Boston High School: Shane Starrett

Former Catholic Memorial hockey standout Liam Coughlin has committed to Boston University, after de-committing from UMass-Amherst, he tells ESPN Boston. He will sign his National Letter of Intent and join the Terriers for the 2014-15 season.

The South Boston native and ESPN Boston All-State First-Team center in 2013 is currently playing with the Vernon Vipers of the British Columbia Hockey League. With the Knights in 2012-13, the 6-foot-3, 201-pound left-handed shot registered 28-20-48 totals while helping to lead CM to a Super 8 crossover round game.

He will join former Knights teammate goaltender Shane Starrett as incoming freshmen at BU in the fall.

Coughlin, a 1994 birthdate, has 18 goals and 27 assists through 53 games with the Vipers this season.

News of Coughlin's commitment was first reported by BU's student run paper, The Daily Free Press.

We'll have more from Coughlin coming later on the blog.

Scouts dish on local NHL Draft class

June, 29, 2013
The NHL Draft commences Sunday in Newark, N.J., and there is a crop of New England-raised players hoping to hear their name called.

So we took the task to the Northeast regional scouts of an Eastern and a Western Conference team to give their evaluations of some of the region’s best and brightest.

So here’s a look at some of the local skaters to watch out for and their scouting evaluation heading into the Draft:

(Editor’s note: Players appear by NHL Central Scouting rankings among North American skaters.)

Ryan Fitzgerald, C, Valley Junior Warriors (EJHL)
Height: 5’9”
Weight: 170 lbs.
Hometown: North Reading, Mass. (Malden Catholic H.S.)
College commitment: Boston College
Central Scouting final ranking: 56

Scout's take: “He has tremendous hockey sense, with great vision and quick hands. He’s an undersized player, but has tremendous balance and is solid on the puck. He thinks the game at a high level.”

Zach Sanford, LW, Middlesex Islanders (EJHL)
Height: 6’3”
Weight: 190 lbs.
Hometown: Auburn, N.H. (Pinkerton Academy)
College commitment: Boston College
Central Scouting final ranking: 60

Scout's take: “He’s still very raw and a little unpolished, but he’s got the frame. He’s rangy and you know he has some weight to put on. He’s can play a pretty physical game, but he has to add to his frame. He had a tough start to the season in the E.J., but then averaged a point per game down the stretch.”

Anthony Florentino, D, South Kent / Selects
Height: 6’1”
Weight: 220 lbs.
Hometown: West Roxbury, Mass. (Xaverian Brothers)
College commitment: Providence College
Central Scouting final ranking: 75
Scout's Take: “He’s the top [defensive] prospect in the draft locally. He’s got a heavy shot and skates well. Plus, you get a four-year projection on him as a true freshman headed to college. He’s got a chance. He’s the youngest of four boys, so he’s been pushed around a bit and that’s made him tough to play against. He’s gone a little under the radar.”

Jason Salvaggio, C/LW, South Kent / Selects / Indiana Ice (USHL)
Height: 6’1”
Weight: 190 lbs.
Hometown: Hanson, Mass. (Xaverian Brothers)
College: UNH
Central Scouting final ranking: 97

Scout's Take: “He’s got a little edge to his game. Good hands, good shot. His size is OK, but big enough to play. I think the question is whether he can process the game at a high level. I think UNH will help him. He has skill and can skate, but can he process when it’s moving really fast?”

Wiley Sherman, D, Hotchkiss School
Height: 6’6”
Weight: 210 lbs.
Hometown: Greenwich, Conn.
College: Harvard
Central Scouting final ranking: 104

Scout's Take: “He’s obviously a big frame at 6-6, and hecan defend. He’s an excellent skater for someone so tall. He has a great base and foundation to play on. Has a little meanness, too, and he’ll do whatever has to to protect the house. I think of him along the lines of a Hal Gill.”

Brian Pinho, C, St. John’s Prep
Height: 6’0”
Weight: 171 lbs.
Hometown: North Andover, Mass.
College: Providence College
Central Scouting final ranking: 109

Scout's Take: “He’s an excellent skater, a natural skater and a high-energy guy. I think he projects as a good energy line guy, a good solid two-way player.”

Ryan Segalla, D, Salisbury School
Height: 6’2”
Weight: 194 lbs.
Hometown: Hanover, Mass.
College: UConn
Central Scouting final ranking: 169

Scout's Take: “He has an over-the-top compete level. It’s second to none for kids around New England. He might play a little out of control at time, but he’s very strong, extremely physical. He’s tenacious.”

Shane Starrett, G, South Kent / Selects
Height: 6’5”
Weight: 180 lbs.
Hometown: Bellingham, Mass. (Catholic Memorial)
College: Boston University
Central Scouting final goaltenders ranking: 15

Scout's Take: “Goalies are hard to predict, it’s the one [position] that’s probably hardest to predict. He’s got the size to play — the way goaltenders are going now. The only question is the level of hockey that he’s played at.”
St. John's Prep standout and soon-to-be NHL Draft hopeful Brian Pinho led a deep pool of local skaters selected in Tuesday's "Phase 2" of the United States Hockey League's Draft.

Pinho was one of 13 skaters with ties to MIAA hockey who were taken on the day, including 10 who played for member schools last season.

Here's a list of players with New England ties who were selected Tuesday, listed by overall selection:

6. Brian Pinho (North Andover), C, St. John's Prep - Indiana

15. Ryan Segalla (Hanover), D, Salisbury - Dubuque

18. Merrick Madsen, G, Proctor - Des Moines

22. Connor Light (Sudbury), D, Phillips Andover - Omaha

25. Anthony Petruzzelli, LW, Brooks - Green Bay

28. Zach Sanford (Auburn, N.H.), LW, Islanders (EJHL) - Waterloo

30. Liam Coughlin (South Boston), C, Catholic Memorial - Dubuque

34. Danny Tirone (Trumbull, Conn.),G , Loomis-Chaffee - Cedar Rapids

37. James Winkler (York, Maine), RW, Berwick - Muskegon

53. Jake McCarthy (Dedham), D, St. Sebastian's - Muskegon

56. Garrett Hehir (Auburn, Mass.), C, Cushing Acacdemy - Lincoln

59. Shane Starrett (Bellingham), G, Selects Academy (Catholic Memorial) - Sioux Falls

66. A.J. Greer, LW, Kimball Union - Des Moines

93. Kevin Duane (New Canaan, Conn.), RW, Boston Junior Bruins (EJHL) - Des Moines

94. Terence Amarossa, D, Holderness - Sioux City

100. Aaron Titcomb (Charlestown), D, Salisbury - Cedar Rapids

105. Shane Kavanaugh (E. Providence, R.I.), RW, Cushing Academy - Dubuque

111. Connor Brassard (Fitchburg), D, Cushing Academy - Chicago

120. Mark Hamilton (Winthrop), D, Salisbury - Dubuque

140. Mark Dufour (Winthrop), RW, Kents Hill - Cedar Rapids

165. David Belluche (Andover), D, Phillips Andover - Dubuque

177. Carl Hesler (Boxborough), F, Belmont Hill - Waterloo

191. Miles Gendron (Shrewsbury), C, Rivers - Lincoln

192. Shane Bennett, C, Milton Academy - Waterloo

210. Evan Smith, C/LW, Salisbury - Dubuque

211. Ryan Collins (Newton), C, Ottawa (CJHL) - Indiana

213. Brendan Shane, C, The Gunnery - Des Moines

220. Niko Rufo (Stoneham), LW, Kimball Union - Green Bay

225. Mitchell Smith, C/LW, Salisbury - Dubuque

226. Michael Turner, LW, Cushing Academy - Indiana

230. Tyler Sifferlen (North Andover), F, Malden Catholic - Cedar Rapids

237. Mason Krueger (Nashua, N.H.), LW, Avon Old Farms - Waterloo

246. Vincent Ditmore, D, Choate Rosemary Hall - Chicago

257. Tyler Bird (Andover), RW, St. John's Prep - Tri-City

266. Nick Rutigliano (Shrewsbury), D, Boston Advantage AAA - Lincoln

272. Andrew Cross (Saugus), D, Austin Prep - Tri-City

274. Tyler Drevitch (Middleborough), RW, Boston Bandits (EJHL) - Sioux City

279. Colin MacGillivray (Peabody - Malden Catholic), D, N.H. Junior Monarchs (EJHL) - Youngstown

285. Will D'Orsi (Sudbury), F, St. Sebastian's - Dubuque

300. Nolan Vesey (North Reading), F, Austin Prep - Dubuque

307. Joel Daccord (North Andover - North Andover), G, Cushing Academy - Chicago

309. Sam Tucker (Wilton, Conn.), G, Choate Rosemary Hall - Youngstown

310. Charlie Corcoran (New Canaan, Conn.), C, Berkshire School - Green Bay

366. Jack Adams (Boxford), F, Malden Catholic - Chicago

367. Luke Stevens, F, Duxbury - Omaha

382. J.J. Layton (Peabody), D, Austin Prep - Omaha

384. Charley Borek (Durham, N.H.), F, Choate Rosemary Hall - Youngstown
The NHL Central Scouting service released its final rankings of North American skaters and goaltenders ahead of the NHL Draft Wednesday morning.

Former Malden Catholic standout and Valley Junior Warriors (EJHL) product Ryan Fitzgerald leads the New England skaters, checking in at No. 56.

Here's the list of skaters with local ties who made the cut:

(The full list can be found here):

56. C Ryan Fitzgerald, Valley Junior Warriors (EJHL - Malden Catholic, North Reading), Previous Ranking - 46
60. LW Zach Sanford, Islanders (EJHL - Pinkerton Academy, Auburn, N.H.), Previous Ranking - 83
75. D Anthony Florentino, South Kent School, Previous Ranking - 79
94. C Nick Huthinson, Avon Old Farms, Previous Ranking - 133
97. LW/C Jason Salvaggio, South Kent School, Previous Ranking - 90
104. D Wiley Sherman, Hotchkiss School, Previous Ranking - 125
109. C Brian Pinho, St. John's Prep, Previous Ranking - 117
138. LW Miles Wood, Noble and Greenough, Previous Ranking - 163
169. D Ryan Segalla, Salisbury School, Previous Ranking - 136
182. C John Stevens, Salisbury School, Previous Ranking - 162
185. D Connor Light, Phillips Andover, Previous Ranking - 178
186. RW Ross Olsson, Cedar Rapids (USHL - Billerica Memorial), Previous Ranking - 121
187. LW Tyler Hill, Chicago (USHL - Hotchkiss), Previous Ranking - 85
195. C Daniel LaFontaine, Avon Old Farms, Previous Ranking - 172
198. D Quin Pompi, Berkshire, Previous Ranking - 160
201. RW Thomas Aldworth, Cushing Academy, Previous Ranking - Unranked
206. D Tyler Wood, Noble and Greenough, Previous Ranking - 197

15. Shane Starrett, South Kent School (Catholic Memorial), Previous Ranking - 35
26. Merrick Madsen, Proctor Academy, Previous Ranking - 34

Bellingham's Starrett commits to BU

March, 4, 2013
Selects Academy (Conn.) and former Catholic Memorial goaltender Shane Starrett announced his verbal commitment to Boston University on Sunday via his Twitter account.

The 6-foot-5, 180-pound netminder and Bellingham native is a 1994 birthdate and believed to land with the Terriers for the 2014-15 season.

Starrett was ranked 35th among North American goaltenders on the NHL Central Scouting's Midterm rankings in January. He has posted a 24-12-4 record and a 91.5 save percentage with the U-18 Selects Academy squad.
Valley Junior Warriors and former Malden Catholic standout center Ryan Fitzgerald leads the list of locals on the NHL Central Scouting's Midterm Rankings of North American skaters for the 2013 NHL Draft, which were released today.

Fitzgerald, who has 13 goals for 14 points for 27 points through 22 games with the Warriors, was ranked 46th on the list released Tuesday morning.

Here's the complete list of New England skaters making the grade:
46. Ryan Fitzgerald, C, Valley Jr. Warriors - EJHL (North Reading, Mass. - Malden Catholic)
79. Anthony Florentino, D, South Kent School
83. Zach Sanford, LW, Islanders - EJHL (Pinkerton Academy)
85. Tyler Hill, LW, Hotchkiss School
90. Jason Salvaggio, C/LW, South Kent School (Hanson, Mass. - Xaverian Brothers)
117. Brian Pinho, C, St. John's Prep
120. Eddie Ellis, LW, Phillips Andover (Burlington, Mass.)
121. Ross Olsson, RW, Lincoln - USHL (Billerica, Mass.)
125. Wiley Sherman, D, Hotchkiss School
133. Nick Hutchinson, C, Avon Old Farms
136. Ryan Segalla, D, Salisbury School
160. Quin Pompi, D, Berkshire School
163. Miles Wood, LW, Noble and Greenough
172. Daniel LaFontaine, C, Avon Old Farms
178. Connor Light, D, Phillips Andover
191. Mark Hamilton, D, Salisbury School
197. Tyler Wood, D, Noble and Greenough

34. Merrick Madsen, Proctor Academy
35. Shane Starrett, South Kent School (Bellingham, Mass. - Catholic Memorial)

ESPN Boston's MIAA Boys' Hockey All-State Team

March, 23, 2012
First Team:
All-StateF – Brendan Collier, Sr., Malden Catholic
The two-time ESPN Boston All-Stater closed out his senior season with a second straight Super 8 title and claimed our Mr. Hockey Award. The Charlestown native and Boston University commit scored 26 goals with assists for 65 points, a figure which led all Division 1 scorers. Collier, who also plays golf and lacrosse at MC, plans on playing a year of juniors next year before joining the Terriers.

All-StateF – Ryan Fitzgerald, Jr., Malden Catholic
The Lancers’ top-line pivot makes his second All-State team appearance, his first on the First Team. The North Reading native and Boston College commit again eclipsed the 50-point plateau (31-21-52), despite missing the first couple weeks of the season with a shoulder injury, and helped the Lancers to their second straight Super 8 title.

All-StateF – Sam Kurker, Sr., St. John’s Prep
When looking up the term power forward, the Eagles senior winger and captain fit the mold. The 6-foot-2, 210-pound forward finished with 32 goals and 28 assists for 60 points. The Boston University commit has also seen time with U.S. National Team Development Program and skated with the U-18 select team at the Ivan Hlinka Tournament during the summer.

All-StateD – Colin MacGillivray, Jr., Malden Catholic
The Lancers blue-liner is made in the mold of an old school rugged defenseman. The 6-foot-1, 185-pound Peabody native played on MC’s top pairing through the season while posting three goals and 10 assists for 10 points for the repeat Super 8 champions.

All-StateD – Nikko Markham, Sr., St. Mary’s (Lynn)
The Catholic Central Conference Most Valuable Player and Spartans captain finished a sound career by leading St. Mary’s to a No. 2 seed in the Super 8. The Salem native was among the top point-scoring blue-liners in the state with six goals and 12 assists for 18 points.

All-StateG – Peter Cronin, Jr., BC High
For the second straight season, the Eagles went as their netminder went, and Cronin led BC High to its first Super 8 finals appearance since 2007. Playing in each of the Eagles’ 25 games, the Norwell resident posted a 2.00 goals against average and a 91.7 save percentage.

2nd Team:
All-StateF – Kevin Emmerling, Sr., St. John’s (Shrewsbury)
Perhaps the most skilled skater in the state, the Pioneers’ center provided a dynamic offensive punch to their Super 8 run. The Whitinsville native finished third in Division 1 scoring with 26 goals and 30 assists for 56 points. Emmerling is exploring his options for next year and hopes to play college hockey.

All-StateF – Conal Lynch, Sr., Boston Latin
Lynch also showed that Charlestown is again a hotbed of hockey, carrying the Wolfpack to a DCL/MVC Div. 2 championship. Lynch finished second in Division 2 in scoring with 35 goals and 18 assists for 53 points. The Wolfpack captain is weighing his options in pursuing prep or junior hockey next year.

All-StateF – Matt Sullivan, Sr., BC High
The senior captain was a true two-way center with a high hockey IQ. The Duxbury resident anchored the Eagles’ top line, scoring 12 goals and 16 assists for 28 points and lifting BC High to its first Super 8 final appearance since 2007. He is pursuing prep and junior hockey opportunities for next season.

All-StateD – Casey Fitzgerald, Fr., Malden Catholic
The younger brother of Ryan, Casey catapulted himself onto the scene in his first year, filling the role of a puck-moving defenseman previously held by former All-Stater Conor Evangelista. The North Reading resident and Boston College commit tallied two goals and 15 assists for 17 points in his first year.

D – Peter Sikalis, Sr., Acton-Boxborough
The Colonials’ captain was the impetus behind their run to the D1 North semifinals. Sikalis had eight goals and 11 assists for 19 points while eating up boatloads of ice time for head coach Bob Lavin. The imposing 6-foot-3 defenseman is exploring his hockey options for next year.

All-StateG – David Letarte, Sr., St. John’s Prep
The captain has been the Eagles’ backbone during the last three seasons, leading Prep back to the Super 8 once again. Letarte had a 2.08 goals against average and a 91.3 save percentage in 18 games played. He is currently mulling over college and junior hockey offers for next year.

“Best of the Rest”
Nick Bertoni, F, Franklin
Tom Besinger, F, BC High
Tommy Bishop, F, Chelmsford
Matt Brazel, F, Hingham
Trevor Cimino, F, Burlington
Frank Crinella, F, Springfield Cathedral
Paul Curran, F, Milton
Vin D’Amato, F, St. John’s (Shrewsbury)
Jarrod Fitzpatrick, F, St. Mary’s (Lynn)
James Gordon, F, Hingham
Danny Holland, F, Woburn
Mike Iovanna, F, Malden Catholic
Connor Irving, F, Beverly
Mike Kelleher, F, Central Catholic
Chris Leblanc, F, Winthrop
Bobby Mullins, St. Mary’s (Lynn)
Ara Nazarian, F, Malden Catholic
Andrew Newis, F, Natick
Jack O’Hear, F, Catholic Memorial
Cam O’Neill, F, St. Mary’s (Lynn)
Jake O'Rourke, F, Medway
Cam Owens, F, Wilmington
Brian Pinho, F, St. John’s Prep
Dalton Rolli, F, Wilmington
Joe Strangie, F, Danvers
D.J. Walsh, F, Needham
Bryan Carter, D, Hudson
Connor Fenton, D, Braintree
Brian Furey, D, BC High
Pat Houghton, D, Westford Academy
Steve Mattos, D, Burlington
Nick Pandalena, D, St. John’s Prep
Jake Secatore, D, Woburn
Brendan White, D, Malden Catholic
Joe Cerulo, G, Wakefield
Jordan Davis, G, Norwood
Mike Donadio, G, Franklin
Bailey MacBurnie, G, St. Mary’s (Lynn)
Connor Murray, G, Needham
Connor Roddy, G, Medfield
Shane Starrett, G, Catholic Memorial
Steven Waites, G, Winthrop
Kyle Williams, G, Central Catholic

Coach of the Year
Chris Spillane, Franklin
Losing 15 seniors off of 2011's Division 2 state finalist team posed no problem to Spillane in guiding his team back to the Garden again. The 13-year Panthers bench boss is regarded as one of the finest in the state, but no season might have been more impressive for Spillane than getting this team back to the finals.

Karl Infanger, Natick
Mark Lee, St. Mary’s (Lynn)
John McLean, Malden Catholic

Recap: No. 1 Malden Catholic 2, No. 6 CM 2

February, 9, 2012

MALDEN, Mass. -- For the second time in as many tries, No. 6 Catholic Memorial held a late third-period lead, only to settle for a tie.

Thomas Stanton provided the Knights with a 2-1 lead with less than three minutes remaining in Wednesday night’s Catholic Conference matchup with No. 1 Malden Catholic. And, while CM netminder Shane Starrett consistently stood on his head, stopping 41 Lancer shots, MC junior winger Mike Iovanna’s deflection of a point shot resulted in a 2-2 tie.

Remaining undefeated in Catholic Conference play at 6-0-2, MC wrapped up another regular season league title.

On the other hand, for CM (6-6-2, 2-3-2), it remains a struggle for points.

“I’ve said that in the last couple of weeks we’ve needed to steal a point here and there,” Knights head coach Bill Hanson said. “And we stole a point.”

The Knights now need six points in their final five games to qualify for the state tournament.

Aside from paring a point from the state’s top team, CM might have gained more in its play.

“Tonight definitely helps our confidence,” said Stanton, a senior assistant captain. “They’re a good team. We can play with them, we proved that. I think we just need to prove it to ourselves that we can play with teams like that.”

MC (11-1-3) was off to another quick start with Ryan Fitzgerald tapping in a one-timer off of Brendan Collier’s cross-ice feed at 2:57 of the first.

Neither team was able to find the back of the net until CM caught a dose of puck luck with senior captain Liam Coughlin banking in a puck off an MC defender’s skate with under nine minutes remaining in the third.

Stanton provided what look to be the game-winner before Iovanna got a piece of Brendan White’s shot from the point with 1:43 to play.

“[Starrett] made some good saves and it was tough to get it by him,” said Collier, the Lancers’ senior captain. “They hung around, and you can’t let good teams hang around. They’re scrapping for their lives right now.”

CM was successful clogging up passing lanes and sagging down low, defensively, with a boatload of blocked shots to show for it. While Starrett saw plenty of rubber tossed his way, the Knights rolled with the Lancers’ punches and turned in perhaps their best defensive effort of the season outside of their early win over St. Sebastian’s.

“I thought we adjusted very well in the third period,” Hanson said. “We said, hey, we’ve got a chance to win a hockey game here. We backed off on the forecheck, we weren’t that aggressive. We locked on their wings, locked on them in the offensive zone and the defensive zone, hoping that we’d get a turnover.”

Emerging unscathed from Wednesday’s game, MC earned an undefeated conference record for the second time in as many years.

It was a feat that wasn’t lost on Collier.

“It’s a great league, it’s probably the best in high school hockey,” he said. “To be undefeated, it’s just an honor. It just shows how good of a squad we have and how hard we work. Anybody can beat anybody on any given night."

Recap: No. 1 Malden Catholic 5, No. 9 CM 2

January, 29, 2012

BOSTON – Malden Catholic freshman Ara Nazarian has settled in nicely between Tyler Sifferlen and Brian Cameron on the No. 1 Lancers’ second line.

The center made his presence felt in a big way, midway through Saturday night’s Catholic Conference clash with No. 9 Catholic Memorial at Walter Brown Arena.

With game tied, 1-1, and five minutes remaining in the second period, Nazarian set up the go-ahead goal and then scored what would prove to be the game-winning goal all on one shift in the Lancers’ 5-2 win.

“I think it was a big momentum shift for us,” Nazarian said of the two goals, scored within 45 seconds. “They came out fast, they got the goal at the beginning of the period. That was a big shift for us.”

The only thing that could beat CM goaltender Shane Starrett in the first period was Brendan Collier’s tally at 6:13, coming on a tape-to-tape pass from Mike Iovanna with the Lancer captain streaking toward net. Starrett (33 saves) turned aside 14 shots in the first period alone.

The Knights (5-6-0, 1-3-0) carried play in the first 10 minutes of the second, out-shooting MC, 8-3.

CM found the equalizer just 24 seconds into the second with Knights captain Liam Coughlin was the beneficiary of some slick transition play from linemates Jack O’Hear and Aaron Marcel. Gaining the line with speed, O’Hear found Coughlin alone in front to bury a one-timer up high.

Then, Nazarian and his linemates took over.

First, Nazarian won a faceoff in the offensive end, beating the Knights’ centerman to the puck and then dishing it to Sifferlen camped on the off-wing post for a 2-1 lead.

“I tell my linemates that if I win it forward for them to go to the net,” Nazarian said. “And then I look for them on the backdoor.”

MC (8-1-2, 5-0-1) gained entry into the zone off the ensuing faceoff and, while cycling the puck down low, Nazarian banked in a shot from below the goal line for a 3-1 Lancer lead.

“I was trying to make a pass out front, but it went off the goalie’s pad and in,” Nazarian said.

The Lancers rode the momentum into the third period. Ryan Fitzgerald added a short-handed goal on a breakaway.

Although CM got one back on Miles McCarthy’s strike with 1:59 to play, the Lancers had the last laugh with Iovanna picking up his second point of the night with a breakaway goal with 11 seconds remaining.

The Knights once again are facing a crucible in qualifying for the postseason tournament.

Hovering around .500 for the last several weeks, the Knights find themselves in dire need of points in the coming weeks against a grueling schedule. CM has the balance of their Catholic Conference schedule coming with four games, including another matchup against MC, in the next two weeks.

What’s been most troubling, however, for Knight head coach Bill Hanson has been the team’s inability to finish in key situations.

“When you get chances, you have to bury them, and we haven’t,” Hanson said.

Unsatisfied with Saturday’s performance, Hanson added, “I’m so disappointed … I refuse to go down like that again. That was embarrassing.”

ESPNBoston hockey midseason All-State teams

January, 24, 2012
F - Brendan Collier, Malden Catholic
F - Ryan Fitzgerald, Malden Catholic
F - Sam Kurker, St. John's Prep
D - Jared Beckwith, Catholic Memorial
D - Jake Secatore, Woburn
G - David Letarte, St. John's Prep

Others garnering consideration:
Tom Besinger, Soph. F, BC High
Tom Cahill, Sr. F, Pembroke
Liam Centrella, Sr. F, Andover
Frank Crinella, Sr. F, Springfield Cathedral
Peter Cronin, Jr. G, BC High
Kevin Emmerling, Sr. F, St. John's (Shrewsbury)
Connor Fenton, Sr. D, Braintree
Jarrod Fitzpatrick, Soph. F, St. Mary's of Lynn
Brian Furey, Sr. D, BC High
Danny Holland, Sr. F, Woburn
Pat Houghton, Sr. D, Westford Academy
Mike Iovanna, Jr. F, Malden Catholic
Mike Kelleher, Jr. F, Central Catholic
Chris LeBlanc, Sr. F, Winthrop
Conal Lynch, Sr. F, Boston Latin
Colin MacGillivray, Jr. D, Malden Catholic
Nikko Markham, Sr. D, St. Mary's of Lynn
Bobby Mullins, Sr. F, St. Mary's of Lynn
Brian Pinho, Jr. F, St. John's Prep
Casey Shea, Sr. F, Woburn
Shane Starrett, Jr. G, Catholic Memorial
Joe Strangie, Jr. F, Danvers
Kyle Williams, Sr. G, Central Catholic

F - Natalie Flynn, Arlington Catholic
F - Kayla Smith, Woburn
F - Kati Goguen, Acton-Boxborough
D - Martha Findley, Duxbury
D - Emily Loebs, Acton-Boxborough
G - Courtney Davis, Woburn

Others garnering consideration:
Cassandra Connolly, Jr. D, Woburn
Lily Connolly, Jr. F, Duxbury
Jackie Denning, Jr. F/D, Lexington
Rachel Donahoe, Sr. D, St. Mary's of Lynn
Jane Freda, Jr. F/D, Hingham
Haley Gaughan, Sr. F, Canton
Samantha Girard, Fr. F, Dedham
Erika Kelly, Sr. F, Watertown/Melrose
Cali Loblundo, 8th G, Acton-Boxborough
Brooke Matherson, D, Walpole
Caroline McCarthy, Sr. F, Belmont
Tori Messina, So. D, Hingham
Annie Messuri, D, Acton-Boxborough
Megan Messuri, Soph. G, Arlington Catholic
Hannah Murphy, Jr. F, Duxbury
Rachel Myette, So. G, Duxbury
Shannon O'Neil, G, Austin Prep
Danielle Phalon, Sr. F, Stoneham
Casey Schaejbe, Sr. G, Arlington
Sarah Schwenzfeier, Jr. F, Hingham
Caroline Shaughnessy, So. D, Duxbury
Kaitlyn Spillane, Jr. F/D, Franklin
Bethany Welch, Jr. G, Walpole
Rebecca Zappalla, Sr. D, Arlington Catholic

Recap: No. 7 St. John's Prep 5, No. 6 CM 1

January, 16, 2012

BOSTON -- Catholic Conference rivals No. 6 Catholic Memorial and No. 7 St. John’s Prep entered Monday’s holiday matinee hungry for a win. Both teams sat at 4-4-0 entering the matchup with the Eagles yet to notch a conference win on the season.

Despite controlling play for the greater part of two periods, it was CM who left Walter Brown Arena with a sub-.500 record. Prep struck for three third-period goals, including senior captain Sam Kurker’s third of game, in a 5-1 victory.

“It was a must-win game,” Kurker said of the Eagles’ mentality leading in.

CM (1-2-0 Catholic) outshot the Eagles, 21-12, through two periods, but trailed 2-1.

Prep goaltender David Letarte (25 saves) was instrumental in keeping the Knights at bay early. Not to mention, Letarte along with the Prep defense, helped limit CM to one goal despite seven power play opportunities, including two 5-on-3 situations during the third period.

“He made some big saves early in the game, to keep things close,” Eagles head coach Kristian Hanson said. “Even after they came back, 2-1, he made a big save after that. If it had gone to 2-2, the game could’ve went either way.”

Prep (1-3-0 Catholic) went to the room with a 1-0 lead after the first intermission.

With the Eagles on the forecheck, Kurker forced a turnover in the Knights’ end. His dish out front found Brian Pinho, who beat CM netminder Shane Starrett with a wristshot for a 1-0 lead at 8:28 of the first.

Starrett denied the Eagles from striking again in the period, stoning Tyler Bird on a 2-on-1 chance, in close, at the goalmouth with five minutes remaining.

The Eagles added to their lead four minuts into the second, with Kurker potting his his first of the game.

Jack O’Hear put CM on the board with a perfectly placed wristshot from the slot. The power play tally, assisted by Liam Coughlin, cut the deficit to one before the second imtermission.

“We were doing alright, we played exceptionally well for two periods,” CM head coach Bill Hanson said. “We were right there with the power play opportunities.”

However, the Knights had the wind kicked out of their sails with Kurker’s second of the game, which came 21 seconds into the third period.

From there, the Eagles dominated what once was a tight game. Prep junior Nick Gianelli netted his first goal of the season on a short-handed breakaway at 1:55. Kurker collected the hat trick with a power-play goal with 6:37 remaining.

“The last couple of games, we’ve have opportunities to score and we haven’t capitalized on them,” Kristian Hanson said. “Today, we had fewer opportunities, but we did a better job with the ones we had.”

As the Knights’ goal-scoring struggles continued, the Eagles bettered their percentage on the penalty kill, which has been among the state’s best in the first half of the season.

Along with top-line stalwarts Kurker and Pinho, the Eagles’ PK has been a well-rounded group, with contributions from players up and down the lines.

“Our PK’s been pretty strong all year,” Kristian Hanson said. “Sam [Kurker] and Brian [Pinho] kind of lead the way with that, but then we’ve had other guys step in there like [Nick] Gianelli and [Derek] Osbahr and [Nick] Bragole, those were guys that were on the JV last year. This year, they’ve been asked to step up and contribute on the PK and play significant minutes.”

Kurker received weighty praise last week when he was ranked 41st among North American skaters in the NHL Central Scouting’s Midterm draft rankings. As one of only two MIAA skaters (along with MC’s Brendan Collier) included on the list, it speaks volumes that Kurker was the second highest ranked skater with New England roots, following Kent School’s Cristoval Nieves.

The 6-foot-1, 198-pound winger was also the second highest ranked high schooler (behind Nieves) on the list.

The BU-commit credited the achievement to the hard work he’s put in the weight room, under the watchful eye of recently named Boston Red Sox strength coach Mike Boyle.

“It’s nice to get recognition, but you have to keep working hard," Kurker said. "That’s so far off [the draft] that you have to keep on working.”

Recap: No. 7 Needham 2, No. 4 CM 1

December, 29, 2011
(Highlights courtesy of the Needham Channel)

WELLESLEY, Mass. -- With under a minute to go in regulation, Catholic Memorial lead the Needham Rockets, 1-0, and looked to be on their way to their third win of the season.

But a Shamus Colman goal tied the game with 39 seconds left and Lucas Davis' goal fired shot into CM’s goal with nine seconds remaining gave the No. 7 Rockets a stunning 2-1 win over the No. 4 Knights.

“Timmy Parlato came up, the puck was loose and he dove, stopped it," said Davis of his game-winner. "The other kid [CM’s Shane Starrett] came out, popped it to me and I finished it. I give all the credit to Timmy Parlato.”

After a lackluster first period, Catholic Memorial (2-1-0) came out strong and controlled the tempo to start the second period. But that momentum was halted at the 6:21 mark when junior captain Liam Coughlin was given a game misconduct for boarding.

Despite losing one of the state’s best forwards, the Knights pressed on and ended up scoring up the game’s first goal at 2:43 in the third period on senior Jack O’Hear’s power-play goal, assisted by John Maher.

With under a minute to go, and a pending face-off in CM’s zone, Needham (3-0-0) called a timeout, pulled goalie Connor Murray and drew up a play, that worked ... Eventually.

“It didn’t work for a couple of faceoff's,” Needham head coach Biil Guisti said of the play he drew up in the timeout. “It took us like two or three faceoffs. On the third faceoff, I told D.J. [Walsh] to get out, and they switched it up. I moved Timmy [Parlato] to the wing, then Lucas [Davis] took the draw, Lucas scrummed it, they got it back to Brendan, Brendan got it over to Shaymus, Shaymus back to Brendan, back to Shaymus and bingo.”

“It was a designed play where they wanted to get the puck back to the D,” Coleman added. “I got an open look, I tried to keep it low and there was a huge screen and it just went in.”

Davis scored the game-winning goal 30 seconds after that.

A Break Through
One of the knock’s on the Needham hockey during the past three seasons is that they couldn’t seem to get past any of their big non-conference opponents, including in Super Eight play.

“It’s a good win,” Davis said. “It’s about time we knocked off one of the top teams. It’s been tough over the past couple of years, trying to knock off the top teams, so we finally did it, it’s a great win.”

The Rockets can’t enjoy the victory too much, they travel to No. 9 Hingham on New Year’s Eve.

For Catholic Memorial the loss may sting for now, but in the big picture it was just a tough break. Losing top class forward Liam Coughlin to a misconduct certainly make things more difficult.

Despite being outshot 32 to 21, the Knights still limited quality scoring chances until the final minute of regulation, and goalie Shane Starrett was solid stopping 30 shots.

The Knights will also play on New Year’s Eve when they host No. 20 Framingham.

Recap: No. 4 CM 2, St. Sebastian's 1

December, 22, 2011

ALLSTON, Mass. – Showing great discipline in their defensive system, No. 4 Catholic Memorial beat ISL rival and fellow hockey powerhouse St. Sebastian’s, 2-1, Wednesday night at Harvard University’s Bright Hockey Center.

The Knights got 29 saves from junior goaltender Shane Starrett, but it was the efforts of the defensemen in front of the lanky goalie and the back check of CM’s forwards that helped ground the high-flying Arrows’ attack in the teams’ annual Kevin Mutch Cup game.

“Those five guys, they played terrific,” CM head coach Bill Hanson said of his blue-liners. “They played well because they knew they had support coming back from the forwards. They moved the puck well, they were opportunistic and our goaltender is our goaltender.”

Starrett was particularly strong in the second period, when St. Seb’s out-shot the Knights, 14-5.

Despite not putting a shot on goal through the first half of the period, the Knights took the advantage on the scoreboard, scoring two second-period goals.

John Malewicz found the back of the net on CM’s second shot of the period with 6:13 remaining. A little more than a minute later, senior captain and defenseman Jared Beckwith followed with the Knights’ second tally. Winger Beau Starrett took an assist on the play in addition to setting a screen in front of Arrows netminder Gordon Donnelly.

Both teams exhibited supreme speed throughout. So it was the Arrows’ transition game that had Hanson worried during the first intermission.

“We had to make an adjustment,” Hanson said. “We concentrated on not letting them get chances in transition.”

In addition to limiting St. Seb’s chance coming through the neutral zone, the Knights sagged their forwards down low on defense, limiting the Arrows’ chances in close and keeping shots to the periphery.

“When you collapse all five guys down low, it makes it harder to those second and third chances,” St. Seb’s coach Sean McCann said. “We were focused more of creating offense off the rush by taking speed wide and then driving to the net hard.

“I think we’ve got to be able to create two ways, on the rush and in the offensive zone, whether it’s looking for a guy on the short side or getting shots on net. We have to get a little more traffic in front of the goaltender.”

St. Seb’s has plenty of offensive firepower, and they’re young to boot. With eighth-grader Cameron Askew and ninth-grade defenseman Noah Hanifin garnering many headlines (both have already given commitments to Northeastern and BC, respectively), the Arrows will be a tough opponent in the Keller Division for years to come.

“We’re not the type of school that’s going to bring in juniors and senior to load up the team,” McCann said. “We’re a school that tries to bring in younger kids in, through the seventh, eighth and ninth grades and really develop them. That’s not going to change.

“But, when you have a good number of players returning from last season, and coming off a pretty successful season like last year, you expect those kids to mature and do better.”

The Arrows had several last-minute chances to tie the game. After a CM penalty with a little more than a minute to play in the third, the teams skated 4-on-4; St. Seb’s had an one-man advantage with Donnelly pulled from the net.

Although the Arrows were unable to finish and scrounge up the equalizer, there were a few things to take away:
  1. Askew is the real deal: An exceptional rush, while splitting two CM defensemen during the second period was a rare lapse in the Knights’ otherwise solid night. The 6-foot-2, 180-pounder came flying through the neutral zone, puck on a string, dangled and let off a back-hander that Starrett turned away. Along with his goal later in the period, Askew showed why he’s such a hot commodity at such a young age.
  2. So is Danny O’Regan: While the youngsters grab more of the attention, let’s not forget about the senior captain, who’s scheduled to join a deep local class headed to Comm Ave. and join BU hockey in 2013. There was no better example of the hockey IQ he possesses than during a crucial point of the third period. With time winding down, O’Regan skated to a loose puck along the half wing boards. Then using his body, he shielded the puck from two on-coming CM defenders, creating a mismatch, before shoveling a nice saucer pass along the blue line for a shot from the point. It’s all those little things that help make good hockey teams and hockey players.
The Kevin Mutch Cup was awarded during a postgame ceremony. The annual matchup, which is dedicated in the memory of the former St. Seb’s and BU standout who was killed in 1992, is hosted by Mutch’s alma mater. The proceeds from the game are donated to Dana Farber.

“We always look forward to playing a team like CM, especially with their long and rich tradition there, like St. Sebastian’s does as well, it creates a great event that both teams look forward to,” McCann said. “It always means a lot going into this game and you could see it by the intensity of the game tonight.”

Top 5: The quest for the Super 8 title

December, 14, 2011
With a good number of team's kicking off their hockey schedules on Wednesday night, we thought we'd take a closer look at our Top 5 preseason teams, handicapping the field of could-be Super 8 contenders this season:

(All records and stats from 2010-11)

1. Malden Catholic (21-1-2)
Players to watch: Brendan Collier, Sr. F, 24-39--63; Ryan Fitzgerald, Jr. F, 24-42-66; Mike Iovanna, Jr. F, 10-18--28; Tyler Sifferlen, So. F, 4-7--11; Brendan White, Jr. D, 2-7--9; Colin MacGillivray, Jr. D, 1-7--8.

Key losses: F Mike Vecchione, D Connor Evangelista, F Nick Roberto, G Pat Young.

The skinny: The returning Super 8 champions now have the bull's-eye on their backs, and they're OK with that. The Lancers finally finished the season on top, in no small part thanks to the leadership of Vecchione. Now the torch has been passed to Collier, who inherits the "C' this season. The Charlestown native and BU commit leads a re-tooled lineup. However, MC isn't without its questions. Top-line center Ryan Fitzgerald is on the shelf until around New Year's with a seperated shoulder. Catholic Conference All-Star Connor Evangelista is among the offseason defections and leaves a hole at the top of the Lancers' blue line corps. MC will also breaking in junior goaltender Connor Maloney after the graduation of Pat Young (1.33 GAA). On top of that, the Lancers have a new head coach in John McLean, who's filling in for Chris Serino, who's taken a medical leave. Still, for all those questions, there's still an awful lot of talent around with Iovanna figuring to make a big leap, playing the wing spot vacated by Vecchione. Freshman Ara Nazarian is a name that will be mentioned around the state for quite some time.

X-factor: White and MacGillivray. For all the attention paid to MC's front-line offensive talent, when you get down to the nitty-gritty of playoff time, teams need the horses on the blue line to take control of games. Both are more-than-capable defenders. Fitzgerald's younger sib, Casey, a freshman blue-liner is also a name to watch in the coming seasons.

2. St. John’s Prep (18-6-1)
Players to watch: Sam Kurker, Sr. F, 15-10--25; David Letarte, Sr. G, 2.52 GAA; Nick Pandalena, Sr. D, 2-10--12; Dillon Gargano, Jr. D, 1-1--2; Tyler Bird, So. F, 3-3--6.

Key losses: F Colin Blackwell, F Shane Eiserman, F John Farrow, D Joe Currie.

The skinny: Perhaps none of last year's Super 8 field lost more front-line talent than the Eagles. ESPN Boston Mr. Hockey Colin Blackwell matriculated to Harvard and is now tearing up the ECAC. Also, talented freshman Shane Eiserman left for the prep schools. What the Prep returns, however, could also be envy of most teams. It all starts up front with BU-commit Kurker, who's a true power forward in the old sense of the word; the Eagles will lean on Kurker to improve upon his 15-goal campaign last season. The Eagles also lost most of the blue line, with Nick Pandalena the only returner from their top 5. But the Prep is still built from the net out with Letarte returning between the pipes.

X-factor: Letarte. With a young defense in front of him and possible dip in scoring, it will take an even larger effort from the senior netminder to return Prep to a Super 8 title game.

3. BC High (15-6-3)
Players to watch: Matt Sullivan, Sr. F; Tom Besinger, So. F; Brian Furey, Sr. D; Peter Cronin, Jr. G.

Key losses: F Mike Cashman, F Terence Durkin, F Andrew White,

The skinny: Last year was about the Eagles' return to prominence. Now, this year is all about taking that next step. Still, the roster is young, but they're also battle-tested. "The guys we had last year were excellent leaders," BC High head coach John Flaherty said," now we're asking this group to build upon that moving forward, being leaders on and off the ice." That leadership now falls to Sullivan and Furey. Still, for a unit that's relatively young, there's some talent to be had, including Besinger who was among our Top 5 rookies to watch from last season.

X-factor: Cronin. The then-sophomore netminder turned some heads during the Super 8 tournament last season, as the Eagles went toe-to-toe with MC in the crossover round. If he can repeat that kind of performance, the Eagles are in good hands.

4. Catholic Memorial (8-10-2)
Players to watch: Liam Coughlin, Jr. F, 10-11--21; Jared Beckwith, Sr. D, 4-10--14; Shane Starrett, Jr. G, 1.77 GAA; Jack O'Hear, Jr. F.

Key losses: D Marc Hetnick, F Dan O'Hear, F Chris Stathopoulos, G Tommy Knox.

The skinny: By far the best team in the state not involved in the playoffs last season. With that said, the Knights were fairly green on the blue line last year and took their lumps. The hope is that they'll learn from those experiences. carrying into this season. CM figures to turn a weakness into a strength this year with a deep D corps led by Beckwith, in addition to returners Kevin Bletzer, Dennis Medeiros, Justin Ryder, Ryan Sullivan and John Allaire. The Knights also figure to be strong in net with Starrett after posting a .968 save percentage last year in nine games.

X-factor: Coughlin. An ESPN Boston All-Stater, bears watching in his second year with the Knights and could be the breakout performer of the year. He has the talent and size to change the complexion of game. If he applies himself physically, there's no defense in the state who can match him.

5. Woburn (18-5-2)
Players to watch: Casey Shea, Sr. F, 21-28--49; Danny Holland, Sr. F, 10-14--24; Jake Secatore, Sr. D, 1-12--13.

Key losses: F Alex Holland, D Brian Dulong, G Cam McGlashing, D Brian Smith.

The skinny: A year later, we still find ourselves wondering what could've been in the Super 8 tournament -- had the Tanners gotten a couple of bounces here and there. But, as Woburn head coach Jim Duran told us at the time, "Teams make their own luck in hockey." This year, the Tanners hope the luck breaks their way because they don't lack on talent. UMass-Lowell commit Casey Shea will be perhaps the most dynamic offensive threat in the state (save for the top-liners at MC), and Holland isn't far behind. This group can skate and make plays in tight spaces. In a word, they're fun to watch. The Tanners also return one of the steadiest D-men in the state in Secatore.

X-factor: Sophomore goaltender Jeremy Flibotte. He's tabbed to be McGlashing's replacement in net and saw time sparingly during last season. Can the netminder hold up to the rigors of postseason play? We'll find out.

No. 7 Weymouth blanks No. 8 CM

February, 21, 2011

BOSTON -- It’s never an easy task to roll into Walter Brown Arena and take a game from perennial power Catholic Memorial, but that’s exactly what Weymouth accomplished.

The Wildcats shrugged off a sluggish start to dominate play in the second and third periods in their 2-0 win over the Knights on Monday afternoon.

Brian Brady made 36 stops and played a crucial 15 minutes of hockey in the opening frame - stopping all 14 shots he faced - while the rest of the team was trying to adjust to the early start or the anxiousness of playing against one of the top teams in the Catholic Conference.

Matt Cataldo could sense that his team came out a little tentative in the opening period, but saw his crew get a renewed confidence when they took the Knights’ best shot and didn’t falter.

“I think that’s the biggest thing when you come in and start playing the Catholic schools,” explained Cataldo. “The public kids maybe have that perception that they can’t compete or that they are not as good as a team. These guys are getting more and more confident.”

The Wildcats were lucky that Brady came out oozing with confidence, because for most of the third period the Knights were able to control play and control the speedy forwards of the Wildcats.

“(Brady) generally gets better the more shots that he sees,” said Cataldo, whose team is now 17-2-2 on the season. “For him to come out and be rock solid from the get-go definitely saved us in that first period.”

The Knights were able to camp in front of Brady for most of the period, but his best work came with under a minute left to go as he stoned Liam Coughlin -- arguably one of the most gifted scores for CM -- on a breakaway.

“Every shot I gained confidence and felt good going into it,” Brady said.

Tyler Piacentini and Riley Flanagan were held in check for most of the first period, but looked as if they finally figured out the Knights’ back-line when the latter broke loose on a pass from Piacentini, but an offside call wiped out the play.

From that moment forward, the two would mount several 2-on-1 rushes. Flanagan had a goal called off after batting a Piacentini pass out of the air, but would finally get one to go on a give-and-go with his linemate at 9:24 of the second period.

Piacentini would notch his own goal with three minutes to go as he got behind the defense at center ice and decided to keep it himself to beat Shane Starrett (20 saves) short-side for the 2-0 lead.

“I saw that I was wide open out wide,” Piacenitni said. “That’s what I was trying to do all game, just get wide and kick their [defense] out of the way. It was a nice pass by Steve [Bristol]. I think it just squeezed in top right.”

The Knights couldn’t mount the sustained rushes that they built in the first period even though they outshot the Wildcats 36-22.. CM struggled to an 0-for-6 day on the power play, and with 41 goals in 18 games played, the Knights have to feel a little snake bit when it comes to putting the puck in the net.

“We’ve got to grind it and get to the crease to get that lucky goal, that ‘puck luck’ goal,” Knights head coach Bill Hanson said. “We don’t get them. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

This should be the signature late season win that calms the nerves of Cataldo when it comes to thinking about the Super Eight. But the Knights still have a little bit of work to do. Hanson’s team, who seem to be a fixture in the elite tournament every year, need to capture two points in the final two games to clinch a spot.

The game was played in honor of Mark Bavis, a former Knight player from 1984-88 who was tragically killed during the Sept. 11 tragedy at the World Trade Center. Bavis was a two-time Catholic Conference All-Star and was a member of three championship teams.

Bavis went on to play for Boston University from 1988-1992, but always remained loyal to the Knights’ hockey program, according to his former head coach.

“He was like a son,” Hanson said.