Boston High School: Teddy McNamara

Trio lifts SJP to historic heights

March, 16, 2015
Mar 16

BOSTON – Tyler Scearbo facilitated the end of a dynasty.

The senior tri-captain for St. John's Prep had the primary assists on both Eagle goals in their 2-1 Super 8 championship victory over Malden Catholic to end the Lancers' four-year, 1,460-day reign atop Massachusetts.

Alongside Scearbo were his linemates, fellow tri-captains, and friends, Nick Latham and Teddy McNamara. The seniors combined on the first Prep goal when Latham shot a pass to Scearbo who saucered one through a bevy of sticks to a wide open McNamara who buried it.

“They're great teammates,” Latham said. “We've been playing together almost all our lives. We seem to know where we're going to be on the ice. We work so well together because we're close friends.

“The chemistry is huge because it comes down to simple plays, and small plays can change a game. That one moment where you know where the other guy's going to be and it turns into a goal is a game changer.”

In their first two years in school the Eagles advanced to the Super 8 semifinals each year. Last year the trio were the offensive backbone on a team that had the worst finish for a St. John's Prep team, a first-round exit in Division 1 North, since 2010.

After an up-and-down start to the season this year Prep figured it out and rolled the rest of the way. The Eagles finished the season on a 10-game winning streak, and they found ways to win under duress. Three of Prep's four tournament wins came by one goal.

“At the beginning of the year no one really expected that much out of us,” McNamara said. “No pressure was on us. I knew we had a special group of guys, and if we came out and played like we can we can make things happened. Towards the end of the season we were playing our best hockey, carried it into the playoffs, and that ended up getting the job done.

“I doubt many people thought we would beat BC High in two games, and after that few people thought we could beat Cathedral. We work as a team, we do our system well, and we work for each other before ourselves.”

McNamara, Scearbo, and Latham were three of just six seniors in the Prep locker room. With that came the added pressure of leading a young team coming off a rough season. St. John's Prep coach Kristian Hanson said that they handled the roll with grace.

“They were tremendous not just on the ice but in the locker room bringing a young team together,” Hanson said. “We have six seniors on the team; four play a regular shift. Those [six] have just done a great job of keeping this group together and making them believe.”

The win was bittersweet as it marked the last time the three seniors would play alongside each other the ice, but Scearbo said they went out in style.

“It's been great,” Scearbo said. “We played together in middle school too. We knew last night would be our last night playing together ever. We just wanted to make it special.”

Super 8 Final: St. John's Prep 2, Malden Catholic 1

March, 16, 2015
Mar 16

BOSTON – For the first time in five seasons there is a new king atop the Massachusetts high school hockey world, and for the first time in program history it is St. John’s Prep that is Super 8 champion, after knocking off four-time defending champion Malden Catholic, 2-1, at TD Garden on Sunday night.

It took a mighty effort for the fifth-seeded Eagles who knocked off BC High in two straight games of the opening round of the Super 8, then handed top-ranked Springfield Cathedral their only loss of the season in the semi-finals, before finally slaying the mighty Lancers to capture their first state title since 1985.

“It may sound a little bit corny, but I really felt like fate and destiny brought us here,” said St. John’s Prep coach Kristian Hanson. “We knew that Malden Catholic was a tremendous team. We knew that we helped start their [Super 8 title] run when they beat us (a 4-3 overtime loss in 2001). Back in 1985, the last time the Prep won a title was against MC. It just felt like it was meant to be and honestly, we wouldn’t want to have played another other team. They’re the best team in the state and tonight, we are.”

From the jump this game was action packed, moving at a frantic pace that led to numerous open chances for both sides.

The Prep finally found the back of the net with 3:38 left in the second period after Tyler Scearbo perfectly tuned a pass across the slot, finding Teddy McNamara on the right side with a wide open goal mouth which was greeted with a one-time blast, giving the Eagles a 1-0 lead.

“Ty and [Nick] Latham forechecked hard, got the puck and I was fortunate enough to be sitting back door by myself, had nothing but an open net,” said McNamara of the goal. “It was a huge boost for the team.”

Golden opportunities continued to mount for the Prep as they forced numerous odd-man rushes up ice only to see chances get stopped or go wide of an open net in situations where they easily could have pumped the puck home.

“Their goalie made some great saves, we were getting a little frustrated,” said McNamara. “Once we finally got one it was kind of a big relief.”

It was Scearbo once again who set up the second Eagles goal thanks to an all-out hustle while his team was trying to kill off an MC power play.

After generating his own chance, of which he was denied, Scearbo collected the rebound and calmly shuffled back to Brian Groom who ripped a slap shot from the left point past Kyle Casey, giving the Prep a two-goal lead that turned out to be insurmountable for the Lancers.

“It was a great play by Ty,” said Groom. “Early in the first period he had a similar chance like that…and I ended up fanning on it. He told me in the locker room going into that period that if I get another shot from the top of the circle like that, just shoot it as hard as I can and hopefully it will go in.”

Despite the deficit the Lancers would not go down without a fight, finally finding a spark of life late in the game, bringing the tension to an all-time high after senior Jake Witkowski skated up the left wing and threw a shot at Kyle Martin (35 saves) that hit the inside of his left pad and trickled five-hole with exactly one minute remaining in the game.

After pulling Casey (22 saves) from between the pipes to gain a man-advantage, Malden Catholic managed to draw a faceoff in the Eagles zone with just 2.7 seconds to play.

Taking the draw from the right dot, defenseman John McLean won it back to Pat Harrington who fired a blast through traffic, but Martin was able to see enough of it to make the save before having to deal with another rush, that being his teammates charging his way to celebrate a championship victory.

“Kyle’s been unbelievable all year,” said Scearbo of his team’s goalie. “He’s been the backbone of our team. He’s always calm and composed…he stood on his head for us all year.”

The win by St. John’s Prep marked the 22nd time in 25 seasons that the title was collected by a Catholic Conference team.

After 21 straight wins in the Super 8, Malden Catholic fell just one shy of the tying the longest Super 8 title run set by Catholic Memorial who won the first five championships of the state’s top hockey tournament from 1991-1995.

“I knew it was going to come to end at some point, didn’t want it to come tonight,” said Malden Catholic coach John McLean. “[St. John’s Prep] played a great game. Big, strong, physical, they blocked every shot we threw at them and they capitalized on a couple of opportunities where we messed up because of their good system. I’m sad for my guys and happy for the kids on the other team.”

Recap: No. 1 Malden Catholic 2, No. 7 Prep 2

February, 1, 2015
Feb 1
WILMINGTON, Mass. -- For a nanosecond, Matt Filipe had his hands raised.

Filipe, his teammates and the throng of Malden Catholic supporters in attendance, had all thought he just given his team the lead in the waning seconds. The junior broke into the crease, pushing in a rebound off the pads of St. John's Prep goaltender Kyle Martin Jr. The puck deflected off of Martin's stick, sailing over him and across the goal line.

As this was playing out, Filipe was checked from behind by an Eagles player, knocking him into Martin, who fell back into his own net at the same time the puck had entered. Officials waved off what would have been Filipe's third goal of the afternoon, declaring Martin was interfered with yet no penalty was issued.

So instead of claiming victory, the Lancers had to settle for a 2-2 tie against their Catholic Conference counterparts Saturday inside Ristuccia Memorial Arena.

MC head coach John McLean, along his assistants, were not happy with the call but accepted the one point they received having battled back from a two-goal deficit.

Filipe, a Northeastern University commit, believes he scored the game-winner.

"It was a goal but they called it back," Filipe said. "I put the puck into the net and then got pushed into their goalie and they called it off. When Austin (Goldstein) made the initial shot I was right there at the post for the rebound. I poked it in and then I got pushed into the goalie. Neither ref made a call right away. They waited and then made a call. There is nothing you can do."

MC, the No. 1 rated team in the latest ESPN Boston poll now sits at 9-0-2. The Eagles, ranked seventh, are 8-4-1.

Playing without front-line defenseman John McLean (foot injury), the Lancers looked out of sorts in the early going. The Lancers were not pressuring the Eagles, allowing them to skate freely into the neutral zone and beyond. Prep, on the other hand, was blanketing any MC player with the puck on his collective stick, forcing numerous turnovers in the process.

Just a minute and 20 seconds into the contest, the Eagles struck. A turnover induced by Teddy McNamara set up the first goal as senior wing man Tyler Scearbo took a feed from Nick Latham and beat Lancer netminder Alex Reissis (20 saves) low glove side for a 1-0 lead.

While MC continued to struggle offensively, Prep would go on top by a pair at 10:57 of the frame when Brian Groom, just inside his own blue line, fired a shot through traffic that deflected off of a Lancer stick and past Reissis.

"MC obviously brings out the best in their opponents," Prep head coach Kristian Hanson said. "You know that you have to bring your "A" game against them and work your hardest. I thought the effort was good in the first period and the discipline was good. I felt it set the tone for the rest of the game. We cannot stress it enough to send pucks to the net. When you do that anything can happen. That was our mindset for the entire game. We wanted to try and shoot as many pucks as we could toward their net."

The Eagles – who lost to MC, 4-2, earlier this month – were feeling pretty good about themselves as they retreated to their locker room for the first intermission.

There was no mistaking the fact the Lancers needed to step things up to begin the middle frame in order to get back into the hunt. Midway through the second they did just that. Filipe blistered a shot through Martin's leg pads at 7:49 making it a one-goal affair. As a result, that would be the only scoring in the period, thus setting up a dramatic closing period.

"I thought Prep came out well-prepared," McLean said. "They were willing to play their team system whereas we weren't. We have to figure out that we cannot just show up for a game and think teams are going to lay down. We try to reinforce that every game. Give our guys credit for not packing it in. We came back and fought hard. I'll take the point but we still have work to do."

Following Filipe's first score, MC appeared to have changed its game around. The Lancers were beating the Eagles to loose pucks and were starting to tighten up defensively within their own zone. At 4:40, Filipe knotted things up after cutting through two Prep defenders before dropping a backhand goal past Martin (25 saves).

"Matt came to play today," said McLean. "For us, the issue is for other guys to step up and play in big games like this. You cannot rely on just one guy. That won't work."

A few moments after Filipe's tying marker, McNamara was whistled for tripping putting MC on the power play for the first time in the game. The Lancers applied constant pressure, putting up several quality attempts on Martin.

However, the junior staked his ground, turning all aside to keep things even. During one occasion, Martin got caught behind his own net. Goldstein, standing alone inside the right circle, had a golden opportunity to score but couldn't control the pass sent out to him. At the other end, McNamara, now back on the ice, rifled a point blank shot from the left circle which Reissis was able to corral.

Minutes later, Filipe had a chance to be the hero, and it appeared as though he would before officials took away his score.

"We didn't play well in the first period so the main objective going into the second was to bring more effort and play more up-tempo," said Filipe. "We did a better job in the second where we got the one goal and then carried it over into the third where we got another goal. We worked hard to get this tie but it's not the result any of us wanted."

Recap: No. 6 St. John's Prep 4, No. 3 Xaverian 2

January, 21, 2015
Jan 21
WILMINGTON, Mass. -- The darkest hours are just before dawn.

That was the hope for St. John’s Prep, which entered Tuesday’s match against Xaverian looking to recover from a 6-0 shutout loss to BC High. Prep also sought revenge for a Jan. 2 loss to Xaverian when the Hawks came back from a 1-0 deficit in the third period to beat Prep 2-1.

The Eagles struck the Hawks with force and soared to a 4-2 victory over Xaverian.

Prep had control for most of the first period, winning six of nine faceoffs and outshooting Xaverian 13-5. Yet, Prep’s offense could not get the puck past Xaverian goalie Aidan Murphy.

Xaverian drew a Prep penalty with just under two minutes left in the first period. In less than 30 seconds, Xaverian took advantage of the power play as Tim Sweeney scored from the middle of the slot.

Prep’s players were noticeably frustrated by the one-point deficit when they entered the locker room in the first intermission.

“Aidan Murphy is an excellent goalie and we couldn’t find the back of the net. When they do on one of their five shots, it can be frustrating” said Prep coach Kristian Hanson. “It motivates the team to try and go out to get that goal back.”

When they got back on the ice, the Eagles played like a team, rather than just a collection of players. Less than a minute into the second period, Prep evened the score at 1-1 as Teddy McNamara set Nick Latham up for a quick slapshot from the low slot.

Prep goalie Kyle Martin made a slew of great second-period saves to keep Xaverian from regaining the lead. Martin’s most impressive save occurred with two and a half minutes left. Xaverian’s Jake Farrell flew towards the net undefended and fired a shot, which Martin narrowly saved.

Four minutes into the third period, Prep took their first lead of the game when Kyle Lynch tipped one in from an assist by Kyle Hentosh. Prep increased their lead to 3-1 when Tyler Scearbo shot a rebounder between Murphy’s legs.

Xaverian’s Mike Hardman returned the favor just 47 seconds later from just outside the net. Despite a valiant Xaverian effort which involved pulling Murphy, Lynch broke out and took advantage of the open net, sealing Prep’s second Catholic Conference victory.

“I put this on [the team] that this is a must win game,” Hanson said. “We came out really hard tonight.”

“This was a huge win for us” said Lynch.

Team Kyle: Prep’s ‘Kyle trio’ has been a consistently strong force for the team this season, and Tuesday’s game was no exception.

The three Kyles -- Hentosh, Lynch and Martin -- all factored prominently in the victory.

Martin saved 23 of 25 shots on goal. Lynch scored two of Prep’s four goals. Hentosh, a long-time teammate of Lynch, consistently pressured Xaverian’s defense and assisted Lynch with both goals.

“Our yellow line [Lynch, Hentosh, and center Billy Falter] brought a lot of energy out there tonight,” Hanson said. “They were our best line… Lynch being back on that line completed them again and they played really well together”

The trio had been stunned for the past couple of weeks as Lynch was forced to watch from the bench due to a crippling illness. On Tuesday, Lynch returned and played a phenomenal game.

“I needed to be there for the team. This was a huge game and we needed to win… I’m definitely a little tired,” Lynch chuckled. “I had to get out there--I was missing it way too much.

Recap: St. John's Prep 2, CM 1

January, 8, 2015
Jan 8

BOSTON -- Down by one and struggling offensively at the first intermission, Nick Latham and the St. John’s Prep Eagles refused to back down.

Prep got in the groove and came back from behind to beat Catholic Conference rival Catholic Memorial, 2-1, at the Bajko Rink in Hyde Park on Wednesday night.

“It’s a hard fought 2-1 Catholic Conference win, and it could have gone either way,” said Prep coach Kristian Hanson. “It was a big conference game for us, so it was really important.”

Coming out the gates, Catholic Memorial was the stronger team. The Knights easily won the first three face offs and outshot Prep 11-9 in the first period, as Prep’s offense struggled to keep the puck in CM territory.

The Knights took the 1-0 lead over the Eagles less than four minutes into the first period, when forward Zach Sullivan snuck the puck past Prep goalie Kyle Martin. Martin went 9-for-9 in saves for the remainder of the first period, restraining the Knights to a lead of one.

In the second period, the Eagles picked up their pace. Less than five minutes into the second period, Prep forward Tyler Scearbo materialized their energy and evened the score at 1-1 with an exquisite low-slot rebounder.

The rest of the game was uneventful until the last minute of play. The Eagles, having not won a Catholic Conference game since the 2012-2013 season, craved a conference win. Their hunger showed as they turned on the turbo boosters late in the game.

With just 55 seconds left on the clock, Prep forward Teddy McNamara intercepted the puck, broke away from the CM defenders, and powered up the left side. As he entered the defensive zone, McNamara passed the puck to Latham, who fired the puck just over the goalie’s left arm, securing Prep’s 2-1 victory.

“Tied 1-1 in the third period, this game could have really gone either way,” Hanson said. “For the relatively young team, this is a really big road win for us.”

Despite the outcome, Wednesday’s game was very well-played by the Knights. CM outshot Prep, 23-21, and won 19-of-31 faceoffs.

“We played well and we played hard,” said CM coach Bill Hanson. “Billy Smith, Billy Czar, and Zach Sullivan, that line really had it going good tonight.”

The Eagles missed two key players. Kyle Lynch, a junior forward, is recovering from mono while freshman defender Paul Edson broke his skate at the beginning of the third period. In the end, St. John’s Prep beat the odds and secured the win.

“We knew that we were all going to have to step up as a line and as a team as a whole” said Latham. “I think we did.”

Catholic Memorial looks ahead to a continued tough schedule, which includes Catholic Conference rival Malden Catholic on Saturday night.

“Every [Catholic Conference] game is going to be a dogfight," Kristian Hanson said. “There’s such power and balance in the league. In this league, you only have eight games. You beat one team twice, split with the others, and you’re in good shape at the end.”

Prep’s next big contest will take place on Jan. 13 on Tuesday. Until then, the Eagles will savor this one.

“We were very fortunate to get our first Catholic Conference win of the year,” said Latham. “We’ve been preaching all year that if you go hard into the net, good things happen. That’s what happened.”

Recap: No. 2 BC High 4, No. 13 St. John's Prep 3

December, 28, 2014

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – The game moved in fits and bursts, but BC High had enough bursts in them to hold off St. John's Prep, 4-3, in the opening round of the Pete Frates Winter Classic at Merrimack College.

BC High will play Springfield Cathedral tomorrow for the tournament title.

The story of the game was BC High staying just one step ahead of Prep. BC outshot Prep, 26-11, and never trailed. After a sluggish start to the game from both teams BC broke through nine minutes into the game when Pat Riley roofed one shorthanded over Zach Laramie.

“Pat Riley was all over the ice,” BC High coach John Flaherty said. “He set tempo and he was a guy who really responded when we were standing around.”

BC continued the pressure into the second period with Kayser Raei poking him his own rebound less than two minutes into the period. Four different Eagles scored for BC and 10 total players reached the score sheet.

“It was a good high school hockey game,” Flaherty said. “It was a Catholic Conference hockey game; they're all going to be tough. They outworked us in spurts, and we were fortunate enough to get one more goal than they did.”

Prep found its mojo later on as Kristian Hanson's squad mounted a spirited comeback. Billy Falter tipped in a shot from Seth Murray late in the second period. Teddy McNamara tied the game at two after the puck took an odd carom off the end glass and left him a layup at the top of the crease.

“I thought we had a good second half of the second period,” Hanson said. “I thought we played pretty well from that point on. We're a young team, an inexperienced team; this was our first big test of the year. We lost so we certainly didn't pass our test, but I thought the kids played well.”

BC stopped the Prep comeback in its tracks less than three minutes after McNamara tied it when Jack Nesbit snapped off a wrist shot that snuck under Laramie's arm. Ryan Shea extended the lead back to two when he buried a snapshot from the point on a power play two minutes later.

Prep's Anthony Quartieri scored an extra-attacker goal with 10 seconds left but it wasn't enough.

“As of right now we haven't played anyone that great except for Prep, and we have Springfield tomorrow which is going to be a huge game,” Shea said. “We haven't played heavy competition yet so it was questionable how we were going to come out. It surprised me that we came out that good.”

PLAYING FOR SOMETHING BIGGER: Pete Frates, the namesake of the tournament, was a standout athlete at St. John's Prep at the beginning of this century. Two years ago, Frates was diagnosed with ALS and became a vocal advocate in spreading awareness about the disease.

Now Hanson, and St. John's Prep, wanted to give back and the Christmas tournament was born which features four of the top teams in the state.

“Our kids are pretty familiar with Pete and the ALS battle he's fighting right now,” Hanson said. “The Ice Bucket Challenge brought a lot of attention to that fight and Pete. The kids were very aware of that coming in. that was our goal in the third: don't give up. Pete's not giving up. You try to look at the big picture, certainly the bigger picture than a high school hockey game. The kids knew what we were playing for.”

BC High and Prep have one of the deepest rivalries in Massachusetts hockey, but Flaherty said that when Hanson asked him if his squad was interested in participating it was a no-brainer.

“It's an amazing honor for us,” Flaherty said. “We've been fortunate enough that every game we play at their place has been in honor. The last couple of years it's been to honor the military alums, and they year when Christian called and said he wanted to do a special tournament we kind of kicked around the teams, and once he said these four teams I said we're in. Add to that that we get to honor Pete Frates, ALS research, and everything they've done this year it's simply amazing.”

Recap: No. 13 St. John's Prep 3, No. 16 Hingham 1

December, 21, 2014
WILMINGTON, Mass. -- For an early-season game, the Ristuccia Arena got pretty loud on Saturday afternoon, as St. John’s Prep hosted Hingham High School in the Eagles' season opener.

St. John’s Prep controlled the action for much of the first period as the Eagles’ offense proved to be a challenge for Hingham’s young defense and they were aggressive with very physical play in the first period led by captain Tyler Scearbo. The Eagles didn't relent and, in the end, held on for a 3-1 win over the Harbormen.

Despite plenty of chances in the first period, St. John's Prep failed to capitalize on an opportunity until captain Nick Latham put the first point on the board with 4:10 left in the first period.

Fellow captains Teddy McNamara and Scearbo assisted Latham on the goal.

“I was able to find the low slot and was able to get it past the goalie,” Latham said.

Less than 20 seconds later, with 3:52 left in the period, junior Billy Falter put the second point on the board for the Eagles from just outside the goal crease.

The first period ended with the Eagles up 2-0, having outshot the Harbormen 17-3.

In the second period, Hingham’s junior goalie Andrew Ehler made several key saves, keeping the Harbormen close.

Still, the Eagles increased their lead with 4:20 left in the second period, when their captain-trio struck again. McNamara scored from the right faceoff circle, with assists from Scearbo and Latham. Although the Eagles were up 3-0, the Harbormen played hard and sophomore Matt Egan put their first goal on the board to end the second period.

The third period saw strong performances from both defenses. No goals were scored as each team was only able to muster four shots.

“I thought our defense played well, and that’s another area where there’s all new faces” said St. John’s Prep head coach Kristian Hanson. “They did a pretty good job of keeping all of the shots to the perimeter, made some simple and easy breakout passes, which is what we stressed with the guys.”

"We’ve been coming up here for years, and we know what it’s like” said Hingham head coach Tony Messina. “We have to withstand the storm--they’ve got to be flying. We gave up two goals, but it settled down after that.”

Despite their Top 25 rankings to start the season, Hingham and St. John’s Prep have relatively young teams. Hingham has just nine seniors on its roster this year. St. John’s Prep has six.

The St. John’s Prep captains had nothing but praise for the their young defense.

"Coming into the season, we were nervous about who was going to play defense and goalie for us," McNamara said. “They stepped up big time.”

Hingham is back to action on Christmas Eve, looking to get a win against Weymouth.

“We’re going to have to take care of the D-Zone” said Messina. “We need to establish a little more offense. We just need to create some more opportunities for ourselves.”

Meanwhile, St. John’s Prep looks to maintain their momentum against Woburn on Tuesday.

“I just want them to work hard and play hard hockey in the corners," said Hanson. "We’re not the best team in the state but we want to be the hardest working team.”

“We need to build off of this game,” McNamara said of Saturday's win. “Winning the first game of the year is great. Now, we just need to keep this pattern.”

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

December, 27, 2013
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.