MALDEN, Mass. -- Since Catholic Memorial defeated Malden Catholic, 5-3, last month, the two teams have been heading in opposite directions.
That fact was perhaps never more apparent than Friday night at the Valley Forum when the Lancers skated away with an 11-0 triumph over the Knights.
Since the loss to CM last month, Malden Catholic has reeled off six consecutive victories, allowing just two goals over the last four games.
“It’s huge,” said sophomore forward Matt Filipe of his team’s recent momentum. “We had that loss to CM a few weeks ago and after that game we started playing really well.”
John McLean’s Lancers were firing on all cylinders Friday night as they jumped out to a 6-0 lead after one period.
Filipe had a hat trick in the opening period to blow the doors off the contest.
“He’s a man child,” said McLean of his second line pivot who recently committed to Northeastern. “He’s a monster. He’s not afraid to go to the net and that’s what it takes. He can skate. He’s big and strong. When he cuts to the net he uses his size and is not afraid to go there. He’s been that way since was a Mite.”
“It was a good first period and it was an overall good win for the seniors,” said a humble and well-spoken Filipe of his team’s final home game of the season.
McLean was pleased that his team did not let its foot off the pedal and continued pushing hard all game, including two quick goals to start the second period after such a strong first period.
“When the score gets like that guys tend to care more about points than playing team hockey,” McLean said. “We calmed them down, got back to our systems and things were fine after that.”
UNH recruit and Mr. Hockey hopeful Ara Nazarian had a pair of goals, but it was also a good night for some of the secondary scorers who found some added confidence by finding the back of the net. Jack Adams, Patrick Wrenn and Brian Cameron all scored in the lopsided affair.
On the other hand, Catholic Memorial has struggled since the meeting last month, going 1-4-1 in the six games following, including two consecutive blowout losses this week.
Bill Hanson’s team was shut out, 6-0, by BC High on Wednesday.
Catholic Memorial is still a team that will be heard from come tournament time, and will be dangerous, especially with a veteran head coach and a goaltender in Brandon Collett, who could get hot and steal a few games.
“CM was off tonight,” McLean said. “They are a good team and have a good coaching staff. It’s one of those things that happens once in a while. They’re a good team and they’ll be there in the playoffs. We’ll have to worry about them if we play them.”
The Knights will have a chance to bounce back on Monday facing fellow Super 8 hopeful Central Catholic.
McLean, the always business-like bench boss of MC, refused to think further ahead than his team’s next contest against Marshfield on Monday.
“We have to get ready for Marshfield on Monday,” he said. “We’re playing in a barn these kids have never played in. We have to beat Marshfield first so we’ll start training for them. We’ll worry about the Super 8 when the seedings come out.”
Following that the Lancers will face St. Mary’s in the first round of the Springfield Cathedral High School Tournament before playing either Cathedral or Needham in the second round.
Then it will be off to the Super 8 where MC will likely be a one or two seed in the tournament they have captured three consecutive years.
“We’re going for that number one seed,” said Filipe.