STONEHAM, Mass. -- Talk about an opening statement.
Perhaps a little dismayed, to put it gently, by being cast into the Div. 1A play-in game after winning back-to-back Super 8 championships and overcoming a mid-season swoon by ending with a six-game win streak, Malden Catholic took its anger out in its 2013 postseason debut.
Pat Wrenn, Matthew Filipe and Raff Colella each scored twice as the No. 10 Lancers filled up the scoresheet in a 9-1 rout of No. 7 Archbishop Williams at Stoneham Arena. Tyler Sifferelen and Nick Rolli each dished out three assists, while Casey Fitzgerald added a pair.
Malden Catholic (12-6-3) advanced into the Super 8 field and begins its quest for a three-peat against No. 2 Springfield Cathedral, a team the Lancers beat, 1-0, last Thursday, on Sunday at Tsongas Arena. Archbishop Williams (12-5-4) will assume the top seed in the Div. 1 South sectional.
"It's a win, it's two points, that's all that really matters to me," said Lancers head coach John McLean, carefully measuring his words. "I'm not really concerned about the score. I think we ran into a team that wasn't as experienced as we were in the tournament. I think with the big crowd, you get a little bit nervous, they got down early, and it's a tough atmosphere. They're a good, young team and I think they'll be back here."
After losing a 4-3 vote for the sixth seed to Catholic Memorial during Saturday's selection meeting, it was only fair to ask if the Lancers were using that as motivation.
"Absolutely, but we knew almost halfway through the year that we had to win almost every game to get into the tournament, or at least be considered, so we took it one day at a time," McLean responded. "The kids really became a team during that team and I think we'll make a good push."
After what seemed like a feeling period over the game's opening eight minutes, Malden Catholic opened the floodgates. Over a span of just two-minutes, 33-seconds, the Lancers got goals from Austin Goldstein, Wrenn, Wrenn again, and Ara Nazarian, then Mike Iovanna tacked on another with 33 seconds left to make it a 5-0 game at the first intermission.
Filipe got his first marker during the second period, but MC suffered a scare when Sifferlen was hit hard into the boards by Archies' Tyler Bradford and had to leave the game. McLean said afterward that Sifferlen may have hit the metal on the boards but simply seemed to have the wind knocked out of him. He was out for the remainder of the game but is expected to be fine for Sunday's Super 8 opener.
Bradford was assessed a four-minute major penalty and a disqualification, which means he has to sit out the Bishops' next two games.
With most of the regulars on the bench in the third, the Lancers kept rolling as Filipe got his second goal and Colella potted a pair to increase the lead to 9-0. Archies forward Mike Jessman finally broke the shutout bid with two minutes remaining, getting an assist from Mike Sorenti.