It’s no secret that, after graduating a monstrous senior class last summer, No. 3 Catholic Memorial’s talent crop is a bit younger than usual.
Inexperience wasn’t an issue yesterday, though, as the Knights rolled by No. 7 Needham, 4-1, in a battle of returning Super 8 squads.
Sophomore Liam Coughlin –– a transfer from the Walpole Express junior squad –– picked up a hat trick for CM. The center scored at even strength, on the power play, and scored a short-handed empty-netter to assure the Knights a victory late in the third.
“He’s an extremely talented kid,” CM coach Bill Hanson said. “He has an awful lot of skill and confidence in what he does.”
“He looks like an old-school type of player,” Needham coach Bill Guisti said. “He’s big, tall, lanky, and shields the puck exceptionally well.”
Senior Dan O’Hear (1 goal, 2 assists) kicked off the scoring for the Knights in the first period, with an assist from defenseman Marc Hetnik –– the first of three helpers from the senior captain.
Needham’s DJ Walsh squared the score at 1-1 about five minutes later, tipping a low slapper by Corey Hood over CM goalie Tommy Knox (24 saves).
The Rockets came our soaring to start the second period, but failed to convert on an early power-play opportunity and came away empty-handed despite a strong five-minutes of play.
With 8:45 left in the second, Coughlin netted his first goal, fighting through a Needham stick lift to one-time home a centering pass from O’Hear just above the crease.
Two minutes later, Coughlin again one-timed a pass from O’Hear into the cage –– this time from just above the left hashes –– to stretch the lead to 3-1.
“That game was big in a sense for young kids, they need to have confidence as well as being able to play,” Hanson said. “We’re going to have to be very hard to play against, which I thought we were today –– being in their face the whole time.”
Several reporters and editors contribute updates, news and analysis to the High School Sports Blog.
- Bob Holmes: A Reading resident (Go Rockets!) and Boston College graduate, Holmes is the Boston Globe High School Sports Editor. We remind you now that his weekly picks are often made in jest so everyone just calm down when he picks against Everett for 11 straight weeks. Contact him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeHolmes.
- Craig Larson: A native of West Springfield (Leo Durocher anyone? Tim Daggett?) and Curry College graduate (a proud Colonel!), Larson is the sports editor for the Globe's regional sections: South, West and North, as well as a frequent contributor on the college beat. Abington to Xaverian: it all starts with the schools. Have a compelling story idea? Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeLars.
- Zuri Berry: Berry attended the same high school as sports legends O.J. Simpson and Joe DiMaggio. (Guess which one is his hero.) He's a South Boston resident (formerly of Eastie) and the editor of the High School Sports blog as well as the go-to-guy for everything high school sports on Boston.com. Contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @GlobeSchools for all of the latest updates.
Then there are our winter correspondents:
- Emily McCarthy | @EmilyMcCahthy | BPS correspondent
- Jake Fischer | @GlobeFischer | Boys basketball
- Michelle Fenelon | @michfenelon | Girls basketball
- Andrew MacDougall | @Andy_MacDougall | Boys hockey
- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Girls hockey
To reach the high school sports department, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.