Boston High School: Tom Barrett

Stathopoulos carries No. 5 CM over Hawks

January, 26, 2011
1/26/11
1:12
AM ET


FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Make no mistake about it, No. 5 Catholic Memorial’s 5-2 win over Catholic Conference rival Xaverian Tuesday night wasn’t a one-man show. Even though, at times, it may have appeared as such.

Chris Stathopoulos’ four-goal outburst helped the Knights out of an early 2-0 hole. Three of his goals were of the unassisted variety. But it wasn’t just Stathopoulos who led CM to victory. A persistent forecheck, some clutch penalty kills and the consistent play of Stathopoulos and linemates Tom Barrett and Kevin McCarthy were the driving force behind a crucial midseason victory.

“We just came out and played hard,” Stathopoulos said. “It’s not an individual effort, it’s a team effort. So I went out there with the boys and we got shots on net and we put it in the net.”

The fourth-ranked Hawks responded to head coach David Spinale’s call to carry play early in game with two goals within the first two minutes of play.

Xaverian (7-2-1, 2-1-0) scored on two of its first three shots on goal. Greg McWade was on the finishing end of some pretty transition, taking Billy Hildebrand’s feed and beating Knights netminder Shane Starrett (17 saves) stick side. Ryan Hall followed less than a minute later, banging home a rebound from the top of the crease off of Jason Salvaggio’s shot.

CM (7-5-0, 2-2-0) also scored on its first shot of the game, answering with Stathopoulos’ first marker of the evening 2:43 in.

After a fast start, neither team could find the net – despite some golden opportunities for the Knights to tie the game – until the nine-minute mark of the second period, when Barrett scored with assists from McCarthy and Stathopoulos.

“That line has really played terrific and they’ve carried for two games,” CM head coach Bill Hanson said of his second line.

As in the teams’ first meeting of the season, a 3-2 Xaverian win, Hawks goaltender Dave Michaels (32 saves) was again strong in net. But that didn’t stop Stathopoulos from taking over the third period, when he netted even-strength, short-handed and empty-net goals.

However, Hanson was most pleased with his team’s effort with a man-down in the third. He’s self-admittedly changed philosophy, allowing his team to play more aggressive on the penalty kill to take advantage of his team’s athleticism. The changes paid off with three successful kills within a five-minute span midway through the third.

“I thought we beat ourselves,” Hawks head coach Dave Spinale said. “On that fourth goal, we were on the power play. We turned it over and then we came back in our end and gave up a softy. We didn’t have poise, we didn’t have composure.”

Hanson labeled the game a “must-win” for the Knights, noting his team can match No. 2 Malden Catholic in the win column in the Catholic Conference standings with a victory over the Lancers on Saturday (2 p.m. at Walter Brown).

And while one player might have shouldered the load during last night’s test, the most encouraging sign was effort starting with his second line and permeating the roster — something Hanson knows is paramount if the Knights are to make a deep postseason run.

“I told the kids, just because one guy scored four goals, that doesn’t mean that he won the game,” Hanson said. “The whole team played terrific.”

Fast start paces No. 3 CM over No. 8 BC High

January, 4, 2011
1/04/11
11:08
PM ET
BOSTON -- They were pretty much even, save for about a minute in the first period.

Outside of the third minute of the opening period in Tuesday night’s game at UMass Boston, No. 8 BC High was right with No. 3 Catholic Memorial in many regards. But the Knights simply did a better job burying their opportunities in a 3-0 win to open the teams’ Catholic Conference slate.

“We’ve had bad first periods all year,” CM head coach Bill Hanson said. “We’d talked about that coming into tonight. We said that we had to win the first period for a change.”

The Knights (4-3-0, 1-0-0) jumped on the board 2:36 into the first when Tom Barrett back-handed the rebound from a shot by Harrison Connelly into the back of the net. CM was back at it 13 seconds later when Liam Coughlin scored as a result of some crisp transition passes from Marc Hetnik and Ryan Sullivan.

The quick flourish could’ve rattled the young Eagles (3-1-1, 0-1-0), but BC High returned stronger in the second period and out-shot the Knights, 11-4.

Still, the Eagles weren’t able to finish as CM netminder Tommy Knox stopped 24 shots and collected his first shutout of the season.

“Other than a minute in the first period, I think we competed,” BC High head coach John Flaherty said. “We out-chanced them for part of the time. They capitalized, they finished their chances. We didn’t finish ours.”

The Eagles squandered four power play opportunities in the second period. The CM penalty kill unit was up to the task, consistently disrupting passing lanes, taking away BC High’s chances down low and blocking numerous shots before they could reach Knox.

“Tommy Knox is a good goalie, but you have to make sure he isn’t able to see the puck,” Flaherty said. “I think we allowed him to do that. We allowed him to see pucks, and for him to get in position, and we didn’t bang home rebounds that were waiting there for us.”

Coughlin was involved again on CM’s third goal, scored by Dan O’Hear. On a 2-on-1 break, Coughlin made a perfect saucer pass across the faceoff dots onto the tape of O’Hear’s stick with 7:20 remaining.

BLACK-AND-BLUE AWARD
Knights senior defenseman Leo Stapleton doesn’t see a whole lot of ice time. That is except for when CM has a penalty to kill. Hanson utilizes Stapleton exclusively on the penalty kill, so he saw plenty of action during the second period when BC High had four stints on the power play. The Southie native sacrificed his body often, blocking six shots and leading a defensive effort that likely would’ve even pleased Claude Julien.

“It shows that we’re playing with courage and that we’re being aggressive in our own end,” Hanson said about the Knights’ multitudes of blocked shots.

That ethos plays into CM’s directives a man down, as well.

“We held them to not real good scoring chances,” Hanson said. “What we try to do is take away the backdoor play and we did that.

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