Boston High School: Thomas Stanton
February, 20, 2012
By Bruce Lerch | ESPNBoston.com
BOSTON -- One team's savior proved to be the other team's fatal heartbreaker.
Both No. 5 Central Catholic and No. 8 Catholic Memorial had a lot on the line when the two teams hooked for a Monday matinee at Walter Brown Arena. The Raiders were looking to get back on track after a 3-0 loss to Andover on Saturday, hoping to keep themselves in the hunt for a Super 8 invitation while getting the on-ice product back in shape with things still undecided atop the MVC/DCL Div. 1 standings.
For Catholic Memorial, the math was simple - win your last two games, or miss the postseason for a second consecutive year.
Central goaltender Kyle Williams shined on this day, stopping 30 shots and weathering a third-period penalty shot attempt by CM's Liam Coughlin to help the Raiders hold on for a 1-1 tie.
"They took it to us in spurts, we were able to sustain and Kyle's back," Central head coach Mike Jankowski said. "We had some inconsistencies all year, we fought through things all year. Even the first goal tonight, that's something [Kyle] always gets. For him, the back half of that, he closes the door. If he plays like that and has our back like that, good things are going to happen for us."
The Raiders kept in mind last year's loss to the Knights and made adjustments that helped Williams a great deal, most importantly coming from a defense that worked tirelessly to at least keep the shooting lanes clear so the senior could get good looks on what was coming at him.
Midway through the third period, Williams made the save of the day, getting his blocker up in time to deflect a shot from CM's Kevin Bletzer. Minutes later, he made another stop of a hard wrist shot by Jared Beckwith and got a piece of a tip in front by Thomas Stanton.
The netminder's most important play however, was one that didn't hit the stat sheet as a save. The Knights were awarded a penalty shot with 3:46 remaining in the game, and CM coach Bill Hanson sent out talented forward Liam Coughlin. The junior walked in on Williams, then made a late shift to his backhand. Rather than sit back in shock, Williams simply followed his man and slid over to the far post, forcing Coughlin to take the puck lower then he likely intended and his shot ended up in the side of the Raiders net.
"No pressure, I just went and tried stopping it. I got lucky he missed the net," Williams explained with a touch of modesty.
Then, when asked if he was surprised by Coughlin's move, Williams responded, "Yeah, I guess. He could do anything. I'm just there to stop it."
Clearly the game did not come down to that one play, although it was certainly a highlight moment. Before a question could be asked about the penalty shot, Hanson quickly spoke up for his player:
"I know the question is going to be asked about the penalty shot...is he the guy you want having it? Yeah, he is. There is no one who feels worse about what he's going through right now than I do or his teammates do. It's a tough way to lose."
Mike Kelleher opened the scoring for Central Catholic, banging home a rebound at 13:38 of the opening frame, with assists going to Steven Merrick and Lloyd Hayes. Catholic Memorial tied it in the second as the Knights forced a miscue in their own end and Aaron Marcel went most of the way down the ice for a wrister at 5:38.
TWO STRAIGHT YEARS, NO POSTSEASON FOR CM
Similar to last season, the Knights found themselves entering the final week of the regular season needing points just reach the 20 needed to become eligible for postseason play. This year, they needed to beat Central, and follow that up by knocking off an excellent Fairfield Prep team from Connecticut. The tie left them short of their goal.
Were it not for the stellar outing by Williams, the Knights might have scored four goals, maybe even more given the intensity and hunger they displayed on the ice. Take this game out of the mix and there are several others the Knights will look back on as lost opportunities for points - in particular, ties with Malden Catholic and BC High in games they were leading in the third period, and a loss to St. John's Prep with just six seconds remaining.
Ultimately, however, it was the inability to score enough goals that did them in. According to Hanson, the Knights have scored 39 goals while allowing 40 through 18 games, yet still found themselves with a chance to win two games and become tournament-eligible.
"The last four games we've only scored four goals," Hanson lamented. "That's been the story of our season. We played extremely well tonight against a very good hockey team. The system we had in there worked to a tee. You hold a team like that to one goal, and with the opportunities we had, you should win the hockey game."
LEAGUE FIRST, SUPER 8 LATER
While CM needed the win to keep its postseason hopes alive, the Raiders were in need of points as well as a return to the form that reeled off an 11-game unbeaten stretch (8-0-3) prior to Saturday's loss to Andover.
While improving its resume for Super 8 consideration is certainly in the thought process, Central is still fighting to win a league title, something that is at the forefront of the team's minds right now.
Wednesday, Central hosts an Acton-Boxborough team that hasn't lost in its last six games and has wins over Billerica, Andover and a Super 8 watch-list team in Westford Academy. The Raiders hold a one-point edge in the standings over both Andover and Westford, with the Grey Ghosts taking on Billerica on Wednesday as well.
When asked if his team was thinking about the possibilities of the Super 8 just yet, Jankowski responded, "Not even close. We're so grateful today to be able to contend and now we're really looking to Wednesday. We have to bring everything because A-B's playing so well. We're just going to try and buckle it up and get ready for Wednesday."
February, 9, 2012
By Scott Barboza | ESPNBoston.com
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.”
ADJUSTING ON THE FLY
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.”
MOMENT FOR PAUSE
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."
February, 25, 2011
By Scott Barboza | ESPNBoston.com
REVERE, Mass. -- History was not lost on Kristian Hanson.
In 1991, Hanson was a member of St. John’s Prep’s hockey team which played in the first-ever Super Eight tournament. That year, and for the next three years of Hanson’s high school career, Catholic Conference rival Catholic Memorial skated away with the title.
Friday afternoon at Cronin Memorial Skating Rink, behind Prep’s bench, Hanson had the opportunity to do what had never been done before: prohibit the Knights from reaching the Super Eight field.
Lifted by a two-goal performance by junior forward Sam Kurker and a two-point game from freshman Shane Eiserman, the second-ranked Eagles did the unthinkable, ending CM’s season on the last day of the regular season with a 3-1 win.
“They [the players] were aware of the ramifications,” Hanson said. “And bottom line is that we didn’t want to face them in the Super Eight. We had the chance to knock them out of the Super Eight today and not have to play them next week.
“Do you want to face a Coach Bill Hanson team in the Super Eight? Not really.”
Needing two points to qualify for the postseason tournament, the ninth-ranked Knights (8-10-2) sweated it out to the last day of the regular season. After dropping a 2-1 decision at Connecticut power Fairfield Prep on Wednesday, CM entered Friday’s game — a rescheduled makeup from a snow date — posed with a do-or-die test.
Despite taking the first lead of the game on Thomas Stanton’s second-period goal, the Knights were held off the board by a tightening defense and were unable to catch the Eagles as seconds clicked down in the third period. The result was CM missing out on postseason play for the first time in 26 years.
“We went into the third period in 18 of 20 games either up, tied or down by one against the tough competition we played,” Knights head coach Bill Hanson said. “The sad part about it is that tomorrow morning when they make the Super Eight pairings, and the teams that make the tournament, or the teams that were in contention, we beat most of the them.
“We have nothing to be ashamed of, nothing at all.”
In the end, for CM, it all came down to offense and the ability to consistently find the back of the net.
It looked as though the Knights had found some puck luck in the second period, however, when Stanton cashed in for a 1-0 CM lead. The junior center played a puck to the slot from behind the goal line. But the directed pass caught a glance of netminder David Letarte’s pad and deflected into the net.
However, Prep (14-5-1) answered, striking for two goals in the final two-plus minutes of the period.
Eiserman was on the finishing end of some pretty transition play, knocking home a laser-guided pass from captain Colin Blackwell with 2:14 to play in the period. Defenseman Nick Pandelena also added an assist on the play.
Eiserman helped set up Kurker’s goal with 31 seconds remaining in the second. The freshman winger dug the puck out of the corner and fed Kurker in the slot before finishing on the backhand.
CM went to the room resolved to dig themselves out of a hole.
“We just wanted to force the issue in their end,” Bill Hanson said. “We wanted to use the forecheck, be stronger on the puck.”
The Knights had several marvelous opportunities to notch the equalizer in the third, including a power play in the first minute. CM placed four shots on goal during the man-advantage only to see Letarte (24 saves) kick them out, or, in other instances, have Scott Derrickson come to Letarte’s aid.
“That would have given them momentum,” Letarte said, “[Scott] Derrickson was out there and saved my butt on one of them.”
Derrickson served as goalie by proxy during one skirmish in the front of the Eagles’ net, bailing out Letarte by making a stop in front of an gaping net.
It would be as close as CM would get. Despite lobbing 12 shots on goal during the third period, the Knights were all but done in when Kurker slid home an empty-netter with 54 seconds remaining.
“Last year, we went one and one with them,” Kurker said. “It was nice to take both games this year and knock them out of the tournament.”
That doesn’t mean the Eagles’ path ended there. They are likely to be among the top of the Super Eight seedings when they are announced Saturday morning.
“Now, we just have to move on to all the other great teams we’ll have to play,” Derrickson said.
January, 8, 2011
By Brian Fabry | ESPNBoston.com
BOSTON -- You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but there is nothing stopping the old pup from showing you a thing or two.
In a rematch of last year’s Super Eight championship, No. 3 Catholic Memorial avenged their title defeat with a 4-2 win over defending champion, No. 2 Hingham, at the Walter Brown Arena on the campus of Boston University.
The Knights are the kings of the Super Eight with 13 titles in all, their last coming in 2009. But the Harbormen stunned CM, 1-0, in last season’s finale preventing the Knights from back-to-back championships for the first time since they won three in a row in 2003-05. The win was the Harbormen’s first banner and was also only the second Division 1A crown for a public school in the history of the tournament (Reading, 2008).
But this time, the Knights showed they are back to lay claim to the top spot, as junior Cody Kingston’s goal 3:47 into the third period proved to be the game-winner in a game Catholic Memorial never trailed. If there was any sort of revenge factor, Catholic Memorial head coach Bill Hanson was not letting anyone in on that secret.
“Last year was last year, so (Hingham) have a Super Eight trophy at their school, but this is 2010-11 and no one has that trophy yet,” said Hanson.
Previously-unbeaten Hingham (4-1-3) controlled the first period, out shooting Catholic Memorial 11-5, and finding numerous scoring chances, as the Knights’ defense allowed the Harbormen to roam the slot and pick apart their blue line setup. Both teams, however, headed to the lockers without a tally.
After the scoreless first period, the Knights (5-3) finally broke through on a tip-in goal off the stick of junior forward Thomas Stanton at the 10:47 mark of the second. Sophomore defenseman Justin Ryder fired the puck from the left point, and Stanton had a perfect re-direct to beat Harbormen’s goaltender Derek McInnis (14 saves).
The lead didn’t last very long, as Hingham lit the lamp 2:42 later on a power play goal, courtesy of the Knights' third penalty of the second period alone. A tripping call on Stanton allowed Tim Driscoll, who had a goal and an assist, to punch home a rebound fired on net by fellow senior Marc Hetnik and the Harbormen were right back in the game.
But with only 40 seconds left in the period, sophomore Jack O’Hear gave the Knights a 2-1 lead on an assist from his brother, senior assistant captain Dan O’Hear (two assists).
“In the second (period) we adjust, in the third we adjust, and like I’ve told you guys before we just get better and better,” Hanson said about his team’s penchant for shutting teams down as the game progresses. “(We) were handling the puck better, made real good athletic plays, and we were opportunistic.”
No more so then in the beginning of the third period, when some great forechecking by senior Chris Stathopoulous on senior Jared Robichaud forced a loose puck out in front of McInnis and Kingston flipped the turnover into the Knights’ third goal of the game, a backhand tally right through McInnis’ five-hole.
“Kind of unfortunate, (Robichaud) was in the right spot down low, and we wanted him to center it,” Hingham head coach Tony Messina said. “He picked up the puck and made the wrong move to the center of the net -- unfortunately a good team like (Catholic Memorial) takes advantage of those mistakes.”
Said Hanson: “That’s (all) Stathopoulous and (Miles) McCarthy and they work so well below the faceoff dots. Cody just made a quick release, got rid of the puck, just got it to the goal, and I think that’s one (Hingham) might want to have back.”
Hingham was not finished, though, as Austin O’Connor cut the deficit in half when Driscoll’s blast rang the left post and went behind Knights’ goaltender Tommy Knox (17 saves) to the waiting stick of O’Connor, who was sitting on the right post for the easy tap-in poke.
But senior Dan Griffin picked up an untimely contact-to- the-head penalty with 2:45 remaining in regulation which ruined any momentum for Hingham to tie it up before the final horn and allowed Hetnik to double up the score on the power play with 2:11 left to play.
“Obviously you can’t take penalties in a game like this, especially a senior, we are going to learn from it,” said Messina. “Hopefully we will see (CM) sometime down in the future.”
CATHOLIC MEMORIAL 4, HINGHAM 2
HIN(4-1-3) 0 – 1 – 1 - - 2
CM (5-3-0) 0 – 2 – 2 - - 4
FIRST – None.
SECOND - CM – Thomas Stanton (Justin Ryder, Tom Barrett), 10:47; HI – Tim Driscoll (Marc Hetnik, Ryan Linehan), 13:17 (pp); CM - Jack O’Hear (Dan O’Hear), 14:20.
THIRD – CM – Cody Kingston (Chris Stathopoulous), 3:47; HI – Austin O’Connor (Driscoll, Alex Pompeo), 8:33; CM – Hetnik (Jack O’Hear, Dan O’Hear), 12:49
CM – Tommy Knox (17)
HI – Derek McInnis (14)
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