have the choice of making passes into the slot, back to the point man, or across the sheet to the other wing.

Lastly, in Foley’s unit, there are two forwards who are positioned in the slot, stacked on top of each other. The low man is tasked with setting the screen on the goaltender and creating traffic, while looking for rebounds and low-slot opportunities if the half-wings decide to move play down below the dots. The high-slot forward can either slide down on point shots, or look for deflection attempts, while providing the main outlet for half-wing passes.

What really makes Cathedral’s unit hum, however, is that the Panthers have the perfect personnel to run the umbrella.

In the Super 8, the responsibility of playing the half-wings have gone to UMass-Amherst commit Johnny Leonard and brother tandem Riley and Zac Prattson. Meanwhile, the Panthers have a pair of true “power forwards” in Quinnipiac recruit D.J. Petruzzelli (the low man) and Holy Cross commit Peter Crinella (high slot).

“We can really run any kind of power play and it’s going to be effective with the way they move the puck,” Cathedral head coach Brian Foley said of his unit last Thursday.

To beat three-time defending Super 8 champion Malden Catholic in the teams’ semi-final tilt, the Panthers will have to have a vibrant power play once again.

However, there is recent precedent, as Cathedral knocked off MC, 5-2, in the championship game of its host February vacation tournament.

“It was a great game in our tournament,” Foley said, “but it’s a whole new ballgame. They’re the three-time champs, they’re the team to beat as far as I’m concerned.”

Get back: While finishing off its first-round series sweep of Central Catholic, Austin Prep was able to lull the Raiders to sleep in the third period of a 4-1 win.

Although the Raiders finished the game with 20 shots on goal, only six came in the final period, when AP constructed a virtual brick wall along its blue line.

Throughout their Game 2 win, and in particular the third period, the Cougars showed a killer’s instinct on defense, with their defense standing up to meet whatever Central could create on the rush through a sticky neutral zone.

“We did a nice job of holding the neutral zone and staying back, not falling back,” AP head coach Louis Finocchiaro said after last week’s win. “That’s what we’ve talked about, we don’t down want to sit on [a lead], they’re going to have to take chances and try to stretch the zone. You just have to make sure you stay back.”

Keeping a third man high to eliminate their opponents’ transition game, the Cougars forwards – to a man – were tremendous during their best-of-three series in snuffing out Central’s D-men from stepping up in the play and creating on the rush, with a robust backcheck.

Everything else was left to Elijah Harris was played with ease, as the junior goaltender has been on point throughout.

Now, the key for AP is replicating that performance against top seed BC High, which beat the Cougars, 6-2, during the final week of the season.

“They like to stretch it through center zone also,” Finocchiaro said of the Eagles, “so doing a good job with that here in the third period, and holding on to the lead, and playing with confidence, I think is important.”

Picks: Now, for the moment you’ve been waiting for, here are my Super 8 semi-final picks.
BC HIGH 3, Austin Prep 1 – Pat Kramer’s return could be the difference here.
MALDEN CATHOLIC 5, Springfield Cathedral 4 – Did you really think I’d pick against the three-time defending champions? That being said, this one sure is going to be entertaining.

Super 8 tournament primer and picks

March, 2, 2014
Mar 2
2:06
AM ET
There are less than 24 hours remaining before the puck drops on the Super 8 tournament Sunday at TD Garden.

So we’re taking this opportunity to break down the final eight. We’re taking a look at the head-to-head breakdowns for each series first-round, best-of-three series, along with predictions:

Series: No. 1 BC High (14-2-4) vs. No. 8 Xaverian (12-3-6)

Players to watch: BC High – F Steve DeForge, F Patrick Kramer, F Jake Lemanski, D Billy Roche, D Ryan Shea, D Sam Topham, D Trevor Davis, G Brandon Payzant; Xaverian – F Jon Beniers, F Andrew Durkin, F Antonio Marini, F Connor McCarthy, F Tim Sweeney, D Ricky Smith, G Aidan Murphy.

Previous meetings: 2-2 tie, Jan. 4; BC High, 5-1, Jan. 22.

The skinny: The top-seed Eagles take on their Catholic Conference rival Hawks, who endured a double-overtime classic against Archbishop Williams to slide in as the No. 8 seed. Xaverian will have to take a page from the playbook of Duxbury – which handed BC High a loss in its season finale at the Buddy Ferreira Classic – playing a tight-checking game through the neutral zone to stick with the Eagles’ slick transition game. Murphy has shown flashes of brilliance in his freshman campaign and the Hawks will have to rely on him and a big series from All-State hopeful Marini if they want to keep up with BC High.

X-factor: Payzant. The Eagles’ sophomore netminder has performed admirably in his first season taking the reigns from All-Stater Peter Cronin. But until a goaltender sees his first rubber in the playoffs, the book is still out.

Prediction: BC High in two.

Series: No. 2 Malden Catholic (16-4-0) vs. No. 7 Catholic Memorial (10-7-4)

Players to watch: MC – F Matt Filipe, F Ara Nazarian, F Tyler Sifferlen, F Jake Witkowski, D John McLean, D Nick Rolli, G Alex Reissis; CM – F Aaron Clancy, F Anthony Panaggio, F Mike Stathopoulos, D Frank Cosolito, D Tim Weinstein, G Brandon Collett.

Previous meetings: CM, 3-2, Jan. 25; MC, 11-0, Feb. 14.

The skinny: Once again the Lancers went on a February run, going 7-1-0 in February, despite a loss to Cathedral in the teams’ season finale at the Panthers vacation week tournament. Meanwhile, on the flip side, the Knights back their way into the tournament, having been blanked in the final month of the season, as CM didn’t win a game until Monday’s play-in game victory over Braintree in a one-goal game. However, as one-sided the matchup between Catholic Conference rivals might seem, CM does have the blueprint on how to take down MC, evidenced in the Knights’ 3-2 win in the teams’ first meeting at Walter Brown. In that game, CM was able to harass the Lancers breakout with an aggressive forecheck. In order to skate with MC, the Knights will have to repeat that performance or risk having their first-round series resemble more of the teams’ second meeting.

X-factor: Filipe. The Northeastern commit has provided a strong presence throughout the season on the Lancers’ second unit. While teams have a difficult enough time contending with MC’s vaunted top line, with Filipe and the second unit rolling, the Lancers’ attack is that much more difficult to match up with, defensively.

Prediction: MC in two.

Series: No. 3 Springfield Cathedral (15-2-5) vs. No. 6 Duxbury (16-2-3)

Players to watch: Cathedral – F Peter Crinella, F Johnny Leonard, F D.J. Petruzzelli, F Riley Prattson, D Dan Petrick, G John Liquori, G Keith Petruzzelli; Duxbury – F Nick Marrocco, F Matt Murphy, F Shayne O’Brien, F Trevor O’Brien, F Matt Saia, D Shawn Errasti, D Tyler Powers, G Tucker Kelly.

Previous meetings: N/A.

The skinny: In perhaps the most intriguing matchup of the first round, the high-flying Panthers offensive juggernaut squares off against a sound, defensive-minded squad from Duxbury. Cathedral enters the tournament ranked among the statewide leaders in just about every statistical category and host two of the top scorers in the state in Crinella (28-26-54) and D.J. Petruzzelli (21-32-53). Meanwhile, the Dragons played their best hockey down the stretch, beating BC High in the Buddy Ferreira Classic final to punch their Super 8 ticket. John Blake’s group excels with countering the team’s speed through the neutral zone, so the Panthers could be in for some tough sledding.

X-factor: Crinella. A contender for the Mr. Hockey award this season, the Holy Cross commit is capable of taking games over – something to be said on a roster full of Division 1 commits. This could be his coming out party on a statewide scope.

Prediction: Cathedral in three.

Series: No. 4 Austin Prep (13-4-4) vs. No. 5 Central Catholic (16-3-3)

Players to watch: AP – F Bobo Carpenter, F Eric MacAdams, F Jake McKennelley, D Andrew Cross, D J.J. Layton, G Elijah Harris; Central – F Zach Cote, F Richie Greenberg, F Lloyd Hayes, F Alex Lester, F Eric Robbins, F Corey Webber, D Conrad Jepson, D Cam Smith, G Colin Soucy.

Previous meetings: Central, 4-1, Jan. 1; AP, 3-2, Feb. 3.

The skinny: In a rarity with non-league opponents, the teams faced off twice during the regular season and, somewhat predictably, split the series. The teams are near carbon copies of each with a mix of top-flight offensive skill, depth and quality goaltending. AP, a Super 8 finalist last year, is a bit of an unknown commodity this season, as the Cougars lost multitudes of man games to injury through the year. In fact, AP didn’t even practice with its full fold of players until February, so we likely haven’t seen the Cougars’ attack at its fullest potential. Meanwhile, the Raiders can consistently roll three lines, with little drop off from the first to the third. So this one will be about as close as you can find.

X-factor: The goaltending. Both Harris and Soucy made names for themselves at last year’s Super 8. Regarded as two of the top goaltenders in the state, both offenses will be hard-pressed to find room to shoot.

Prediction: AP in three.

Recap: No. 17 Duxbury 5, No. 2 BC High 2

February, 21, 2014
Feb 21
3:33
AM ET


FALMOUTH, Mass. – Earlier this season, Duxbury hockey head coach John Blake mused about when his team might get its due as the best public school in Massachusetts this year.

For those who might have doubted the Dragons previously, that certainly changed Thursday night.

Duxbury – hungry to earn a berth in the Super 8 tournament – dispatched No. 2 BC High, 5-2, with a concerted attention to team defense, playing the body and an MVP-worthy performance from senior forward Shayne O’Brien in the championship game at the Buddy Ferreira Classic.

“To beat a club like BC High, you almost have to have a perfect game,” Blake said. “I thought we were about as close to perfect as we could be.”

The Dragons (15-2-3) scored on three of their first six shots on goal and frustrated the Eagles’ slick-skating transition game through center ice throughout.

As important to Duxbury’s opportunistic nature in the attack zone, the Dragons were able to limit BC High’s scoring chances on other half of the ice sheet. Through two periods, the Eagles (14-2-4) could muster just four shots on Dragons netminder Tucker Kelly.

“We knew they’re defensive is active, they like to stay in control of the puck,” O’Brien said. “We knew we had to get on them right away on the forecheck and our first guy was always in there as fast as he could, banging in the corner, getting in there fast to pick up the puck.”

With Duxbury’s tight-checking style, the Dragons met and exceeded the Eagles’ physical play in the early going, setting a tone for a 45-minute battle.

As BC High was continually rebuffed attempting to gain Duxbury’s blue line, the Dragons’ momentum swelled as they broke through for a power-play goal at 12:02 of the first. Trevor O’Brien beat Brandon Payzant stick side with a wrist shot from the slot.

Duxbury struck again before the period was out, as Shayne O’Brien tallied his first of two goals on the game. Shayne O’Brien, who was named the tournament’s MVP, showed a nose for the goal with wraparound shot at 13:58, sending Duxbury to the room with a two-goal cushion.

Shayne O’Brien scored his fifth goal of the tournament at the 9-minute mark of the second, with an assist from defenseman Shawn Errasti.

However, the stage was set for the Eagles to climb back into the game at the start of the third. Two minor penalties were assessed to Duxbury at the 15-minute mark of the second – a roughing penalty and an unsportsmanlike penalty given to the Dragons’ bench.

BC High immediately capitalized on its minute and 30 seconds of 5-on-3 advantage. Chris LaLiberte directed in a cross-ice pass from Jake Lemanski 25 seconds into the third.

The power play factored again when Duxbury reestablished its 3-goal lead at 7:26. Defenseman Tyler Powers’ slap from the point clanged in off the post to beat Payzant on an extended power play off a 4-minute major checking-from-behind penalty.

The Eagles were still alive, however, striking for a short-handed tally off the ensuing faceoff. Eight seconds following Powers’ strike, Lemanski scored, the beneficiary of a Steve DeForge neutral-zone takeaway, making it 4-2.

BC High had its best chance to add another with less than three minutes remaining, as the Eagles unloaded five shots on Kelly during their sixth power play of the game. Much of the power play was played 6-on-4, as BC High head coach John Flaherty lifted Payzant for an extra attacker with a little more than two minutes remaining.

Kelly made nine of his 13 saves in the third period.

“The third period was probably his best period of the year,” Blake said of his junior goaltender. “He knows in big games that he has to make big saves for us. He’s a kid that’s gotten more and more confident all year long, he’s played in big games all year long. He’s battle-tested and, today, he rose to the occasion.”

While the Duxbury penalty kill (Eagles were 1-for-6 on the PP) held, Powers capped a strong game – offensively and defensively – with an empty-net goal, his second.

Tighten your chin strap: Duxbury entered the game looking to play the body early and often.

“We thought to have chance tonight, we’d have to be the more physical team,” Blake said.

But there was a flip side to that.

“We had to take some penalties by playing physical,” Blake added.

To the point that it put the Dragons at a greater disadvantage, as top-pairing blue-liner Shawn Errasti was lost for a portion of the third period, after taking his fourth minor penalty of the game.

Down one of its top penalty killers and a minutes leader among defensemen, Duxbury’s blue-line corps passed their test in gut-check time.

But, greater than that, the Dragons’ defensive brilliance was to a man, as the defenseman created a wall along their own blue line, with the forwards hustling back to slow down the transition game from BC High’s fleet-footed defensemen.

“They knew they have to control their gaps and play them as fast they could so [BC High] couldn’t get their speed going,” Shayne O’Brien said of Duxbury’s defensemen. “We knew they had to control their and our backcheckers bust [it] back.”

A bigger loss?: While BC High wasn’t fighting for its Super 8 life on Thursday, a greater concern to the Eagles’ greater chances developed in the first period of play.

Sophomore forward and Merrimack commit Patrick Kramer (12-21-33) left the game after a late-first period shift, following an awkward looking hip check in the corner and another spill in front of the Eagles bench. He did not return.

Striding to the finish line: No team in the state improved its Super 8 chances in the final week-plus of the regular season more than the Dragons.

Coming away with three wins on the Cape virtually assures that the tournament’s field will host at least one public, after the Dragons ran the table.

“We want to be playing our best hockey, so we just put it together in the end,” Shayne O’Brien said.

Meanwhile, the Eagles ended their regular season with a negative thud. Vying for the top overall seed in the Super 8 tournament, BC High had a chance to sew up No. 1, particularly after Malden Catholic lost to Springfield Cathedral on Thursday at the Panthers’ annual tournament in West Springfield.

While the Catholic Conference champions still have an inside track to claiming the top seed at Saturday’s selection meeting, the Eagles missed an opportunity to leave no shadow of a doubt.

One for the publics: Aside the playoff-like atmosphere and a huge boost to the Dragons’ Super 8 hopes, Blake reflected on his team’s accomplishment as the champions of Falmouth’s vacation week tournament, now named after the Clippers’ longtime and recently retired bench boss. It also was Duxbury's first championship win at the event, formerly known as the Cape Cod Classic.

As a revered figure in state hockey circles, Buddy Ferreira served as leading figure to many young coaches, including Blake.

“I think it’s fitting that the first year the tournament’s named after Buddy Ferreira that a public school wins this,” Blake said. “Buddy was a mentor of mine when I first started coaching in Duxbury, having him and [Hingham’s] Garrett Reagan, rest his soul, they kind of took me under their wings and taught me about coaching, a lot about kids, a lot about the game of hockey. We wanted to win this one for Buddy Ferreira, too.”

Recap: No. 2 BC High 6, No. 4 AP 2

February, 18, 2014
Feb 18
4:03
AM ET


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
8:22
PM ET
FALMOUTH, Mass. – Speed kills.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Recap: No. 2 BC High 5, No. 3 CM 0

February, 13, 2014
Feb 13
2:41
AM ET


DORCHESTER, Mass. – It happened again, and this time it was even more disparate.

With archrivals BC High and Catholic Memorial squaring off in a de facto Catholic Conference championship game at UMass-Boston, Wednesday night, the Knights were looking for a better effort than their 4-1 loss about a week prior. BC High had dominated that tilt at Conte Forum, at one point in the second period outshooting CM by a 22-4 margin.

The second leg of the teams’ league slate wasn’t all that different, as the Eagles again flexed their offensive muscle with a remarkable dominance in time of possession, en route to a 5-0 victory.

Through two periods, BC High had outshot the Knights 24-2 – a dizzying disparity between two of the state’s preeminent programs and bitter rivals.

The Eagles’ attack was balanced as well, as five different players scored, with eight players cracking the score sheet in total and, as a sum, they skated away with the Catholic Conference regular season crown in front of a capacity crowd on Senior Night.

“I think it’s big for whole school, everybody in the locker room,” Eagles senior captain Steve DeForge said. “That’s the first trophy you want to get, but there’s a couple more championships we want to get. There’s that one down in Falmouth [Buddy Ferreira Classic] and then we want to get the big one, the Super 8.”

Although BC High (12-1-3, 6-1-1) held the Knights (9-4-3, 3-2-2) without a shot in the first period, the Eagles were held off the board until its final minute. The Eagles peppered CM goaltender Brandon Collett (28 saves) with 12 shots in the first, but didn’t break through until there was 7.2 seconds remaining in the period, as Chris LaLiberte stuffed home a loose puck from the doorstep for his first on the season.

The Eagles’ momentum swelled in the second, when they scored four times in the span of two minutes and 11 seconds.

Three of those goals came during a stretch of 4-on-4 and an abbreviated power play. First, senior defenseman Sam Topham’s skillful keep at the point resulted in a DeForge goal at 12:07. Then, just 26 seconds later, Patrick Kramer was the beneficiary of a Ryan Shea pass on a 2-on-1 break.

On the power play, Topham rifled off a top shelf slap shot at 13:17, with Shea (2 A) and DeForge (1 G, 2 A) adding assists.

Connor Noonan capped the late-period flurry with the Eagles’ fourth goal of the second at 14:18.

While the Knights had several scoring chances in the final period, they didn’t come close to establishing pressure in BC High’s zone and the Eagles held a33-6 shot-on-goal advantage overall.

“They won every puck, they won every battle,” CM head coach Bill Hanson said.

“Passes went off sticks, but that’s because they were in our faces. It wasn’t for lack of effort, I thought we gave good effort. We’re just not as good as they are, it’s simple as that.”

Oh, what a night: Any hockey matchup between BC High and CM is memorable, but to the Eagles’ seniors it was much more than that.

“They knew this was a special opportunity, playing their last home game in front of an amazing crowd,” Eagles head coach John Flaherty said. “It was a special moment.”

They seized the opportunity, controlling play from the get-go, in the same manner they had just a week ago, when they took control of the league race with a win at BC’s Conte Forum.

For the Eagles, it was a slight revision to an already effective script.

“You know he’s a good goalie, so we want to get traffic and you have to get shots,” Flaherty said. “We were trying to get pucks everywhere and anywhere to get them to the cage.”

On the flip side, while Hanson was less than thrilled with his team’s compete level in their first meeting with BC High, the same could not be said for Wednesday – even considering the margin of defeat.

“They’re just much better than we are,” he said. “They have much better personnel, highly-skilled and the way that they play forces us to look bad. It’s them.”

CM finishes out its Catholic Conference schedule Friday with a visit to No. 1 Malden Catholic.

Mastery on the breakout: A large element to the Eagles’ success this season has been their deep and talented defensive corps. It’s not unusual for BC High to roll seven defensemen in games, with perhaps the state’s best top two pairings.

While sophomores Billy Roche and Shea have generated a good amount of buzz, BC High has leaned on its senior pairing of Topham and Trevor Davis.

Topham, in particular, was excellent on Wednesday. Whether putting on a perfect pinch in the lead up to BC High’s second goal, or stemming the breakout with a tape-to-tape outlet pass, Topham typified the performance the Eagles have gotten from their blue-liners this year.

And that all starts with the work of BC High assistant coach Bob Roche.

“He’s very nit-picky,” Topham said of Roche. “But it’s good for all of us. He keeps us from the making the same mistakes over and over again.”

That is borne out of the incessant pursuit of perfection and attention to detail in practice.

“Half of every practice, at least the practice before a game, we’re working on the neutral zone,” Topham said. “We’re looking to see where the open guy is. We do drills where we break it out, looking for each other. We’re working on it all the time.”

Recap: No. 1 BC High 4, No. 2 CM 1

February, 4, 2014
Feb 4
2:45
AM ET


CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – Who can stop the rolling train that is BC High hockey?

The No. 1 Eagles remained unbeaten in the Catholic Conference and overall, with a 4-1 victory over No. 2 Catholic Memorial Monday at Conte Forum. In it, BC High dominated time of possession and the number of scoring chances and shots on goal – at one point of the second period, outshooting CM 22-4.

Although the Knights got their lone goal in the first minute of the first period, the Eagles were in control throughout.

“It was a good effort from everybody, top to bottom,” Eagles head coach John Flaherty said.

BC High (11-0-3, 5-0-1 Catholic) netted the game-tying and game-winning goals on the power play.

After Zach Sullivan provided CM (9-3-2, 3-1-1) with a 1-0 lead in the first minute of the game, it wasn’t until the final minute of the period that the Eagles found the equalizer. Patrick Kramer scored on the power play with 16.8 seconds to play to send the teams to the intermission tied.

BC High cashed in on the man-advantage (2-for-5) again at 9:32 of the second period on Steve DeForge’s goal.

“He’s a complete player – add on his leadership capabilities and he’s phenomenal,” Flaherty said of DeForge. “This is his locker room, this is his team. He’s a great leader and in games like this his size and his shot come in handy.”

Tim Larocque scored less than a minute later to extend the Eagles’ lead to two at 10:36. Sam Topham and Chris LaLiberte added assists.

Patrick Riley rounded out scoring with 1:56 remaining in the game.

“They were flat-out better than us,” CM head coach Bill Hanson said. “They showed up, they played hard, they played smart and they were flat-out, man for man, better than us.

“They forced the issue, we didn’t respond.”

Difference-maker: BC High sophomore defenseman Ryan Shea was awarded the Ed Wright Cup as the MVP of the game, after putting up a pair of assists.

For Shea, an ever-emerging Division 1 prospect who’s only played on the blue line for the last two years of his hockey career, the learning curve has been made easier by his teammates.

“Sam Topham and Trevor Davis, our two assistant captains, they really control it back there,” Shea said. “They settle it if me or Billy Roche gets aggravated, they settle us down. It’s a good corps, I like playing with them a lot.”

Shea’s game stands out most on the breakout of the defensive zone.

BC High was able to establish a crisp breakout throughout, negating the Knights’ usual aggressive and effective forecheck. But with a stable of slick-skating, strong passing defenseman, the Eagles found little resistance moving it up ice and into the attacking zone.

“They’re a tough team, they come in hard,” Shea said. “When they force behind the net, with the two wingers down low, it’s an easy breakout every time. They caught onto it at the end of the game, we had to switch it up a little bit.”

DeForge added, “Our biggest strength is our speed and it starts in our own zone. When we’re getting clean breakouts, we’re getting back in our zone, those back-checkers are getting back and taking care of the D side.”

Recap: No. 1 BC High 5, No. 11 St. John's (S) 2

January, 30, 2014
Jan 30
1:10
AM ET
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
4:57
PM ET
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
1:03
AM ET
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
12:09
AM ET
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.”

BC High's Kramer commits to Merrimack

January, 10, 2014
Jan 10
12:47
PM ET
BC High hockey junior forward Patrick Kramer committed to Merrimack College today, Eagles head coach John Flaherty confirmed to ESPN Boston.

The 6-foot-1, 180-pound center leads the Eagles in points (4-12-16) through seven games and is a plus-17. Kramer also plays for the Cape Cod Whalers U16 midget team.

The news of Kramer's commitment was first reported by Mike McMahon of College Hockey News.

"He has skill with grit and a willingness to work hard," Flaherty said. "I think what you've seen from him this year is that he's added another dimension to his game, in that he was looked primarily as a goal-scorer, but this year, he has 14 assists, so he's definitely shown a different dimension of his game."

The Bridgewater native and 1997 birthdate finished second in points for BC High as a sophmore last year.

It is expected that Kramer will join the Warriors for the 2016-17 season, but has yet to be determined.

"He stepped right in and played a significant role for us last season, playing on the top line and playing a lot of minutes for us," Flaherty said of the Eagles' Super 8 campaign. "He shows a great touch around the net. He can pucks away. It's not something you can teach, it's either something you have or you don't have. And I think Pat's a kid that has it, he showed it last year."


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.”

Recap: No. 3 BC High 5, No. 9 St. John's Prep 2

December, 27, 2013
12/27/13
1:50
AM ET
BOSTON -- Senior Steve DeForge and junior Jake Lemanski each scored twice for the host BC High Eagles as John Flaherty’s team dispatched St. John’s Prep, 5-2, Thursday, in the Catholic Conference opener for both teams.

“It’s the first Catholic Conference game, so it’s big to get out of the gate with a win, especially against a very good team like St. John’s Prep.” said Flaherty. “They’ve got some big guys who can move, skate and move the puck so we’re happy with the two points,” added the coach.

With a team that has so many young players contributing big minutes it is important for the upperclassmen to play well. That’s what happened on Thursday afternoon, according to Flaherty.

“Leadership. [Steve DeForge and Jake Lemanski] are leaders of this team,” he said."Both of them step up when the game is on the line. Both of them are good puck shooters and that is what I expect of those two kids."

Flaherty continued, "DeForge is a captain and a senior. Jake is just a natural leader. He’s just one of those kids. He’s a junior, but he’s on point with his talking in the locker room."

It was a sloppy first period that saw the foes trade two goals each. DeForge scored his first goal of the night on the power play just 3:23 into the game on a laser of a wrist shot.

“I got the puck at the top of the point, just ripped it on net and hoped for the best. We had some traffic in front so luckily it went in. I didn’t know it went in at first,” said DeForge.

St. John’s answered back with two goals to take a 2-1 lead. Junior Teddy McNamara scored on a nice snap shot where he used the defenseman as a screen. The shot deflected off the defender’s stick and went high over BC High sophomore goaltender Brandon Payzant.

Mark Etherington took advantage of a scramble in front of the BC High goal that allowed him to pick up the puck between the circles and backhand one past Payzant for St. John’s only lead of the night.

Lemanski scored both of his two goals in the second frame when BC High was really able to take over control of the game. Junior center Patrick Kramer won the draw back to Lemanski who quickly roofed one past St. John’s netminder Anthony Selvitella.

“We’ve been practicing that play a lot. Pat was able to win it and get the puck back to me. I just wanted to get it off quick and get it through. Fortunately it did,” said Lemanski.

His second goal, with just seven seconds to play in the middle period, was created by some passing at the point and then patience by the Scituate native. Billy Roche fed the puck to fellow blue liner Trevor Davis who slid the puck down low to a waiting Lemanski who let the goaltender go down before lifting one short side.

“Roche walked the point and gave it to Trevor Davis, and I tried to get open to the side of the net. Trevor gave it to me, and I got it up as quick as possible. It was able to sneak by [Selvitella],” said Lemanski.

DeForge added an insurance tally in the third period as he flew down the left side before unleashing a wicked wrister that pegged the corner of the net before falling in.

Payzant, a sophomore, stopped 19 of 21 shots in his fourth career start. The two goals he gave up, the first of his high school career, were certainly not his fault.

“Neither of the goals were his fault. I wouldn’t expect him to have either of those, and he settled in and made the saves he’s supposed to make. That’s what he’s done all year for us,” said Flaherty of his first-year starting goaltender.

Payzant, a Somerville native, made several key stops in the second period with the score still close.

“That was huge. Those were big saves that allowed us to keep them from knocking on the door. We had some breakdowns, and Brandon was there to make those saves,” said Flaherty.

Notes: Merrimack head coach Mark Dennehy and Boston University assistant coach Steve Greely were among the half dozen or so college coaches and scouts in attendance for the matinee game on the campus of UMass-Boston. … BC High looks to keep its undefeated record in tact Saturday night at Weymouth while St. John’s pays a visit to Woburn the same night. … BC High and St. John’s Prep will play their second game against each other on Jan. 18 in the Derek Hines Memorial Game at Ristuccia Arena in Wilmington. Hines is a former captain at St. John’s who went on to play hockey at Army before tragically losing his life in the War on Terror in Afghanistan.

ESPN Boston preseason MIAA boys' hockey All-State

December, 16, 2013
12/16/13
11:32
PM ET
Presenting our MIAA boys' hockey preseason All-State team:

1st Team
F – Bobo Carpenter, Jr., Austin Prep
F – Ara Nazarian, Jr., Malden Catholic
F – Tyler Sifferlen, Sr., Malden Catholic
D – Ean Mendeszoon, Sr., St. John’s Prep
D – Nick Rolli, Sr., Malden Catholic
G – Colin Soucy, Sr., Central Catholic

2nd Team
F – Peter Crinella, Jr., Springfield Cathedral
F – Lloyd Hayes, Sr., Central Catholic
F – Nolan Redler, Sr., Winchester
D – Andrew Cross, Sr., Austin Prep
D – Bryan Nelson, Sr., St. John’s (Shrewsbury)
G – Elijah Harris, Jr. Austin Prep

3rd Team
F – Patrick Kramer, Jr., BC High
F – Antonio Marini, Sr., Xaverian
F – Pat Shea, Jr., Marshfield
D – John Carlson, Sr., Hingham
D – Adam Crowley, Sr., Burlington
G – Brandon Collett, Soph., Catholic Memorial

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