Tewksbury knew if they wanted to beat Plymouth South, they would have to stop sensational running back Dylan Oxsen, or if not stop him, limit his chances.
Tewksbury was able to do just that by keeping him off the field, and by scoring plenty of points on the chances they had, taking down Plymouth South and winning the Div. 3 Super Bowl, 42-14.
Running back James Sullivan rushed for 125 yards and scored four touchdowns – including one on a pick-six – for Tewksbury. Quarterback John Aylward added 125 yards and a touchdown through the air on 10 of 11 attempts.
Oxsen generated all of the offense that South could put on the board, running for 149 yards and two touchdowns. The rest of the team totaled just 51 yards.
Tewksbury took the opening kickoff and drove down into Plymouth South territory with under six minutes to play in the first quarter. The South defense forced Tewksbury to a 4th-and-8 from the 19-yard line, but Aylward floated a pass into the hands of Alex Hanson to get a first and goal from the one yard line.
Edward Matovu ran in a one-yard score two plays later to give Tewksbury the 7-0 lead on a drive that took 7:17. South used 52 yards rushing yards on seven straight runs by Oxsen to move into Tewksbury territory, using a 15-yard facemask penalty on Tewksbury to get the ball up to the Tewksbury 10-yard line at the end of the first quarter.
Oxsen ran in a seven-yard touchdown on fourth down to make it a 7-6 game 1:22 into the second quarter. Tewksbury marched right back down the field and scored another touchdown on a five-yard run by Sullivan to take a 14-6 lead with 5:19 to play in the half.
South drove down to the Tewksbury 30 yard line with 1:07 left in the half and converted on 4th-and-7 on a 21-yard pass to Cameron Evers. Oxsen then ran in a five-yard touchdown for his second of the game and Anthony Schena ran in the two-point conversion to tie the game with 15 seconds to play in the half. Tewksbury couldn’t do anything with the final few seconds and the teams went into the half tied 14-14.
South received the kickoff to start the second half and marched down the field to the Tewksbury 28 and faced a 4th-and-1 that they failed to convert on, giving the ball back to Tewksbury on downs. Tewksbury drove all the way down to the South three yard line and Sullivan punched the ball into the end zone to put Tewksbury back on top by seven, now up 21-14.
South drove back into Tewksbury territory as the third quarter came to a close. They faced a 4th-and-2 from the 30-yard line, but could not convert the first down, with Oxsen also going down with an injury on the play, but was able to jog off under his own power.
Tewksbury took over at their own 31 and ran the ball down into South territory, making it all the way to the South 30-yard line and then converted a huge 4th-and-7 to get a first down at the 10 yard line with 3:59 to play. Sullivan ran in a 10-yard score two plays later for his third touchdown of the game and put Tewksbury up 28-14 with 3:11 remaining in the game.
South tired to get one last drive started at their own 18, but Blake Hery was able to strip South’s Ryan Donovan to get the ball back for Tewksbury, who ran the ball to shed time off the clock, then added another score with 53 seconds to play on a 23-yard pass from Aylward to Kevin Dick. Tewksbury scored once more on an interception run back by Sullivan with 36 seconds left.
After a rough patch in the month of January, Malden Catholic went from the No. 10 seed in the Super 8 to tournament champions for the third straight year. The Lancers easily top the Globe's final boys' hockey Top 20 rankings after an impressive turnaround. The rest of the Top 10 reads as the final standings for the Super 8 tournament along with the three division champions.
Wilmington, the Division 2 champions, edged out the top spot among the remaining division champions at No. 9 for the way the Wildcats ran right through their tournament. At one point, Wilmington was on the Super 8 watchlist in the regular season and won every tournament game by at least three goals. In their final three tournament games, the Wildcats outscored Franklin (No. 12), Danvers (No. 17) and Lincoln-Sudbury by a combined 17-2 score.
Burlington, the Division 1 champions and the No. 10 team, may have won the higher division title, but did not dominate the way the Wildcats did in the process.
Marshfield (No. 11), Franklin, and Swampscott (No. 13) fit nicely in after the champions as runnerups for each division title. Hingham and Archbishop Williams take the Nos. 15 and 16 spots after participating in the Super 8 play-in round.
Neither Braintree (No. 19) or Duxbury (No. 20) won a division title, but both were nominated for the Super 8 tournament and recorded great regular seasons. For those two reasons, the Green Dragons and Wamps were able to hold onto a spot in the rankings.
Malden Catholic won its third straight Super 8 title. Highlights and analysis from the game with Globe correspondent Alex Hall.
Bob Holmes and I break down the highlights from the second round of the Super 8 tournament after Malden Catholic beat Catholic Memorial, 5-3, and Austin Prep beat St. John's Prep, 2-1.
LOWELL -- Austin Prep senior captain Nolan Vesey scored twice off rebound chances, including the game-winner with 2:11 left in the third period, as the Cougars knocked off St. John’s Prep, 2-1, to advance to the Super 8 final 6 p.m. Sunday at TD Garden.
Austin Prep will play Malden Catholic, the two-time defending champion, for the Division 1A title.
Vesey opened the scoring in the second period when a Eric MacAdams shot bounced off the pads of St. John’s Prep goalie Billy Price and landed right on Vessey’s tape for the put-away. Tyler Bird tied it for the Eagles midway through the third, but Vesey scored his second on a power play opportunity minutes later to seal it for the Cougars.
Austin Prep, in its fifth Super 8 tournament appearance, has never won the title.
On the shoulders of sophomore Ara Nazarian, Malden Catholic defeated Catholic Memorial, 5-3, Wednesday to advance to the Super 8 final. The Lancers forward had a hat trick, sealing the game with an empty-net goal with 30 seconds left.
Nazarian also netted his fourth shorthanded goal of the tournament.
Mike Iovanna, the captain for Malden Catholic and one of only three seniors in the lineup, puts the Lancers ahead with 2:52 remaining before Catholic Memorial pulled its goalie.
The game marked the third meeting this season between the Catholic Conference rivals, and Malden Catholic's 10th straight victory overall, counting its two wins over Springfield Cathedral in the first round of the Super 8. MC will defend its back-to-back Super 8 titles against Austin Prep or St. John's Prep.
Once again, Boston.com will be providing live coverage from the Super 8 tournament at Tsongas Center in Lowell for Wednesday's doubleheader.
The tournament is now into the semifinals, with Malden Catholic taking on Catholic Memorial at 6 p.m. followed by St. John's Prep vs. Austin Prep at 7:45 p.m.
Winners of each game will play in the Super 8 championship Sunday at TD Garden.
The schedule has been set for the Super 8 semifinals, which will feature a doubleheader at Tsongas Center in Lowell on Wednesday.
At 6 p.m., Malden Catholic will take on Catholic Memorial before St. John's Prep faces Austin Prep at 7:45 p.m.
The winner of each game advances to the Division 1A state championship Sunday at TD Garden.
STONEHAM – In a moment of desperation, BC High goaltender Peter Cronin went into split, sealing off the left post in an attempt to deny Catholic Memorial’s Liam Coughlin the easy wraparound goal.
All Coughlin had to do was aim high and he would be heralded a hero, and the senior captain never hesitated to deliver.
Coughlin snapped a wrist shot into the top right corner past an outstretched Cronin, with just 22.5 seconds remaining, to lift Catholic Memorial to a thrilling 3-2 win and series victory over BC High in the deciding Game 3 of the Super 8 first round Sunday at Stoneham Arena.
“‘Exaggerate high,’ is what our coaches tell us and it ended up going in and it was awesome,” Coughlin said.
On the play, the net shook from its moorings but the referees convened and decided the goal crossed the line before the net came loose.
“It definitely came off, but the referee was in good position and his explanation was that in the act of shooting, if the net comes off, it’s a good goal,” BC High coach John Flaherty said. “I have to trust that.”
It was a storybook ending to this year’s chapter of one of the most riveting rivalries in high school hockey. BC High got the best of CM in two Catholic Conference matchups this season, and won the first game of the quarterfinals series, 3-1, last Sunday.
Catholic Memorial evened the series with a 3-2 shootout victory on Wednesday, forcing the third and final game.
“In games like this, big-time players have to step up and get the job done for you,” CM coach Bill Hanson said. “Liam [Coughlin] just showed what kind of hockey player he is and what kind of character he had.”
With the game tied 1-1 entering the third period, sophomore Alec Flynn snapped a shot passed CM freshman goaltender Brendan Collett (29 saves) to give BC High a 2-1 lead at 5:24.
Nearly three minutes later, Catholic Memorial freshman Kevin Hock corralled a loose puck and broke for on a 2-on-1 breakaway and found freshman Aaron Clancy, who kissed his shot off the post and past Cronin to tie the game.
“[Hock] made a really nice pass under the defenseman’s stick, and I knew I had to have a quick release because Cronin is one of the best in the state.”
In the first period, BC High (15-5-3) jumped to a 1-0 lead on Patrick Kramer’s power play goal.
The Knights, who committed four penalties in the first period, settled in throughout the game. In the second period, on a delayed penalty call, Coughlin scored the equalizer on a pass from Clancy.
“We took a couple needless penalties,” Hanson said. “But we’ve killed penalties all year long and we survived it.”
Catholic Memorial (14-7-2) will face Malden Catholic (14-6-3) in a one game semifinal on Wednesday at Tsongas Center in Lowell.
We'll be doing live coverage from the Super 8 tournament tonight at Stoneham Arena again.
Correspondents Alex Hall and Anthony Gulizia will have you covered throughout tonight's doubleheader, featuring BC High (1-1) vs. Catholic Memorial (1-1) and St. John's Prep vs. Central Catholic (1-1).
Tonight's games will conclude the first round of the tournament.
You can follow along on the Super 8 live blog here for updates, commentary, and photos.
The final games of the first round of the Super 8 tournament have been scheduled.
BC High (1-1) will play Catholic Memorial (1-1) at 4 p.m. before St. John's Prep (1-1) takes on Central Catholic (1-1) at 6 p.m. Sunday.
Both games will be played at Stoneham Arena.
Winners will advance to the semifinals, which will be played Wednesday March 13 at Tsongas.
The winner of the BC High-Catholic Memorial series will face Malden Catholic and the winner of the St. John's Prep-Central Catholic series will take on Austin Prep.
Highlights and takeaways from Friday night's Super 8 doubleheader where Malden Catholic eliminating Springfield Cathedral and St. John's Prep forcing a Game 3 against Central Catholic.
STONEHAM -- Despite arguably the best performance by a goalie in the first round of the Super 8 tournament, Central Catholic fell, 3-1, to St. John's Prep Friday night at Stoneham Arena.
With the win, St. John's Prep forces a decisive third game in the best-of-three series.
Central Catholic goalie Colin Soucy had 37 saves on the night but all it took was three mistakes to send St. John's Prep home with the win. After a short-handed goal by Central Catholic's Lloyd Hayes eight minutes into the second period, St. John's Prep forward Justin Longo caught the Raiders off guard when he beat Soucy on the very next possession to tie the game at a goal apiece.
St. John's Prep senior Nic Gianelli scored the second goal for his team before teammate Jack McCarthy added an empty netter with little more than a minute left in the third period.
St. John's Prep and Central Catholic will return to Stoneham Arena Sunday for Game 3.
STONEHAM -- Ara Nazarian contributed two goals for the second straight game, helping Malden Catholic beat Springfield Cathedral, 4-0, to advance to the second round of the Super 8 tournament at Stoneham Arena.
Malden Catholic's defense, led by Casey Fitzgerald and John McLean, used a physical play that stymied the Panthers, who only got out four shots in the final frame. MC advances to the Super 8 semifinals for the sixth straight year as they look to defend their back-to-back titles in the Division 1A tournament.
After a scoreless first period, Springfield Cathedral came out strong to start the second period but could not sustain the pace and ultimately the Lancers gained control of the game. Malden Catholic outshot Springfield Cathedral, 12-6, in the period and got one through at the 9:55 mark when an Austin Goldstein shot was banged home on the doorstep by Matt Filipe.
In the third period, Nazarian blasted home a rebound from the slot to put Malden Catholic up, 2-0, just 48 seconds into the final frame. He got his second score not too long later, a short-handed goal from teammates Fitzgerald and Michael Iovanna. It was Nazarian's third short-handed goal in the best-of-three series.
Fitzgerald tipped in a pass from Filipe on a power play to ice the game with 40 seconds left.
Malden Catholic will play the winner of the BC High-Catholic Memorial series, which is tied 1-1, in the semifinals.
STONEHAM -- We'll be doing live coverage of Friday night's Super 8 doubleheader at Stoneham Arena again.
We'll have updates, including commentary, photos, and video in our live blog here.
Tonight's doubleheader features Malden Catholic (1-0) vs. Springfield Cathedral (0-1) at 5:30 p.m. and Central Catholic (1-0) vs. St. John's Prep (0-1) at 8 p.m. in the first round's best-of-three series.
The Super 8 hockey tournament games slated for Friday night will be played as scheduled, according to the MIAA.
Friday's doubleheader, featuring Springfield Cathedral vs. Malden Catholic (5:30 p.m.) and Central Catholic vs. St. John's Prep (8 p.m.) at Stoneham Arena, had already been pushed back a day because of the winter storm.
The MIAA will offer another update on the schedule of games at noon.
STONEHAM -- Austin Prep defeated Reading, 1-0, thanks to an early goal by Cam Russo to bury the Rockets at Stoneham Arena and advance in the Super 8 tournament.
With the victory, Austin Prep eliminated Reading in the best-of-three series iand will move on to the second round against the winner of the St. John's Prep and Central Catholic series.
Austin Prep capitalized on an earl power-play opportunity, with Russo scoring a goal on a rebound at 14:17 in the first period.
Reading had chance after chance in this game to get on the scoreboard, but AP goalie Elijah Harris refused to leave Stoneham without a victory despite having nine shots flung his way in the third period when the Rockets looked their most dangerous. The sophomore goalie held on and delivered his team a shutout night.
STONEHAM -- Catholic Memorial gave up a lead with 28 seconds left in regulation before hitting three straight shootout attempts to beat BC High, 3-2, and force a third game in the best-of-three series to be held Sunday.
Freshman defenseman Tim Weinstein nailed the final shootout attempt to seal it for the Knights.
For the second straight game, Catholic Memorial (13-7-2) brought the intensity in the first period, taking advantage of its energy with two goals in the opening 15 minutes as BC High (15-3-4) wiped off the dust.
CM senior John Maher opened it up with a rebound goal in the 10th minute. Keeping the pressure on BC High goalie Peter Cronin, who stopped 23 of 24 shots in the first game, the Knights struck again three minutes later.
Picking up the puck in his own zone, Frank Cosolito seamed a pass up-ice that found Jack O'Hear and created a two-on-one. O'Hear set it on a tee for freshman Kevin Hock, who buried his 12th goal of the year.
BC High put it together for a strong second period, attacking goalie Brendan Collett with a barrage of shots, most coming from the outside. Jake Lemanski put BC High on the board with a rebound goal four minutes in, but the Eagles couldn't convert on an array of chances, including several on the power play, later in the second.
With desperation sinking in and less than a minute remaining in the third, BC High pulled goalie Peter Cronin to add an extra attacker. Bodies flying every which way, captain Tom Besinger sensed chaos and sent the puck from the corner across the goal mouth. The opportunistic Ryan Shea was there to slam it in and give the Eagles new life with 28 seconds to go.
Chances were plentiful on both sides in the overtime period, but neither could convert.
The Knights scored three of six in the shootout. The Eagles scored two.
We'll be doing live coverage of the Super 8 tournament tonight, a doubleheader featuring BC High vs. Catholic Memorial and Austin Prep vs. Reading.
BC High (1-0) and Austin Prep (1-0) can close out their best-of-three series against Catholic Memorial (0-1) and Reading (0-1).
You can follow all of our updates -- including commentary, videos, and photos -- here.
Highlights and analysis from the first set of games in the first round of the Super 8 tournament.
Follow all of our coverage of the Super 8 tournament in our live blog.
LOWELL — Austin Prep used an early goal from freshman Jake McKenelley and an empty-netter to defeat Reading, 2-1, in the opening game of their Super 8 tournament series at Tsongas Arena in Lowell.
Reading rallied furiously in the third period, scoring with 22.2 seconds to play, but the Cougars held on.
Austin Prep’s Andrew Cross was called for roughing in the final minutes, but Eric MacAdams’s clear during six-on-four play found the back of the Rockets’ net to put AP up 2-0.
Reading’s Ryan Thomson scored with 22.2 seconds to play, but that’s where things stayed.
AP outshot the Rockets 31-24 on the night.
Reading took a holding penalty early on, and it looked as though it had dodged a bullet when Austin Prep’s Andrew Cross was called for tripping just seconds into the man-advantage. However, the Cougars responded on the next faceoff with MacAdams’s goal anyway.
Austin Prep sophomore forward Bob Carpenter went flying toward the net on the left side and flipped a backhanded shot on Reading goaltender Evan Morelli. The senior captain made the save, but the rebound went straight to freshman McKenelley, who found the back of the net for the 12th time this season to put AP up, 1-0, 4:52 into the first.
The Cougars lead the series 1-0 and the teams will play again 7:45 p.m. Wednesday at Stoneham Arena.
LOWELL — The chances mounted for Springfield Cathedral in the third period as they chased a one-goal deficit with the help of three power play opportunities.
But Malden Catholic goaltender Connor Maloney stood tall and turned away nine shots in the final period to help the Lancers secure a 3-2 win against Springfield Cathedral Sunday at Tsongas Arena in the first game of the best-of-three Super 8 quarterfinals.
It appeared as if Springfield Cathedral was going to steal the game after scoring two goals early in the second period. Sophomore forward Peter Crinella scored to tie the game, 1-1, and then two minutes later Artie Potter landed a one-timer from Nick Chaoush to give the Panthers a 2-1 advantage.
However, MC was sparked to life after Casey Fitzgerald’s elbowing penalty put the Panthers on the power play. The Panthers struggled to take advantage and Malden Catholic sophomore Ara Nazarian scored a pair of short-handed goals 26 seconds apart to give his team a 3-2 lead.
The first slipped over Liquori’s shoulder, but Cathedral’s goalie had no chance on the second one as Malden Catholic charged on a 3-on-1 breakaway. Tyler Sifferlen and Mike Iovanna assisted the second score. Iovanna also assisted Nazarian’s first score.
In the first period, Sifferlen gave the Lancers a 1-0 lead when he tipped in a shot from Nazarian. Maloney made 16 saves, while Liquori made 21.
The next game in the series will be 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Stoneham Arena.
LOWELL — Patience, patience, patience – and good goaltending – was the recipe for BC High on Sunday as the Eagles kicked off their Super 8 series against Catholic Memorial with a let’s-take-it-and-get-out-of-here 3-1 win.
Third-ranked BC High (15-3-3) got out to an early lead when Adam Foley put away a shot from the slot, but the puck spent the rest of the first period and majority of the second in the Eagles’ zone.
The sixth-ranked Knights (12-7-2), who have been playing inspired hockey after an 0-5-2 stretch from Jan. 12 to Feb. 2, played an aggressive game that fed off a mechanical forecheck and slithery forward in Liam Coughlin.
Coughlin had his chances, many in the opening two periods, as he was often found lurking around the slot. But BC High goalie Peter Cronin, who finished with 23 saves, was tough to crack.
CM got on the board in the second when Jack O’Hear poked in a loose puck on the power play.
The Knights kept the pressure on, out-shooting the Eagles 11-5 in the second frame as BC High seemed content with packing it in around the net and hoping for fast-break chances.
In the third, the Eagles finally appeared energized, controlling much of the possession and taking a lead when Steve DeForge intercepted a pass in CM’s zone and sniped a wrister top-shelf.
Patrick Kramer finished things off with a rebound-goal on the power play late in the third.
LOWELL — Central Catholic junior Kevin Regan scored the go-ahead goal just a minute into the 2nd period Sunday afternoon as the eighth-seeded Raiders downed top seed St. John’s Prep 4-1 at Tsongas Center in Lowell to kick off the Super 8 tournament.
After a dump into the zone by Central Catholic sophomore Billy Stahley, classmate Christian Thompson put a nice pass in front of the net. Regan tapped it in as Price was expecting the puck to come around the other side to give Central a lead they’d never relinquish at 2-1.
The biggest story, however, was the goaltending. Central Catholic junior Colin Soucy made 24 saves, many of which dazzled spectators, highlighted by a diving stop on St. John’s Prep captain Brian Pinho’s breakaway in the second period to preserve the then one-goal lead for Central. In addition to Soucy’s play, all of Central Catholic’s defenders played excellent in front of him, stopping several Grade-A chances before they were fired.
Scoring was opened in the first by Central Catholic’s Lloyd Hayes, who put a rebound 5-hole on Price from Alex Lester and Corey Webber just 5:08 into the game. Prep would tie it a few minutes later at 10:37 on a power-play goal from Jimmy Currier, who backhanded a rebound from Tyler Bird.
Central Catholic senior captain Nick Gorski scored an unassisted goal on a power play at 9:32 in the second period to make it 3-1. Alex Lester capped the scoring 1:49 into the third, with assists from Regan and Hayes.
The Super 8 tournament is set to start on Sunday with four games to begin each first-round series.
Follow the Super 8 throughout the tournament on Boston.com for all news updates, commentary, photos, and video in our live blog.
Today's games begin at noon, with St. John's Prep taking on Central Catholic, before BC High plays Catholic Memorial at 2:15 p.m., followed by Springfield Cathedral against Malden Catholic at 4:30 p.m., and Austin Prep vs. Reading at 6:45 p.m. All games are Tsongas Arena in Lowell.
The first round is a best-of-three series.
The first round of the Super 8 is coming up on Sunday and we're underway here at the Globe getting ready for all the games. Here is our video preview with high school sports editor Bob Holmes and hockey correspondent Alex Hall. The question we ask, who has the hot goalie? Any thoughts on that? Leave 'em in the comments.
Malden Catholic was the last team to qualify for the Super 8 play-in field but did its best to look like the No. 1 seed in the tournament Monday night. The Lancers defeated Archbishop Williams 9-1 at Stoneham Arena.
The Lancers tallied five goals in just the first period of play.
Unlike their opponent, the Bishops were unable to get anything going offensively. They finished the game with just nine shots on goal compared to 43 by Malden Catholic.
MC scored four more goals over the second and third periods, with Archies' lone goal coming with two minutes left in the contest. Junior Mike Jessman scored for the Bishops but it was far too late for his team.
The Lancers move on as the No. 7 seed in the Super 8 field and will take on Springfield Cathedral at Tsongas Arena in Lowell Sunday. Archbishop Williams drops into the Division 1 tournament to be seeded in the South.
The Hingham Harbormen jumped on Super 8 play-in opponent Central Catholic early in Monday night's game but were unable to shut the door on the Raiders. Despite a 3-0 lead in the middle of the second period, the Harbormen fell to Central Catholic 4-3 in overtime at the Stoneham Arena.
The Raiders' comeback started with just two minutes left in the second period when senior defenseman Nick Gorski scored on a 4-on-4 opportunity. Central came out in the third period flying around the rink and were able to net two goals and bring the game into overtime.
Adding to the drama, the sudden death overtime period was scoreless until the 13-minute mark, with junior forward Corey Webber scoring the game-winning goal with 2:06 left on the clock.
The Raiders are now the No. 8 seed in the Super 8 and will take on St. John's Prep in a best of three series. Hingham will drop down into the Division 1 tournament where it will be seeded in the South.
The MIAA announced the seedings for the Super 8 hockey tournament Saturday with St. John's Prep leading the field as the top seed.
Four of the teams are from the Catholic Conference. After Prep, Springfield Cathedral is No. 2, followed by No. 3 BC High, No. 4 Austin Prep, Reading at No. 5 and Catholic Memorial at No. 6. Those six advance to the first round of the tournament Sunday, March 3, at Tsongas Arena in Lowell.
The remainder of the field must play their way into the tournament with wins in the play-in games on Monday at Stoneham Arena.
At No. 7 is Archbishop Williams, followed by Central Catholic, Hingham and No. 10 seed and defending champion Malden Catholic. Archbishop Williams will play MC and Central Catholic plays Hingham with the winners advancing to Lowell. The losers will drop into the Division 1 tournament and be seeded No.1.
The first step in having a great tournament is having great teams, and the Super 8 selection committee gets the process started Saturday morning at MIAA headquarters in Franklin. The committee of coaches, athletic directors and school administrators will select the 10 schools that all hope to be skating on the Garden ice in three weeks.
The Committee will pick six teams that automatically make the Super 8, then four more schools that will square off in the two play-in contests with the No. 7 seed playing No. 10, and No. 8 facing No. 9. Those games are Monday at Stoneham Arena at 5:30 and 8 p.m. The two winners then join the Super 8 field as the No. 7 and 8 seeds. The losers join their respective Division 1 tournaments as the top seeds.
The Super 8 then gets underway at Tsongas Arena in Lowell on Sunday, March 3, with the first of four games scheduled for noon. The tournament has changed its format this year and will follow a Hockey East style playoff format with four best two-out-of-three series. Winners advance to the semifinals on Wed., March 13. The state championship is at TD Garden on Sunday, March 17.
With Central Catholic and Hingham knocking off Chelmsford and Winchester respectively, the Lions and Sachems' Super 8 chances each got a little dimmer. Both were the underdog in their Monday matchups, but losing to fellow Super 8 hopefuls this late in the season is the opposite of helpful.
The loss for Chelmsford (11-3-4, 9-2-2) keeps them behind Central Catholic (11-2-3, 9-0-1) in the Merrimack Valley Conference. Chelmsford hadn’t lost a game since its last meeting with CC back on Jan. 12, but hadn’t played a team the caliber of the Raiders since then either. The only real threat the Lions played over their recent winning streak was Xaverian, whom they tied 3-3. Chelmsford’s road to the TD Garden just got bumpier with just three games left in its regular season.
Winchester (11-4-2, 9-3-2) suffered yet another loss to a big-name school in the team's past five contests, previously falling 5-0 to Reading on Jan. 30 and 1-0 to Wilmington on Jan. 26. The Sachems even had a difficult time against Woburn -- just one game prior to losing to Hingham -- winning that game by a score of 3-2. At this point, the Middlesex League is Reading’s for the taking at 14-1-4 (11-0-3). Winchester doesn’t have a great chance of rallying to secure the league title and has to play Barnstable on Feb. 20 to start the Cape Cod Hockey Showdown tournament. It’s hard to see the Sachems getting their name called come Super 8 selection day.
Key games ahead on Saturday
Springfield Cathedral vs. St. John’s Prep
The top two teams in the Globe top 20 are facing off down in Springfield in a game that has Super 8 seeding implications. The Panthers will be facing one of the top three Globe teams in consecutive weeks. Cathedral (14-0-2) tied BC High, 2-2 ,in the second meeting of the season between the two teams. St. John’s Prep (13-2) hasn’t lost since Jan. 9 when it fell 2-0 against the Eagles and the Panthers are undefeated on the season. If this game ends in anything but a tie, the result will certainly have affect where each team gets seeded.
BC High vs. Duxbury (Cape Cod Classic Tournament)
With the exception of a few notable games against the likes of Marshfield and Barnstable among others, the Green Dragons have played a pretty empty schedule this season. Duxbury might be 12-1-4 on the season but the Eagles are easily its toughest test of the year. If the Green Dragons can beat or even tie BC High (9-2-3), chances are they’ll move up the top 20 rankings and impress more than a few Super 8 decision makers. Knocking off Duxbury wouldn’t do much for the Eagles, but it would help further solidify their claim to being one of the top three teams in the state.
Braintree vs. Catholic Memorial
Catholic Memorial head coach Bill Hanson openly admitted after his team's 4-3 loss to BC High on Feb. 2 that his young players have suffered from a mental breakdown. The Knights have lost or tied in their last seven contests, with their last victory coming against Malden Catholic back on Jan. 8. The Wamps are no strangers to tough competition this season, playing in the Bay State Conference against the likes of Framingham and Norwood. Catholic Memorial (8-5-2) needs this victory to get back on the right track but a loss makes a big case for the Wamps (13-3-1) in the Super 8 discussion.
Wilmington vs. Reading
Wilmington, in all likelihood, needs to win the rest of its games to have a chance at making the Super 8 tournament as a Division 2 team. That’s going to be tough considering Wilmington plays Reading this Saturday and then Tewksbury on Feb. 20. The Rockets have been cruising through this hockey season and dashing Wilmington’s hopes at a Super 8 berth would another feather in an already crowded hat for them. Reading is 14-1-4 so far this season, defeating the likes of Winchester, Xaverian and sweeping its two meetings with Lexington this year.
The Super 8 committee has some difficult decisions to make come Feb. 23 when the tournament-bound teams are announced, but consider this your personal cheat sheet to what the decision-makers will be discussing.
There’s still more than two weeks of hockey left to play, but there are already several teams that are shoo-ins, with the rest still fighting to punch their ticket. Here’s an in-depth look into the definite, probable and long shot bids for the 2013 Super 8 tournament.
Springfield Cathedral Panthers
Pros: The Panthers have taken down the likes of BC High back on Jan. 12, Archbishop Williams on Dec. 22 and destroyed most of their other opponents. Cathedral is undefeated, has just two ties and has scored 79 goals through 15 games. That comes out to an average of more than five goals per game. It’s hard to beat a team when you have to score more than six goals on average to take it down.
Cons: Cathedral could use a few more big wins to solidify the No. 1 seed in the tournament, with one of its best chances to do so coming on the road against in its second meeting with BC High on Feb. 7. A season sweep of the Eagles would be huge for the Panthers and barring a loss against St. John’s Prep Feb. 16, all but ensure the tournament’s No. 1 seed.
Games remaining: Feb. 7 at BC High, Feb. 9 vs. Mt. St. Charles Academy (RI), Feb. 14 at St. John’s (S), Feb. 16 vs. St. John’s Prep, Feb. 20 vs. Needham, Feb. 21 vs. St. Mary’s or Malden Catholic (tournament game)
St. John’s Prep
Pros: St. John’s Prep is close to clinching the Catholic Conference title with a 7-1 conference record and 13-2 record overall. The Eagles have been on a roll as of late, defeating Malden Catholic, BC High, Catholic Memorial, and Xaverian twice in their past six games. Upcoming games against Arlington Catholic Feb. 16 and the Cathedral game 10 days later are the biggest hurdles in the Prep’s way for the rest of the season. Regardless though, the team will in all likelihood finish either No. 1 or No. 2 in the Catholic Conference and thus make the tournament.
Cons: The Prep’s only real problem right now is the two losses, one of which came against BC High on Jan. 9. St. John’s did avenge that loss and defeat BC High in the second meeting on Jan. 26. What could derail one of the top two seeds for the Prep in the Super 8 would be a loss to either AC or Cathedral to end the year. As long as it finishes in the top two in the Catholic Conference though, the Prep will be skating in the tournament this season.
Games remaining: Feb. 6 at Arlington Catholic, Feb. 9 at St. John’s (S), Feb. 13 at Bishop Fenwick, Feb. 16 at Springfield Cathedral, Feb. 20 vs. Wakefield
Pros: The Eagles have one of the Commonwealth’s best goalies in Peter Cronin and top playmakers in Tom Besigner. It’s not often you see Besigner end a game without an assist or goal and Cronin has only surrendered more than two goals three times this season. BC High is going to be in the Super 8 and will be one of the hardest teams to score against in the field.
Cons: The Eagles were the Globe’s top ranked team for some time earlier this season but they’ve had some tough times since losing to Cathedral on Jan. 12. Coach John Flaherty’s team lost to the Prep and face off with the Panthers Feb. 7. BC High still has an outside chance at the Catholic Conference title and a top three seed in the Super 8 but it needs to get back on track starting against Cathedral at UMass-Boston this week.
Games Remaining: Feb. 7 vs. BC High, Feb. 13 at St. Mary’s Lynn, Feb. 16 vs. Duxbury (Cape Cod Classic) Feb. 22 at St. John’s (S)
Pros: First in the Middlesex League, recently crushed second place Winchester, 5-0, and has lost just one game this whole season. The Rockets have been doing their best to show the Massachusetts hockey scene they’re for real and it’s kind of hard to say they’re not right now.
Cons: Lost to BC High Dec. 29 which was one of Reading’s most notable opponents all season. They score plenty of goals with 61 this season but some of the Rockets’ opponents this season aren’t as strong. Reading can and should finish the season undefeated in the league though, which will be a big help seeding wise in the Super 8.
Games remaining: Feb. 4 vs. Burlington, Feb. 6 vs. Belmont, Feb. 9 at Arlington, Feb. 13 vs. Woburn, Feb. 16 at Wilmington.
Pros: Rallied to tie Cathedral on Jan. 21, 8-0-1 and first in the Merrimack Valley Conference with 63 goals on the year. As long as CC wraps up the MVC, expect to see them as one of the first names announced for the Super 8.
Cons: A win against Cathedral would have been much more impressive than a tie, but the rally in the third period helps make up for that. With several tough contests left on the schedule, it’ll be interesting to see how the Raiders wind out the season, which will end up determining when and who they play in the tournament.
Games remaining: Feb. 6 at Malden Catholic, Feb. 9 at Chelmsford, Feb. 13 vs. Waltham, Feb. 16 at Andover, Feb. 18 at Catholic Memorial.
Pros: The Cougars are fresh off a Feb. 2 win over Arlington Catholic, defeated Central Catholic Jan. 9 and tied CC in the second meeting. Whoever wins the Catholic Central League will be in the tournament. Austin Prep is tied with Archbishop Williams so the selection of AP as a "definite" here could just as easily have been the Archies.
Cons: Prep doesn't have much in the ways of cons but the season may very well come down to the Feb. 13 game between the Bishops and Cougars. Unless either the aforementioned teams lose before then, that's where the Catholic Central League will be decided.
Games Remaining: Feb. 6 vs. Matignon, Feb. 9 at Andover, Feb. 13 vs. Archbishop Williams, Feb. 18 vs. Hingham (Cape Cod Classic)
Pros: The Knights started the season annihilating teams, outscoring their first three opponents 15-5 to start the year. Captains Liam Coughlin and Jack O’Hear are two of the best forwards you can ask for on offense. CM beat Malden Catholic, 7-4, on Jan. 8 and defeated three days prior to that contest.
Cons: CM has lost its mental edge of late, losing to MC, St. John’s Prep, BC High and Barnstable over its past five contests. The Barnstable loss doesn’t count against the Knights’ overall record but it doesn’t help win over any committee members either.
Games remaining: Feb. 9 vs. Xaverian, Feb. 16 at Braintree, Feb. 18 vs. Central Catholic, Feb. 20 at Fairfield College Prep (CT)
Pros: Leading the Carey Division in the Bay State Conference with a 10-2 league record and wins over Weymouth and Framingham. The 2011 Super 8 tournament saw two BSC teams taken which helps the Wamps’ chances of being invited to the dance.
Cons: Braintree lost to Framingham in the two teams' first meeting of the season on Jan. 5 along and picked up two losses to Division 2 Newburyport and Barnstable during the Cape Cod Freezeout tournament.
Games remaining: Feb. 6 at Needham, Feb. 9 vs. Weymouth, Feb. 13 vs. Walpole, Feb. 16 vs. Catholic Memorial, Feb. 19 vs. St. Peter Marian, Feb. 21 at Brockton
Pros: A history of Super 8 appearances and success in the tournament helps the Harbormen. The 11-5-1 record is good, not great, but the 2010 Super 8 champions have some notable games coming up to boost their record and public opinion.
Cons: Hingham took losses to almost every big name opponent this year, including St. John’s Prep, Malden Catholic, Catholic Memorial, Cathedral and tied with Reading.
Games remaining: Feb. 9 at Marshfield, Feb. 11 vs. Winchester, Feb. 16 vs. Austin Prep (Cape Cod Classic)
Pros: The Archies are tied with Austin Prep atop the Catholic Central Conference and are currently undefeated in league play, so feel free to consider them on the same level as AP. The Bishops crushed Arlington Catholic, 7-2, back on Jan. 26 after tying 1-1 earlier in the season. They also tied Austin Prep and beat Chelmsford in the Cape Cod Cup.
Cons: The Archies only chance to add another big win comes against Austin Prep on Feb. 13, though that could change if things go the Bishops’ way in the Cape Cod Classic.
Games remaining: Feb. 6 vs. Bishop Fenwick, Feb. 13 at Austin Prep, Feb. 16 vs. Waltham (Cape Cod Classic)
Pros: It might be a tad unfair to call the Red Raiders a long shot considering some of their big tournament wins. Barnstable beat Braintree in the Cape Cod Freezeout consolation game after losing to Cathedral in a shootout the round prior. They also defeated Catholic Memorial in the Nate Nickerson Invitational via shootout before defeating Falmouth (ME) to win the tournament.
Cons: Other than those wins and a tie against Duxbury to start the season, there’s not a whole lot of tough competition on Barnstable’s record. Figuring in the Red Raiders have never been in the Super 8 is also something to consider.
Games remaining: Feb. 6 at Bridgewater-Raynham, Feb. 13 vs. Falmouth, Feb. 18 at Marshfield, Feb. 20 vs. Winchester (Cape Cod Hockey Showdown), Feb. 21 vs. Mansfield or Westfield (Cape Cod Hockey Showdown)
Pros: Division 2 Wilmington is the No. 1 team in the Middlesex League’s Freedom division, with just one loss to a division foe all year. The defending Division 2 state champion Wildcats also pulled out a big win against Winchester Jan. 26 and lost to Malden Catholic by just one goal on Jan. 14. If a Division 2 team is to make the Super 8, it could be Wilmington. The schedule proves they can play with the big boys.
Cons: Being a Division 2 team is a concern in the committee’s eyes and maybe, just maybe, Wilmington would say "thanks, but no thanks" to a Super 8 invite. But wins over Burlington and Reading to end the season might change their minds.
Games remaining: Feb. 6 vs. Melrose, Feb. 9 vs. Wakefield, Feb. 13 at Burlington, Feb. 16 vs. Reading, Feb. 18 at Acton-Boxboro, Feb. 20 vs. Tewksbury
Pros: The Panthers have absolutely owned practically every team they’ve played this season, with a 13-0-1 record and 70 goals scored so far. The only tie came against Newburyport on the road in a 0-0 stalemate.
Cons: If D2 is bad for Wilmington, then it’s worse for the Panthers. At least in the Wildcats’ case, they’ve beat some big name teams like Winchester and they play in a Division 1 league. Beverly hasn’t played any top teams this year which gives them little leverage when trying to compare its resume to Wilmington’s. A good Division 2 team, it’s hard to see Beverly getting, or wanting, a bid.
Games remaining: Feb. 9 at Winthrop, Feb. 13 vs. Danvers, Feb. 16 vs. Gloucester, Feb. 18 at Peabody, Feb. 20 at Lynnfield, Feb. 22 vs. Marblehead
Malden Catholic beat BC High 3-1 for the Super 8 championship at TD Garden. Globe correspondent Craig Forde recaps the game with highlights and interviews.
Trailing 1-0 after one period, the defending Super 8 champions Malden Catholic dug deep, grinding out a 3-1 victory over BC High in honor of their head coach Chris Serino, who has been battling throat cancer and was unable to lead the team from the bench all season long.
Sam Topham gave BC High a quick 1-0 lead when he flew down the left wing and tossed a shot on net from a tough angle, but the puck found a slice of space between goalie Connor Maloney and the post to put the Eagles up 1:58 into the game.
The Lancers offense picked up in the second period and fired 17 shots on BC High goalie Peter Cronin, who was more than up for the task, stopping all but one.
The one that Cronin couldn’t contain came off the stick of Malden Catholic captain Brendan Collier who collected a pass from Ryan Fitzgerald on the left side of the net, faked Cronin down to the ice and took it backhand on the right side to knot the game, 1-1, which is where it would stay heading into the third period.
Nick Rolli made a big play stepping up into the slot to shuffle a pass down to Mike Iovanna who backhanded the puck home on the left doorstop for a 2-1 MC lead with less than seven minutes to play in the third period.
Casey Fitzgerald closed out the scoring with an empty-netter and Serino joined his team on ice as the Lancers picked up their second straight Super 8 crown.
Join us for a live chat at TD Garden as we cover the Super 8 hockey final between Malden Catholic and BC High. Chat starts at 6 p.m.
Globe correspondents Craig Forde and Ryan Mooney preview the Super 8 final betwen defending champions Malden Catholic and BC High.
NORTH ANDOVER -- BC High didn’t make it through group play in the Super 8 hockey tournament unscathed, but the Eagles soared when it mattered most.
BC High’s 3-2 win over St. John’s Prep at Lawler Arena Wednesday gave the Eagles (13-6-5) the season series with their Catholic Conference rivals, and, more importantly, their first trip to the TD Garden and the Super 8 finals since 2007.
“These kids are spoiled,” joked BC High coach John Flaherty. “They played at Fenway this year, now they get a chance to play at TD Garden ... and they earned it. We knew what the prize was, we knew the opportunity to play there, we had to get by this team, and our guys earned it. They worked hard and now they get to reap the rewards.”
St. John’s (16-6-2) didn’t look like the team that entered the crossover round undefeated in tournament play. Muddled play in their own zone led to turnovers and opportunities for BC High.
“We had a difficult time handling the puck tonight,” St. John’s coach Kristian Hanson said. “Mishandled it quite a bit ... we just weren’t as crisp and smooth as we have been throughout the entire tournament.”
Evan LeClerc pulled St. John’s even at 9:04 of the third period, only to have Chris LaLiberte put BC High back on top and provide the final margin 29 seconds later by getting his stick on a loose puck after a chaotic scrum in front of St. John’s netminder David Letarte (13 saves).
“You have to strike right back,” Flaherty said. “And when we did that I felt good about how the game was going.”
“We weren’t content with a one goal lead,” said senior captain Matt Sullivan. “They scored another goal, which we were expecting, and Chris LaLiberte did a great job, he kept at it and scored the game winner for us.”
Lucky to be scoreless after St. John’s defenseman Nick Pandelena put a rocket off the left post, Tom Besinger gave BC High the early lead with a wraparound at 7:26 of the opening period. Besinger came out of a scrum in the corner, carried the puck behind the net and popped it in to the right of Letarte.
The St. John’s power-play unit went to work for the first time with just under five minutes remaining in the first. With Ryan McDonough in the box for tripping, Pandelena went top shelf on BC High goalie Peter Cronin (18 saves) from the right circle after a brilliant setup from Sam Kurker and Brian Pinho.
BC High took its second lead of the game late in the second period. Letarte caught a Steve DeForge shot from the slot with his stick, sending it wide to the end boards. After a short battle, Tim Larocque came up with it on Letarte’s left. His wraparound bid was deflected, but ricocheted up and over the sprawling Letarte with less than two minutes remaining in the period.
Join us for a live chat today at Merrimack College where we'll be covering the crossover round of the Super 8 ice hockey tournament. We'll have updates for both games right here.
Defending champion Malden Catholic advanced to the crossover round along with BC High, St. John’s Prep and Central Catholic. Here's highlights from Sunday's action at Merrimack College.
Malden Catholic, the defending champion of the Division 1A tournament, will be matched against Central Catholic (Wednesday, 8 p.m., Merrimack College) after going 3-0 in Super 8 play and outscoring opponents 13-4. Central Catholic went 2-1 in the round-robin games.
On the other end of the bracket, BC High will take on St. John's Prep (Wednesday, 5:30 p.m.) Prep also went undefeated, while BC High was 2-1.
The two games for the crossover round will be held at Merrimack College's Lawler Arena.
However, confusion reigned when Springfield Cathedral pulled its goalie in the final minute of the third period despite having a 4-3 edge. Springfield Cathedral required a two-goal victory if it wanted to advance.
"If not for the format [of the tournament] we wouldn't have been alive today, so we can't complain about that," said Springfield coach Brian Foley. "Needing to win by two is definitely a different way to approach the game."
Springfield Cathedral came out with purpose and DJ Petruzzelli came through just 56 seconds into the game as he skated up the middle alone, faked right and deposited the puck in the open left side of the net for a 1-0 lead.
They continued to ratchet up the attack and Jordan Kozub stuffed home a rebound at the 11:44 mark of the first, followed by Frank Crinella doing the same less than a minute later for a 3-0 lead.
After sleepwalking through the first period, Ryan Daigle opened the Raiders' eyes when he picked off a pass in the neutral zone, skated in on the right wing and ripped one past John Liquori on a shorthanded bid to make it 3-1.
Central Catholic backup goalie Andrew Robbins replaced Williams to start the second and the senior stopped nine shots to keep the Raiders within two after two periods.
"Spotting them three goals early was not what we expected at all," said Central Catholic coach Mike Jankowski. "Coming back with Robbins in net sealed the deal. It's been a pretty special season."
The Raiders gained momentum on an early goal in the third, this time from Christian Thompson who fired one home from low on the left-side of Liquori to make it 3-2 at the 1:30 mark.
Less than two minutes later Nick Gorski got off a slap shot from high in the slot that sailed past Liquori to pull the Raiders even, 3-3.
Midway through the third, Crinella potted his second of the game to seize momentum back in favor of the Panthers.
That's when Springfield Cathedral pulled Liquori with less than a minute to play, while Central Catholic left Robbins in.
"They needed to win so I was expecting them to pull their goalie," Foley said. "They never pulled their goalie, which surprised me."
Central Catholic's Michael Kelleher picked off a pass and netted the game-tying goal with 13 seconds left in regulation, setting up the sixth overtime game in the tournament.
In overtime, Donahue nabbed a puck from the sticks of the Panthers and skated in with a defender draped on him, but managed to get off his shot as he was going down to the ice, scoring 4:20 into the extra frame.FULL ENTRY
After BC High eliminated St. John’s of Shrewsbury in the opening game, setting up a possible three-way tie between the Eagles, Hingham and Malden Catholic, Hingham was faced with the daunting task of not only taking down the only unbeaten team in Group 1, but doing it by at least three goals in order to win the goal differential tie-breaker.
But Malden Catholic (18-1-4) had its own agenda, and executed it flawlessly.
The Lancers’ top line of Brendan Collier (2 goals, 2 assists), Ryan Fitzgerald (3 goals, 1 assist) and Michael Iovanna (2 assists) torched Hingham for five goals as Malden Catholic thumped Hingham, 7-2, to win Group 1 outright and advance to the crossover round on Wednesday night.
“I’m very happy that we got the two points, that’s what we came here for,” Malden Catholic coach John McLean said. “I wasn’t very happy defensively how we played ... the first line did what they’re supposed to do. They have a lot of talent, they move the puck well, and when they get a chance they’ll put it in the net.”
Defensive miscues and open-net chances for Hingham had McLean on edge in the second period. Junior goaltender Connor Maloney finished with 12 saves on 14 shots.
“He stood on his head today,” defenseman Colin McGillivray said. “There was a lot of chances and he stopped them.”
“I thought Maloney did a great job,” McLean said. “We didn’t do a good job in our end, he came up with some huge saves ... the kids felt really good after the second period and I kind of blasted them ... [Hingham] probably missed three empty nets. It’s a different game if they put that puck in the net.”
Animosity on the ice grew with each Malden Catholic tally. By the time Collier scored on a shorthanded breakaway to extend the Lancers’ lead to 5 at 3:29 of the third period, roughing minors and matching penalties were being handed out frequently.
“Both teams want to win bad out here, so it’s going to get chippy,” Fitzgerald said. “So it was on both sides, but we just pulled through.”
“We talked to our guys ... you can’t get thrown out or you’re out of the tournament,” McLean said. “But I thought the refs did a good job.”
After a slow start with both sides struggling to get shots through traffic, Collier made a strong move to the net after a drop pass from Ryan Fitzgerald just inside the Hingham zone and deked around netminder John Grenier to put the Lancers up, 1-0, at 7:51 on the first shot of the game.
Less than three minutes later, Patrick Mannion picked Lancers defenseman Casey Fitzgerald's pocket at the Harbormen blue line, and turned MacGillivray inside out at the Lancers blue line to get in alone on Maloney before going top shelf for the equalizer.
As the odd-man rushes and breakaways continued, freshman Ara Nazarian entered the Hingham zone on a partial breakaway with just over three minutes left in the opening frame. Grenier came out of his crease aggressively and Nazarian went forehand to backhand, sliding the puck into an open net to put the Lancers back on top for good. Nazarian has scored in every tournament game so far.
“A lot of guys will take that shot from the outside,” McLean said. “He’ll take it right to the net and sacrifice his body to make a great play. He’s a dynamic player.” FULL ENTRY
The victory provided the Eagles with hope of moving on to the crossover round on Wednesday, but not before the outcome of the Hingham-Malden Catholic game played out.
“We could've quit, we could've have packed it away, but we didn’t,” said BC High coach John Flaherty. “I’m proud of the resilience. We dug our heels in, fought back and I’m proud of them for that.”
The Eagles jumped to a first period lead when, 30 seconds into a power play, Sam Topham wound up from the point with a blast that Mario Pizzeri (37 saves) kicked off to his right. Matt Sullivan was camped in the left circle and pushed forward, pounced on the rebound and deposited it into the open left side of the net for a 1-0 lead at the 6:45 mark.
The Pioneers got on the board in the second, when Topham misfired as he tried to clear the puck out from behind his own net. The puck slowly drifted into the slot and Kevin Emmerling came in, popping it high over Peter Cronin’s left shoulder to tie the game at 6:18.
After a strong push in front of the Eagles net, Emmerling worked the puck behind the net and found Jay Duquette coming left-to-right into the slot where he wristed his shot glove side to beat Cronin (17 saves) high for a 2-1 lead, which would hold up heading into the third period.
A late, third period boarding call on St. John’s Andrew Smith gave the Eagles the man advantage with just 3:33 left in regulation and BC High worked its power play to perfection, cycling through the zone and firing point-blank shots on goal.
Tom Besinger launched a shot from the left side that Pizzeri saved, but the puck stopped at the base of his right pad and after whacking at it three more times, Besinger was finally able to tie the game.
Knowing they needed a two-goal win to even think about advancement, the Pioneers were forced to pull their goalie in a tie game, but could not muster enough of an attack in the final minute and the game went into overtime.
“I was telling them “see if we can get it down [in their zone] and call a timeout,”” said St. John’s coach Brian Murphy. “It was kind of strange in a 2-2 game to pull the goalie, but that’s what we had to do.”
Things got physical in the extra frame and both teams traded matching minors, leaving the penalty boxes congested with time ticking away in overtime.
Pioneers forward Chris Coveney started to take his puck out of the St. John’s zone, but was halted by Sullivan who ripped the puck from his stick, turned in the slot and fired a shot that beat Pizzeri glove-side.
“We made a quick change,” Sullivan said. “The defenseman got caught with the pucks between his skates, I shot the puck low and it went in.”FULL ENTRY
Trying to make sense of who is moving on and who is going home in the Division 1A hockey tournament is enough to drive a person crazy.
Once thing is certain — take note Springfield Cathedral and St. John’s (S) — everyone is still alive.
Now we must try and make sense of it all as we head into the final day of Super 8 pool play Sunday.
First and foremost, the top two teams in each bracket will advance, with the top teams crossing over to play the second-place teams from the opposite bracket Wednesday night.
If two teams finished tied for a spot, then their head-to-head result from the tournament will determine who advances and who gets the higher seed. The tricky part comes when three teams finish tied, which lines up numerous tie breakers scenarios.
The first tie breaker in a three-way tie would be goal differential (goals scored minus goals allowed), the second is goals quotient (goals scored divided by goals allowed) and the third and fourth tiebreakers involve the same as the first two tiebreakers, but only in games that these three play against each other. If somehow nothing has been decided after all of that, the fifth and final tiebreaker will be won by the team that was seeded highest coming into the Super 8.
Both Malden Catholic (+3 goal differential) and St. John’s Prep (+2 goal differential) are 2-0 atop their respective brackets and will advance with victories. If those two win out, then the next simplest formula would involve BC High (0 goal differential) and Central Catholic (0 goal differential), both currently 1-1, advancing with wins of their own.
Hingham (-1 goal differential) and St. Mary’s (0 goal differential), also 1-1, will be facing the 2-0 teams, and if they can pull off victories, then we will surely see the tie breakers come into play.
Which brings us back to Springfield Cathedral (-2 goal differential) and St. John’s (S) (-2 goal differential) who both sit at 0-2 and will need big wins to help their chances, but in doing so will also bring their opponents down to 1-2 with them. If either, or both, win then they will need the top seeds to finish 3-0 and force the three-way tie breakers to be implemented.
Last season we saw the three-way tiebreaker come into play, with Weymouth needing the second tiebreaker, goals quotient, to get into the crossover round.
BC High and St. John’s (S) kick off Sunday’s action at noon, followed by Malden Catholic vs. Hingham at 2:15 p.m., which will clear up the bracket 1 picture early in the day. If BC High wins in the first game then Hingham must beat MC, and by more than one goal for the purposes of tie breakers.
St. Mary’s and St. John’s Prep cap pool play at 7 p.m., following Central Catholic and Springfield Cathedral at 4:45 p.m. A Central Catholic victory will force St. Mary’s hand in the nightcap.
If your head is not spinning after all of this, then you are more than ready for a full day of action at Lawler Arena, where things will begin to clear up as the day plays out.
NORTH ANDOVER -- The final game of the second round in the Super 8 saw a sixth tournament game decided by one goal as St. John’s Prep escaped with a 4-3 win over Central Catholic at Lawler Arena on Wednesday night.
After getting blanked, 4-0, by the Prep in a regular-season matchup, the Raiders got a quick goal from Alex Lester at the 2:48 mark of the first period to gain the early advantage.
The Eagles worked their second power play of the game around the Raiders zone and Sam Kurker unloaded a shot from deep in the slot that was tipped in front by Andrew Brandano to tie the game at 8:15 of the first period.
The Prep put itself in a hole after a major boarding call on Brian Pinho was followed by a minor boarding call on Nick Pandelena and the Raiders took full advantage of the 5-on-3 situation with Ryan Daigle cashing in on the doorstep to put Central Catholic ahead, 2-1.
Brandano had a chance for his second of the night when he picked up a puck near the right post as Central goalie Kyle Williams went down to play it.
With Williams sprawled and the net open, Brandano's shot trickled across the goal mouth to the left side where it was cleared away by the Central defense.
The Eagles come out flying in the second period and wrested the lead from Central Catholic with two quick goals.
Derek Osbahr scored his second goal of the season at the 2:06 mark to pull the Eagles even and that was followed by a Sam Kurker (one goal, two assists) power play goal just a minute and half later, giving the Prep a 3-2 lead with less than four minutes expired.
The Prep would maintain its one-goal advantage heading into the third period and had a chance to increase the lead after gaining a power play opportunity two and half minutes in.
In the midst of killing the penalty, Raiders forward Michael Kelleher picked off the puck in the Eagles zone and deked David Letarte, then flipped it over his pads at 3:45 of the period.
Midway through the third, Brandano (two goals, one assist) broke free up the left side, collected the puck in the neutral zone, then skated in alone down the left wing and deposited his second of the game past Williams, putting the Eagles back on top for good, 4-3.
NORTH ANDOVER -- St. Mary’s of Lynn notched their program’s first Super 8 victory, 3-2, over Springfield Cathedral with captain Brendan Magaery’s scoring the game winning goal in the shootout at Lawler Arena Wednesday night.
“It’s a funny sport because last game we played great and lost in a shootout and today we played lousy and won in the shootout,” said St. Mary’s coach Mark Lee.
At 2:09 in the first period, the Spartans notched the first goal of the night as Cam O’Neill picked up the deflection from Drew DiMaiti, and floated in front of Cathedral’s John Liquori for the back handed wrap around on the left side of the net.
A little over three minutes later, Bobby Mullins dropped another for the Spartans at 5:35 when the junior forward received the pass from teammate Tim Aylward behind Cathedral’s net and drove it home at the left circle with a wrister above the pads of Liquori.
Cathedral’s Peter Crinella continued his Super 8 hot streak (2 goals, 2 assists), pulling the Panthers within one at 9:14, after the freshman forward won the offensive face-off on the left circle, and wristed it home above the shoulders of MacBurnie.
Springfield Cathedral scored the only goal in the second period at 6:08 to tie the game at 2-2, off of their second power play of the night. Cullen Geary wristed a blue line shot that got a friendly tip from a Panther stick to float by MacBurnie.
“Things just weren’t going our way and we just kept fighting and fighting,” Lee said. “We played good enough defense to keep us in it but I give a lot of credit to Springfield, they’re a great team.”
It was 2-2 at the end of regulation, a place where both teams had been before.
“They came out of the gate strong and we got off to a slow start, second game in a row in a 2-0 hole,” Springfield Cathedral coach Brian Foley said. “But we fought back and were confident in our goal scorers and goaltenders going into overtime and the shootout.”
Scoreless in overtime, both teams sent out five skaters to break the tie in a shootout.
Cathedral’s Matt Foley and Frank Crinella and St. Mary’s Bobby Mullins and Jarrod Fitzpatrick notched shootout goals leaving Magaery with the chance to win the game for the Spartans.
Magaery flew down the ice from the right ride, deked twice and snuck the puck left, under the pads of Cathedral’s Liquori.
“I had no plan going in, I felt like coming down I’d find my spot and go for it,” Magaery said. “I came down, he was coming more to the left so I wanted to deked back hand real quick, go left and luckily snuck it through. Its an unreal feeling.”
“I just want everybody to know, the guy who scored isn’t one of our biggest goal scorers,” Lee said. “He was our water boy when he was 6 years old, watching his older cousin play and go up through the ranks and now as a senior captain scoring the game-winning goal, that’s a sweet story right there.”
The No. 2 seed Spartans will have a tough uphill climb going 1-1 and facing St. John’s Prep on Sunday. Springfield Cathedral, now 0-2, will need to defeat Central Catholic Sunday for any chance of making it to the crossover round.FULL ENTRY
Globe Correspondent Craig Forde recaps the first day of Round 2 in the Super 8 tournament.
NORTH ANDOVER - For the third time this season, Malden Catholic and BC High faced off, and for the second time the Lancers skated away with a victory, 3-1, Tuesday night at Lawler Arena.
“I thought we did OK at times,’’ said Malden Catholic coach John McLean, whose team stopped eight BC High power plays. “We did a little bit of running around at the end, our guys got a little bit tired, but we played against a good team and it was a good game.’’
The lone goal of the first period came off the stick of Tyler Sifferlen, who roofed a rebound from the slot at 9:50, giving the Lancers the lead.
BC High got a golden opportunity to tie the game when MC goalie Connor Maloney failed to push a puck out and left it on his doorstep, but a charging Tom Besinger was unable to get a handle on it and the Lancers’ lead held at 1-0 at the first intermission.
Bartley Regan pulled the Eagles even 1:07 into the second period, whistling a shot from just inside the blue line that zipped past Maloney’s glove side to make it 1-1, where it would stay heading into the third.
It didn’t take long for Malden Catholic to take control.
Ara Nazarian (one goal, one assist) collected the puck in the neutral zone, skated in tight down the left wing, and with a defender draped on his right side, he lifted the puck past goalie Peter Cronin to put the Lancers up, 2-1, at 4:53 of the final period.
“I got a great stretch pass from [Nick] Rolli,’’ said Nazarian. “I used speed to beat the D and just put it top left.’’
“He’s a very good forward and strong,’’ McLean said of Nazarian. “When he gets a chance he’s going to finish it. He’s a very good player.’’
As the third period neared the halfway point, Brendan White unleashed a shot from the point that hit just under the crossbar for a power-play goal that gave MC a 3-1 lead with 7:12 remaining.
Regan looked as if he had pulled the Eagles within one when he ripped another slap shot past Maloney with 1:01 remaining, but the net had been knocked off the moorings before the puck crossed the goal line and the Lancers held on in the final minute.
“I think we deserved a better fate,’’ said BC High coach John Flaherty. “I just don’t understand why we don’t have video replay in this league, everyone else has it.’’
The win puts the Lancers in great position at 2-0 with one game left in pool play, against Hingham (1-1) on Sunday. The Eagles (1-1) will face off against St. John’s (Shrewsbury) in the other Group 1 game Sunday.FULL ENTRY
NORTH ANDOVER -- Hingham sophomore Sam D’Antuono scored the first three Super 8 goals of his young career on Tuesday night -- including the game winner in overtime -- providing all of the offense in a 3-2 win over St. John’s of Shrewsbury.
“He’s had a great year for us,” Hingham coach Tony Messina said. “That whole line has had a very good year. He has a good knack for the net so it was great to see him get three in that game.”
After giving Hingham a 2-1 lead late in the third period -- only to have the Pioneers’ Jay Duquette hammer a loose puck past Harbormen netminder John Grenier 29 seconds later -- D’Antuono put the finishing touch on a pass from Matt Brazel just 1:19 into overtime.
“Defenseman threw it down in the corner, Braz picked it up, made a nice backhand pass, and I was wide open in front,” D’Antuono said. “Just one-timed it five-hole.”
The Harbormen (17-5-2) dominated in the faceoff circle, particularly in the Pioneers zone, which lead to a 30-13 shot advantage and no shortage of quality chances. Mario Pizzeri was stellar in net for St. John’s with 27 saves.
“We worked on faceoffs the last couple of days because we felt like we lost too many in the game on Sunday (against BC High),” Messina said. “What we say to the guys is that if you can win a faceoff in their zone you have an extra 30 or 40 seconds of offense…the offensive zone faceoffs are big.”
D’Antuono broke a scoreless tie with a power-play goal early in the second period. With time winding down on Hunter Burdick’s elbowing minor and the Harbormen yet to test Pizzeri on the man-advantage, D’Antuono picked up a loose puck near the bottom of the right circle and fired it past Pizzeri on the far side at 3:54.
Connor Bertram pulled the Pioneers even just over four minutes later. Chris Adams carried the puck over the Harbormen blue-line on a two-on-one break and dished it to Bertram. Hingham netminder John Grenier came shooting out of his crease to challenge and Bertram made a quick move to his backhand and slid the puck into an empty net to tie it, 1-1.
“It’s tough when somebody has to lose in one of these tournaments but that’s the nature of the beast,” Pioneers coach Brian Murphy said. “I don’t think we controlled as much as we should have but give them credit. They’re big and strong, they move it out pretty quickly and they come at you hard.”
Hingham learned the hard way Sunday that taking too many penalties can be a teams’ undoing in the Super 8 tournament, and they entered the second round determined not to let time spent in the box keep them out of the win column again.
After giving up three power-play goals on 10 penalties against BC High, the Harbormen were only shorthanded once against St. John’s, allowing no shots on a slashing minor to Nolan Driscol in the first period.
“We knew it was a discipline issue we needed to correct,” Messina said. “But the guys know, I mean that’s how they play right there, a good hard game, only a few penalties.”
Globe correspondent Craig Forde recaps the first round of the Super 8 ice hockey tournament at Merrimack College Sunday.
NORTH ANDOVER — Malden Catholic has not lost a tournament game since March 10, 2010, and Sunday’s effort should be an indication that the Lancers might have what it takes to repeat as Super 8 champions.
Defenseman Colin MacGillivray scored the game-tying goal 3:02 into the third period, and Boston College recruit Ryan Fitzgerald scored with 35 seconds remaining in regulation off a feed from Boston University recruit Brendan Collier to give the Lancers (16-1-4) a 3-2 victory over St. John’s of Shrewsbury at Merrimack’s Lawler Arena.
“Our leaders stood up when they had to,” Lancers coach John McLean said. “Fitzy and Brendan Collier have been carrying us all year and they went out and did the job. They’re clutch players.”
Pioneers goaltender Mario Pizzeri was brilliant in net against a Lancers lineup -- consisting of three Division 1 college recruits -- that lost only one game and put up a plus-66 goal differential in the regular season. The sophomore netminder finished with 34 saves on 37 shots, including 14 in the third period alone.
“[The defense] played great, a lot of the shots were from outside the circles,” Pizzeri said. “They did a good job shutting down the first two lines, that’s what we focused on in practice and I think they executed it great.”
The Pioneers have not appeared in a Super 8 game since they entered the tournament with the top seed in the 2001-02 season. They made the cut this year by defeating eighth-ranked Needham in a play-in game, and after taking the top-ranked team in the state down to the wire, it is clear that they are here to stay.
“The positives are we battled, we played hard, we gave everything we’ve got,” Pioneers coach Brian Murphy said. “We’ll see if we can just get a little more offense next time.”
St. John’s struck on their first shot of the game when Connor Bertram pounced on a loose puck to the left of Lancers’ netminder Connor Maloney after a shot by Kyle Moss from the right point whistled wide and deflected hard off the end boards. With a handful of players jamming to Maloney’s left Bertram was able to corral the puck and put a soft wrister into the other side of the wide open net.
Malden Catholic’s Ara Nazarian put a backhander past Pizzeri to pull the Lancers even with eight minutes gone in the period.
Vin D’Amato, who entered the game second on the team in goals with 24, caught Maloney out of position and put a soft shot into the back of the net from the slot at 11:52 of the second period to put the Pioneers on top. It was their only shot of the second period.
The Pioneers were able to capitalize on the rare offensive opportunities they came across -- they took only five shots on net all night -- all the while weathering a relentless Malden Catholic attack.
“Defensively I thought we played OK,” McLean said. “You got to give St. John’s Shrewsbury all the credit, I thought they played hard, they were smart ... but we just kept digging, rolling out three lines and told the guys to just keep getting pucks to the net, crash the net, do your job, and it worked out in the end.”
St. John’s plays Hingham at Lawler Arena Tuesday night at 5:45, followed by Malden Catholic and BC High at 8:15.
NORTH ANDOVER – Sam Kurker’s overtime winner capped another thriller on Day 1 of the Super 8 tournament at Lawler Arena as St. John’s Prep escaped with a 4-3 victory over Springfield Cathedral.
“Everybody knows how important that first game is in the tournament,” said St. John's Prep coach Kristian Hanson. “We wanted to come out today and get a win. In the end we were fortunate to get a bounce.”
The last time these two teams met, just two weeks ago, the Prep made a miraculous comeback scoring four goals in the final five minutes of the game to walk away with a 5-5 tie.
The Eagles wanted to avoid being behind the eight-ball in this one and Andrew Brandano ensured that they wouldn’t be playing from behind at all when he stuffed home a puck just 1:28 into the game to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead.
The second period started with another quick St. John’s Prep goal as Brian Pinho won a draw forward, picked up the puck and swept in on the left side before stuffing it past John Liquori for a 2-0 lead just 0:53 seconds in.
“We were just trying to get the puck deep and on net,” Pinho said. “I just skated hard to the middle and put one on. Our game plan was to crash the net and it went in for me.”
Frank Crinella got the Panthers on the board mid-way through the second period after picking the puck from the stick of Sam Kurker, then sweeping in from the left to backhand it past David Letarte on a short-handed bid, making it a 2-1 game.
Frank Crinella would pull Springfield Cathedral even when he followed up on a rebound off a shot from Peter Crinella, popping it past Letarte for his second of the game to make it 2-2 before the second intermission.
A power play opportunity allowed the Prep to start the third period like the other two, by scoring first, this time on a missile by Pinho just past the blue line to make it 3-2 at the 3:28 mark.
“I thought Brian was our best player out there,” Hanson said. “He had two big goals and he played well defensively. He was our player of the game.”
Two minutes later Peter Crinella knocked in a rebound for the Panthers second short-handed goal of the game, evening the score at 3-3 and as just like two weeks ago, regulation was not enough time to determine a winner, so a 12-minute sudden death overtime was tacked on to the proceedings.
As the extra frame wound down, a bouncing puck fell in front of Liquori who was unable to snag it in the air and Kurker swooped in on the doorstep to deposit the rebound, giving the Eagles the victory.
“Who better than Kurker to be the guy standing there,” Hanson said. “I saw that far, top-side open and Sam did a great job of putting it up there.”
NORTH ANDOVER—Central Catholic narrowly made the cut for the 22nd annual Super 8 tournament by winning a play-in game against seventh-ranked Burlington a week ago, but they made a strong case as to why they belong in the elite tournament on Sunday afternoon at Merrimack’s Lawler Arena.
The Raiders (14-3-5) gave up a two-goal cushion in the third period but survived an onslaught from St. Mary’s in overtime and found a hero in senior forward Steven Merrick, who’s five-hole finish in the fourth round of the shootout was all they needed to snap the Spartans’ state-best 21-game win streak, 6-5.
“I usually go five-hole when I get in on a breakaway,” Merrick said. “So I had it in my head I was going for it and he left it open for me.”
Central Catholic goalie Kyle Williams was perfect in the shootout, stopping all five shooters he faced and stealing the opening-round contest with a stick save on Connor Parent in the final round.
“I think he’s one of the best goalies in the state,” said Raiders forward Ryan Daigle, who tied the score at 3 with a second period goal. “Everyone’s overlooked him because he had a little slow year but he’s kept us in these games and we’ve prevailed.”
The Raiders were lucky to get to a shootout, as they entered overtime looking tired and sluggish while St. Mary’s dialed up the pressure, crashing the net and playing largely in the Raiders’ zone. Twice in overtime Spartans’ shooters rang the post.
“We don’t play much overtime anymore but we worked on a lot of conditioning in the week and a half we had off between games,” said Spartans coach Mark Lee. “I was extremely proud at the effort in the overtime period.”
After a loss to Central Catholic in last year’s play-in game, the Spartans (18-2-3) entered their first Super 8 tournament in school history with redemption on their minds.
“It was a point of emphasis that we talked about briefly,” Lee said. “That we’d like to get a little bit back at them for last year.”
Tied, 3-3, in the third period, Central Catholic took their second lead of the afternoon when Corey Webber snuck a rebound past Spartans goalie Bailey MacBurnie after a shot by Alex Lester at 4:01. Christian Smith added insurance with a power-play goal from in close, deflecting a Zachary Cote wrister from the right point with Thomas Braswell in the box for tripping.
Brendan Magaery responded with his second goal of the game at 8:09 on a brilliant feed from Jarrod Fitzpatrick from behind the Central Catholic net. Magaery didn’t get all of the shot, but it was enough to trickle through Williams’ legs and cut the deficit to 5-4.
Braswell pulled St. Mary’s even with just under three minutes remaining in the regulation when the Raiders turned a great play by defenseman Andrew Markham into transition. Markham saved a goal by laying out to take away the pass on a clean 2-on-1 break for St. Mary’s, leading to a 2-on-1 the other way. Fitzpatrick took a shot from the left of Williams and Braswell was there to put away the rebound.
“You know no lead is safe in this tournament,” Raiders coach Mike Jankowski said. “You know these guys can put a lot of points on the board in a hurry…but we were able to be resilient enough to get through.”
NORTH ANDOVER – BC High got off on the right foot in the Super 8 tournament as they took advantage of their power play opportunities to defeat Hingham 4-2 in a penalty-filled game (16 total) at Merrimack College’s Lawler Arena.
“I told the guys we’re not going to talk about that,” said Hingham head coach Tony Messina whose team drew ten penalties. “We wanted a tie or a win in this game. With our bracket we are going to have a tough couple of games [moving forward].”
The first period served as a feeling process for both sides, with no goals being scored despite five power play opportunities.
A late first period penalty gave BC High a man-advantage to start the second period and when Hingham’s Jake Hanlon picked up an elbowing penalty eleven seconds in, the Eagles found themselves with a two-man advantage.
“In this tournament everyone is pretty even,” said BC High coach John Flaherty. “Every time you get a man advantage you almost have to capitalize and fortunately for us today we did.”
After working the puck around the zone, Matt Sullivan found Tom Besinger on the right side and the sophomore roofed home his shot for a 1-0 lead.
“I knew that he dropped his blocker to the ice when we got in close,” said Besinger. “So we knew we had to go high with the shots.”
With a skater still in the box, the Harbormen responded when Ryan Linehan forced a turnover and popped it home just twenty-two seconds later, tying the game at one.
The man-up advantage would pay off for the Eagles once again as Brian Furey put them back on top at the 4:52 mark of the second when he flicked home a shot from the point.
Once again the Harbormen would not be deterred as they had an answer just thirty-seconds later thanks to Patrick Mannion who took advantage of Eagles goalie Patrick Cronin who was out of position after trying to play a puck off to his right.
Mannion came behind the net and popped around the open left side with a wraparound shot that tied the game at two, where it would stay heading into the third period.
Hingham’s John Carlson was called for a hook 2:28 into the third and the Eagles struck twenty-seven seconds later as Besinger picked up his second power play goal of the game.
Hingham would get their own power play chances down the stretch, and in the final minute they were capable of clearing goalie John Grenier (15 saves) from the crease for a 6-on-4 attack.
The Eagles defenders stood up to the challenge and a blocked-shot by Furey pushed the puck up the ice where Sullivan was able to collect it and skate in for the empty netter.
“Our job was basically to try and block some shots and that’s what we did,” said Flaherty. “It’s a part of the game that we take pride in and we know that we have to block shots against good teams."
The Eagles will face off against another familiar foe in top-seeded Malden Catholic on Tuesday night.
The Globe's Bob Holmes and high school hockey correspondent Craig Forde preview this year's Super 8 tournament.
In the latest episode of High School Weekly, Jon Meterparel and Kelly Emerson have the story on BC High goalie Peter Cronin, who Eagles coach John Flaherty calls the backbone of his team. Cronin sports a 1.940 goals against average in 17 games this season for the 10-5-5 Eagles. BC High opens play in the Super 8 tournament Sunday against Hingham.
High School Sports Weekly profiles the student-athletes from around the region who make high school athletics so compelling. Check out High School Weekly on Facebook.
Matthew J. Lee / Globe Staff
The Globe's Matthew J. Lee took a number of photographs from Monday night's play-in games at Lawler Arena at Merrimack College, featuring Central Catholic-Burlington and St. John's of Shrewsbury-Needham. You can find all of his photos in a photo gallery we've started for the Super 8 tournament. We'll update the gallery as the tournament gets going again Sunday.
To get you ready for the Monday night Super 8 play-in games, here is a look at the competition, as well as information on how they fared against common opponents and fellow Super 8 teams this season.
Both games will be played at Merrimack College’s Lawler Arena.
St. John’s Shrewsbury vs. Needham, 5:45 p.m.
No. 9 St. John’s (15-4-3) – Twenty goal scorers Kevin Emmerling (24) and Vin D’Amato (22) create one of the most potent 1-2 offensive punches in the state. The defense is backed by a fleet of underclassmen with Andrew Smith providing the senior leadership for the group. Sophomore Mario Pizzeri has gotten the bulk of the work between the pipes, posting a 2.87 goals against average that will need to be tighter for them to move on. Thankfully for the Pioneers it has been of late, as St. John’s went 7-0 down the stretch, allowing only seven goals while posting three shutouts. The last time the Pioneers were in the Super 8 was back in 2003 when they lost a play-in game to Chelmsford. But despite it being nine years since their last appearance, head coach Brian Murphy, now in his 29th season, will certainly have his guys ready to go in this one.
No. 8 Needham (16-4-1) – The Rockets are a senior-laden squad that is well balanced in all aspects of the game. Forwards D.J. Walsh (15 goals, 19 assists) and Lucas Davis (17 goals, 13 assists) led the Bay State League champions in points this season, on a team that potted 89 total goals. Don’t let Timmy Parlato’s size fool you on defense. He is a force who can score goals (9) while throwing the body around with reckless abandon. In net Connor Murray has been solid, posting four shutouts for a team that allowed four goals in a game only two times this year. The Rockets made the Super 8 as the No. 6 seed last season and went 0-2-1 in pool play. Bill Guisti is about as amicable a coach as there is on the scene, but more importantly he knows his team belongs in the field of eight and will do everything to make sure they get there.
RECORDS VS. COMMON OPPONENTS (scores)
Coyle & Cassidy: SJ 1-0-0 (8-2); N 1-0-0 (3-1)
Springfield Cathedral: SJ 0-0-2 (2-2 & 3-3); N 0-1-1 (1-0)
Xavier, Conn.: SJ 2-0-0 (5-3 & 6-2); N 0-0-1 (3-3)
Xaverian: SJ 2-0-0 (7-5 & 3-1); N 1-0-0 (3-0)
RECORDS VS. SUPER 8 TEAMS
St. John’s : 0-3-3
Central Catholic vs. Burlington, 8:15 p.m.
No. 10 Central Catholic (12-3-5) - These two teams are more than familiar with the play-in game, having both been there twice over the last three Super 8 tournaments. The Raiders have much to boast about coming out of a very strong MVC/DCL Div. 1 as league champs. Seniors Ryan Daigle and Jake Donahue have lived up to their roles as team captains this season. This is a team that doesn’t score a ton, having 69 goals on the season, but they do have a knack for holding leads once they get them. The difference maker for Central Catholic is goalie Kyle Williams, who is considered by many to be one of the best netminders in the state when he is on. Cool, calm and collected, the senior is capable of single-handedly stealing a game. The Raiders took out St. Mary’s in a play-in game a year ago, but did not advance past pool play after going 1-2. Coach Mike Jankowski is excited to have his team in this position and feels that they can go as Williams goes.
No. 7 Burlington (14-1-6) – The Red Devils can score in bunches, having netted five or more goals in ten games this year. Junior Joe Berardi leads the bunch with 22 goals while seniors Brett Romkey and Trevor Cimino have 17 apiece. C.J. Grinnell is a dynamic player with quickness who can do damage if he gets behind the opposing defense. Derek DeCastro has been a rock in net, posting a 1.83 goals against average to go with 3 shutouts. If the junior goalie gets hot and the offense continues to click after outscoring their last four opponents 25-9, then the Red Devils will do damage. The last time Burlington was in the Super 8 was in 2010 when they lost a play-in game to Xaverian in a shootout. Head coach Bob Conceison picked up his 300th win earlier this season and would certainly love to add a few more over the coming weeks.
RECORDS VS. COMMON OPPONENTS (scores)
Chelmsford: CC 2-0-0 (5-3 & 4-3); B 1-0-0 (7-3)
RECORDS VS. SUPER 8 TEAMS
Central Catholic: 0-1-0
The MIAA decided the final teams in this year's Super 8 boys ice hockey tournament, unanimously voting the Globe's No. 1 team and the tournament's defending champion Malden Catholic as the No. 1 seed.
Here are the seeds:
- Malden Catholic (15-1-4)
- St. Mary’s (18-0-3)
- St. John’s Prep (13-5-2)
- Hingham (16-4-2)
- BC High (10-5-5)
- Springfield Cathedral (10-6-6)
- Burlington (14-1-6)
- Needham (16-4-1)
- St. John's Shrewsbury (15-4-3)
- Central Catholic (12-3-5)
Seed Nos. 7-10 will play in play-in games on Monday at Merrimack College to determine which teams are in the final eight of the tournament. Needham will face St. John's Shrewsbury at 5:45 p.m. before Burlington faces Central Catholic at 8:15 p.m.
For more information on the Super 8 tournament, visit the Super 8 central on Boston.com.
With just one last day of the regular season left, Thursday night provided some teams with their final chances to impress the selection committee before the Super 8 teams are chosen on Saturday.
The Springfield Cathedral Tournament carried the bulk of the Super 8 action on Thursday night, starting with No. 9 Needham (16-4-1) pulling out a 4-3 shootout victory over Hamden, Connecticut in the consolation game. For the sake of records it will go down as a 3-3 tie, putting the Rockets on the very bubble of things after an 0-1-1 showing out west.
No. 11 Springfield Cathedral (10-6-6) was unable to take down top-ranked Malden Catholic (15-1-4) in the championship game of their own tournament and based on history they may not get a Super 8 bid, as only one non-Catholic Conference team (St. John’s Shrewsbury in 2000) has made it with less than 12 wins. Add to that a tie against Division 3 Longmeadow and a combo of twelve wins and losses and the Panthers should start getting ready for some Division 1 South action next week.
Down on the Cape, No. 8 BC High (10-5-5) finally took down a team in regulation to earn their tenth win of the season with a 3-1 victory over Archbishop Williams that earned them the Cape Cod Classic title. Now, unlike Springfield Cathedral, the Eagles should get in with their win total, as numerous Catholic Conference teams have in the past. The last team to earn a spot in the Super 8 with only ten wins was Catholic Memorial in 2009, and they were the top seed. There is no way that the Eagles will get that honor, but they may have slid into the secure six based on a very tough schedule.
No. 5 Burlington (14-1-6) rolled over Chelmsford 7-3 in the final of the Cahoon Tournament, which should certainly lock them into the field of ten. Now the committee must determine if their body of work is strong enough for a top six slot. Of the five Middlesex League teams to make the Super 8 in the last three seasons, all were relegated to play-in games.
No. 7 Marshfield (18-2-2) won the South of Boston Shootout with a 4-1 victory over Bridgewater-Raynham. The defending Division 1 champs have been looking to make the jump to the Super 8 since last season ended, but have been met with some skepticism along the way. How about this for their case; they are tied with St. Mary’s for most wins in Division 1 (18), they have a goal differential of +42 and a 1.77 per game goals against average. It they are not selected for at least a play-in game than the Rams will have a very solid gripe on their hands.
LAST CHANCE TO DANCE
No. 12 Westford Academy (13-4-3) vs. No. 18 Milton (16-3-2), Fri., 8 p.m. (Irish American Shootout) - It may not be enough for either team, since all other contenders are securely parked in the garage...but it's nice to think that the final game of the regular season will have some bearing on the final decision making process.
Wednesday was a flurry of activity on the ice and many from the “Super 8 Watch List” were out trying to prove their worth, with mixed results.
So with only two days left in the regular season, we do have some questions answered, while many more remain to be determined, which should lead to a fantastic finish of a fantastic season.
SHOOTOUT SHUTS ONE OUT
Three of the teams in the Irish American Shootout came in as bubble-busters hoping to improve their case while getting a little help along the way.
No. 12 Westford Academy (13-4-3) kept their hopes alive by taking down Billerica, 4-2, in game one of the shootout. They will get the very last chance to impress the judges as they play in the 8 p.m. final of on Friday night, which turns out to be the final game of all of the regular season.
They will be joined in that affair by No. 18 Milton (16-3-2) , who has flown under the radar much of the way, but has now included themselves in the Super 8 conversation after taking down Woburn, 4-2. It may be hard to make a rock-solid case for the Wildcats, but a win over Westford would make Saturday morning’s debate a bit more lively.
No. 13 Woburn (12-5-3) looks to be out of it for good now after an up-and-down season that saw them back in the mix after taking down Middlesex Large champs Reading last Saturday.
LOCKED AND LOADED
The following teams should be firmly locked in to the Super 8 at this point.
No. 1 Malden Catholic (14-1-4) took a 3-3 tie against Hamden, Connecticut in the first round of the Springfield Cathedral Tournament, but that won’t affect them at all, especially since Ara Nazarian, who scored an OT game-winner against St. Mary’s over the holiday season, advance the Lancers to the final with another overtime.
No. 2 St. Mary’s (18-1-3) finished their season with the most wins of any team in Division 1 after stomping Weymouth 10-2 on senior night.
No. 3 St. John’s Prep (13-5-3) capped their regular season with a 9-0 blanking of Bishop Fenwick in their senior night.
No. 4 Hingham (16-4-2) pulled off a tight 3-2 victory over Arlington Catholic in the Cape Cod Classic, their final game of the regular season. The good news is that the win came in front of Cougars coach Dan Shine, who just-so-happens to head the Super 8 selection committee.
No. 6 Central Catholic (12-3-5) should have sealed their place in the tourney after winding up their season with a 3-2 win over No. 17 Acton-Boxboro that won them the MVC/DCL Division 1 title during a particularly up year for the league.
SOMETHING TO PROVE
The following teams have made a solid case, but may just need a little bit more to seal the deal.
No. 7 Marshfield (17-2-2) won their second straight game in the South of Boston Shootout with a 4-2 victory over Xaverian, setting them up for a showdown against hosts Bridgewater-Raynham tomorrow night in the championship game. A win in that game may secure their spot, but pundits are weary of the Rams chances.
No. 9 Needham (16-4-0) and No. 10 Springfield Cathedral (10-5-6) were both looking for a quality win to make a stronger case for themselves. The Panthers and Rockets battled in the first round of the Springfield Cathedral Tournament, and the hosts came out on top with a hard-fought 1-0 victory. A win for the Panthers in tomorrow’s title game against the mighty-Lancers will certainly put them in. Needham may have been stung by the loss since it was close one against a solid squad, but a win against Hamden wouldn’t hurt their case.
The following are games featuring Super 8 contenders:
- Hamden, Conn. vs. No. 9 Needham, 5 p.m. (Springfield Cathedral Tournament)
- No. 8 BC High (9-5-5) vs. Archbishop Williams, 5 p.m. (Cape Cod Classic)
- No. 1 Malden Catholic vs. No. 10 Springfield Cathedral, 7 p.m. (Springfield Cathedral Tournament)
- No. 7 Marshfield vs. Bridgewater-Raynham, 8 p.m. (South of Boston Shootout)
Westford Academy (13-4-3) kept their foot wedged in the door of the Super 8 conversation with a 4-2 victory over Billerica on Wednesday night in Woburn.
"That's a very big win for us," said Westford head coach Bob Carpenter.
The No. 12 Grey Ghosts went down early to the Indians in the opening game of the Irish American Shootout at O’Brien Rink, but managed to bounce back quickly, getting two first period goals from sophomore Cam MacDonald to take a 2-1 lead into the first intermission.
"[The first line] just has an unbelievable knack of knowing where the other guys is," said Carpenter. "When [Billerica] scored that first one it got us down a little."
Midway through the second period, the Indians knotted the game at two when Conor Kelly ripped a shot blocker-side on Zach Webert, which is where the score would remain until the third period.
Just three minutes into the final frame, Cam MacDonald notched his third goal of the game, which would stand as the game-winner.
A couple of minutes later, MacDonald would find Ian Speliotis for a 4-2 lead with under ten minutes to play and the Grey Ghosts defense took care of the rest, advancing them to the finals against Milton on Friday night at 8:00 p.m.
"We'd love to get there," said Carpenter of his team's Super 8 chances. "We're going right down to it. We think we're deserving, as many other clubs do. Friday night will be a big night for whoever comes out of that with a win."
In the second game of the night, No. 18 Milton (16-3-2) surprised Woburn in their own building and put a little heat of their own on the Super 8 selection committee with a strong 4-2 victory on Wednesday night.
"I'm not going to say we don't get any respect," said Milton coach Paul Noonan. "This was big for us to maybe start having people talk a little about Milton."
The No. 13 Tanners (12-5-3) played the game without their top defense pair of Adam Tanner and Jake Secatore and the Wildcats took full advantage of it, outplaying Woburn at almost every turn.
Paul Curran got things going for the Wildcats when he skated up the right wing on a shorthanded bid and buried it past Jeremy Flibotte for a 1-0 lead just two minutes into the game.
The Tanners got back at it when Colin Flynn carried the play up the right side, making a great move to pull a defender out of the play at the blue line, and tossed a tape-to-tape pass to Danny Holland on the left side of the net to tie the game at one.
In the second period the Milton attack was insufferable, throwing 16 shots on net and getting two power play goals from Terrance Walsh and Brian Higgins.
"The boys came out in the second period playing hard," said Noonan. "I got a lot seniors and they take charge and they do a nice job."
Despite Joe Connors notching a power play goal of his own to tie the game at two, the Tanners never got any closer and the Wildcats maintained a one goal lead heading into the last fifteen minutes.
As play wound on in the third period, Woburn was unable to mount an attack that sustained any serious pressure and when Paul Curran stole the puck and snapped home his second goal of the game with six minutes to play, the wind was knocked out of the hosts.
"He's all heart, all the time," said Noonan of Curran. "He's been like this since he was a freshman, but what you don't see is how smart he is. All of his decisions seem to be the best one at that particular time."
Milton seems to be peaking at just the right time, winning their eighth straight game and running their Division 1 leading goal total to 114 on the year.
After tonight’s games we are down to just three more days of regular season play.
Two teams on the “Super 8 Watch List” hit the ice tonight trying to add another peg to their climb towards the elite boys hockey tourney.
No. 5 Burlington (13-1-6) hosted Medford in the first round of the 20th annual Ed Cahoon Tournament. They have won this tourney five straight years, and will get a chance at six straight after taking down the Mustangs 6-1. Chelmsford should provide solid competition for the Red Devils in the final of the Cahoon on Thursday night, which will ultimately help their seeding should they come away with a victory.
Also on the ice Tuesday was No. 12 Westford Academy (12-4-3), who has a busy week ahead with two more games to be played as part of the Irish American Shootout in Woburn. Tonight they easily dispatched of Masconomet, 5-2. The Grey Ghosts are probably on the outside looking in right now, especially after last Saturday’s loss to No. 17 Acton-Boxboro, but they are not our of it yet and will push the selection committee should they win our.
Ten Super 8 contenders are in action on Wednesday:
- Arlington Catholic vs. No. 4 Hingham (15-4-2), 5 p.m. (Cape Cod Classic)
- Xaverian vs. No. 7 Marshfield (16-2-2), 5 p.m. (South of Boston Shootout)
- No. 12 Westford Academy vs. Billerica, 6 p.m. (Irish American Shootout)
- No. 1 Malden Catholic (14-1-3) vs. Hamden, Conn., 6:10 p.m. (Springfield Cathedral Tournament)
- Acton-Boxboro vs. No. 6 Central Catholic (11-3-5), 7 p.m.
- Milton vs. No. 13 Woburn (12-4-3), 8 p.m. (Irish American Shootout)
- Bishop Fenwick vs. No. 3 St. John’s Prep (12-5-2), 8 p.m.
- No. 9 Needham (16-3-0) vs. No. 10 Springfield Cathedral (9-5-6), 8:10 p.m. (Springfield Cathedral Tournament)
- Weymouth vs. No. 2 St. Mary’s (17-1-3), 8:30 p.m.
The last week of the regular season kicked off with some all-day action across the region on Monday.
Six teams with their sights on the Super 8, including one looking to simply keep their playoff aspirations alive, got down to business in an effort to get to the promised land.
No. 4 Hingham (15-4-2) was in early action against Duxbury in the Cape Cod Classic and came away with a 3-0 shutout of the Dragons. Despite going 2-2-1 in their last five, the Harbormen have only allowed seven goals in that span (five in one game versus No. 1 Malden Catholic) and are a lock for the Super 8. Their last regular season game will be on the final day of the Cape Cod Classic this Wednesday versus Arlington Catholic.
Early in the afternoon No. 6 Central Catholic (11-3-5) tied No. 19 Catholic Memorial (7-8-3), 1-1. In the process, the once-mighty Knights were eliminated from postseason contention for the second straight season after making it 27 consecutive years, which included 13 Super 8 titles. The tie will most likely help the Raiders chances of nailing down a slot, but one important game remains against No. 17 Acton-Boxboro on Wednesday, with the MVC/DCL Division 1 title on the line.
No. 8 BC High (9-5-5) notched their second straight tie, 2-2, versus Austin Prep, but ultimately won the game via shootout, their second straight shootout victory. They have gone 0-2-2 over their last four games as they head into the Cape Cod Classic final against Archbishop Williams on Wednesday. The Eagles should be locked in to the Super 8, but will this end-of-season stumble keep them out of the top six secure spots or will they fall to a play-in game? A solid win on Wednesday, and not via shootout, might give them reason to exhale a bit.
No. 14 Reading (12-4-6), who stormed into the big picture after a win over BC High last week, most likely had the door shut on their Super 8 chances for good following a 2-2 tie against Andover. Most would say their loss to No. 13 Woburn this past Saturday did them in, but this one probably hammered the nail home on their Super 8 hopes.
No. 10 St. John's Shrewsbury (15-4-3) capped off their regular season with a 3-0 win over Shrewsbury, their fifth straight victory. The Pioneers have hovered in the mix for pretty much the whole season, but some have questioned their out-of-state schedule and they have been unable to take down any of the top-tier opponents. They may need a little help in making sure they are tied into the Super 8 for sure, and they may just get that as we move forward during a busy week of action.
Here are a list of contenders who will hit the ice on Tuesday:
Medford at No. 5 Burlington, 7:10 p.m. (Cahoon Tournament)
Masconmet at No. 12 Westford Academy, 7:45 p.m.
It just got a whole lot more interesting thanks to a frantic weekend of action that shook things up a bit heading into the final week of regular season play.
The jockeying for position is in full effect as teams fight and scrape for those final points, as was evident Saturday when everyone was in action and no one was safe.
The following are the Super 8 projections through all games played on Saturday:
1. Malden Catholic (14-1-3) – Don’t expect them to relinquish the top seed, even in the face of the upcoming Springfield Cathedral Tournament which the Lancers will look at as the perfect postseason primer.
2. St. Mary’s (17-1-3) – With only one loss on the season, the Spartans still possess the best winning percentage in Division 1, so one tight tie against Marshfield won’t budge them. That and the fact that everyone under them stumbled throughout the week.
3. St. John’s Prep (12-5-2) – Being down 5-1 against Springfield Cathedral was not a pretty sight, especially when they pulled goalie David Letarte to start the third period. But boy did they ever wake up in the final five minutes to pull off a miraculous tie and show every team out there that no lead is big enough.
4. Hingham (14-4-2) – Their brutal schedule has caught up to them a bit as they are 1-1-2 after rattling off a 12-0-1 prior to losing to Malden Catholic. The good news is that they have already solidified their spot in the tourney and with the other teams tripping-up just the same, the Harbormen stay put.
5. Burlington (11-1-6) – They shook off a four-game tie streak with a heady 7-1 takedown of Watertown and followed that up by winning the Middlesex League Small title after defeating Wilmington on Saturday. They are securely in.
6. Central Catholic (11-3-4) – The MVC/DVL Div. 1 has stepped up as one of the best leagues this season with five teams postseason eligible, so their loss against Andover is not a huge dent in the armor. In more compelling news, they will have their first shot at knocking Catholic Memorial out of the postseason on Monday.
7. BC High (9-5-4) – A loss to Reading and a tie to Hingham keeps the Eagles stumbling to the finish line. They can only hope that the shootout victory that picked up against Hingham (because the game is part of the Cape Cod Classic) gives them some real momentum.
8. Marshfield (15-2-2) – When is a tie a win? If ever a tie could turn into something major, it may have for the Rams in the case of Saturday’s draw against No. 2 St. Mary’s. Time will tell if it holds up alongside the rest of their work.
9. Needham (16-3-0) – They took care of business in their only game of the week against Newton North and have a week off to prepare for the Springfield Cathedral tournament, in which they play the hosts on Wednesday.
10. St. John’s Shrewsbury (13-4-3) – A three-win week keeps the Pioneers on an even plane. Will two ties against Springfield Cathedral and one against St. John’s Prep help them out at all?
11. Springfield Cathedral (9-5-6) –I have no idea where that tie against the Prep leaves them. Did the collapse in the final five minutes of that game seal their fate one way or the other? It is highly possible that the combo of 11 losses and ties puts them on the outside looking in.
12 (tie). Reading (12-4-5) The Rockets stay at No. 12, with plenty of company, because of their huge win over BC High earlier in the week. Of course, as my mom always said when I dropped food on the floor, "expect company." With Reading's loss to Woburn, they've got it!
12 (tie). Westford (11-3-3) – After keeping them off the bubble last week, they jump into the fray despite catching a tough loss against No. 20 Acton-Boxboro at the end of the week.
12 (tie). Woburn (12-4-3) - Inserted themselves back into the mix by taking out Reading 3-1. They were our preseason No. 4 for a reason.
Next Saturday the votes will be tallied and the seeds finalized and we’ll be sure to keep you on top of all the action up to and through the tournament selections.
The Massachusetts State Hockey Coaches Association released their latest "Super 8 Watch List" on Sunday morning. The list was reduced from 27 teams to 18 heading into the final week of the regular season, and that list will ultimately be paired down to the final ten teams (with the bottom four teams getting matched up for play-in games) by Saturday morning.
BC High (9-5-4)
Catholic Memorial (7-8-2)
Central Catholic (11-3-4)
Malden Catholic (14-1-3)
St. John’s Prep (12-5-2)
St. John’s (S) (14-4-3)
St. Mary’s of Lynn (17-1-3)
Springfield Cathedral ( 9-5-6)
Westford Academy (11-4-3)
Eliminated from the initial watch list were: Andover (10-6-2), Arlington Catholic (9-6-4), Boston Latin (13-2-4), Braintree (11-6-2), Canton (14-1-2), Chelmsford (12-5-2), Falmouth (11-4-5), Franklin (14-2-2), Wilmington (10-4-5).
The Central Catholic hockey team carried a three-goal lead into the third period on Wednesday night and seemed to be in full control, but a late Chelmsford push fell just short, allowing the Raiders to escape with a 4-3 win at Chelmsford Forum.
“You got to give them a lot of credit,” said Central Catholic coach Mike Jankowski. “We knew coming into their rink that it was going to be that kind of contest.”
The fifth-ranked Raiders (11-2-4, 7-1-2) struck first when Zack Cote banged home a Ryan Daigle pass on the left doorstep for the only goal of the first period, due in large part to the leather of Lions goalie Derek Noble (25 saves) who made some spectacular glove saves.
“He held them in early,” said Jankowski of Noble. “In the second period we got a little bit of space.”
Central Catholic used the power play to add to their lead three minutes into the second period as Daigle unloaded a shot just past the left circle that found its way past the blocker of Noble for a 2-0 lead.
Less than a minute later Mike Hovnanian stole a puck and raced in with a defender on him, but managed to slide his shot right side for a goal and a 3-0 Raiders lead.
The Lions (11-5-2, 5-4-2) never relented and Billy Kamenides found Matt Winter for a bang-bang goal with three minutes left in the period to put Chelmsford on the board.
The Raiders would get their three goal lead back before the end of the period when Alex Lester picked off a pass at the blue line and skated into the slot, wristing a shot glove side for a 4-1 lead.
Just three minutes into the third period Tommy Bishop gave Chelmsford the momentum when he unloaded a blast high and tight for his 14th goal of the season, pulling the Lions within two.
With under five minutes to go, sophomore Danny Ferri carried the play through the neutral zone and over the blue line, and with no defender in his line of fire he unloaded a long shot that found the back of the net and made the score 4-3.
The Raiders made things tough for Chelmsford to gain the extra attacker as time ticked away, but the Lions were able to get a faceoff in the Central Catholic zone with 18 seconds remaining, allowing them to get six guys on the attack.
As the puck dropped Central Catholic cleared the zone, but the game clock never started back up and play was halted with the referees deciding to remove just ten seconds off the clock while having another draw in the Raiders zone.
A quick shot off the faceoff was turned aside by Kyle Williams (19 saves) and pushed into the corner where time ran out on the Lions.
Central Catholic has now won five straight games and is 8-0-3 since a 4-0 loss to third-ranked St. John’s Prep back on January 7th.
The win puts the Raiders in first place of the Merrimack Valley/Dual County League Division 1 by one point over Westford Academy.
“It’s nice to have all the teams moving up to the top of the chain within our division because we haven’t seen that for a while,” said Jankowski of his league which has had five teams qualify for the postseason. “I’m glad to have it all back.”
Central Catholic has two league games to play against Andover (Saturday) and Acton-Boxboro (February 22nd), and one non-league game versus No. 15 Catholic Memorial (Monday).
With just a little more than a week remaining in the regular season, it’s time to sit down and take a look at the possible Super 8 participants this season. The following are projections on how things might shake out based on where we are right now, keeping in mind of course, that there are still some big games to be played.
No. 1 – Malden Catholic (13-1-3)
Why they’re in – The defending champs are a lock for the top seed once again. Their offense is obviously talented, especially when their top three lines are running full tilt, which is almost always the case. However the unsung unit here is a slot-clogging defense that continues to hold opponents to under 20 shots a game thanks to the efforts of Casey Fitzgerald and Brendan White,.
Key wins – St John’s Prep (2), BC High, St. Mary’s, Hingham, Catholic Memorial
Remaining schedule – 2/18 at Framingham; 2/22 vs Hamden, Conn. (Springfield Cathedral Tournament); 2/23 vs. No. 10 Springfield Cathedral or No. 9 Needham (Springfield Cathedral Tournament).
No. 2 – St. Mary’s (16-1-2)
Why they’re in – The Spartans are having a monster year and deserve to be in this slot having already nailed down the Catholic Central league. They have a goal differential of 54 and their only loss of the season came in their very first game against No. 1 Malden Catholic, a loss which they nearly avenged in a 3-3 tie at the end of December.
Key wins – Springfield Cathedral, Hingham, Arlington Catholic (2)
Remaining schedule – 2/15 vs. Archbishop Williams; 2/18 at No. 7 Marshfield; 2/22 vs. Weymouth.
No. 3 – St. John’s Prep (11-5-1)
Why they’re in – Do not let the five losses fool you. This is a team that is surging at the right time and they carry with them one of the best first lines around in Sam Kurker, Brian Pinho and Tyler Bird. If goalie David Letarte plays like he did last year in the Super 8, the Prep will be tough to beat.
Key wins – BC High, Central Catholic, Hingham
Remaining schedule – 2/15 at Framingham; 2/18 vs. No. 10 Springfield Cathedral; 2/22 vs. Bishop Fenwick.
No. 4 – Hingham (13-4-1)
Why they’re in – Early in the season, head coach Tony Messina talked about the inexperience of his defense. But they turned out to be mighty quick learners and now the 2010 Super 8 champs are in great position after dealing with one of the hardest schedules around.
Key wins – Marshfield, Needham, Catholic Memorial, Reading, Westford
Remaining schedule – 2/15 at Coyle & Cassidy; 2/18 vs. No. 6 BC High (Cape Cod Classic); 2/20 vs. TBA (Cape Cod Classic); 2/22 vs. TBA (Cape Cod Classic).
No. 5 – Central Catholic (10-2-4)
Why they’re in – The consistency of the Raiders has put them firmly in the Super 8 discussion. They have gone 10 straight games since their last loss back on Jan. 7 and a strong finish against some tough competition could justify them in the fifth slot.
Key wins – Westford, Arlington Catholic, Tewksbury
Remaining schedule – 2/15 at Chelmsford; 2/18 vs. Andover; 2/20 at No. 15 Catholic Memorial; 2/22 vs. #20 Acton-Boxboro.
No. 6 – BC High (9-4-3)
Why they’re in – Although probably deserving of a higher seed, the Eagles have run into a 3-3-3 stretch over their last nine games that has them stumbling. Goalie Peter Cronin made a name for himself in the Super 8 last season and once again has BC High with their eyes on the prize.
Key wins – St. John’s – Shrewsbury (2), St. John’s Prep, Springfield Cathedral
Remaining schedule – 2/16 at No. 12 Reading; 2/18 vs. No. 4 Hingham (Cape Cod Classic); 2/20 vs. TBA (Cape Cod Classic); 2/22 vs. TBA (Cape Cod Classic).
No. 7 – Marshfield (15-2-1)
Why they’re in – Looking for their first Super 8 appearance in program history, the Rams are looking to make a leap with the big boys after grabbing the Division 1 crown last season. A strong senior class led by Connor McLean and Chris Perry could be the key to the Rams reaching their goal. A Wednesday battle against St. Mary’s will be a great chance for the Rams to add a strong win to a fairly light resume.
Key wins – St. John’s Shrewsbury
Remaining schedule – 2/18 vs. No. 2 St. Mary’s Lynn; 2/20 vs. Barnstable (South of Boston Shootout); 2/22 vs. TBA (South of Boston Shootout); 2/23 vs. TBA (South of Boston Shootout).
No. 8 – Burlington (10-1-6)
Why they’re in – Prior to the start of the season, Woburn head coach Jim Duran pointed to the Red Devils as one of the most dangerous teams in the Middlesex League. He was dead on. Now Burlington stands as the cream of the crop from a league that consistently sends a solid team into the Super 8.
Key wins – Woburn (2), Reading
Remaining schedule – 2/15 vs. Watertown; 2/18 vs. Wilmington; 2/21 vs. Medford (Cahoon Tournament); 2/23 vs. TBA (Cahoon Tournament).
No. 9 – Needham (15-3)
Why they’re in – Slight hiccups along the way have the Rockets a bit lower than expected, having come into the season with high expectations. They seem to have righted the ship and a strong showing in the Springfield Cathedral Tournament will solidify their entry. Senior captain Timmy Parlato has been a huge sparkplug for a defense that has only allowed 25 goals this season and Connor Murray has only allowed two goals over his last three games.
Key wins – Catholic Memorial, Braintree
Remaining schedule – 2/15 at Newton North; 2/22 at No. 10 Springfield Cathedral (Springfield Cathedral Tournament); 2/23 vs. No. 1 Malden Catholic or Hamden, Conn. (Springfield Cathedral Tournament).
No. 10 – Springfield Cathedral (8-5-5)
Why they’re in – Springfield Cathedral followed up a big win over BC High with a tough loss against St. Mary’s, which has been the story of its season. The Panthers can’t seem to put a string of wins together, having gone 1-2-2 over their last five games. Springfield Cathedral may be relegated to the play-in game for the second straight season, but they still have some big games to go before they can lock themselves into anything.
Key wins – BC High, Catholic Memorial
Remaining schedule – 2/16 vs. East Longmeadow; 2/18 at St. John’s Prep; 2/22 vs. No. 9 Needham (Springfield Cathedral Tournament); 2/23 vs. No. 1 Malden Catholic or Hamden, Conn. (Springfield Cathedral Tournament).
No. 11 – St. John’s Shrewsbury (12-4-3)
Why they’re on the bubble – Although they don’t have a ton of Super 8 resume-ready wins under their belt, they do have some big ties against the likes of St. John’s Prep and Springfield Cathedral. They’ll probably need some help to slip into the fray. But if they do, the firepower of Kevin Emmerling (14 goals, 20 assists) and Vin D’Amato (16 goals, 7 assists) could put a scare into opposing defenses.
Key wins – Arlington Catholic
Remaining schedule – 2/15 at Xaverian; 2/18 at Coyle & Cassidy; 2/20 vs. Shrewsbury.
No. 12 – Reading (11-3-4)
Why they’re on the bubble– This spot was a huge toss-up between the Rockets and Westford Academy. Reading takes it, for now, and could make a big jump this week if they can somehow knock off BC High and Woburn. Earlier injury issues have been resolved and while the Rockets were once left for dead, they now cling to hope for a last minute entry into the Super 8 tournament.
Key wins – Woburn, Winchester, Wilmington
Remaining schedule – 2/15 at Arlington; 2/16 vs. No. 6 BC High; 2/18 at No. 13 Woburn; 2/20 at Andover.
Malden Catholic remains the king of the hill following a 7-4 win over BC High, who also stay put in the third spot after a very strong start to their season in the Globe boys hockey Top 20.
Woburn makes the leap to the second spot because they sport one of the stingiest defenses around allowing only 11 goals in their first seven games. They have also proven that they can bear down in tight games and come away the desired outcome.
St. Mary’s makes the biggest jump of the week after flattening nearly everyone in their path with their only loss and tie of the year coming at the hands of the top-ranked Lancers. In their seven wins the Spartans have outscored their opponents 39-8.
Hingham, in the midst of a five-game win streak that has included wins over Marshfield, Needham and Catholic Memorial, also makes a leap into the Top 10 and are one of the hottest teams around. There is no let up in their schedule, so it’ll be a test of endurance the rest of the way for the Harbormen.
Speaking of Catholic Memorial, they dip from No. 2 to No. 8 after suffering losses to Needham and the aforementioned Harbormen. They have a busy week ahead that could set the tone for the rest of their season as they face No. 11 Springfield Cathedral on Thursday, then take to Frozen Fenway for a key Catholic Conference matchup against the No. 3 Eagles on Saturday.
New to the Top 20 this week are Franklin, Burlington and Andover, while Weymouth, Wilmington and Xaverian duck out.
Some teams on the bubble right now include Falmouth, North Andover, Lynnfield and Westford.
Globe correspondent Jake Seiner recaps Malden Catholic's 4-3 overtime win over St. John's Prep for the Super 8 hockey title at TD Garden. Highlights from the game? Of course.
Malden Catholic has been waiting 20 years to win a Super 8 championship, with none more eagerly than the three seasons since the Lancers lost in the finals to Reading.
A few extra minutes of hockey certainly wasn’t going to damper MC’s celebration.
Celebrate the Lancers did after junior Brendan Collier’s overtime goal pushed MC to a 4-3 win over St. John’s Prep in last night’s Super 8 final –– the program’s first Super 8 title since the tourney’s inception in 1991 and the school’s first hockey title of any kind since 1974.
“I heard we had 100, more than 100 alum flying in just to watch us,” Collier said. “It’s not just us. It’s not for the team. It’s for the school. We had kids from last year coming in the locker room crying, that’s how happy they are. It’s just for everybody."
The overtime finish was the first in a Super 8 finale since Catholic Memorial knocked off BC High, 1-0, in overtime in 2001.
Collier netted the goal –– his 30th of the season –– with an individual effort for the ages. The Boston University-commit took control of the puck in the high slot, cut right around an SJP defender, and lifted a no-look, backhand shot right by Prep goalie David Letarte at the opposite corner.
“I started going left and saw there was more room right, so I made a quick little forehand-backhand move,” Collier said. “Got a little step on their defenseman and threw a backhand on net, and it just happened to go in.”
Join us for live updates on the Super 8 hockey final between St. John's Prep and Malden Catholic at 5:30 p.m. Game starts at 6 p.m. and we'll conclude at its end.
Globe correspondent Jake Seiner recaps the Super 8 semifinals at Lawler Arena as St. John's Prep beat Weymouth 5-1 and Malden Catholic finishes off BC High 4-2.
And then there were two.
The finals for the Super 8 are set, as Malden Catholic and St. John’s Prep prepare to face off for the Division 1A championship Sunday at TD Garden at 6 p.m.
Neither school has won a Super 8 title since the tournament was established in 1991 - only five schools can stake claim to the “Catholic Memorial Trophy.”
Kidding ... although with 13 titles, CM has nine more than BC High. No one else has more than one.
But before they decide the sixth winner ever, let’s take a look back on just how these two teams got where they are today.
Records in Super-8 play: MC: 4-0; SJP:4-0
Goal differential: MC: 21-10; SJP: 20-6
St. John’s Prep has dominated Super 8 play, allowing just a single goal in each of their past three games, while outscoring opponents, 16-3.
The last Division 1 title for either school was in 1985, when the Prep won it all. You have to go all the way back to 1974 for Malden Catholic’s last title.
Both teams have some impressive offensive firepower: MC has Mike Vecchione (going to attend UNH) and Ryan Fitzgerald, who’s already signed with BC, as a sophomore. Saint John's Prep has a "game changing center" in Colin Blackwell, who is heading to play for Harvard in 2012.
So, there’s your breakdown, now it’s your turn to voice your opinion - vote in the poll and defend your vote in our comments section below and make sure to check out all our Super 8 coverage.
NORTH ANDOVER — Malden Catholic continued its assumed run to Super 8 glory on Wednesday night, knocking off Catholic Conference rival BC High, 4-2, in front of a sold-out Lawler Arena crowd of 1,500.
The Eagles (15-6-3) nearly stormed ahead in the second frame, scoring once on the power play and winning the period shot total 11-6, but the Lancers (20-2-2) held on and will face St. John’s Prep (18-5-1) for the Super 8 title at TD Garden Sunday at 6 p.m.
MC coach Chris Serino said he thought his players were too offensive-minded in the first two periods and it nearly cost them the game.
“We’ve been doing this the whole tournament,” he said after the win. “We’re just looking to go for the offense, giving up too many scoring chances. Hopefully we have one more stored up in us because we’re going to need it the way we’re playing.”
The explosive offense of Malden Catholic was on display within the games first minute, when a few early shots on Eagles’ sophomore goalie Peter Cronin, who made 24 saves in the game, led to a loose puck that sophomore Ryan Fitzgerald poked in for an early lead.
Killing a penalty midway through the second period, MC senior captain Mike Vecchione intercepted a pass in his own zone to give the Lancers a shorthanded 2-on-1 chance. But Cronin made the initial save to send the Eagles back the other way, and Fitzgerald was whistled for a tripping penalty that gave BC High a brief two-man advantage. Just seconds into the 5-on-3, senior defenseman Jack Buckley ripped a slap shot from the point that snuck through Young’s legs to tie things up, 1-1.
“I know we’ve scored more goals shorthanded than we’ve given up on the power play, but sometimes it hurts you,” Serino said.
MC killed two straight power plays following the goal, eventually taking the lead back when junior Brendan Collier knocked in a far-side rebound off a Vecchione wrist-shot.
If the Eagles were going put pressure on the tournament-favorites, the second period might have been their best chance. They had four power plays and peppered MC senior goalie Patrick Young, but Collier’s goal with four minutes left in the period allowed the Lancers keep the lead.
“In the second period, we played well,” said first-year Eagles’ coach John Flaherty. “We out-chanced them. But they capitalized as good teams do. And we didn’t capitalize on our chances.
“That team down the hall is a very, very good hockey team. We made them fight for their life tonight and I’m very proud of our guys for that.”
The Lancers’ second line got in on the scoring in the third period, when senior Garrett White beat Cronin top-shelf with a pair of wrist shots that gave MC a 4-1 lead. BC High freshman Tom Besinger put one in with three minutes left, but it was too late as the Lancers held on for the 4-2 win.
“They were taking the momentum away [in the second period], really coming at us,” Serino said. “I thought we played really well after we got the 3-1 lead. That lightened things up for us a little bit and took some of the pressure off. Hopefully the way we played in the third will carry over into the Garden.”
Young made 20 saves for Malden Catholic.
“He played awfully good,” Serino said. “He’s played really well in the tournament, made crucial saves at times when we needed him. He might have won the game for us tonight.”
Regardless of Sunday’s outcome, the tournament crown will be back in the hands of a private school following a one-year hiatus – Hingham took home the title in 2010.
Both the Lancers and the Eagles will be playing for the first Super 8 championship in school history, but Serino knows his squad will be under the spotlight.
“There’s a lot of pressure on these guys,” he said. “They’ve been No. 1 since the beginning. Anything more than the state title is going to be a disappointment for everybody, that’s what they believe.”
NORTH ANDOVER — After his team’s 5-1 loss to St. John’s Prep Wednesday night, Weymouth hockey coach Matt Cataldo was understandably disappointed and disheartened, and his tone reflected his deflation during his postgame meeting with the press.
At least until he was asked about Prep (18-5-1) centerman Colin Blackwell, who torched Cataldo’s Wildcats (18-6-2) for three goals and two assists in the win, which sends the Eagles to their first Super 8 final in program history.
“That Blackwell kid, I don’t know how you contain him,” a wide-eyed, flabbergasted Cataldo said. “Put him in a cage? He’s just so fast and so talented. He was unbelievable tonight. I’ve never seen anything like it at the high school level.”
Blackwell netted his first goal fifteen seconds into the second period. The Harvard-bound centerman scooped up a loose puck in the neutral zone, and rocketed down the right wing. Two Weymouth defenders were in prime position to defend the play, but by the time Blackwell reached the in-zone faceoff dot, he was already turning the corner on both players.
With the defenders’ sticks desperately slapping the ice at his heels, Blackwell swung the puck to his backhand and poked it past Weymouth goalie Brian Brady.
“That kid, I’ve just never seen speed like that,” Cataldo said. “His first two steps, it’s like a rocket ship.”
Globe correspondent Jake Seiner breaks down the third round of the Super 8 tournament, paying attention to who moves on to the crossover round while looking at the day's action.
LOWELL –– Of the 12 round-robin games played in this year’s Super 8 tournament, nine were decided by a goal or less.
Sunday's nightcap wasn’t one of them.
Harvard-bound senior Colin Blackwell put No. 2 St. John’s Prep on the board 10 seconds in, and the Eagles soared to a 6-1 victory over No. 3 BC High.
The win makes Prep the top-seeded team to come out of Bracket Two, meaning St. John’s will skate against No. 4 Weymouth Wednesday night. Meanwhile, BC High earns the unpleasant task of taking on No. 1 Malden Catholic
Over its previous six games, BC High had allowed three goals total. St. John's Prep matched that in the first 1:37 of Sunday's showdown.
Blackwell’s (one goal, two assists) goal was the first of four in the first period for St. John’s Prep. Blackwell scored the breakaway goal by simply toasting the entire BC High defense down the left wing. The senior cut at the left dot toward the net, and backhanded one through the five-hole of Eagle goalie Peter Cronin.
Thirty seconds later, Devin Murray turned a Ryan Palmer breakout pass into another breakaway finish. Then, 57 seconds after that, St. John’s Prep played pinball with the puck as Colin Blackwell one-touched a pass to John Farrow on the doorstep, where Farrow one-timed in the third goal.
End of 2nd period, St. John's Prep 4, BC High 1 -- BC High got on the board in the second, with Terence Durkin poking in a loose puck in front. The shots are dead even at 13 apiece, but SJP has clearly been the better team so far.
End of 1st period, St. John's Prep 4, BC High 0 -- It's safe to say there was more drama below the rink than on it during the first 15 minutes of this one. On the ice, St. John's Prep scored three times in the first 1:37. Colin Blackwell started the scoring with a breakaway finish 10 seconds into the game, followed 30 seconds later by a breakaway tally from Devin Murray. Then, 1:37 in, Blackwell played keystone in a tic-tac-toe passing play that resulted in a tap-in goal for John Farrow.
Shane Eiserman added a third breakaway goal with 25 seconds to play in the frame.
While all this was going on, MIAA officials met in the tunnels with coaches from Weymouth and Central Catholic discussing the outcome of their identical 1-2 records in round-robin play. Central beat Weymouth head-to-head, and both held an identical advantage in goal differential over Hingham, also 1-2.
Officials eventually informed the teams that Weymouth would advance thanks to an advantage in goal quotient, which is goals scored divided by goals allowed.
Stay posted for updates throughout the game. You can also follow along on Twitter at @GlobeSchools or @jseiner.
LOWELL –– Ryan Fitzgerald sniped home the game-winner with 1:21 to play, and No.1 Malden Catholic marched into the crossover round with a come-from-behind, 5-4 victory over No. 4 Weymouth.
Despite the loss, Weymouth advances to the Super 8 crossover round thanks to an advantage in goal quotient, which is goals scored over goals allowed.
The tiebreaker leaves No. 8 Central Catholic out of the crossover round, despite a tournament victory over Weymouth and an identical record and goal differential.
Malden stormed back from a 2-0 deficit with a three-goal second period, only to watch the lead vanish in the third. Wildcat senior Corey Tulpin netted the equalizer, zipping a point shot through traffic and by MC goalie Pat Young.
Minutes later, Tyler Piacentini failed to get off a shot on a breakaway attempt for Weymouth, but recovered and slid a pass back to linemate Trevor King. Young went down on the play, and King floated the puck over the fallen goaltender and in to give Weymouth a 4-3 lead.
With just under four to play, Malden Catholic reknotted the score. The squad's second line of Mike Iovanna, Nick Roberto, and Garrett White has been unstoppable throughout the tournament, and came through again with two big goals, including the equalizer in the third.
This time, it was Nick Roberto scoring the tally, deflecting a shot from Iovanna with his skate and by Weymouth goalie Brian Brady.
Malden Catholic will play Wednesday against the loser of tonight's St. John's Prep-BC High night cap, while Weymouth gets the winner.
End of 2nd period, Malden Catholic 3, Weymouth 2 -- A big three-goal period for Malden Catholic, capped by a Ryan Fitzgerald breakaway tally with 4 seconds to play. The lefty sniped the go-ahead goal top shelf by Wildcat goalie Brian Brady.
The Lancers got on the board about five minutes into the second on a big Weymouth miscue. Brady attempted and failed to clear a puck from behind his own cage. MC sophomore Mike Iovanna picked off the attempt, and two strides later slid the puck into an empty Weymouth net to cut the lead to 2-1
The Lancers squared the score midway through the frame. MC's Garrett White netted the goal, deflecting a grounder from the point by defenseman Colin MacGillvray. The trickler slid by Brady unnoticed, tying the score 2-2. Despite the deflection, MacGillvray was credit with the goal, with Iovanna picking up the primary assist for his second point of the night.
End of 1st period, Malden Catholic 0, Weymouth 2-- Weymouth dominated the early going, jumping to a 1-0 lead and a 10-4 shot advantage in the first ten minutes of play. Ian Sheridan scored the Wildcats' first goal, following up after Bob Ganley was stoned by MC goalie Pat Young on a breakaway chance. Young slid out of the crease to make the save, and when Sheridan found the rebound at the doorstep, the entire cage was open for scoring.
Minutes later, Tyler Piacentini extended the lead to 2-0, putting his stick on a rebound in front and beating Young to the goalie's left. Corey Tuplin and Trevor King pick up assists on the goal.
Stay posted here or follow along on Twitter at @GlobeSchools and @jseiner for updates throughout the night.
NORTH ANDOVER -- For one night, Central Catholic players were Malden Catholic fans.
The Raiders lost in their final round robin game, 2-1, to Hingham and needed Malden Catholic to beat Weymouth by at least two goals to advance to the crossover round.
Malden Catholic beat Weymouth, 5-4, putting MC, Weymouth, St. John's Prep and BC High in the crossover round.
James Gordon scored the game winner for Hingham with 6:51 left in the second period. Steve Bellew also scored a goal and Alex Pompeo tallied two assists.
Tommy Evangelista scored for Central Catholic.
End of the 3rd period: Hingham 2, Central Catholic 1 -- No Scoring in the period. Hingham goalie Derek McInnis made 22 saves to pick up the victory.
End of 2nd peroid: Hingham 2, Central Catholic 1 -- James Gordon gives the Harbormen a 2-1 lead with 6:51 remaining. He slid a wrister underneath Central Catholic goalie Kyle Williams' pads from the right hash. Alex Pompeo also picked up his second assist of the day.
End of 1st period: Hingham 1, Central Catholic 1 -- Steve Bellew put the Harbormen on top with a nifty goal. After receiving a pass from Alex Pompeo, the defenseman put on a deke to his right to lose a defender and then roofed a backhand past Williams.
The Raiders struck back with 3:23 remaining on a Tommy Evangelista snap shot from the left face off circle.
NORTH ANDOVER -- John Concannon scored with 5:28 left in the game to give Woburn a 2-2 tie with Needham in their final Super 8 game.
Since both teams were out of contention for the crossover games, the game did not go to overtime.
In the second period, Needham scored twice in less than two minutes to take a 2-1 lead into the final frame. DJ Walsh tied the game at 1-1 with 9:42 remaining after tipping a point shot on net and then banging home his own rebound. Timmy Parlato followed with 7:48 remaining. Parlato scored on a seeing-eye wrister from the point with 1 second left on a power play.
Daniel Holland gave the Tanners a 1-0 lead with 10:14 remaining in the second period by chipping the puck over Needham goalie Connor Murray.
End of 3rd period: Needham 2, Woburn 2 -- John Concannon tied the game with 5:28 to play, sweeping in a loose puck.
End of 2nd period: Needham 2, Woburn 1 -- Woburn took a 1-0 lead after Daniel Holland chipped a rebound over Needham's Connor Murray. However, the Rockets tied the game 32 seconds later on a goal by DJ Walsh. Walsh tipped a Scott Atkinson point shot on goal and then banged home his own rebound. The Rockets took a 2-1 lead on a power play goal by Timmy Parlato. Parlato's shot from the point took a funny bounce and squeezed past Woburn's Cam McGlashing.
End of 1st period: Woburn 0, Needham 0 -- No scoring in the first period but there were a few quality opportunities for both squads. Needham's Sam Nickles had a short-handed breakaway but was stoned by McGlashing. The Tanners went 0-2 on the power play. Woburn outshot the Rockets, 12-6.
The MIAA announced the sites for its Super 8 Division 1A hockey game this upcoming Sunday, with the four games being split between Tsongas Arena in Lowell and Merrimack College in North Andover.
To start the day, and Round 3 of the tournament, Needham will play Woburn at 11:30 a.m. at Merrimack College, followed by Hingham vs. Central Catholic at 1:30 p.m.
In the evening, Malden Catholic will play Weymouth at 5 p.m. at Tsongas Arena, followed by St. John's Prep taking on BC High at 7 p.m.
The sites of two of the games had previously been undetermined because of a conflict with Merrimack College's Lawler Arena. Merrimack's men's hockey team is currently in the Hockey East quarterfinals and could possibly host a 5 p.m. game on Sunday.
Tsongas Arena hosted last year's Super 8 tournament.
St. John’s Prep pummeled Needham 5-1 and BC High eked by Woburn, 1-0, as the Catholic Conference rivals clinched crossover round berths in the Super 8 tournament.
Tom Besinger scored the game-winner with less than five minutes to play in the first period, and BC High clinched a spot in the Super 8 crossover round with a 1-0 win over Woburn.
Both goaltenders shined in net, with Eagle goaltender Peter Cronin earning the shutout on 18 saves. Woburn's Cam McGlashing may have been more impressive in the loss, turning away 23 BC High shots.
Tom Besinger put the Eagles up 1-0 in the first period, finishing a play started by linemate Terence Durkin. Durkin moved the puck into the zone, and spun one defender around so hard, the defender lost his stick and his footing. Durkin lost control trying to deke a second defender, and the puck slid atop to the right side of the crease, where Besinger dove and poked it in.
The goal sparked a fast-paced finish to the first period that carried over into the second. Both teams struggled in transition defense in the second period, forcing both goalies to make a handful of tremendous saves to keep the score where it was.
Woburn had a few substantial scoring chances in the frame, none better than Casey Shea's look from the left side of the crease. The righty wound to fire a one-timer at a wide-open cage, but on his downswing, his stick blade slid out of its graphite shaft, causing the junior to duff the shot wide.
The Tanners had another close call in the third, when a point shot slid behind BC High's Cronin and trickled toward the goal line. Eagle defenseman Matt Doherty bailed out his goaltender, though, by diving through the crease to clear the puck from danger with his stick.
Final, BC High 1, Woburn 0 -- For the second straight game, Woburn just refuses to go away, but in the end, BC High blocked too many shots, and BC High goalie Peter Cronin was ready for the 18 that got through. BC High and St. John's Prep have now clinched spots in the crossover round.
End of 2nd period, BC High 1, Woburn 0 -- Things opened up early in the first period and stayed that way in the second. Tons of back and forth action as both teams struggled mightily with transition defense. And yet, no goals in the second frame either way, mostly thanks to the goaltending of Peter Cronin (11 saves) and Cam McGlashing (15 saves).
End of 1st period, BC High 1, Woburn 0 -- A very cautious first eight minutes gives way to a frenetic final seven, and BC High heads to the dressing rooms up 1-0. Tom Besinger scored the goal, completing a magnificent play started by Terence Durkin. Durkin spun one defender around so quick with a deke, the player lost his stick, then moved the puck to Besinger's direction. The puck was way ahead of Besinger, but the freshman dove for it and put just enough stick on the puck to slide it into the cage.
Final, St. John's Prep 5, Needham 1 -- More dominant play from the Eagles in the third backed by goals from Devin Murray and Shane Eiserman, and Prep skates away with the victory to move to 2-0 in Super 8 play. With a win tonight from BC High or a win Sunday over BC High, St. John's Prep can guarantee itself a spot in the crossover round.
End of 2nd period, St. John's Prep 3, Needham 1-- The Eagle lead stays at two thanks to a goal from Colin Blackwell 57 seconds into the frame. The senior charged the Needham zone for a one-on-two, but by the team he reached the hashes, he'd already deked through both defenders. Blackwell roofed the puck by Murray from right atop the doorstep.
Needham had consecutive power-play chances right after the Blackwell goal, but failed to convert, and didn't get on the board until the 2:08 remained in the frame. No word on Rocket forward DJ Walsh's religious views, but either way, the junior's Ash Wednesday prayers were answered when he whipped a desperation centering pass into a pack of Prep defenders. The puck bounced off an Eagle leg and skidded five-hole on goalie David Letarte, cutting the deficit to 3-1.
End of 1st period, St. John's Prep 2, Needham 0 -- Freshman Shane Eiserman put the Eagles on the board first, but credit should really go to senior Harvard-commit Colin Blackwell. The standout broke from the left halfwall with the puck and emerged with it in the slot after deking around the entire Rocket defense, which was cramped mostly around the left hashmarks. From the slot, Blackwell wristed one in front, where Eiserman's tip bounced off Needham goalie Connor Murray and in for the 1-0 lead.
Nick Pandelena stretched the lead to 2-0 with a buzzer-beater at the end of the frame. Yes, that's right, a hockey buzzer-beater. The defenseman wound and fired a desperation slapper from the right point, and just before the horn sounded, the shot zipped under the crossbar.
Globe correspondent Jake Seiner recaps the first day second round Super 8 hockey action at Merrimack College.
Final: Central Catholic 2, Weymouth 1Kyle Williams makes 23 saves in total, including eight in the third period, and Central holds on for the win. Central, Weymouth, and Malden Catholic could all now advance to the Super 8 crossover round, with Malden Catholic almost assuredly passing with by far the largest goal differential.
End of 2nd period: Central Catholic 2, Weymouth 1
Central takes a 2-1 lead on a power-play goal by Tommy Evangelista. Nick Leonard (1 goal, 1 assist) started the play, skating the puck down the right wing to beneath the goal line. Leonard backhanded a drop pass to Evangelista atop the right side of the crease, and the junior ripped the go-ahead tally home from there on a one-time effort.
End of 1st period: Weymouth 1, Central Catholic 1
Tyler Piacentini put the Wildcats up early on a goal assisted by, of course, linemate Riley Flanagan. The goal gives Piacentini 64 points and 32 goals for the season. Central knotted the score late in the frame after Nick Leonard was tripped on a short-handed breakaway chance. The officials awarded Leonard a penalty shot, and Central's leading point-scorer didn't waste the chance, converting on a quick backhand-to-forehand deke.
NORTH ANDOVER — After changing arenas to host the Super 8 Division 1A hockey tournament, the MIAA boasted of the attendance in the tournament's first round at Merrimack College's Lawler Arena.
Now, the MIAA has to possibly find a new site for two games slated for Sunday, says MIAA president Bill Gaines.
"What I can tell you is this, there will be a game at 11:45 (a.m.) and 1:45 (p.m.) here," said Gaines. "But the other two games, we've yet to determine."
Merrimack College's men's hockey team is in the Hockey East quarterfinals and could possibly host a 5 p.m. game Sunday, pushing the high schoolers out of college's arena.
Gaines said the MIAA will know by Thursday which two games will be played at Merrimack College. One tournament official said the other two games, if it comes to that, would likely be played at the Chelmsford Forum.
Lawler Arena is smaller than Tsongas Arena, seating a little more than 1,000 spectators, but has fit well, according to the MIAA.
"We were very pleased,'' tournament director Jim O'Connor told the Globe after the first round. He added the attendance was up from last year's opening day in Lowell.
"The games were all very exciting.''
About 100 to 150 fans were turned away during the first round's nightcap game between Malden Catholic and Central Catholic.
Final: Malden Catholic 8, Hingham 1--
Two more goals for the Malden attack as Garrett White picks up his fourth of the game and Brendan Collier adds one as well. With a Weymouth win in game two tonight, Malden would clinch a spot in the crossover round.
End of 2nd period: Malden Catholic 6, Hingham 1 --
The Harbormen just found out the hard way just how explosive and deep Malden Catholic is. Garrett White scored two more goals to complete a hat trick, Mike Iovanna netted two goals and Ryan Fitzgerald added another, giving MC five goals on 9 shots. Derek McInnis hasn't been as good as he was in the first, but hasn't been awful either –– the Lancers are just toying with the Hingham defense at this point.
End of 1st period: Malden Catholic 1, Hingham 1--
Both goaltenders got off to a rough start in the first period. Hingham scored on its second shot of the game, when James Gordon zipped by a downed Lancer defender, turned at the goal line and backhanded the game's first score stick side by MC's Pat Young. Malden Catholic responded quickly, as Garrett White one-timed a Nick Roberto faceoff win off Hingham goalie Derek McInnis and in to knot the game at 1-1. MC upped the pressure from there, winning the first-period shot battle 10-6, but McInnis has been outstanding since allowing the first tally.
Attendance for the first day of the Super 8 hockey tournament at Merrimack College was 4,527, a figure that had MIAA officials smiling. "We were very pleased,'' said tournament director Jim O'Connor, who added the attendance was up from last year's opening day in Lowell. "The games were all very exciting.''
O'Connor said that approximately 100-150 fans were turned away at the door for the game between Malden Catholic and Central Catholic, the last of four games at Merrimack.
The tournament resumes Tuesday at Merrimack.
Globe correspondent Jake Seiner recaps the first round of the Super 8 hockey tournament, highlighted by top-seeded Malden Catholic beating Central Catholic, 4-3, in the nightcap in front of a packed house.
Winslow Townson / For the Globe
Check out photos of the first round of the Super 8 tournament here, featuring St. John's Prep's 4-3 overtime win over Woburn and Weymouth's comeback win over Hingham. There's also shots from Malden Catholic's close win over Central Catholic.
NORTH ANDOVER -- Malden Catholic's Brendan Collier and Ryan Fitzgerald scored 25 seconds apart in the third period to break a 2-2 tie en route to a 4-3 win in Super 8 play.
Collier also scored a goal in the first period and UNH-bound Mike Vecchione recorded three assists. Lancers goalie Patrick Young rebounded from a shaky first period performance to tally 21 saves.
Alex Lester and Mike Kelleher scored first period goals for the Raiders. Goalie Kyle Williams made 23 saves.
Final: Malden Catholic 4, Central Catholic 3: Brendan Collier and Ryan Fitzgerald scored goals 25 seconds apart to give the Lancers a 4-2 lead with 10:03 remaining in the game.
Central Catholic's Nick Leonard one-time a shot past Patrick Young to pull the Raiders within goal, 4-3, with 4:54 left in the game.
End of 2nd period: Malden Catholic 2, Central Catholic 2 -- No scoring in the period. MC had a few good chances towards the end of the frame, but nothing materialized. Shots in the period: MC 12, Central Catholic 10.
End of 1st period: Malden Catholic 2, Central Catholic 2 -- After Brendan Collier gave Malden Catholic a 1-0 lead with 12:10 remaining, Central Catholic responded. 2:00 after MC scored, Mike Kelleher tied the game. 1:25 after that, Alex Lester roofed a rebound to give the Raiders a 2-1 advantage against the No. 1 seed in the tournament.
Garrett White tied the score at 2-2 with 1:10 remaining. Nick Roberto centered a pass from Gretzky's office and White deposited it in the back of the net.
Malden Catholic and Central Catholic have taken the ice for warm ups. This is the final game of the Super 8's first day of round-robin play. Puck will drop in about 10 minutes. Stay tuned for end of period updates.
NORTH ANDOVER – The last time No. 2 St. John's Prep and No. 7 Woburn collided, the Eagles soared over the Tanners in a 6-0 trouncing.
This one, it's safe to say, was quite a bit closer.
Casey Shea –– who scored five goals in Woburn's 5-2 play-in game victory over Springfield Cathedral Monday –– netted an equalizing tally with 6:41 to play to send the game to overtime.
But the Eagles prevailed in the extra frame, with John Farrow netting his second goal of the game to secure a 4-3 St. John's Prep victory.
Harvard-bound senior Colin Blackwell started the winning play, crashing the Woburn net from the left side with the puck. Blackwell's initial shot was denied by goalie Cam McGlashing, but the rebound trickled beyond the right side of the crease.
Farrow was there, albeit on his rear, to shove the puck back into the cage.
The goal was Farrow's second of the game, with the first coming 44 seconds into the second period. The senior scored fresh off the bench, leaping over the boards and heading straight for the slot. Matt MacDonald found Farrow with a pass from below the goal line, and Farrow slid the puck five-hole on McGlashing.
Final: St. John's Prep 4, Woburn 3 (OT)-- Colin Blackwell rushes the puck to the Woburn net and slides a shot off goalie Cam McGlashing's pads. The rebound comes right to John Farrow, who was put on his rear by a defender. Farrow swooped the puck while on his back once off McGlashing, then by him for the overtime winner.
End of 3rd period: St. John's Prep 3, Woburn 3-- Midway through the frame, Casey Shea continued his dominant Super 8 run with the goal of the tournament to this point. Shea rushed the zone 1-on-2, smoked one defender down the wing then slid into the slot by deking through the other D-man's legs. The deke threw Prep goalie Dave Letarte off the trail, and the junior tied the game with a backhanded finish.
With that, we're headed to a 12-minute, sudden-death overtime. If that doesn't solve things, we'll head to a shootout.
End of 2nd period: St. John's Prep 3, Woburn 2 --It took the Eagles just 44 seconds to extend their first period lead, with John Farrow hopping off the bench and sliding a pass from Matt MacDonald five-hole. Two minutes later, the Tanners responded, as Alex Hollan joined his brother on the scoresheet with a snipe from near the right faceoff dot.
End of 1st period: St. John's Prep 2, Woburn 1 -- Dan Holland put the Tanners up early, swooping behind the cage and spinning a pinpoint wrister just under the crossbar. The Eagles responded with back-to-back tallies just past the midway mark. Colin Blackwell netted the first, one-touching a centering pass from rookie Shane Eiserman past Woburn goalie Cam McGlashing. Then Sam Kurker put St. John's Prep on top by beating his defender down the right wing and sliding one five-hole on McGlashing about a minute later.
NORTH ANDOVER -- Riley Flanagan scored the game tying goal and assisted on the game winning goal as Weymouth defeated defending Super 8 champion Hingham, 4-3, at Merrimack's Lawler Arena. Trevor King scored the game winning goal with 2:45 left in the third period, poking home a centering pass from Flanagan.
The Wildcats Tyler Piacentini tallied two assists and goalie Brian Brady made 16 saves including a highway robbery of a Ryan Linehan shot that was ticketed for the top corner of the net.
Hingham's Alex Pompeo had a two point night (goal, assist). Linehan and Dan Griffin also scored for the Harbormen.
End of 3rd period: Weymouth 4, Hingham 3 -- The Wildcats came out of the intermission reinvigorated. Riley Flanagan tied the game with a doorstep tip in off a pass from Tyler Piacentini. Flanagan then set up the game winner. He centered a pass to Trevor King who deposited the puck in the net with 2:45 remaining in the game.
End of 2nd period: Hingham 3, Weymouth 2 -- That was an entertaining period. Weymouth took a 2-1 lead on the power play. Riley Flanagan tipped a Steve Bristol point shot past McInnis. After that, however, Hingham lived in their offensive zone. The Harbormen had a flurry of chances that included a hit post. Dan Griffin tied the score for Hingham, redirecting a John Carlson shot.
Ryan Linehan gave the Harbormen a 3-2 lead with 50.2 seconds remaining. He took a pass in the slot and picked the top corner of the net with a wrister.
End of 1st period: Hingham 1, Weymouth 1 -- Some nice back and forth action between the two rival squads. The Wildcats took an early lead after Jonathan Wilson zipped a shot glove side on Hingham goalie Derek McInnis. Wilson was set up by a nifty back handed pass from Ian Sheridan. The Harbormen tied it on the power play with 5.2 seconds remaining in the period. Alex Pompeo let loose with a blast from the blue line that found its way through traffic and past Weymouth goalie Brian Brady.
Hingham and Weymouth have taken the ice for warm ups. We are about six minutes from the drop of the puck. Stay tuned for updates at the end of the periods.
NORTH ANDOVER –– For two and a half periods, No. 3 BC High and No. 6 Needham played scoreless hockey at Lawler Arena.
But the Eagles, who dominated time of possession and built a 26-14 shot advantage, earned the Super 8 round-robin win, 2-0, on the strength of Mike Cashman's power-play goal with 6:28 to play.
Cashman scored from point-blank range, taking in a pass just above the right-side goal line and moving toward the slot before ripping a water-bottle popping wrister over Needham goalie Connor Murray's shoulder.
Needham put just three shots on goal in the third, and Andrew White scored an empty-netter to lock up the win with 32.2 seconds to play.
Peter Cronin earned the shutout for BC High, making 14 saves.
Final: BC High 2, Needham 0-- BC High's Mike Cashman breaks the 0-0 deadlock with 6:28 to play as the Eagles dominate the possession game in the third. Needham put together a scoring push near the end, but Andrew White's empty-netter with 32.2 seconds to play clinched the win. BC High's Paul Cronin picks up the 14-save shutout.
End of 2nd period: BC High 0, Needham 0 -- BC High piles up 10 shots in the second period –– including six on an early power-play chance –– but we're still scoreless. The Eagles dominated a big chunk of that period, but Needham came on strong with a flurry of scoring chances late in the frame. After a lot of passive play, things opened up a bit in the last five minutes of the second. Should be a fun third period if that keeps up.
End of 1st period: BC High 0, Needham 0 -- Scoreless after one here at Lawler. BC High holding a 6-2 advantage in the shot department and generally playing a stronger game as of now. Both teams failed to convert on power-play chances, with BC High blocking four Needham shots on the Rockets' man-up try, while Needham actually outshot the Eagles, 1-0, when BC High went on the power play.
The MIAA has announced the field for the Super 8 boys ice hockey tournament. Here's the field:
1. Malden Catholic (16-2-2)
2. St. John's Prep (14-5-1)
3. BC High (13-4-3)
4. Weymouth (17-3-2)
5. Hingham (13-5-4)
6. Needham (12-6-4)
7. Woburn (17-3-1)
8. Central Catholic (16-5-1)
9. St. Mary's Lynn (14-5-3)
10. Springfield Cathedral (12-9-1)
Woburn and Cathedral will play at 6 p.m. in Chelmsford Monday Feb. 28, and Central vs. St. Mary's will follow at 8 p.m. for the play-in round. Winner of the Woburn-Cathedral game gets the No. 7 seed moving forward, and winner of the Central-St. Mary's game gets the No. 8 seed.
1. Malden Catholic (14-2-2): No surprise here. The Lancers have run the table atop these rankings, and will finish up with games at the Cathedral (Springfield) Tournament.
2. St. John’s Prep (12-5-1): The Eagles are as hot as any team in the state, having won seven of their last eight, including six wins over teams under consideration for the tournament.
3. BC High (12-4-3): It’s a good time to be an Eagle in the Catholic Conference, it seems. Over the last two weeks, BC High has toppled No. 7 Catholic Memorial, No. 15 Xaverian, No. 6 Hingham, and No. 14 Austin prep.
4. Weymouth (17-2-2): The Wildcats solidified themselves as a top-six team Monday with a 2-0 win over CM. Seniors Tyler Piacentini and Riley Flanagan can skate with –– and perhaps by –– anybody in the state.
5. St. Mary’s (12-5-3): The Spartans’ are just 5-5 out-of-conference, but you don’t go undefeated in the Catholic Central on luck alone. St. Mary’s will roll as far as goaltender Don Hesse carries them.
6. Hingham (12-5-4): The Harbormen responded big time from a 4-0 loss to BC High last week, knocking off Duxbury 6-0 in the second-round of the Cape Cod Classic. Hingham holds down the last automatic-qualification spot for now, but the teams behind it still have a chance to sharpen their resumes.
7. Catholic Memorial (8-8-2): A Super 8 without the Knights? There’s no way that could happen, right? Historically, CM has played well against Wednesday opponent, Fairfield College Prep (Conn.). If the Knights lose that game, their Friday showdown with St. John’s Prep becomes a must-win just to qualify for the tournament.
8. Woburn (15-3-1): As the teams around them continue to falter, it looks like the Tanners are destined for at least a play-in game. Somebody has to represent the Middlesex, and Woburn owns at least a share of the conference crown.
9. Billerica (10-1-7): The Indians weren’t on anybody’s radar at the beginning of the year, but should lock up the Merrimack Valley Conference/Dual County League title against Westford Academy Wednesday.
10. Cathedral (Springfield) (12-7-1): The final spot is 100 percent up for grabs with four days of games left. Cathedral gets the nod for now with recent wins over St. John’s Prep and St. Mary’s, but Central Catholic, Needham, and even Reading could slide by the Panthers if they slip up.
Looking in from the cold:
11. Central Catholic
14. Austin Prep
16. St. John’s Shrewsbury
17. Arlington Catholic
FALMOUTH — As if the raucous student sections and the packed house wasn’t enough to tip off BC High senior Terence Durkin about the importance of yesterday’s game between his No. 5 Eagles and No. 3 Hingham, a bit of mid-week reading certainly did the job.
The Eagles (11-4-3) headed into the game as a likely Super 8 squad. But backed by two goals from Durkin, BC High took a decisive 5-0 win from the Harbormen (11-5-4) in first-round Cape Cod Classic opening round action.
In the process, the Eagles moved from contender to team-to-beat status in the state’s ultimate high school hockey tournament.
“I read a couple newspapers talking about how this is the game of the week, that it would kind of tell who would be in the Super 8 and where we would be and all that,” Durkin said. “It was big for seeding or for us getting in.”
BC High jumped on the Harbormen right out of the gate. Senior Jake Tenaglia put the Eagles on the board less than four minutes in, scooping up a rebound off Sean Talbot’s shot and depositing the puck into a wide-open cage.
The goal was the first of three straight rebound goals for the Eagles. Tom Besinger netted goal No. 2, crashing the net and lifting the puck over downed Hingham netminder Derek McInnis with 4:06 to play in the first.
Midway through the second, Durkin extended the lead to 3-0 in similar fashion, stuffing home a loose puck that Hingham goalie Derek McInnis failed to control with the glove.
Hingham got its best chance at a comeback about four minutes later. Within seconds of each other, BC High’s Talbot and Tenaglia took penalties, giving Hingham a full 1:30 of five-on-three time.
The Harbormen moved the puck effectively on the man-up try, but managed just one shot on net — a relatively easy save for netminder Peter Cronin (24 saves).
“We’ve been good on five-on-three all year,” Hingham coach Tony Messina said. “We got some good chances on diagonal passes. It would’ve really changed the momentum for us, or at least made us feel a bit better about the game.”
Senior Andrew White’s early third-period tally extended the lead to four, and then Durkin struck again with a mesmerizing forehand-to-backhand breakaway score.
“Terence Durkin can fly,” BC High coach John Flaherty said. “When he’s moving his feet, there aren’t many defensemen who can keep up with him. He has a gift, and he uses it and you saw that tonight”
The song remains the same this week in the Globe’s projected Super 8 field, with the same 10 teams as last week doing a bit of shuffling but holding court on the tournament spots.1. Malden Catholic (11-2-2) – Struggles? What struggles? Just when it looked like Massachusetts may have found a chink in the Lancers’ armor, BU-bound Brendan Collier blew up for eight goals in three games last week. Among the three wins was a 9-0 shellacking of Xaverian and a 5-2 win over BC High.
2. Catholic Memorial (7-5-1) – The wintry weather postponed the Knights’ showdown with St. John’s Prep last Tuesday until Feb. 25, meaning second place in the Catholic Conference might not be decided until CM’s final game. Before that, the squads will make up a Dec. 27 postponement this Tuesday.
3. St. John’s Prep (8-4-1) – The Eagles have reeled off three straight 4-1 wins against BC High, Austin Prep, and Xaverian since losing to MC. Prep holds a one point advantage over CM in the Catholic Conference at the moment, thanks primarily to the league’s second best offense (5.08 goals per game) behind MC.
4. Hingham (8-4-4) – Hingham snapped a four-game winless streak with a dramatic 5-3 win over St. Mary’s Saturday. Alex Pompeo netted the game-winner for the Harbormen in that one with 49 seconds to play. Hingham’s schedule is a bit lighter than usual over the next two weeks, meaning the Harbormen have a chance to roll with any momentum gained heading down the home stretch.FULL ENTRY
The calendar finally says February and that means the Super 8 hockey tournament is just around the corner. With the selection meeting scheduled for Feb. 26, the Globe starts today with a look at who will make it, what the seeds might be, and who’s on the bubble.
1. Malden Catholic (9-2-2) – There are few certainties among this Super 8 list, but one of them is that Malden Catholic is the most talented high school team in Massachusetts. MC’s Hockey East-bound top line of Mike Vecchione, Brendan Collier, and Ryan Fitzgerald have combined for more goals this year (41) than six of the teams on this top 10 list.
2. Catholic Memorial (7-5-1) – After the Lancers, everything gets murky. The thinking here is the Knight’s struggling offense (2.846 goals per game) is more due to bad puck luck than a lack of finishing skill. At the same time, CM missed on multiple point-blank chances against Malden in a 1-1 tie last week, and some guys might be gripping the sticks a bit too tight.
3. Xaverian (7-3-1) – The Hawks can skate with any team in Massachusetts, save for perhaps the Lancers –– we’ll get our answer to that when the teams square off Wednesday. When Xaverian hasn’t been able to outskate and outwork opponents, goaltender Dave Michaels has been a savior, as was the case in a 3-2 win over CM on Jan. 15.
4. St. John’s Prep (7-4-1) – Preseason, everyone wanted to know how far Harvard-bound Colin Blackwell could carry the Eagles. The supporting cast may not be what Chris Serino is working with in Malden, but Kristian Hanson’s squad is plenty skilled, evidenced by its 5.167 goals per game.
5. Weymouth (12-1-1) – The Wildcats have emerged as the Bay State Conference’s top squad, and solidified their standing as a Super 8 contender by knocking off Hingham 5-2 on the Harbormen’s home ice. Still ahead on the Weymouth schedule: Needham, St Mary’s, Braintree, CM, and Central Catholic.
6. St. Mary’s (9-1-3) – The Spartans have emerged as the Catholic Central’s strongest squad, evidenced by a 6-0-3 league record. St. Mary’s is veteran-laden and plays well within coach Mark Lee’s system, and are backed by Donald Hesse (1.660 goals-against average) in net.
7. Central Catholic (9-3-0) – After struggling to a 1-3 start, the Raiders have gone 8-0 in January, including big wins over No. 11 Arlington Catholic and St. John’s Prep. With perhaps the easiest schedule left of any team on this list, it’s up to Central Catholic to keep its collective foot on the gas for a potential Super 8 appearance.
8. Hingham (6-4-4) – The Harbormen have slid hard since knocking off Malden Catholic on Jan. 15, having dropped contests to No. 10 Reading and Cathedral (Springfield) and settling for a tie with No. 17 Marshfield. Hingham didn’t do itself any favors in a 5-2 loss to Weymouth Monday night, either.
9. BC High (7-3-3) – Only once, in 2008, have all five Catholic Conference squads qualified for the Super 8. This year could easily become the second. The Eagles are just two points out of second place in the league, and a resume highlighted by a 3-3 tie to MC and a 2-1 win over Xaverian.
10. Reading (9-3-1) – The Middlesex league is incredibly competitive right now, and the Rockets are standing out primarily on their out-of-conference resume, highlighted by a 2-2 tie with Arlington Catholic and a 3-2 win over Hingham. Reading’s forecheck is a force to be reckoned with, and the team’s highly aggressive style forces opponents to make quick decisions on the breakout –– not a strength on most high school hockey squads.
Bubble watch: Arlington Catholic, Braintree, Woburn, Wakefield
Photo by Matthew J. Lee, Globe StaffThere will be high fives and smiles on the public side of the endless public-versus-private debate in Massachusetts hockey today after Hingham knocked off Catholic Memorial 1-0 to win the Super 8.
“I got a lot of emails and phone calls and texts from other public school coaches and alums throughout the week,” Hingham head coach Tony Messina said. “There was a lot of sentiment behind us and we knew it.”
That sentiment spilled over at the Garden in the form of several thousand red clad specatators who cheered the Harbormen on to victory. More than 700 of whom had gathered for a pre game rally at the Harp across the street from the Garden.
But it wasn’t just a public school knocking off a Catholic school, this was Catholic Memorial. CM was the consensus top team in the state, defending Super 8 champions and owners of 12 of the previous 19 championship trophies.
“It really means a lot to us to beat CM,” Messina said. “They are a great team and we have a ton of respect for their program.”
Hingham’s victory was sealed by their man between the pipes, Derek McInnis. McInnis stopped all 19 shots he faced en route to a shutout. But it wasn’t so much the quantity of his saves, but the quality that made them remarkable.
“He had an unbelievable game,” Messina said. “He stopped pucks that I didn’t think he saw, he was just tremendous.”
For McInnis himself, this game was the fulfillment of a dream.
“Every night when I go to bed, I visualize playing CM in the Super 8,” McInnis said. “It's what you want.”
Hingham’s lone goal came halfway through the first period, on the only power play that the Harbormen would get, when Tim Driscoll tipped a Steven Bellew shot past Tommy Knox.
“It wasn’t a flashy goal, just a solid tip," Messina said. “Knox is really good and you have to make sure he doesn’t see them all.”
We're live chatting the Super 8 championship at the TD Garden as Catholic Memorial and Hingham square off for the championship.
At stake is Catholic Memorial's 14 title and Hingham's first championship ever. Not to mention it would be the second public to every win (Reading won in 2008).
But before we get to the chat, check out our 5 keys to the game:
5. Stay out of the box
Hingham's power play is scary when they get rolling, ask Cathedral who saw the Harbormen roll up three extra man tallies on them in the opener of the Super 8. CM's PP is nothing to sneeze at either, Derek Colucci, Troy Starrett, T. J. O'Brien, Vinny Repucci, David Lazaro, Brian Besinger, its like an all star team, they just keep coming.
4. Under Pressure
The Harbormen rode three different goaltenders this season before settling on Derek McInnis in the Super 8. He has played well, and has certianly nailed down the number one spot, but can he continue to perform at a high level in pressure spots?
3. Garden Party
Tony Messina might need to take a page from the book of Norman Dale and take the Harbormen on a pregame tour of TD Garden. Playing on TV, in front of a huge crowd in an NHL arena can be intimidating. It's old hat for a CM team that returns many of its stars from the Super 8 title team last year, but how will the Harbormen fare in the glare?
2. Public display of affection
Hingham travels well, CM doesn't. Hingham will have the support of most of the neutral fans based on the sentimentality of a public school on what has been Catholic school turf. This means that the game on Sunday will feel like a road game for CM, can they overcome that environment?
1. Great expectations
Can Catholic Memorial live up to their impressive rep? The players are almost expected to win this tournament year in and year out. A season without at least a CM title appearance is an unsuccessful season in West Roxbury. Will the weight of those expectations hurt the Knights or propel them to greatness?
Now on to that chat...
Knox, a junior, notched 26 saves en route to his fourth shutout of the season, and first in tournament play.
Despite only putting five shots on net in the first, CM jumped out to a 1-0 lead. Knights’ defenseman Vinny Repucci drew the defense on a wrap around and dished, cross-crease, to forward Brian Besinger who beat AP goalie Brendan Leahy stick side.
Catholic Memorial 1 0 0 - 1
Austin Prep 0 0 0 - 0
Scoring: CM, Brian Besinger (Vinny Repucci, Matt Dalton) 9:59.
Saves: CM, Tommy Knox 26; AP, Brendan Leahy 26.
End of the second period: Catholic Memorial 1, Austin Prep 0
Catholic Memorial has gotten its shots on goal but Austin Prep goalie Brendan Leahy is held the fort down, keeping the Knights out of the net in what is usually their strongest period.
CM has 16 shots in the game while Austin Prep has 17. Austin Prep is having trouble capitalizing on opportunities around the net.
End of the first period: Catholic Memorial 1, Austin Prep 0
Catholic Memorial's Brian Besinger broke away for a goal at the 5:01 mark. He was assisted by Derek Colucci and Matt Dalton.
LOWELL — We've reached the final game of the tournament before the championship matchup is set. In the second game of today's doubleheader, No. 1 seed Catholic Memorial (2-1) is taking on No. 2 seed Austin Prep (2-1) to determine who will play Hingham in the championship Sunday at the Garden.
We'll be blogging between periods with videos of goals and live tweeting the game. Follow along at @GlobeSchools.
Hingham is living proof of after getting two goals from Rick Boyle en route to a 3-2 overtime win against Malden Catholic to earn a spot in the Super 8 title game.
Boyle is a most unlikely hero on a high powered Hingham offense, after he finished with just nine points this year, and he knows how big the win is.
"This is huge for us," said Boyle with a huge smile just minutes after burying the overtime winner. "We’ve been on the brink for a long time and it is great to finally get to the championship game."
Boyle goal was a thing of beauty for the Harbormen, defenseman Andrew Sypek turned the puck over in the neutral zone and fed a pass ahead of Boyle at the blue line. The play changed direction so quickly that the MC defense couldn’t recover and Boyle walked in alone before beating Pat Young up high, sending the red clad fans into raptures.
"I was actually planning on deking him," Boyle said. "But he stayed back in the net so I decided to go up high."
Boyle’s other goal gave Hingham a 2-0 lead in the second period when slapped a puck as he was being hit and somehow floated it past Young. Jeff West and Tom O’Brien were credited with assist on the play.
End of game: Hingham 4, Malden Catholic 3
Unassisted on a breakaway, Hingham's Rick Boyle went toe-to-toe with Malden Catholic goalie Pat Young and beat the junior with a score two minutes into overtime for a 4-3 Harbormen victory.
Hingham (3-1) will advance to the Super 8 championship Sunday at the Garden in Boston after the team's performance. They'll face the winner of tonight's game between Catholic Memorial and Austin Prep.
Hingham (19-3-3) 0 2 1 1 - 4
Malden Catholic (16-4-4) 0 2 1 0 - 3
Scoring: H, Eric Sherman (Andrew Pompeo, Tim Driscoll) 5:12; H, Rick Boyle (Jeff West, Tom O’Brien) 6:41; MC, Brendan Collier, (Mike Vecchione, Ryan Fitzgerald) 8:17; MC, James Castrucci (Alex Minter, Dan Travers) 10:17; H, Pompeo (Sherman, Driscoll) 7:48; MC, Justin Sencabaugh (Collier, Connor Evangelista), PPG, 11:01; H, Boyle, (Andrew Sypek) 1:33;
Saves: H, Derek McInnis 28, MC, Pat Young 23.
End of regulation: Hingham 3, Malden Catholic 3
We're going into overtime after goals by Hingham's Andrew Pompeo and Malden Catholic's Justin Sencabaugh.
End of the second period: Hingham 2, Malden Catholic 2
Hingham pushed the envelope and Malden Catholic was forced to respond.
The Harbormen scored two straight goals to go up on Malden Catholic before the Lancers responded with two goals of their own. Eric Sherman got a goal for Hingham and Rick Boyle scored for the Harbormen as well.
Malden Catholic's Brendan Collier put in one goal and James Construcci put in another.
End of the first period: Hingham 0, Malden Catholic 0
So far, no scores from the offensive juggernaut of Malden Catholic. The Lancers have six shots so far but look star crossed against Hingham, which has been passively aggressive, per se.
The Harbormen have had five shots on goal, including an attempt by Eric Sherman that found the back of the net but was disallowed because Malden Catholic goalie Pat Young dislodged the net. Hingham has worked hard to make Young nervous throughout the period, but as soon as the teams got some good opportunities for scores (three power plays), they appeared tentative and hesitant.
LOWELL — We're at Tsongas Arena for the crossover games in the Super 8 tournament. We'll be blogging between periods, posting goals and live tweeting the event. You can follow along at @GlobeSchools.
First game up is No. 3 Hingham (2-1) vs. No. 4 Malden Catholic (3-0). Malden Catholic is coming off a huge win against No. 1 seed Catholic Memorial, which we'll see in the second game. Freshman Ryan Fitzgerald scored the game-winning goal for the Lancers two minutes into overtime to lift Malden Catholic 6-5 over the Knights.
We'll see if the Lancers have the same offensive spark, after scoring six and nine goals in their last two games. They've scored 18 goals so far in the tournament.
Hingham secured wins over Springfield Cathedral and Xaverian to get into the crossover portion of the tournament. They also had a little luck, as Springfield Cathedral failed to win and put up enough goals against Xaverian in the third round to advance.
LOWELL – And the winner of the unofficial public school’s championship is ... Winchester.
When in a meaningless situation, sometimes a coach has to get creative.
“Hey, we won the Middlesex [League title],” said Sachems coach John Messuri. “And beat Central Catholic, the MVC/DCL champ, and tonight we took the Bay State League winner. That’s something, right?”
Paced by star forward Mike Seward (two goals, two assists), Winchester defeated Needham, 5-4, wrapping up both teams’ Super 8 runs. The eighth-seeded Sachems finish 14-4-2 on the season.
“You always want to win your last game – especially the seniors,” Messuri said. “This was a special group; the first group to take us to the Super 8 in back-to-back seasons.
Winchester fell behind early when Needham senior forward Andrew Kennedy’s deep slap shot trickled past the leg pad of Winchester goalkeeper Jed Robinson. Later in the period, Rockets junior Tom Williams stretched the advantage to 2-0.
The Sachems quickly answered as Seward beat Rockets goalie Chris Gates stick side, set up by a perfect cross-crease pass from senior T.J. Hickey. Seconds later, Bobby Leo’s rebound found net and the teams were tied 2-2 at the end of one.
Early in the second, Sam Kane recaptured the lead for Needham. But later in the period, the Winchester capitalized on a 5-on-3 advantage to knot the score. Seward’s backhand beat replacement goaltender Alex Mirageas.
Midway through the third, Winchester took its first lead on a goal by junior forward Colin Edwards. Less than a minute later, Hickey padded the Sachems lead, scoring short handed off a feed from Seward.
In the final minute, Needham’s Sean McCarthy netted a wrister that cut the deficit to one, but the Rockets were unable to punch an equalizer.
“As a coach, if the kids play for you in a game like this I guess it means they like you,” joked Messuri. “They had a heck of a year.”
End of game: Malden Catholic 6, Catholic Memorial 5
Ryan Fitzgerald is the hero of the day. With a nice flick of the wrist, he unseated No. 1 Catholic Memorial with a shot just over a minute into overtime as Malden Catholic took the game, 6-5.
End of regulation: Malden Catholic 5, Catholic Memorial 5
We're going into overtime. Each team found the back of the net twice in the third period. Catholic Memorial's Troy Starrett got his second goal and David Lazaro scored as well.
Malden Catholic's Alex Minter and Justin Sencabaugh scored for their team.
End of the second period: Malden Catholic 3, Catholic Memorial 3
Catholic Memorial has stormed back into the game with two goals in the period. Dan O'Her and Brian Besinger both found the back of the net to help the Knights.
Malden Catholic's Mike Iovanna scored for his team.
End of the first period: Malden Catholic 2, Catholic Memorial 1
For the first time all tournament, Catholic Memorial is down after the first period. But it didn't come without the Knights striking first. In the first 30 seconds, Troy Starrett got loose for CM to put the Knights up.
Malden Catholic's Brendan Collier responded with two goals. Both teams had 10 shots in the first period.
LOWELL — Third game of the day is underway with No. 1 Catholic Memorial (2-0) taking on Malden Catholic (2-0).
Last game Malden Catholic played, they put up nine goals against Winchester in a blowout.
These two teams are already assured to move on to the crossover games.
Catherdral is currently 1-1 with a goal differential of -1. So, if Cathedral beats Xaverian by two or more goals they will advance along with Austin Prep. If the Pathers win by 1, they will have the same differential as Hingham. The tie breaker then will move from goal difference to head to head record and Hingham will advance as they defeated Cathedral last Saturday.
It is a little confusing, but the long and short of it is this: Austin Prep is in. If Cathedral defeats Xaverian by two or more goals then they advance as well, if not Hingham will go as the other representative of the bracket.
Thankfully the other bracket is basically decided. CM and MC are both 2-0, CM is +7 and MC is +10 so when they play at 4:45, it will only be to determine seeding. Winchester and Needham will play the nightcap for nothing but pride at 6:45.
End of the game: Xaverian 2, Springfield Cathedral 2
With two goals in the final period, Cathedral looked to make a jump on Xaverian which had gotten lax, but both teams ended without taking the W.
No overtime was allotted for the game, thereby ending both teams' season.
Goals were scored by Xaverian's Colin Devlin at the 6:43 mark, Cathedral's Austin Orszulak at the 5:37 mark and Cathedral's Sean Kavanagh at the 4:16 mark.
Austin Prep and Hingham will advance to the crossover games.
End of the second period: Xaverian 1, Springfield Cathedral 0
We're looking closer and closer at Xaverian playing the spoiler if Cathedral can't get its game together. With 18 shots this game, the Panthers are keeping pace with Xaverian, they're just not getting quality shots on goal.
It'll be interesting to see how they'll respond. Remember, this is a chance for them to make three-way tie with Hingham and Austin Prep. But they have to win first.
End of the first period: Xaverian 1, Springfield Cathedral 0
Xaverian's Colin Devlin scored on a goal right between the legs of PJ D'Amario. It was one of those soft ricochet goals, slipping right past D'Amario off a shot by Xaverian's Ryan Hall. Hall got the assist.
Cathedral outshot Xaverian 10-6 in the period.
LOWELL — We're underway with the second game of the day, Xaverian vs. Springfield Cathedral in Group 2 action of the Super 8 tournament.
Depending on who wins this game, we'll see whether Hingham or Austin Prep, also in Group 2, will advance to the crossover game. Everything is dependent on Cathedral, which is 1-1 in the bracket and could force a three-way tie. Xaverian (0-2) can play the spoiler here.
The tiebreaker is goal-differential. You can see the standings and sums at Boston.com/Super8.
Aided by two Cougar penalties, Hingham dominated the first half of the second period in puck possession and shots, but Austin Prep managed to score twice more and put Hingham in a big hole.
The Cougars third goal of the game came from Bryan Wright with helpers for Lou Caraglia and Ryan Quinn.
Their fourth was a beautiful breakaway goal from Caraglia, we'll have more updates when this game goes final, and stay tuned for Springfield Cathedral v Xaverian on tap at 2:30.
End of first period: Austin Prep 2, Hingham 0
Austin Prep is desperate for a win and they are playing like it, totally dominating the first period, out shooting Hingham 10-4.
The Cougars first goal came from Ryan Quinn, with assists from Ryley Maceachern and Cam Gaudet. The second came from a Bryan Wright one timer from Scott Corcoran.
LOWELL -- We are ready to go for the final day of round robin play from Tsongas Arena. Up first we have Hingham, currently undefeated in the tournament against a 1-1 Austin Prep who likely needs a win to advance to the crossover round.
You can follow along the game here as I'll be updating between periods with goals and video, or follow along via Twitter at @GlobeSchools.
For more information on the Super 8 tournament, visit Boston.com/Super8.
End of the game: Malden Catholic 9, Winchester 1
This game got away from Winchester fast, mostly because the team couldn't keep its cool .
Malden Catholic took advantage of repeated penalties on Winchester's part, scoring four power play goals in the period to lock up a tie with Catholic Memorial in Group 1 of the Super 8 tournament bracket.
Goals were scored by Brendan Collier, James Castrucci (his second), Ryan Fitzgerald (also his second), Alex Minter (twice) and Nick Roberto for MC.
That's six goals in the period. Malden Catholic finished with 36 shots on the day, while Winchester had 24.
For approximately nine minutes, there was a Winchester player in the box.
End of the second period: Malden Catholic 3, Winchester 1
MC piled on two more goals in the second period with James Castrucci getting into the mix and freshman Ryan Fitzgerald scoring off a deflection.
It all seemed lost for Winchester. That's when things start getting physica. A couple of penalties here and there for some tussling and some power-play opportunities presented themselves. Winchester's Colin Edwards took advantage. From the blue line, Edwards found the back of the net on a slap shot Malden Catholic goalie Pat Young didn't see until it whizzed by.
End of the first period: Malden Catholic 1, Winchester 0
Malden Catholic scored right out of the gate with junior Mike Vecchione getting loose for an open shot on the net.
MC has nine shots in the first period while Winchester has seven.
LOWELL -- We're primed for the final game of Round 2 of the Super 8, with Malden Catholic getting ready to take the ice against Winchester.
Malden Catholic won its first game of the tourney over Needham 3-1, and Winchester lost its first game against Catholic Memorial 5-1.
You can follow along the game here as I'll be updating between periods with goals and video, or follow along via Twitter at @GlobeSchools.
For more information on the Super 8 tournament, visit Boston.com/Super8.
End of game: Catholic Memorial 6, Needham 3
In typical fashion, Catholic Memorial got stronger in the final period of the game. The team netted three goals to put away a strong Needham team in the final period.
Catholic Memorial scored two goals in the first three minutes, with Dan O'Hear and Troy Starrett finding the back of the net.
O'Hear was assisted by Harrison Connelly and Brian Besinger.
Needham's Mike Lambert chipped in a goal for his team to cut the deficit to 5-3, but Catholic Memorial was already on a roll. All-Scholastic Derek Colucci found the net with 1:56 to go, killing Needham's hope for an upset.
That makes CM 2-0 on the tournament and leaves Needham 0-2.
End of the second period: Catholic Memorial 3, Needham 2
Catholic Memorial netted two goals on 17 shots in the second period to tie and pull ahead of Needham.
Needham's DJ Walsh appeared to have gotten a richochette goal two minutes into the period. Catholic Memorial followed with goals by Brian Besignger and Matthew Hughes.
Catholic Memorial has 25 shots in the game while Needham has 18.
End of the first period: Catholic Memorial 1, Needham 1
Catholic Memorial struck first but Needham wasn't far behind.
CM's David Lazaro scored off a rebound 3:24 left in the first period. Less than two minutes later, Needham's sophomore Sam Kane broke away for a goal with an assist from Tim Parlato.
Both teams have eight shots so far.
LOWELL -- Greetings from Tsongas Arena where we're getting ready to start the second set of games in the second round of the Super 8 ice hockey tournament.
First up is tournament No. 1 seed Catholic Memorial vs. No. 5 Needham.
You can follow along here as I'll update between periods with highlights and video, or follow along on Twitter with updates from Globe Correspondent Peter Martin at @GlobeSchools.
End of game: Hingham 3, Xaverian 1
Eric Sherman scored his second goal of the game and teammate Tim Driscoll found the back of the net on a 5-on-3 powerplay in the third period as Hingham beat Xaverian 3-1 in the second round of the Super 8 ice hockey tournament.
Xaverian's Mark Kasabian managed to get the Hawks on the board with 7:57 left in the final period. But Xaverian was definitely in desperation mode after going down 3-0, with the physicalness of the game reaching a breaking point and penalties piling up.
This is Xaverian's second straight loss in the tournament after falling to Austin 2-0 on Saturday.
Hingham improved to 2-0 in the tourney after beating Springfield Cathedral 4-2 Saturday.
End of second period: Hingham 1, Xaverian 0
This game has turned into a defensive standoff. Xaverian has locked down any openings that Hingham enjoyed in the first period and the Hawks have been trying to keep up.
Hingham still has more shots (19) than Xaverian (13). Kyle MacDonald, Xaverian's goalie, is holding up though.
End of first period: Hingham 1, Xaverian 0
It took Hingham's Eric Sherman four minutes to get loose. He took advantage on his first try, faking out Xaverian goalie Kyle MacDonal (no easy feat) for the game's first goal at the 11:02 mark.
Hingham has taken nine shots after one and Xaverian has taken eight. This would be a tie game, but Xaverian's Kevin Aufiero shot on goal with six minutes to go was off the mark by inches, clanging on the crossbar.
LOWELL -- Getting ready to start the second game of tonight's doubleheader with Xaverian and Hingham taking the ice next.
For the first game, Springfield Cathedral topped Austin Prep 2-1.
Follow along here for this game or via Twitter at @GlobeSchools.
End of game/overtime: Springfield Cathedral 2, Austin Prep 1
This one is going to give Austin Prep nightmares.
In a late push down the ice by Springfield Cathedral's Colin Fenton as he was chasing down the puck, he raced passed Austin Prep goalie Brendan Leahy. Looking to pass the puck back to a teammate, Fenton hit it off AP's Tim Benedetto and and right into the net, giving Springfield the win 2-1 at the 3:31 mark.
Fenton was credited with the goal, unassisted. I'm sure Austin Prep would argue the latter point.
It was a strong day for Springfield, which lost its opening game of the tournament to Hingham 4-2.
This was Austin Prep's first loss of the tournament after beating Xaverian 2-0.
End of regulation: Springfield Cathedral 1, Austin Prep 1
Austin Prep's Brendan Silk didn't waste much time. He tied the game two minutes into the period on a slap shot almost from the blue line. The assist went to Cam Gaudet.
There will be a 12-minute overtiime and then a shootout if we still don't have a winner.
End of the second period: Springfield Cathedral 1, Austin Prep 0
There's no change here. Springfield Cathedral's Dante Christofori now has 17 saves in the game — 10 in this period alone. He's putting on a performance here, especially in the face of an aggressive Austin Prep team that gets a lot of shots on goal.
End of first period: Springfield Cathedral 1, Austin Prep 0
Springfield Cathedral's Dante Christofori got a wish list goal in the first period to put his team up 1-0.
Cathedral's Colin Fenton got a quick pass to Christofori from behind the net to flick past Austin Prep goalie Brendan Leahy, who had four saves.
Cathedral goalie PJ D'Amario had seven saves in the first period to keep Austin Prep off the board.
LOWELL -- We're live at Tsongas Arena, prepping for the first game of tonight's Super 8 doubleheader between Austin Prep and Springfield Cathedral.
We'll be updating right here throughout the evening between periods. You can also follow along live on Twitter at @GlobeSchools.
For more on the Super 8, visit Boston.com/Super8.
The MIAA has the times for the second round of pool play in the Super 8 ice hockey tournament.
Originally, the four games slated were up in the air as either March 1st or 2nd with no times set. Now, there are two games on March 1st and two games on March 2nd (the MIAA's original intent).
All second round games are at Tsongas Arena in Lowell.
6 p.m. — No. 2 Austin Prep (1-0) vs. No. 6 Springfield Cathedral (0-1)
8 p.m. — No. 3 Hingham (1-0) vs. No. 7 Xaverian (0-1)
6 p.m. — No. 1 Catholic Memorial (1-0) vs. No. 5 Needham (0-1)
8 p.m. — No. 4 Malden Catholic (1-0) vs. No. 8 Winchester (0-1)
Courtesy of Globe Correspondent Braden Campbell, you can view the majority of yesterday's Super 8 goals right here on Boston.com.
Check 'em out:
Hingham vs. Springfield Cathedral
Catholic Memorial vs. Winchester
Austin Prep vs. Xaverian
Malden Catholic vs. Needham
After a late goal by Needham's Tom Coleman, it appeared this one was headed into overtime. Malden Catholic's Brendan Collier thought otherwise.
With 2:23 left to play, Collier knocked one past MacDonald to retake the lead; two minutes later, he scored a second to seal the 3-1 victory with 20 seconds left.
MacDonald totaled 21 save while Pat Young stopped 20 for the Lancers.
End of 2nd period: Malden Catholic 1, Needham 0
Things look much the same as they did a period ago, with the Lancers leading the Rockets by a goal. Neither defense budged an inch during the second, and the shot count rests at 16-all.
End of 1st period: Malden Catholic 1, Needham 0
Both teams traded shots throughout much of the first period in this meeting of evenly-matched offenses. With just under a minute left, Needham keeper Evan MacDonald stepped out of the net to deflect a shot, which MC's David Deveney redirected into the upper corner of the goal to score.
Three periods, 41 total shots and just two goals. Austin Prep took a win after a hard-fought keeper's duel that saw Cougar Brendan Leahy and Hawk Kyle MacDonald stop 15 and 24 shots respectively.
Brandon Hartt scored the lone goal ten minutes into the period, with assists by Casey Miller and Ryan Quinn. Xaverian pulled MacDonald after a time out with just over a minute left, but failed to capitalize on the man advantage.
End of 2nd period: Austin Prep 1, Xaverian 0
Numerous opportunities for both teams, but no new scores to report. The second period was a physical one, culminating in a player from each team being put in the box after a shoving match.
Both goalies are solid; Prep's Brendan Leahy has turned away 10, and Xaverian keeper Kyle MacDonald has turned away 18.
End of 1st period: Austin Prep 1, Xaverian 0
Both teams are showcasing strong defensive efforts in the day's tightest match so far. Prep's Paul Bruce scored the period's lone goal at just past the ten minute mark, assisted by Bryan Wright and Ryan Quinn.
Check out the @GlobeSchools twitter feed for live updates provided by Globe Correspondent Peter Martin.
CM's Shane Dorsey provided the lone score of the final period, whizzing one by Messuri at distance over his right shoulder. T.J. O'Brien and Vinny Repucci assisted.
Messuri finished with 31 saves, Knox with 16.
End of 2nd period: Catholic Memorial 4, Winchester 1
The score is 4-1 CM after the second period. The Knights came out of the gate strong, with a goal by T.J. O'Brien just over a minute in. O'Brien was assisted by Vinny Repucci. Winchester's Mike Seward ended the Sachems' scoring drought on a power play goal with under two minutes to play, assisted by Pat McGoff and T.J. Hickey.
Messuri's strong play continued through the second. He's racked up a total of 19 saves, many of them from point blank. CM's Tommy Knox has 9 saves.
15 minutes elapsed and Catholic Memorial is already three goals up on Winchester. The brilliant play of Sachem goalie Mike Messuri held the game scoreless up through the tenth minute despite a ferocious Knights offense, but a goal by Brian Besinger out of a scuffle in front of the net opened the floodgates. Besinger was assisted by Tim Boyle. A minute later, Vinny Repucci took a pass from Boyle at half, scoring one-on-one with Messuri. Dan O'Hear provided the period's third goal as the clock wound down, assisted by Besinger and Boyle.
Final: Hingham 4, Springfield Cathedral 2
Power-plays were the Panthers' undoing, as Hingham converted 3 of 6 over the course of the game to take a 4-2 Super-8 first-round win. Andrew Pompeo opened up scoring in the third with his second power-play goal on an assist from Conor Coveney. Cathedral quickly answered with a goal of their own from Austin Orszulak, assisted by Frank Crinella and Kemo Williams. Hingham's Eric Sherman put the game away with a late goal, assisted by Pompeo.
Next up, first-seed Catholic Memorial faces eighth-seed Winchester. For those twitter users out there, Globe Correspondent Peter Martin is providing live updates via the @GlobeSchool's feed throughout the day.
End of 2nd period: Hingham 2, Springfield Cathedral 1
Cathedral's Matt Peloquin cut the the Panthers' deficit in half with an early goal, assisted by Austin Orszulak and Shawn Pighetti. A Hingham penalty gave the Panthers a chance at a tie, but the Harbormen killed it with efficiency. With under 10 seconds left, a Harbormen fast break threatened a third score, but Cathedral keeper P.J. D'Amario stifled the shot at the buzzer. D'Amario has 10 saves, Hingham's Derek Mcinnis has 17.
A pair of Springfield Cathedral penalties proved to be a scoring boon for Hingham. The Harbormen are two goals up on the scoreless Panthers after a period thanks to a perfect 2 for 2 power-play run. Tim Driscoll scored the first on an assist by Eric Sherman, and Andrew Pompeo scored the second on an assist by Conor Coveney.
Here's a quick rundown of the teams in the Super 8 ice hockey tournament.
1. Catholic Memorial
Good wins: Springfield Cathedral, Hingham, Malden Catholic and Central Catholic
Leading scorer: Derek Collucci 17-18-37
Goaltender: Tommy Knox
The Knights were sliding a bit coming into the tournament, but with wins over Springfield Cathedral, Hingham, Malden Catholic and Central Catholic they boast the most good wins in the tournament. Their only blemish was a late season loss to St. John's Prep and that CM team was depleted by suspensions and injuries. They are a scary team with the most decorated coach in Super 8 history in Bill Hanson.
2. Austin Prep
Good wins: Hingham, Central Catholic
Leading scorer: Brendan Silk 21-14-35
Goaltender: Brendan Leahy
The Cougars have wins over Hingham and Central Catholic as well as a Catholic Central League title this season. Austin Prep's only loss this year was a 3-2 game against Malden Catholic in late December and they have been playing great hockey since. As the only team in the tournament that did not go last year AP will have something to prove.
Good wins: Winchester, St. John's Prep, Needham
Leading scorer: Tim Driscoll 29-22-51
Goaltender: Derek McInnis
The Harbormen have had a great season and are one of the top teams in the state, but they haven't gotten a great win this season. They have tied Malden Catholic and Springfield Cathedral as well as lost to CM and Austin Prep by just one goal. They have shown they can play with the top teams in the state, but they have to show that they can beat one.
4. Malden Catholic
Good wins: Austin Prep, Needham
Leading scorer: Mike Vecchione 19-23-42
Goaltender: Ryan DiMare
Chris Serino has his team ready to get back to the crossover round this year after struggling early. Malden Catholic boasts three of the top five scorers in the Catholic Conference and hasn't lost since mid-January. They are deep and experienced and will be a tough draw for anyone in the tournament.FULL ENTRY
The start times for the first four games of the the Super 8 ice hockey tournament have been set for Saturday Feb. 27 at Tsongas Arena in Lowell.
Hingham, the No. 3 seed in the bracket, will take to the ice first against No. 6 Springfield Cathedral at noon.
Catholic Memorial will then face Winchester at 2:15 p.m., followed by Austin Prep vs. Xaverian at 4:30 p.m., and then Malden Catholic vs. Needham at 6:45 p.m.
You can find the schedule of events, with times as they become available, at our Super 8 schedules and results page.
With Xaverian and Winchester winning their play-in games Monday night for the Super 8 ice hockey tournament, that settled both the Division 1A bracket and the Division 1 North bracket for the state playoffs.
Burlington, which lost to Xaverian, will be the No. 1 seed in the Division 1 North bracket, taking a bye in the first round before facing the winner of the Billerica (8) and Lexington (9) game.
Central Catholic, which lost to Winchester, will be the No. 2 seed in the same bracket and face No. 15 Medford in the first round.
Here's the complete seeds for the MIAA Division 1 North bracket:
1. Burlington (14-4-2) .750
2. Central Catholic (13-4-3) .725
3. Woburn (15-4-1) .775
4. St. Mary's Lynn (12-7-1) .625
5. Waltham (10-5-5) .625
6. Arlington Catholic (10-7-4) .571
7. Melrose (9-7-4) .550
8. Billerica (10-8-2) .550
9. Lexington (10-8-2) .550
10. Acton-Boxboro (10-8-2) .550
11. Reading (9-8-3) .525
12. St. John's Prep (10-9-1) .525
13. St. John's Shrewsbury (8-8-4) .500
14. Andover (8-8-4) .500
15. Medford (7-12-1) .375
Winchester 5, Central Catholic 3
Colin Edwards scored his second goal of the game and Winchester held off any hope for Central Catholic, winning 5-3.
Winchester did a good job of being physical and keeping the puck around Central Catholic's net. They had plenty of opportunities for high-percentage shots with the penalties in the game. They scored four of their five goals on power plays.
Central Catholic's Mike Kelleher got the last goal for his team in the waning seconds.
Now that we know they're the No. 8 seed, we have our bracket set for the Super 8, which is slated to begin Feb. 27 at Tsongas Arena in Lowell.
Winchester will face No. 1 seed Catholic Memorial while Xaverian, which beat Burlington 3-2 (SO), will face No. 2 Austin Prep as the No. 7 seed.
End of the second period, Winchester 4, Central Catholic 2:
Winchester's Nick Ducharme joined the goal-fest, slapping one in with the help of teammate Pat McGoff.
Winchester has now scored three straight goals spanning two periods and are in clear command.
The two teams have been tussling quite a bit in this one. Winchester has two in the box right now and Central Catholic has another.
We're well underway in the second game with Winchester facing Central Catholic.The second period just started and we're just getting our bearings under us after that last one.
Here's the lowdown from the first period:
Winchester leads 3-2 after the first.
Colin Edwards scored the first goal of the game, putting Winchester up. He was immediately followed by Central Catholic's Mike Bryant who scored on a power play and then his teammate Stephen Balsamo.
Winchester got two more goals on power plays, with Joe Cianciarulo and Mike Seward cashing in.
I'll have more updates after the second period.
And here are the teams and seedings in a more friendly format:
1. Catholic Memorial (14-5-1)
2. Austin Prep (16-1-3)
3. Hingham (17-2-3)
4. Malden Catholic (13-3-4)
5. Needham (17-1-3)
6. Springfield Cathedral (15-2-5)
7. Burlington (14-4-2)
8. Winchester (13-4-2)
9. Central Catholic (13-4-3)
10. Xaverian (12-5-3)
The two play-in games will be No. 7 Burlington vs. No. 10 Xaverian and No. 8 Winchester vs. No. 9 Central Catholic. Those games will be played Monday at Chelmsford Forum in Billerica. We'll have more info on that soon.
And here are the remaining seeds: Springfield Cathedral (6), Burlington (7), Winchester (8), Central Catholic (9), and Xaverian (10).
Hingham is No. 3, Malden Catholic is No. 4 and Needham is No. 5.
Catholic Memorial is the No. 1 seed while Austin Prep is No. 2. More coming.
Burlington, Xaverian and Central Catholic are all in, rounding out the 10 teams selected to this year's Super 8 ice hockey tournament. Officials are preparing to seed each team.
Add Hingham, Needham, Springfield Cathedral, Malden Catholic and Winchester to the mix. They've all been voted in.
Catholic Memorial and Austin Prep are officially in, no seeds yet.
Dan Shine, head of the Super 8 committee and Arlington Catholic coach, excused himself so there could be an odd number for the voting process. Problem solved.
It appears there's trouble in Franklin, according to Peter. They've got an even number of officials to vote on prospective teams. They're lacking a tie-breaker. More coming.
Globe Correspondent Peter Martin is at the MIAA meeting in Franklin dispatching who will be selected for the Super 8 ice hockey tournament.
I'll update here throughout the afternoon which teams are selected and any other pertinent information.
When the Super 8 selection committee meets at 2 p.m. today they will determine the actual field, I thought to help everyone get fired up for the big announcement I would do my best Miss Cleo, gaze into my crystal ball and take a shot at the teams and seeds. Remember folks, these are just one man's opinions, I don't have a say in who plays.
1. Catholic Memorial (14-5-1): The Knights are sliding a bit coming into the tournament, but with wins over Springfield Cathedral, Hingham, Malden Catholic and Central Catholic -- all of which should make the tournament -- CM is the unquestioned top seed.
2. Austin Prep (16-1-3): The Cougars haven't lost since a 3-2 decision against Malden Catholic on Dec. 30 in the championship game of the Kasabuski Christmas Tournament. They have wins over St. John's Prep and Central Catholic, and most importantly a 2-1 win last week over Hingham which should give them the edge for the second seed.
3. Hingham (17-2-3): The Harbormen have had a great season and are one of the top teams in the state, unfortunately they have two loses ... to CM and Austin so to the three seed they go.
4. Needham (17-1-3): Though they were probably in anyway, the Rockets put an exclamation point on their season with wins over Springfield Cathedral and Malden Catholic in the Springfield Cathedral Tournament last week. Both were ties in regulation and will count as such in their record but the performances were still impressive and should give them the nod.
5. Springfield Cathedral (15-2-5): The Panthers have tied Needham, Hingham and Austin Prep this season, but they don't have a major win to boost them into the top 4 seeds. The loss to Needham in their tournament will drop them down to the five seed.
6. Malden Catholic (13-3-4): MC struggled in the Catholic Conference this season and finds themselves a lower seed then they would like to be. Their best result is probably a tie with Hingham or wins over out of state powers Bishop Hendricken of Rhode Island and Bishop Guertin of New Hampshire. The Lancers will avoid a play in-game ... barely.
7. Winchester (13-4-2): The Sachems best win of the season was last week's 3-1 decision over Woburn to win the Middlesex League. Though they lack a real marquee win on their resume, the Middlesex League is a tough league to play in as the performances of its teams in the past few Super 8's have indicated. Sadly, the lack of a big win will force them into the play-in.
8. Central Catholic (13-4-3): The Red Raiders find themselves on the outside looking in due to a lack of a real good win. They played Austin Prep tough and lost and they got beat by a Catholic Memorial team that was missing three of its best players. Their best win is probably 1-0 over Arlington Catholic back in December but the MVC Title and the impressive record should get them in.
9. Burlington (14-4-2): The Red Devils finished second in the Middlesex League and I think that league is deep enough at the top to deserve two bids. They tied Winchester once and beat a very good Framingham team to finish out their season. I like them to get in.
10. Xaverian (12-5-3): As I see it, the Catholic Conference gets three bids. Xaverian had a rough 3-5 finish in the conference, but their out of conference schedule features ties with Hingham and Needham as well as a conference win over Malden Catholic. I think they get in.
First teams out: St. John's Prep, Woburn, St. Mary's, Archbishop Williams
That's my best guess, please feel free to dissect, debate or discuss my thoughts as well as your own in the comments section and make sure that you check in here after 2 p.m. to see the final selections.
Fontbonne poses with the Division 2 title Sunday. (Matthew J. Lee / Globe Staff)
While you're browsing all the stories from yesterday's hockey action at the TD Banknorth Garden over at High School Sports Central, don't forget to take a look at our photo galleries from the Super 8 title game and the rest of Sunday's action.
Fontbonne celebrates its win in the girls' Division 2 title game.
We were live at the TD Banknorth Garden for four state final hockey games, including the Super 8 final that featured Catholic Memorial toppling Burlington. Here's a rundown of the action:
- Division 1A: Catholic Memorial 5, Burlington 1 -- Video Highlights
- Division 1 boys: Cathedral 2, Arlington Catholic 1 (OT) -- Video Highlights
- Division 3 boys: Shrewsbury 3, Shawsheen 2 -- Video Highlights
- Division 2 girls: Fontbonne 3, Whitman-Hanson/Pembroke 0 -- Video Highlights
Comcast SportsNet will broadcast Sunday's Super 8 final between Catholic Memorial and Burlington live from the TD Banknorth Garden at 7 p.m.
Check out the action on TV, but be sure to join our live blog from the Garden. For more on the Division 1A tournament, check out our Super 8 Central.
LOWELL -- We were live in Lowell bringing you updates from the two Super 8 crossover semifinals at Tsongas Arena. For video highlights, click the "full entry" link at the end of this entry. Here were the results:
- Catholic Memorial 6, Malden Catholic 4 -- Video Highlights
- Burlington 1, Winchester 0 -- Video Highlights
Catholic Memorial will skate against Burlington in Sunday's Super 8 championship game at the TD Banknorth Garden.
Need to get caught up on the Division 1A tournament? Hop over to Super 8 Central for photos, video, box scores, and much more.FULL ENTRY
We were live from today's third round of the Super 8 tournament with updates, video, and more. Check out a replay below.
For those looking for scores:
Malden Catholic 3, Needham 0
Winchester 2, Central Catholic 1
Catholic Memorial 3, Hingham 2
Burlington 2, Xaverian 1 (OT)
For more on the Division 1A tournament, visit Super 8 Central.
LOWELL -- Scoring highlights from Thursday's games at Tsongas Arena:
Needham 3, Xaverian 1
Malden Catholic 5, Burlington 1
LOWELL -- We were live in Lowell for tonight's Super 8 second-round action as Malden Catholic topped Burlington, 5-1, and Needham defeated Xaverian, 3-1, at Tsongas Arena. Watch the replay below to relive all the action.
For more on this year's Division 1A tournament, visit Super 8 Central.
LOWELL -- Check out highlights from the exciting Super 8 shootout between Catholic Memorial and Central Catholic at Tsongas Arena.
CM prevailed with a 3-1 advantage in the shootout to win the game.
And what's your take on the controversial goal waived off against Central Catholic's Steve Balsamo? Was it a goal? Good decision to overturn by the officials?
Leave your thoughts in the comments section.
LOWELL -- We're live from Tsongas Arena for the opening night of Round 2 of the Super 8 tournament. Join us for updates and highlights as Hingham meets Winchester (6 p.m.) and Catholic Memorial jousts with Central Catholic (8 p.m.)
Check out the bottom of this post for the third-round schedule. Visit Super 8 Central for more tournament info.
Third round -- Sat., March 7
at Tsongas Arena, Lowell
- Hingham vs. Catholic Memorial, noon; Central Catholic vs. Winchester, 2:15.
at Merrimack College, Andover
- Xaverian vs. Burlington, 12:30; Needham vs. Malden Catholic, 2:30.
One other note: We've uploaded a new scoring highlight clip from Burlington vs. Needham, that features the first goal that some were interested in seeing. Enjoy!
LOWELL -- Four games, four sets of Super 8 scoring highlights.
Follow the full entry link below to check out the videos. For more on the Division 1A tournament, including full schedule and box scores from previous rounds, visit Super 8 Central.
LOWELL -- Here's the schedule for the Super 8 second-round action, all games at Tsongas Arena in Lowell:
Wednesday, March 4
Hingham vs. Winchester, 6 p.m.
CM vs. Central Catholic, 8 p.m.
Thursday, March 5
Xaverian vs. Needham, 6 p.m.
Malden Catholic vs. Burlington, 8 p.m.
LOWELL -- We provided live updates, video highlights, and much more during Sunday's quadrupleheader of Super 8 first-round action from Tsongas Arena. Click the replay button to relive all the fun.
For more on the Division 1A tournament, including full schedule and box scores from previous rounds, visit Super 8 Central.
Needham is known for its rowdy cheering section at hockey games, but when the Rockets take to the ice for the first round of tomorrow's Super 8 tournament, school officials will be looking to crack down on student behavior.
Needham High School Principal Paul Richards told parents and students Friday that school officials will use a breathalyzer to enforce anti-drinking rules at upcoming tournament hockey and basketball games.
School officials will privately screen students who appear to be intoxicated as part of the school’s ongoing effort to curb rowdy student-fan behavior at sporting events, Richards said in an email to the high school community.
“The school will continue its supervisory approaches into the playoffs and we hope to see both new fans and the die-hards in the stands. The administration will also bring a breathalyzer to the games and privately screen any students suspected of being under the influence (hopefully, we won't have to administer the test),” Richards wrote.
The principal also cited a state high school rule that bans face painting and other behavior at games. "The MIAA does not permit face painting, signs, noise makers, hat throwing, bare midriffs, and other behaviors or items that may distract the players or referees,'' Richards wrote.
Click HERE to read more.
T.J. Hickey (24) celebrates the first goal of the game for Winchester. (Justine Hunt / Globe Photo)
- No. 8 Winchester 3, No. 9 Springfield Cathedral 2 (OT)
- No. 7 Burlington 6, No. 10 Arlington Catholic 1
One nail-biter and one laugher highlighted the 2009 Super 8 play-in games as Burlington and Winchester did the Middlesex League proud by toppling their opponents to cement their berth in the Division 1A tournament with triumphs tonight at the Chelmsford Forum in North Billerica.
Check back tomorrow for full recaps from our correspondents on site. Meanwhile, we'll be updating Super 8 Central with the finalized tournament bracket. A reminder that your humble servant will be back in the region for Sunday's start of round-robin play and we'll have much more in this space and at the Super 8 page. Stay tuned.
Catholic Memorial vs. Xaverian. Is a rematch in the cards? (Jay Connor / Globe Photo)
The Super 8 tournament kicks off tonight with a pair of play-in games at the Chelmsford Forum in North Billerica. We've updated Super 8 Central in advance of this year's tournament and we hope you drop by throughout the next three weeks for all the latest news, photos, and much more.
Your humble servant is about as far away from the ice rinks as you can get right now (assisting with Sox spring training coverage in Florida), but we'll be back in the region before the start of round robin play and we're hoping to bring you as comprehensive coverage as we have in the past once we're back in the Bay State.
There's a lot of new video online from the past few days, so here's a rundown of what to look for:
- Click HERE to watch the Championship Roundup
The clip above is a 15-minute highlight reel featuring clips from all six of the state championship games at the DCU Center in Worcester.
The Championship Roundup is a 10-minute highlight reel featuring clips from the Divisions 1-3 championships at the TD Banknorth Garden, where Needham, Sandwich, and Westfield claimed state titles. The Super 8 title game shows Reading's 3-0 win over Malden Catholic.
Plenty more Super 8 video has been uploaded, including full-length highlight reels from many of the third round and semifinal games. Hop over to Super 8 Central and browse the video player there for the latest.
super 8 championship game
Reading 3, Malden Catholic 0
Fifth-seeded Reading capped a remarkable 26-1 season by blanking Malden Catholic, 3-0, in Sunday's Super 8 championship game at the TD Banknorth Garden.
The Rockets, who put together a 21-1 regular-season record, but likely earned a low seeding after a poor performance in the Division 1A tournament last season, won five consecutive games, beating four Catholic Conference juggernauts (Catholic Memorial, BC High, Xaverian and MC) along the way to becoming the first public school to win the state's biggest prize in 30 years (Hudson, 1978).
What's more, Reading did it in dominating fashion. It outscored opponents, 19-6, in those five victories, and its top line of seniors Pat Kiley, Rob Toczylowski, and Mike Lozzi absolutely shined in tournament play. Goaltender Jeff Wyer, who endured struggles in last year's tournament, was showered with cheers of "MVP" from the Reading faithful as he collected his championship medal following Sunday's win.
Reading broke on top with 3:19 to play in the first period when Kiley made a phenomenal individual effort to get around a defender, then snapped a quick shot off the mask of MC netminder John Carbonneau that trickled over the goal line for a 1-0 advantage.
Rob Toczylowski added a fluky, but possibly pivotal goal just 12 seconds into the second period when his haphazard flip from the neutral zone hopped through Carbonneau for a 2-0 lead.
Wyer made some unbelievable saves in the second period to keep the Rockets out front and Toczylowski swooped in for a third score -- his second of the game -- with 8:27 to play. The goal essentially ensured the Rockets would be leaving Causeway St. with the championship trophy.
Sixth-seeded Malden Catholic enjoyed a phenomenal run to the Super 8 finals, outlasting all four of its leaguemates while posting four consecutive wins to start the tournament. But the Lancers were no match for Reading on Sunday.
Reading fans are chanting, "Public school." Yep, it looks look we might see a public school win the state's top prize for the first time in three decades tonight.
Malden Catholic fans responded with, "You need Jesus" and "Jesus loves us" chants. The game of chants is more entertaining than the game now.
Reading, 3-0 (8:47, 3rd)
Reading is putting a heftier focus on its defense, bottling up Malden Catholic in the offensive end and clearly trying to sit on this three-goal lead.
You get the feeling the Lancers need to score quick to get some life back in them (and the crowd) before time starts to slip away.
Don't Stop Believing
The second intermission featured a nice little 80s rock couplet with Whitesnake's, "Here I Go Again," and Journey's, "Don't Stop Believing." It merely served as the soundtrack for Jumbotron tomfoolery, but the moral here is that if Steve Perry's wailing can't inspire Malden Catholic, nothing can.
Reading skates into the second intermission with a commanding 3-0 lead over Malden Catholic in the Super 8 title game.
Reading skated 5-on-3 for almost a minute late in the frame, but Malden Catholic was able to kill off its infractions. But it simply doesn't seem like the Lancers' night.
Malden Catholic's Zack Sheppard had what appeared to be an easy goal as he tried to backhand home a rebound near the left post with 1:51 to play in the second stanza. Reading netminder Jeff Wyer somehow kicked out his right leg and turned it booted it aside (a play he had no business making) to keep MC scoreless. Just an unbelievable stop that words can't do justice to.
Reading, 3-0 (4:28, 2nd)
Malden Catholic's Andrew Cerretani had a golden opportunity with a free look in the slot, but his blast ricocheted hard of the crossbar keeping Reading out front, 3-0.
Cerretani got another shot off from in front of the crease a short time after, but Reading netminder Jeff Wyer made the save with his chest protector to keep the Lancers scoreless.
Reading, 3-0 (8:27, 2nd)
Rob Toczylowski flicks one in skating through the left circle and the Rockets extend their lead to 3-0 with 8:27 to play in the second period.
Reading, 2-0 (10:59, 2nd)
Pat Kiley just missed adding to the lead when his shot from the slot sailed just wide of its mark. Reading remains on top, 2-0, thanks to his two goals.
Reading, 2-0 (14:48, 2nd)
Wow, a fluky goal for Reading to start the second period.
Rob Toczylowski nets the game's second game by flicking a seemingly harmless lob from near midice that ate its way through goaltender John Carbonneau to put the Rockets out front, 2-0.
Pat Kiley muscles in a goal off Malden Catholic netminder John Carbonneau at 11:41 of the first period and the Rockets carry a 1-0 advantage into the first intermission.
Hard-skated first period with opportunities for both teams, but only Reading cashed in.
Malden Catholic put a good flurry around the net late in the frame, but Jason Yeomelakis couldn't put a stick to a loose puck at the right post with Jeff Wyer struggling to recover.
Kiley went through defender Evan Yanovitch before snapping a hard shot that seemed to rattle off the mask of Carbonneau before trickling just over the line.
Reading, 1-0 (3:19, 1st)
Reading's Pat Kiley swims around a defender, keeps the puck with his foot and snaps a wrister off John Carbonneau's mask for a 1-0 advantage at 11:41 of the first period.
Scoreless (7:36, 1st)
Best chance during Malden Catholic's power play might have actually been for Reading as RobToczylowski streaked in alone, only to be denied on the doorstep.
Scoreless (9:08, 1st)
Malden Catholic an early edge and the Lancers will go on the power play now with 9:08 to play in the period.
This place is packed. Somewhere the Bruins have to be wondering how they can draw these sort of numbers. The lower bowl is just about full and they've started seating people in the balconies (with much of the first few rows of the 300 sections filled, too.
Here are tonight's anticipated starting lineups:
LW - 17 - Zack Sheppard
C - 9 - Craig Carbonneau
RW - 5 - Andrew Cerretani
D - 7 - Greg Crovo
D - 6 - Jared Tringale
Goalie: 30 - John Carbonneau
LW - 20 - Rob Toczylowski
C - 12 - Mike Lozzi
RW - 19 - Pat Kiley
D - 7 - Travis Busch
D - 9 - Garrett Collins
Goalie: 35 - Jeff Wyer
Well, the undercard didn't disappoint as Westfield (Division 3), Sandwich (Division 2), and Needham (Division 1) skated to state title victories on the ice at the TD Banknorth Garden.
Now it's time for the main event as Reading jousts with Malden Catholic in the Super 8 final.
For more on tonight's game, check out this preview. Puck drops at 7:30 p.m.
We uploaded video clips from tonight's Super 8 doubleheader in Lowell. Full highlight reels will be available later.
super 8 crossover semifinal
Malden Catholic 3, Catholic Memorial 2
LOWELL -- Freshmen Mike Vecchione and Alex Minter were late-season call-ups to the Malden Catholic boys' hockey team when injuries struck. They didn't look like freshmen on the season's biggest stage.
After Catholic Memorial turned the puck over in its own zone, Minter fed Vecchione alone in the slot. The freshman forward, who already boasted a couple of points on his Super 8 resume this winter, calmly wheeled and slipped the game-winning goal through the 5-hole of netminder Tom Conlin with 2:37 remaining as the Lancers upset the tournament's top seed with a 3-2 triumph at Tsongas Arena.
Malden Catholic is off to its first Super 8 final where it will meet public-school power Reading Sunday evening at the TD Banknorth Garden.
The Lancers, who fell to Catholic Memorial twice during the regular season, overcame a two-goal, first-period deficit to improve to 4-0 in postseason play. This one year after a more veteran squad labored through a dismal 0-3 showing in the state's most prestigious tournament.
In a fast-moving third period, MC never took its foot off the accelerator. They played with an edge -- something Catholic Memorial lacked -- but also didn't make any mental mistakes.
That's what cost CM. The Knights got tripped up around their own blue line and Minter grabbed the puck above the left circle and carried to the high slot before feeding Vecchione. Wearing his now familiar No. 61 (he wore Tony Serino's No. 15 for one game during the tournament), Vecchione spun to his right and watched Conlin drop to the ice before slipping the winner under the prone netminder.
Malden Catholic received second-period goals from Greg Crovo (power-play tally at 5:42) and Jason Yeomelakis (1:23) and the Lancers skate into the second intermission knotted at 2 with rival Catholic Memorial.
Yeomelakis gave the Lancers a spark early on as he potted his goal with assists going to Joe White and Craig Carbonneau. MC enjoyed a man advantage a short time later and Crovo evened the game with a quick snapper from near the top of the left circle that buzzed in under the crossbar.
CM wasn't quite as lucky with the pipes. The Knights hit two posts in the period, including Derek Colucci's zap with 6:33 to go (off a pretty cross-ice feed from Mike Collins). The puck slammed hard off the crossbard keeping the game knotted.
Check out Catholic Memorial's two first-period goals in the video highlight entry below.
Catholic Memorial received first-period goals from Derek Colucci (2:54) and Troy Starrett (8:25) to carry a 2-0 advantage over rival Malden Catholic into the first intermission.
Catholic Memorial's Troy Starrett scored with the assists going to Mike Collins and Shane Walsh as the Knights lead, 2-0, with 6:35 to play in the frame.
Catholic Memorial's Derek Colucci pounced on a loose puck in the right circle and pots
Malden Catholic's Christian Roberto skated in alone on CM netminder Tom Conlin a short time after the first goal, but Conlin made a nice stop on a backhander near the left post.
Colucci appeared to skate off the ice injured with about eight minutes to play in the stanza. He was replaced on the top line by Starrett. Colucci returned with about three minutes to play.
Here are the starting lineups for Game 2 of our Super 8 crossover doubleheader:
LW - 5 - Mike Collins
C - 9 - Derek Colucci
RW - 19 - Shane Walsh
D - 4 - Peter Starrett
D - 22 - Garrett Noonan
Goalie: 30 - Tom Conlin
LW - 17 - Zack Sheppard
C - 9 - Craig Carbonneau
RW - 5 - Andrew Cerretani
D - 7 - Greg Crovo
D - 6 - Jared Tringale
Goalie: 30 - John Carbonneau
super 8 crossover semifinal
Reading 5, Xaverian 2
Reading strikes for two goals early in the third period -- one shorthanded and the other just as the penalty expired -- and the Rockets skate away with a 5-2 triumph over Xaverian in a Super 8 crossover semifinal at Tsongas Arena in Lowell.
The fifth-seeded Rockets move on to Sunday's Super 8 final at the TD Banknorth Garden to skate against the winner of tonight's other semifinal between sixth-seeded Malden Catholic and top-seeded Catholic Memorial.
Just 16 seconds after Reading drew an infraction, Ryan Arsenault skated in alone through the right circle and flicked in a back-breaking goal that put the Rockets on top, 4-2, with 9:59 to play in the game.
Xaverian still had life, but not only could it not muster a goal with the man advantage, Reading's Rob Toczylowski added another goal for the Rockets with 8:45 to go (just as the penalty on the clock expired).
The Hawks again couldn't come up with a power-play tally with a man-advantage starting with 5:46 to go and Reading simply sat on its comfortable three-goal cushion. The game got a bit chippy late and Xaverian skated 5-on-3 for much of the final minutes, but it didn't matter at that point.
Well, business sure picked up that period.
Reading and Xaverian combined for five goals (there nearly were two more in the late going) and the Rockets skate into the second intermission with a 3-2 advantage.
The Rockets nearly extended their lead with about a minute to play when a Pat Kiley rebound was stuffed home by Garrett Collins, but the referees waved the goal off saying the whistle had blown (though Xaverian netminder Kyle MacDonald never had full possession of the puck).
Xaverian's Andrew White nearly tied this game by blasting one into the net with 2:34 to play in the frame, but the Hawks were whistled for a penalty right as he wound up to shoot.
Reading's Quinlan Junta roofed a blue-line blast at 6:03 and the Rockets jumped back on top, 3-2.
Xaverian responded with two goals just 36 seconds apart to tie this game with 10:13 remaining. Goals go to John Sperzel and Jack Walsh, both rebound efforts.
Reading's Garrett Collins scored a power-play goal on a big blast from the blue line and the Rockets led, 2-0, less than three minutes into the second period.
Bizarre start to the second period as Pat Kiley chipped the puck in front of the net. It managed to hop under Xaverian netminder Kyle MacDonald and into the twine for an unassisted goal at 8 seconds.
A very even period of play without a whole lot of opportunities (though neither team was particularly guarded in its play).
Xaverian came close to drawing first blood when a little 2-on-1 developed with Matt Morin and Matt Hennessey after a Reading turnover at its own blue line, but Hennessey couldn't tuck the puck inside the left post on a return feed.
Reading nearly sneaked Mike Lozzi in 1-on-1 with Xaverian netminder Kyle MacDonald during a shorthanded situation, but MacDonald came out of net to play a loose puck in the high slot before Lozzi could get in.
Shots were even at 6.
Here are the starting lineups for Game 1 of tonight's Super 8 crossover doubleheader:
LW - 21 - Mark MacDonald
C - 20 - John Sperzel
RW - 14 - Chris Wagner
D - 15 - Andrew White
D - 19 - Jameson Lee
Goalie: 29 - Kyle MacDonald
LW - 20 - Rob Toczylowski
C - 12 - Mike Lozzi
RW - 19 - Pat Kiley
D - 7 - Travis Busch
D - 9 - Garrett Collins
Goalie: Jeff Wyer
Note: The blog is getting a little cluttered with all the live game blogs each night, so we're trying something a little different today and keeping all the posts in one entry. We'll update the headline each time to indicate the time and score at the latest update. We're open to your feedback, so if you'd like to see multiple entries instead of updating one post, let us know in the comments section.
Welcome back to the Tsongas Arena in Lowell, site of tonight's Super 8 semifinal crossovers. Reading meets Xaverian at 6 p.m, while Malden Catholic skates against Catholic Memorial at 8 p.m.
The winners move on to Sunday's championship game at the TD Banknorth Garden.
Back with much more throughout the night.
A friendly reminder that we'll be live from the Tsongas Arena in Lowell this evening, site of a pair of Super 8 semifinal crossover battles.
Reading jousts with Xaverian at 6 p.m., while Malden Catholic skates against Catholic Memorial at 8 p.m. The winners advance to Sunday's championship game at the TD Banknorth Garden.
We'll have live updates and video highlights throughout the night. To catch up on anything you've missed during the tournament, check out Super 8 Central.
Okay, so this day belongs to the hoopsters, but as we kill a little time before the start here, we wanted to pass along this video from yesterday's third round of Super 8 play.
In the clip, Waltham's Kyle Thomas scores what ended up being the lone goal of the Hawks' Super 8 stay in a loss against Reading. The team had endured a 174-minute scoreless streak before Thomas's tally 1:46 into the third period.
So, with nothing to lose, Waltham celebrated a bit. The Hawks emptied their bench and mobbed Thomas behind the net. They tried to play it off as a milestone goal, but the referees saw through the ploy and whistled Waltham for a bench minor.
After 174 scoreless minutes, 90 seconds seemed a small price to pay.
"We had a little fun emptying the bench,'" Maguire told the press following a 4-1 defeat. "We knew we were going to get a bench minor. The ref didn't buy that it was Kyle's 100th goal of the year.'"
- Click HERE to watch the video.
According to a post on the MIAA's website at 7:50 a.m. this morning: "The Division 1A hockey games will be played today as scheduled beginning at 12:30 pm at the DCU Center."
We'll be bringing your coverage throughout the day.
In this segment, the Globe's Matt Porter makes his picks for Saturday's first round Super 8 action at Worcester's DCU Center, and writes an introduction to said segment in the third person. Here we go...
No. 3 St. John's Prep vs. No. 6 Malden Catholic, 12:30 p.m. – (Cue bad impression of the late, great John Facenda: “And on this day, there was little room for error as the Catholic Conference rivals tangled for fleeting post...season...glory. The heralded Eagles and potent Lancers did battle on the frozen sheet to begin the first round of the vaunted Super 8. It was a struggle that saw two evenly-matched...” Okay, you get the idea. It's going to be a battle. Catholic Memorial aside, the rest of the Catholic Conference played tug-of-war all year. (And if that's the case, the Knights were like older kids throwing dodgeballs at the fray.) Want a telling stat? Both the Eagles and Lancers played eight games against Catholic Conference opponents. MC's goal differential in those games was 17-21. The Prep's was 17-22. Both teams are balanced, well-coached and solid in net, and have fought off inconsistent lapses. Their first match ended in a draw (3-3, Jan. 16) and the Prep slid by in their second (2-1, Feb. 2). What more is there to say? I predict ... the mighty Lancers will take their revenge, as the afternoon sun breaks over the rolling hills of Central Massachusetts – er, I mean, Malden Catholic 3, St. John's Prep 2.
No. 2 Hingham vs. No. 7 Xaverian, 2:45 – During football season, I was in Hingham quite a bit. Saw some good games, generally enjoyed myself, and had my first experience with Mary Lou's (an awesome cup of brew, and I'm not even a flavored-coffee guy). I like Hingham, and I wouldn't mind living there someday. It's a nice place. I say all this in a shameless attempt to distract you from the fact I haven't yet seen the Harbormen hockey team play live. It's disgraceful, quite frankly. I followed them from afar, and I regret missing Cam Spiro fill the net in the season's early going (five times in one game? No problem). I slept on one of the better netminders in the area, Nate Eagan. I missed seeing a team that finished 10-1-1, and was crowned the No. 2 team by the Mass. State Coaches Association and the Super 8 committee. It's my fault. I'll get my chance to see the H-Men's offense roll tomorrow, as will Xaverian, fresh off a solid win over Needham in the play-in round. The Hawks played solid postseason hockey in that one – work hard, stay cool, and cash in when the chances come. From what the X-Men have shown as of late, they can hang with anyone not wearing red, grey and white. Since I have to make a prediction, I'll take the favorite and say Hingham, 3, Xaverian 1.
No. 4 BC High vs. No. 5 Reading, 5 – Now this should be a good one. In one corner, with a record of 20-1, they are the Middlesex League champions. They outscored opponents by a 129-24 margin in their 21 games. Their top line, seniors Mike Lozzi, Pat Kiley and Rob Toczylowski, has dominated opponents all season long. I give you, the Reading Rockets. In the other corner, with a record of 11-4-5, they are the defending Super 8 champions. They have a roster of playoff-tested talent like John Heffernan, Tom Curran, Rob Dongara and P.J. Martina. They have the Catholic Conference's best goalie in Sam Marotta. And they dealt the Rockets their only loss of the season (3-1, Jan. 21). I give you, the BC High Eagles. Now let's get it on! Even though the Rockets have a lot to prove after being blown out of last year's Super 8, I'm picking the deeper team here. BC High, 4-2.
No. 1 Catholic Memorial vs. No. 8 Waltham, 7:15 – In the late game, we have Steve Hopkins. Have you heard of Steve Hopkins? If you were in Billerica on Monday, you left a believer in the Waltham goalie's talents. He was outstanding. He was sensational. He was...outstansational. (Ed.: Are the made-up words necessary?) Fine, but really, S. Hopkins was pretty ridiculous. He made save after save and went Ghostbustin' in the shootout: He stoned three Westford shooters, and it's possible the fourth missed the net due to sheer intimidation. Also, Hawks forward Kyle Thomas was nothing short of electrifying, using his wheels aggressively and his bullet shot liberally. But CM's Mike Collins and Derek Colucci know excitement, too. Watch them close, as they fire the puck across the rink at a pinball's pace, giving a young Hawks defense all it can handle - Waltham coach John Maguire dropped senior Don Hopkins back to help out for a few games late in the year; what will his assignment be against the Knights? Meanwhile, the CM defense is deep like Dostoevsky and tougher than a than a steel toothbrush, and they should be able to bottle up Waltham's scoring line for the most part. The Hawks are coming off that emotional win over Westford, and if Dan Rowland (wrist) is healthy, they have a better shot, but right now, I'm calling it CM 5, Waltham 1.
That just about does it. See you at the games. Fire back if you want to by leaving a comment at the top, or email email@example.com.
The MIAA has released the times for Saturday's Super 8 action at the DCU Center in Worcester:
- 12:30 p.m. -- No. 3 St. John's Prep vs. No. 6 Malden Catholic
- 2:45 p.m. -- No. 2 Hingham vs. No. 7 Xaverian
- 5 p.m. -- No. 4 BC High vs. No. 5 Reading
- 7:15 p.m. -- No. 1 Catholic Memorial vs. No. 8 Waltham
Keep an eye on Super 8 Central for more tournament coverage.
From a press release:
FASTHockey is bringing fans high quality streaming video of the games starting at 12:30 p.m. and ending at approximately 10 p.m. Users can see the free webcast by going to FASTHockey.com, signing up for a free account, and clicking on the ICE TV link.
Originally, Hockey12 was to stream the games for $6 per contest or $13.95 for the entire day. With FASTHockey as a sponsor, the games will now be carried free.
Even if you catch the webcast, we'd suggest sticking with this space for plenty of live updates and analysis. We'll provide live coverage of all four games and pass along our own video highlights throughout the day.
The full highlight reels for both Super 8 play-in games are now online.
Click HERE to watch video from Xaverian's 3-0 win over Needham.
Click HERE to watch video from Waltham's shootout win over Westford Academy.
You can find all the latest video, standings, news, and more over at Super 8 Central.
Here's the dramatic shootout that lifted Waltham past Westford Academy after 53 minutes of scoreless hockey in a Super 8 play-in game at the Chelmsford Forum:
Click HERE to watch the video.
Waltham netminder Steve Hopkins stops four shots in the shootout, while Adam Dallaire and Kyle Thomas score for the Hawks as they prevail.
Hopkins stoned Westford's first two shooters, while Dallaire and Thomas each scored for Waltham. Dan Hopkins had a chance to end it, but lost control of the puck near the net. His twin brother took care of punctuating an amazing game by stopping yet another Westford attempt.
Westford outshot Waltham, 34-23, during regulation and overtime.
The Hawks advance to meet Catholic Memorial in Saturday's first round of group play at the DCU Center in Worcester.
We're going to put together a video of the shootout. We'll post that in a bit.
As we reported earlier, Waltham's Dan Rowland didn't skate during regulation or overtime, but he's one of a handful of skaters loosening up in front of the Hawks' bench. We're guessing he might be one of their shooters in the shootout.
Scoreless after overtime.
We're headed to a shootout.
Scoreless with 3:22 to go in overtime.
Westford's Derek Dirubbo broke in with space, but Waltham netminder Steve Hopkins made another beautiful stop early in the overtime session.
Waltham broke in 2-on-1 with 3:46 to go, but the connecting pass was a hair off and that gave Curtis Serafini a second to recover and dive on a loose puck.
Twenty seconds later, Hopkins robbed Dirubbo with a glove save while the winger streaked in from the left side.
Timeout on the ice.
An eight-minute overtime upcoming.
Yep, we're still scoreless.
Still scoreless. You can cut the tension with a knife.
With Waltham on the power play and about 7:30 remaining, Kyle Thomas ripped a wrister off the post.
We're still scoreless.
Waltham and Westford are still scoreless after two periods.
This one feels a lot like Austin Prep vs. Woburn last year. Two goaltenders putting on a show. Are we destined for a scoreless stalemate (Austin Prep prevailed in a shootout during last year's play-in game)?
Waltham netminder Steve Hopkins and Westford Academy goalie Curt Serafini continue to be the story here. Both have made some tremendous stops over the first 30 minutes.
Waltham enjoyed an abbreviated 5-on-3 power play midway through the second stanza, but couldn't dent the scoreboard. Westford, which had one failed opportunity with a man advantage, will carry another power play into the third frame.
Westford dominated much of the early going in the third period and outshot Waltham, 14-4. For the game, the Grey Ghosts boast a 20-14 advantage overall.
Waltham's Steve Hopkins has been cool under heavy pressure over the first seven minutes of the second period (including killing off a power play with some big stops).
We're still scoreless.
No score in North Billerica following one period of play in Game 2 of this Super 8 play-in doubleheader.
Waltham netminder Steve Hopkins and Westford Academy goalie Curt Serafini were outstanding. Both were challenged during the frame and both came up with big stops.
Waltham won the battle on shots, 10-6.
Best chance probably came early in the frame when Kyle Thomas broke in as part of 2-on-1 for Waltham, but Thomas's attempt to stuff home a rebound seemed to kick gently off the post.
Midway through the first period: We're scoreless.
Power play upcoming for Waltham.
Reports before the game indicated that Waltham winger Kyle Thomas would not play tonight due to injury.
Thomas, who led the Greater Boston League with 40 points (16 goals, 24 assists) warmed up in uniform and was announced as a starter, and he's on the ice to start the game.
We'll keep an eye on how much he plays.
Update: Looks like we got a bit of misinformation. The injured player actually appears to be Dan Rowland (he of second in the GBL scoring with 36 points). He is dressed, but has not left the end of the bench during the game.
Thomas has been the catalyst for the Waltham offense thus far.
Xaverian tops Needham, 3-0.
Hawks netminder Kyle MacDonald helped Xaverian pitch its second shutout over Needham this year (teammate Greg Homer blanked the Rockets the first time around), stopping all 16 shots he faced.
Xaverian did a tremendous job bottling up the Rockets and limiting their opportunities (particularly in the first period where they mustered just one shot). The Hawks finished with a 24-16 advantage on shots overall.
Couldn't have asked for a better outcome if you're Xaverian. The Hawks, technically the 10th seed, will now vault to the seventh seed with this win, which means they land on the same side of the bracket with third-seeded St. John's Prep (a team Xaverian beat twice this year in Catholic Conference play) and sixth-seeded Malden Catholic (a team Xaverian went 0-1-1 again in league place). Second-seeded Hingham fills out that group.
Part II of this Super 8 doubleheader is up next with Waltham skating against Westford Academy. Back with more shortly.
John Sperzel stuffed home a Cam Miller blast with 8:18 to go.
Xaverian leads Needham, 3-0.
Needham couldn't convert on a power-play chance early in the third and Xaverian isn't giving them many opportunities overall (the Hawks led on shots, 17-9, through two frames).
Here's a video featuring Matt Morin's second-period goal for Xaverian:
Click HERE to watch the highlight.
Matt Morrin polished off a little 2-on-1 with Chris Wagner for a goal at 14:38 and Xaverian has extended its lead to 2-0 over Needham.
Scoreless so far in the second period.
Needham killed off a penalty with Xaverian mustering a few quality chances.
Xaverian junior Jack Walsh tipped home a Matt Glennon shot in front of the net and the Hawks lead Needham, 1-0, at the first intermission.
Needham was aggressive and threw its weight around with some big checks in the opening 15, but Xaverian capitalized in a period without many quality opportunities.
Xaverian outshot Needham, 6-1, in the frame.
Xaverian's Jack Walsh tips one home with 3:26 to play in the first period.
Hawks lead, 1-0.
Scoreless through 10 minutes. Good hitting going on for both sides.
Here are your starting lineups:
LW - Matt Hennessey
C - Matt Morin
RW - Nathan Hardiman
D - Andrew White
D - Gavin Driscoll
Goalie: Kyle MacDonald
LW - Sam Kane
C - Brett Riley
RW - Mike Sharpe
D - Will Rayner
D - Mike Sullivan
Goalie: Sam Gifford
Welcome to Chelmsford Forum in North Billerica, site of tonight's Super 8 play-in games.
First up: Seventh-seeded Needham vs. 10th-seeded Xaverian. Puck is scheduled to drop at 6:10 p.m.
Needham fans poured off a bus about 10 minutes ago and they've already started some chants for the youth hockey practice on the ice. Seems like they're just warming up for the big game.
Back with more throughout the night.
A few thoughts on tonight's Super 8 play-in games:
Interesting to note that both of tonight's Super 8 play-in games are rematches from the 2007-08 season. Ironically, the lower seed in each of tonight's games was actually the regular-season victor.
Tenth-seeded Xaverian blanked seventh-seeded Needham, 2-0, back on Dec. 29, while ninth-seeded Westford Academy dropped eighth-seeded Waltham, 3-1, on Dec. 19.
Under the current Super 8 format, teams are seeded in spots No. 7-10 based on regular-season winning percentage.
In the early game, Needham is likely chomping at the bit to get back on the ice. Not only is there a bit of a revenge factor against the Hawks this evening, but Needham endured a disappointing 1-0 loss to Chelmsford in the Cahoon Tournament back on Feb. 20 and that defeat may have hurt its chances at landing a top 6 seeding (and avoiding the play-in round all together).
Needham had won 12 in a row prior to that game and was unbeaten in its last 15 (winning 14 of those games, while tying Wellesley, 3-3, on Jan. 9). That streak dated all the way back to the Xaverian loss. Earlier in the year, the Rockets also dropped a 4-3 heartbreaker to BC High (the tournament's fourth seed), while skating to a 2-2 tie with Hingham (the tournament's second seed).
One year after being the only Catholic Conference team not invited to the big dance, Xaverian earned its first Super 8 appearance this winter. They'll need a win tonight to truly reach the dance floor.
The winner advances to meet Hingham in Saturday's first round of round-robin play at the DCU Center in Worcester. The loser falls into the Division 1 South tournament as the top seed and will meet the winner of a first-round game between Weymouth and Framingham.
In the late game, Westford will be looking to reward the committee for bestowing the last available slot to the Grey Ghosts. The seven-member committee debated long and hard about whether Westford or St. Bernard's deserved the final spot in the Super 8 field, but it was the Grey Ghosts that won the vote, 4-3.
That win over Waltham earlier this season likely helped their cause. But it won't help them tonight. Both teams admit they've changed since that first meeting, but will it be enough to change the outcome?
Waltham knows all too well the disappointment of losing a play-in game. The Hawks were unceremoniously bounced during last year's play-in game when Central Catholic erupted for three third-period goals in a 3-1 triumph. Waltham advanced to the Division 1 North finals that year, falling to Woburn in the championship tilt (the Tanners were the other wild card victim in 2007 after losing in a shootout to Austin Prep).
The winner's reward this year? A first-round matchup with top-seeded and heavily favored Catholic Memorial. The loser falls into the Division 1 North bracket as the top seed and will skate against the Matignon-St. Mary's winner in Saturday's quarterfinals.
Back with more from the Chelmsford Forum this evening.
A reminder that we'll be live tonight from the Chelmsford Forum in the North Billerica, where the Super 8 tournament kicks off with a pair of play-in games that will finalize the eight-team field for round-robin play.
We'll have live updates and video highlights in this space. Keep an eye on Super 8 Central for all the latest news from the tournament. There you'll also find the complete tournament schedule (though many times and dates are still to be determined) and much more.
Seventh-seeded Needham skates against 10th-seeded Xaverian at 6:10 p.m., while eighth-seeded Waltham and ninth-seeded Westford Academy battle at 8:10 p.m. The winners advance to Saturday's opening round of play at the DCU Center in Worcester, while the losers fall into their respective Division 1 tournaments as the top seed.
Five leftover thoughts following today's seedings process:
- How about Hingham?: The biggest surprise of the day, to us at least, was the placement of Hingham as the No. 2 seed in the tournament. Granted, the Harbormen topped St. John's Prep (the next logical choice for that slot) earlier this season, but Hingham also fell to BC High in the opening round of the Cape Cod Classic this past week. We figured that -- along with a midseason loss to Waltham -- would push the Harbormen further down in the rankings, but the committee strongly backed them and bestowed a lofty perch.
- BC High vs. CM: Should be fun to see these two rivals meet in round robin play. That's a great pool with BC High, Catholic Memorial, Reading, and the Westford/Waltham winner. If our calculations are correct, BC High will meet Catholic Memorial in the third round of round-robin play and it'll undoubtedly have an effect on how the crossover bracket looks.
- History: Two bits of history were made today: The Catholic Conference got its entire league into the Super 8 bracket for the first time (this after getting a remarkable four teams in last year), while the Catholic Central League was shut out of the Division 1A tournament for the first time in its 18-year history.
- No respect for CMass?: The folks at St. Bernard's of Fitchburg were certainly disappointed with the outcome of the meeting, feeling they deserved a spot in the top 10. The only head-to-head matchup they had against another Super 8 team was a 3-2 loss to Malden Catholic way back on Dec. 27. Safe to say, the Bernardians saved their best hockey for the end of the season, but it simply wasn't enough. Westford seemed to draw accolades for a challenging nonleague schedule, which included wins over Waltham and Xaverian, two teams that the committee had pushed through earlier in the voting.
- Division 1 friendly play-ins: The folks in the Division 1 tournaments usually have to put their brackets on hold while the Super 8 play-ins unfold. Fortunately, those two games broke down with two South competitors (Needham and Xaverian) and two North squads (Waltham and Westford) facing each other on Monday night. That means one team will fall into each bracket (as the top seed) and since those teams more often than not receive a bye, teams don't have to wait until Monday to have a sense of how the brackets will shake down.
Recapping today's seedings:
1. Catholic Memorial
3. St. John's Prep
4. BC High
6. Malden Catholic
9. Westford Academy
Monday night's play-in games will be held at 6:10 and 8:10 at the Chelmsford Forum.
Needham (home team) vs. Xaverian, 6:10 p.m.
Waltham (home team) vs. Westford, 8:10 p.m.
The first round will be played at the DCU Center in Worcester on March, 1 (all times are TBA).
Here's the voting from the third round with votes from each trip around the table:
Catholic Memorial earned four of the first five votes (St. John's Prep received the other). The Knights are the top seed.
Hingham earned four of the first six votes (St. John's Prep received the others). The Harbormen are the second seed.
St. John's Prep earned four consecutive votes. The Eagles are the third seed.
BC High earned four of the first five votes (Reading received the other). The Eagles are the fourth seed.
Reading received four consecutive votes. The Rockets are the fifth seed.
Malden Catholic received four of the first five votes (Waltham received the other). The Lancers are the sixth seed.
The final four teams will be seeded by wining percentage:
9. Westford Academy
Needham meets Xaverian, while Waltham tangles with Westford in the play-in games.
Here's the power seeding procedure (from a handout):
8. Teams will be power seeded starting with the No. 1 seed and ending with the No. 10 seed. The power seeding procedure is as follows:
a. The No. 1 seed position will be voted. Each voting member will vote for one team - no abstentions. A majority vote is required for placement.
b. This power seeding process will continue until the first six (6) seeds are filled. The remaining four (4) teams will be Wild Card placed in seeds Nos. 7-10, according to their winning percentage.
9. After all 10 schools are seeded, the committee members will call each school to announce the appropriate school personnel, the team selection and the details of the Wild Card and first-round games.
Westford Academy earns the final spot over St. Bernard's in a riveting 4-3 vote.
The first three votes went to Westford, the next three to St. Bernard's. Bridgewater-Raynham's Dan Buron voted for Westford, sending the Grey Ghosts through to the power-seeding round and completes the 10 team field for the 2008 Super 8 tournament.
Malden Catholic, Xaverian, and Needham all earned entry in the second-round voting process. The 10 teams will now be power seeded in round 3 (with teams that land in spots No. 7-10 seeded by winning percentage).
Dan Shine is speaking on behalf of St. Bernard's (a league rival to his Arlington Catholic) and Jim O'Connor of the Observers group added some kind words on behalf of the Bernardians.
Paul Podolski of the state coaches' association is championing the cause of Westford Academy.
We'll keep you posted.
A team needed four votes to advance. Here's how it went down in the war room:
Malden Catholic earns four of the first six votes on the first trip around the table (St. Bernard's got the other two). Malden Catholic has advanced to the next round.
Xaverian earns four of the first six votes on the second trip around the table (Needham received the other two). Xaverian has advanced to the next round.
Needham earned four of the first six votes on the third trip around the table (Westford Academy received the other two). Needham has advanced to the next round.
Two teams remain: Westford Academy and St. Bernard's.
Six teams, based on unanimous vote in the first round, have assured themselves spot in the Super 8 tournament:
They are: Hingham, Catholic Memorial, BC High, St. John's Prep, Reading, and Waltham.
There are five teams that did not receive unanimous vote and one team must be eliminated from the group featuring: Needham, Westford Academy, Xaverian, Malden Catholic, and St. Bernard's.
Round 2 voting will start shortly, we'll update when the round is complete.
Update: Members were first briefed on the voting procedure and now there is some discussion about the remaining teams.
Here's the voting procedure for the top 10 teams (from a handout):
5. Teams who received a unanimous vote will be placed in the top 10 teams. Rank order to be determined by the power seeding procedure stated below.
6. Teams who did not receive unanimous vote will be considered for placement in the top 10 teams. Each voting member will vote for one of the remaining teams -- no abstentions. A majority vote is required for placement in the top 10 teams. Rank order to be determined by seeding procedure stated below. Any team failing to receive a majority vote will be placed back in the pool for future consideration.
7. This voting procedure will continue until 10 teams are placed.
With all the formalities and introductions (finally) out of the way, the Super 8 committee's seven voting members went through the nomination process. Here's how the voting went down in Round 1 (in order of nomination):
Hingham -- 7-0
Catholic Memorial -- 7-0
BC High -- 7-0
St. John's Prep -- 7-0
Reading -- 7-0
Waltham -- 7-0
Needham -- 4-3
Westford Academy -- 5-2
Xaverian -- 6-1
Malden Catholic -- 6-1
St. Bernard's -- 4-3
Austin Prep -- 1-6
No further nominations. Round 1 has been completed.
From the watch list, only Austin Prep has been eliminated from consideration.
Here is the Observer's nomination list, a suggestion (much like the one made by the state coaches' association) by Jim O'Connor's group:
1. Catholic Memorial
2. St. John’s Prep
3. BC High
6. Malden Catholic
10. St. Bernard’s
We still haven't started, but here's the nomination procedure for Round 1 (as explained on a handout):
1. Any seeding committee member may nominate a school for consideration.
2. The school's nomination will be discussed.
3. A hand vote will be taken -- no abstentions. A majority vote is needed in order to remain in consideration. Teams failing to receive a majority vote will not be reconsidered.
4. This nominating process will continue until there are no more nominations.
We'll check back with the list of teams nominated once the first round has completed.
Committee members, athletic directors, and coaches are beginning to take their seats in the war room here inside the MIAA offices. We'll keep you posted as things get going here.
Just as a comparison, here's the list submitted by the coaches association last year:
1. Catholic Memorial
2. St. John's Prep
3. BC High
4. Malden Catholic
6. Austin Prep
9. Central Catholic
10. Springfield Cathedral
The committee ultimately swapped some seeds around, but the most notable change was that Woburn worked its way into the top 10 ahead of Springfield Cathedral. The Tanners lost in a play-in game.
Should be interesting to see what happens this year. Check out this year's final watch list in the entries below.
We might not be able to get to your comments during the meeting (things come pretty rapid-fire, but we'll try to approve when we can).
If you'd like to chat with other high school hockey fans about the proceedings, sound off ion our message board.
The Massachusetts State Hockey Coaches Association has trimmed its list to 12 following a meeting this morning. Here's the list:
1. Catholic Memorial
3. St. John’s Prep
4. BC High
5. Malden Catholic
8. Westford Academy
11. Austin Prep
12. St. Bernard’s
Our thoughts: Nothing terribly surprising here. Coyle-Cassidy and Andover have essentially been, in the association's opinion, eliminated from consideration. That's not to say others will feel differently.
The association produced the same 10 teams as we predicted last night (yes, we're giving ourselves a pat on the back now since this is not assuredly the 10 teams that will be selected at this afternoon's meeting). It is surprising to us to see Hingham rated so high. But we'll see how this afternoon's meeting plays out.
We're in Franklin now. We're headed to the MIAA offices shortly. More from there in a bit.
As we prepare for tomorrow's Super 8 seedings meeting in Franklin (2 p.m.), here's one man's opinion of what might unfold.
Much like we did last year, we're going to strive to be at every single moment of the Super 8 tournament, capturing all the action on the High School Sports Blog and taping all the highlights for relaunched Super 8 Central.
Also, we'll have live updates in this space tomorrow afternoon during the meeting. Stick with us for all the latest from Franklin.
We admittedly didn't see as many regular-season games as we would have liked (blame the Patriots' question for perfection in part for that), but here's what we've gleaned from everything we've seen and read this winter:
1. Catholic Memorial: Do we even need to offer a reason here? The Knights were clearly the best team in the region this winter and, once again, they're the clear-cut favorite entering the Super 8 tournament. Now, we thought the Knights were a wrecking ball last year when they rumbled into the tournament at 14-2-2, so there's always upset potential.
2. St. John's Prep: Two wins over BC High make the Prep a virtual lock, even if they only mustered one other win in Catholic Conference play. Heck, that was good enough for second place in the league. The Eagles can score in bunches (ask Waltham or Austin Prep) and have a rock-solid goalie in Kyle Pettoruto to compliment.
3. BC High: Can we just point out that the Eagles, defending Super 8 champs, entered last year's shindig with a 12-4-4 record. This year? They're 11-4-5 and boast a goalie who's only given up more than two goals to St. John's Prep in the new year.
4. Reading: That 20-1 record sure is glossy, but color us skeptical until the Rockets win a Super 8 game. Last year was a massive disappointment after Reading, seeded sixth, lost three games in round-robin play by a combined score of 15-5. As one person in Reading told us recently, "The Rockets are a little better this year, so who knows what could happen?" It's true that Reading brings back much of its talent, but will they emerge as true contenders this year? We'd feel more confident if the locals were telling us they were, "a lot better" this winter.
Pleading for top 6 seeding
5. Waltham: The Hawks probably wish they could hit the reset button on a couple of games this winter. A loss to Westford back on Dec. 19 won't help their cause tomorrow, nor will a 1-0 blanking at the hands of Medford on Feb. 13. But their only other loss came at the hands of St. John's Prep (a lopsided defeat at that). Taking home the Cape Cod Classic title, punctuated by a shootout victory over Austin Prep, will help the Hawks as well.
6. Hingham: This year's Weymouth? We'd say there's far more hype about the Harbormen than Weymouth enjoyed at this time last year. I remember a lot of "wow"s when the Wildcats earned the fifth seed last February and I don't think it'll surprise a lot of folks to see Hingham seeded in top 6 this year. Some struggles down the stretch (falling to BC High, tying Duxbury), as well as a midseason loss to Waltham, might leave the Harbormen fighting for that top seed, but a convincing win over the Prep certainly helps that cause.
7. Malden Catholic: Take away a late season hiccup against St. Mary's of Lynn on Feb. 12 and the Lancers are probably a slam dunk for a top spot, right? They boast quality wins over teams fighting for Super 8 berths (Westford, St. Bernard's, and Xaverian), while also skating to two ties with BC High. But don't let the number in the loss column fool you. Remember that the Lancers also lost two games to Catholic Memorial, one to the Prep, and one to Rhode Island's Bishop Hendricken. Not too shabby.
8. Needham: Yet another team that would love a mulligan. The Rockets had ripped off 12 straight wins before enduring a shocking 1-0 loss to Chelmsford Wednesday night at the Cahoon Tournament. Skating to a tie with Hingham will help their cause, as will playing a one-goal game with BC High. But a 2-0 loss to Xaverian certainly begs the question of whether Needham deserve a berth over the Hawks, a team fighting for one of the last spots.
Plan for a play in... at best
9. Xaverian: The Hawks stumbled their way through a 2-5-1 month of January, falling to BC High (twice), Westford, Malden Catholic, and Catholic Memorial in that span. On the positive side, the wins included a 3-0 blanking of St. John's Prep (one of two wins over the Eagles), and the tie came in the rematch with MC. The Hawks finished up the regular season strong and many considered Friday night's scheduled matchup with Coyle-Cassidy a potential Super 8 play-in play-in at the South of Boston Shootout in Bridgewater. Mother Nature preferred to keep us in suspense as the game has been canceled due to the weather. That leaves the fate of the Hawks up in the air, just like...
10. Coyle-Cassidy: Unbeaten in its last 17 games, you could make the case that no one has played better or more consistent hockey (other than CM) than these Division 2 upstarts. The Warriors put themselves on the map with a 2-1 upset of BC High back on Feb. 6, but there's not a heck of a lot to go on besides that. Even coach Dave Borges admitted that he thought the lone reason his team was still being considered was a potential matchup with Xaverian. A win there could have vaulted his team into a Super 8 play-in game. Undoubtedly, fellow competitors in Division 2 South are rooting for Coyle to land a spot with the big boys (even if it's just temporary).
11. Westford Academy: Another team that tripped up against Chelmsford late in the year (those Lions were party crashers for Super 8 contenders in a winter otherwise dotted with struggles). The Grey Ghosts also let one slip away when they gave up a late goal against Winchester Wednesday night at the Irish-American Shootout. What's working in Westford's favor is a win over Andover earlier in the week, along with triumphs earlier in the year over Waltham and Xaverian.
12. St. Bernard's: As a Central Mass. native and someone who spent too much time in Fitchburg, I'm quietly -- yet objectively -- rooting for the Bernardians. As champs of the Catholic Central League, they'll get plenty of consideration from the committee. We're simply not sure the resume will support their candidacy. The positives: Undefeated in February, the Bernardians have won eight straight. Earlier this season, they also skated strong against Malden Catholic before falling, 3-2. But there's no eye-catching win on their schedule, What's more, they're probably not the best team in Central Mass. (that's reserved for 15-1-4 Gardner, who dropped the Bernardians, 6-3, in late January).
Hoping for a miracle
13. Austin Prep: Shootout win over BC High at Cape Cod Classic (it's a tie in the books) looks nice, but late-season loss to St. Bernard's really hurt them. If the Bernardians aren't getting in, neither are the Cougars. They also fell to Westford earlier in the year (handily, too).
14. Andover: Falling to Westford (a common theme in these miracle teams) on Monday night pretty much sealed the Warriors' fate. Andover also tied its previous two games (against Central Catholic and Arlington). Even with wins there, we're not sure it was enough to gain Super 8 consideration.
So, if someone asked us to put together the Super 8 seedings, here's our best guess (with teams 7-10 not seeded by winning percentage, as they will be following the selection meeting).
1. Catholic Memorial
2. St. John's Prep
3. BC High
5. Malden Catholic
10. Westford Academy
The only debate, in our minds, comes down to whether Coyle-Cassidy did enough to play its way into the tournament. A single win over BC High probably isn't enough and Westford gets the nod based on wins over Waltham and Xaverian.
We're excited for tomorrow's meeting and we're excited for the tournament. We look forward to bringing it all to you.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.com. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @GlobeSchools for all of the latest updates.
Then there are our fall correspondents:
- Anthony Gulizia | @gulizia_a | Div. 1 football
- Eric Russo | @erusso22 | Div. 2 football
- Stephen Sellner | @stephen_sellner | Div. 3 football
- Andrew MacDougall | @Andy_MacDougall | Div. 4 football
- Greg Joyce | @GJoyce9 | Div. 5 football
- Lorenzo Recupero | @LorenzoRecupero | Div. 6 football
- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Girls volleyball
To reach the high school sports department, e-mail email@example.com.