The BC High hockey team’s plan entering its game Wednesday night against top-ranked Malden Catholic was to attack its Catholic Conference foe with everything it had.
It almost worked to perfection as the Eagles dominated early and took a 3-0 lead. But that only held until the final period, when the Lancers fought back and evened things up, leaving UMass Boston’s Clark Center with a 3-3 tie.
“Our game plan was to go right at them and we executed that pretty well right out of the gate,” said BC High coach John Flaherty.
The Eagles wasted no time as Andrew White scored on the second shift of the game, snapping one in just 54 seconds in.
“It was a great boost for our team,” said Flaherty.
The Eagles took advantage of a power play later in the period when senior Terrence Durkin buried one at 8:21.
BC High kept up the pressure and junior Matt Sullivan scored with just one second left in the first to produce that three-goal advantage.
There was no scoring in the second period as the teams exchanged penalties and special teams and defense came to the forefront.
“We held them off of the board for two periods and we held firm,” said Flaherty, “But the momentum did shift a bit in their favor.”
Malden Catholic (7-2-1) scored all three of its goals in a span of nine minutes.
“They came out playing the way they are capable of playing,” said Flaherty. “They are like sharks with blood in the water; they keep coming and coming.”
The Lancers' comeback was led by Brendan Collier and Michael Vecchione, who each had a goal and an assist and logged major minutes in the third on MC’s first line.
“Their top line is loaded,” said Flaherty, “It’s like playing against the Bruins”
But the Eagles held on for the tie as sophomore goalie Peter Cronin kept them alive with 27 saves on the night.
“We had the puck on our stick for all three of their goals and just had trouble punching it out of our zone,” said Flaherty.
Senior captain Michel Cashman excelled at both ends of the ice for BC High.
“He was fearless and he went right at them,” said Flaherty. “He had an unbelievable night out there and led by example and did all of the little things that matter.”
Cashman had three assists and a few bruises, taking shots off his ankle and hand as he continuously hit the ice to block shots.
Despite not being able to close the door against one of the best teams in the state, the Eagles will look to build off the game, knowing now that they can skate with anyone.
“Our guys were disappointed to give this one up,” said Flaherty, “but at the end of the day we can take a lot from [it].”
The ninth-ranked Eagles (4-2-3) are back in action on Monday, playing at home vs. St. John’s of Shrewsbury.
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.