The Northeastern Conference voted 6-5 against expansion Friday, ending for the moment the attempts by four Greater Boston League schools and Masconomet to join the 11-team conference.
The motion was to add Medford, Malden, Somerville, and Everett, along with Masconomet, currently a member of the Cape Ann League. Needing eight votes to expand, principals and athletic directors met for two hours before voting.
"It was a healthy discussion," said Northeastern Conference spokesman and former Amesbury principal Les Murray. "In the end they just didn't see the need to expand."
Masconomet is in talks with the Merrimack Valley Conference about joining that 11-team conference. Cambridge is leaving the GBL to join the Dual County League, leaving the GBL as a four-team league.
It took four different attempts Thursday but the Greater Boston athletic directors finally agreed to release Cambridge from the GBL. By a 3-2 vote, Cambridge is one step closer to joining the Dual County League.
The next step according to Medford athletic director Bob Maloney, is a vote by the Greater Boston League principals. Maloney said he anticipates the principals agreeing with the athletic directors.
The first three votes all went against Cambridge as the athletic directors from Cambridge, Medford, Malden, Somerville, and Everett searched for a solution they could all agree on. The fourth motion, proposed by Everett athletic director John DiBiaso, was to release Cambridge at the end of this school year and it passed by one vote.
According to Maloney, the remaining GBL schools will continue discussions with the Northeastern Conference.
The two-day event features eight teams with a combined 20-9 record competing in two separate divisions, with each crowning a champion on Sunday.
Small School Division
Game 1, Noon - Winchester (2-2) vs. Whittier Tech (3-1)
Game 2, 1:30 p.m. - Arlington Catholic (3-0) vs. St. Clement (4-0)
Large School Division
Game 3, 3 p.m. - Brookline (2-2) vs. Belmont (0-3)
Game 4, 4:30 p.m.- Malden Catholic (3-1) vs. Salem (3-0)
Game 5, noon- Small School Division
Game 6, 1:30 p.m. - Large School Division
Game 7, 3 p.m.- Small School Division
Game 8, 4:30 p.m.- Large School Division
All proceeds will benefit the IAABO 27 Referees for Cancer initiative, which has raised nearly $13,000 for cancer research in 2012.
Malden Catholic is located at 99 Crystal Street in Malden.
The back-to-back Super 8 champion Malden Catholic Lancers will host the inaugural Christie Serino Christmas Classic this Thursday and Friday at Valley Forum II in Malden.
The event will feature four of the top boys’ hockey programs in a tournament to honor the memory of Malden Catholic coach Chris Serino, who passed away in the offseason after battling throat cancer.
Serino was the architect of a Malden Catholic program that captured consecutive Super 8 championships while sending numerous players to Division 1 college hockey careers.
“He started something that no one thought that we could do,” said former Serino assistant and current Malden Catholic head coach John McLean. “He really accomplished a lot.”
The puck drops at 4 p.m. on Thursday when No. 11 Austin Prep (1-0-1) takes to the ice against St. Mary’s of Lynn (1-1-2). The upstart Cougars are looking to cement themselves as a Super 8 contender and a solid showing in this tournament could go a long way. The Spartans may not have the firepower that had them as the second seed in the Super 8 a year ago, but they have retooled and are always a team to be feared.
In the 6 p.m. slot on Thursday No. 4 Hingham (2-1) gets their first crack at the top-ranked Lancers (2-0). Last season the Harbormen lost both of their matchups against M.C. by a combined score of 12-3. They return a ton of talent and will look to ensure those results are a thing of the past. Of course, it’s been a while since anybody took out the Lancers on their home ice and Malden Catholic will look to honor coach Serino the best way it can.
The consolation and championship games will be played on Friday at 4 and 6 p.m.
By Eric Russo, Globe Correspondent
The Greater Boston League football coaches and athletic directors met on Thursday morning to discuss how they would determine the league's two playoff teams under the new format that starts next season.
According to Everett coach and AD John DiBiaso, the top two teams in the league, based on record, will qualify for the postseason. Here's how things will work:
League games will be played during weeks 4 through 7.
Each team will play four league games, but only three will count toward their league record. The league's two Thanksgiving games (Malden vs. Medford and Somerville vs. Cambridge) will be discounted. Everett, who no longer plays on Thanksgiving, will have one of their games during weeks 4-7 discounted. This will be done on a rotating, alphabetical basis. In 2013, Everett's game vs. Cambridge will not count toward Everett's league record, but will count for the Falcons. In 2014, their game vs. Malden will be discounted, in 2015, Medford, in 2016, Somerville.
If there is a tie for the second playoff spot, head-to-head record will be used.
Malden Catholic athletic director and ice hockey coach Chris Serino has died, associates confirmed. He was 63.
The hockey coach who guided the Lancers to the top of the Catholic Conference, winning the Super 8 Division 1A state tournament the last two years, had been battling throat cancer.
"It's tough, he wasn't in good shape for about a month," said John McLean, who took over as Malden Catholic's hockey coach last season. "He put up a good fight."
Serino, who hailed from Saugus, was also a coach and athletic director at Merrimack College for seven years. He resigned from his position there in 2005 and immediately took over at Malden Catholic.
Serino was a three-sport Globe All-Scholastic in hockey, football, and baseball at Saugus High School.
The moment Ben Waldrip first stepped on the diamond at Medford High, he caught the attention of Mike Nestor.
“Ben was a large, tall gifted athlete who was still coming into his own and really didn’t develop as a pure first baseman and hitter until his sophomore and junior year,” said Nestor, then an assistant coach with the Mustangs, and now the head coach.
“He worked tirelessly at his hands and at his hitting. His attitude and work ethic were by far superior.”
That relentless drive and hard work paid off has paid off for Waldrip. A 6-foot-6, 245-pound first baseman at Jacksonville State, he was drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the 10th round (318th overall) of Major League Baseball's first-year player draft on Tuesday, one of five players with local ties to be selected.
Waldrip, who hit .330 with 18 home runs and 61 RBIs this season, was previously selected by the Atlanta Braves (42nd round, 2010) and the Kansas City Royals (40th round, 2011).
Waldrip, the MVP of the Greater Boston League as a senior, started his collegiate career at Saint Anselm in the Northeast-10 fore a season at Cypress Junior College.
Malden Catholic grad Dario Pizzano, the Ivy League's Player of the Year as a junior at Columbia, went to the Seattle Mariners in the 15th round (461st pick overall).
This season, starting all 44 games in left field, the 5-9, 200-pound left-handed hitter batted .360 with four homers and 36 RBIs. The Globe's Player of the Year in 2009 for coach Steve Frecker at Malden Catholic, Pizzano was a .364 career hitter at Columbia.
“He’s a great worker and a great person,” Columbia coach Brett Boretti said. “He’s really made himself into a really strong hitter and has worked on all facets of his game, and he’s been our best hitter for a few years since he’s been here.
“He’s real consistent at the bat and gotten the most out of his ability and he’s very excited about opportunity that lies ahead.”
Boston College senior shortstop Anthony Melchionda (Thayer Academy/Braintree) was chosen by the world champion St. Louis Cardinals in the 14th round (450th overall). At BC, he was a .310 hitter this season with 35 RBIs and led the Eagles with 39 runs scored.
He ranks sixth all-time in career hits (205) for the Eagles.
At Thayer Academy, Melchionda was named MVP of the Independent School League (ISL) as a senior.
Tewksbury High grad Scott Oberg, a senior right-hander at the University of Connecticut, went to the Colorado Rockies in the 15th round (468th overall) after posting a 5-0 mark (with a 0.99 ERA) out of the bullpen for the Huskies. The 6-2, 205-pound Oberg has a 14-2 career record in Storrs.
He was a two-time Globe All-Scholastic in 2007 and 2008, and was also named the MVP of the Merrimack Valley League both seasons.
"I was thrilled when I heard my name called," Oberg told the Globe's Ryan MacInnis. "[The Rockies] had called a couple of times throughout the draft, so I had a good feeling they were going to take me. ... I've been waiting for this day my whole life."
A number of others received calls on Wednesday, headlined by Southern New Hampshire junior southpaw Tim Flight of Portsmouth, R.I., taken with the 547th pick (17th round) by the Yankees. Flight (9-1, 1.30 ERA) was the ABCA Division 2 Pitcher of the Year.
* LHP Nate Koneski (Holy Cross/Dennis-Yarmouth HS); Mariners, 21st round (581)
* RHP Steve Perakslis (University of Maine/Abington HS); Cubs, 21st (644)
* RHP Travis Dean (Kennesaw State/Worcester Academy/Newton South); Rangers, 22nd (696)
* Tucker Healey (Ithaca/Needham); Athletics, 23rd (709)
* LHP Andrew Leenhouts (Northeastern/Franklin HS); Giants, 23rd (718)
* OF Rhett Wiseman (Buckingham, Browne & Nichols, Mansfield); Cubs, 25th
* 1B Chris Shaw (Lexington HS); Mets, 26th (800)
* RHP Dennis Torres (UMass-Amherst, Central Catholic); Orioles, 28th (852)
* OF Michael Yastrzemski (Vanderbilt/St. John's Prep); Mariners, 30th (911)
* LHP Brent Suter (Harvard); Mariners, 31st (965)
* LHP Andrew Ferreira (Harvard/Bishop Hendricken/Rehoboth); Twins, 32d (970)
* 1B/C Jon Leroux (Northeastern/Auburn); Mets, 32d (980)
* LHP Chris Pickering (Rhode Island); Giants, 32d (988)
* RHP Pat Delano (Braintree HS); Red Sox, 35th (1081)
* C Jacob Kapstein (Tiverton, R.I.); Tigers, 35th (1084)
They join University of Memphis pitcher Dan Langfield of Somerset, who was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the third round (109th overall).
Langfield compiled a 7-6 record with a 2.79 earned run average in 93.2 innings this season. He wrapped up his career with 252 strikeouts, ranking third all-time in program history.
"Couldn't be happier where I ended up playing college for the U of Memphis. Now moving on to the Cinci Reds! Can't wait! #gotigersgo #Reds"
Langfield, a member of Somerset's Division 2 state championship team in 2006, was an Eastern Athletic League all-star as a senior in 2009 when he struck out 118 in 57.1 innings with a 5-2 mark and 0.85 ERA.
He is following in the footsteps of his father, Paul, who pitched at Providence College before brief stints in the minors with the Toronto Blue Jays and the Detroit Tigers.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
The Globe's Bob Holmes and high school hockey correspondent Craig Forde preview this year's Super 8 tournament.
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.
The top-ranked Lancers (12-1-3) snapped a 1-1 tie after the first period with four unanswered goals as they took down second-ranked Hingham, 5-1, at Valley Forum II in Malden on Saturday night.
“They’re a very good team, and I think we’ll see them again in the Super 8,” said MC coach John McLean. “We had some chances early that we didn’t bury, but I thought it was a good hockey game.”
Freshman Ara Nazarian opened up the scoring mid-way through the first period when he one-timed a pass from Tyler Sifferlen to make it 1-0.
Three minutes later Hingham (13-3-1) would respond when Matt Brazel powered one home from the slot, snapping it past Connor Maloney to tie the game at one.
Hingham’s physical defense remained tight on the speedier Lancers, but eventually the skill of MC broke through when Ryan Fitzgerald potted one seven minutes into the second period, for what would turn out to be the game-winner.
“They did a good job clogging it up and it was pretty hard to score the first period and a half, but then we finally broke it in,” said Fitzgerald. “They’re a physical team and they tried to get us off our game, which is speed. We just kept at it, kept grinding.”
Malden Catholic continued to wear down the Hingham defense and Mike Iovanna’s power-play goal with five minutes left in the second put the high-scoring Lancers in the right state of mind.
“They packed it in, their goalie played good,” said Fitzgerald. “We were pressuring them a lot, so the goals were going to come.”
Fitzgerald (20 goals) and Nazarian (10 goals) both collected their second goals of the game in the final frame to ice things for the Lancers.
Hingham came into this game with a 12-0-1 mark since going 1-2 to start the season. This was their first loss since Dec. 21 against No. 3 St. Mary’s.
“We had a good effort, good intensity, but against a team like that, you give them one opening and they’re going to take it,” said Hingham coach Tony Messina. “They can score three goals in a shift, so 5-1, I guess we don’t like the score, but I felt like it was closer and we played tough.”
The Lancers were 12-0-2 coming in since their only loss of the season versus Delbarton School (N.J.) back on Dec. 17. Malden Catholic only had one penalty on the night and are clamping down on what was an earlier issue.
“The key word is discipline,” said McLean of his team’s effort to stay out of the box. “There is no reason to take any retialiatory penalties. You take the hit and make the play. We’re a pretty good hockey team, but we’re not good with four guys, we’re good with five.”
Malden Catholic has scored 32 goals over their last six games, notching five or more goals in five of the six games.
“We’re in a good spot right now,” said Fitzgerald. “We have a good shot to repeat if everyone focuses up. I like our chances this year.”
Craig Forde can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Super Bowl Sunday is a day plenty of New Englanders would like to forget. For friends and family of Mystic Valley Regional's Greg Statho, who became the first player in school history to reach the 1,000 point mark, Sunday was, well, pretty okay.
Statho, a Melrose native, entered Sunday's home game against Notre Dame (Lawrence) needing 10 points to reach the milestone. He finished with 12, hitting his goal with a fast break layup late in the fourth quarter of a 64-40 Eagle victory.
"We stopped the game and had a little ceremony where we gave Greg the ball," said Mystic Valley coach Tony Ferullo, whose team (15-3, 8-1) has already clinched the Commonwealth Athletic Conference (Small) title.
"The first thing [Statho] did was go over to his mother and father (who is blind, but was there at the game) and give them a hug. It was a nice moment," said Ferullo.
“Greg is really a success story," Ferullo continued. "He's come up through the ranks since the fifth grade and although he's not a big player, he's played big. In my nine years at Mystic Valley he's been one of the most productive players we've ever had. When you start naming the best players to attend the school, Greg's name will be right up there."
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.
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.”
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 –– 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.
Globe correspondent Jake Seiner recaps the first day second round Super 8 hockey action at Merrimack College.
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.
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.
The Malden boys cross country team entered its final regular season dual-meet with a hefty weight on its shoulders: the Golden Tornadoes hadn’t won a Greater Boston League cross country title in nearly 40 years.
Fortunately, this group of runners is among the best the school has seen in those four decades, which they proved with their 23-34 win over Somerville at Malden.
“We’re pretty deep with good runners this year, the expectation was to win,” said coach David Londino. “We were still excited by the win, of course, but the guys went into it pretty confident.”
Andrew Terenzi beat the field on the 3.1 mile course with his 16:51 time. Teammate Yusuf Mohamed took second in 17:05. Somerville’s Edward Chen (17:10) and Mike Conte (17:16) took third and fourth place respectively. Malden’s Patrick Keough rounded out the top five with his 17:30 finish.
The Malden win breaks up a string of running stalemates between the two teams, who tied for the Greater Boston league title in both winter and spring track.
Londino said he expects his one and two runners, Terenzi and Mohamed, to put in strong showings at next month’s EMass tournament and possibly earn spots at the all-state meet.
“They’re both capable of running a sub 16:30,” he said. “The question is how close to it they can run.”
A bizarre finish kept the Malden High softball team from springing the upset of the state tournament in a Division I North game Monday.
The eighth-seeded Golden Tornadoes (15-7) took a 2-1 lead into the last of the seventh inning against top-seeded Central Catholic (22-1). But the Raiders scored twice in the bottom of the seventh, the winning run scoring on an obstruction call against a Malden player for a 3-2 final.
After Malden fought back from a 1-0 deficit to score two runs in the top of the sixth inning, sophomore pitcher Kiara Amos was one out away from locking up the victory.
With runners on first and third in the bottom of the seventh, Central’s Kayla Maloney roped a base hit into the gap in right-center field. The runner from third scored easily to tie the game at two, but the runner at first, Brianna Martin, took a turn at second base and then collided with Malden’s shortstop, Jen Tamindzija.
Martin fell to the dirt immediately, grimacing in pain and holding her right arm. Maloney turned and ran past Martin and ordinarily would have been ruled out for passing the runner.
But the umpires ruled that Martin had been obstructed by the shortstop, and not only awarded her third base, but also gave her home for the winning run. Martin eventually walked herself off the field and appeared to be OK.
The Malden players, unsure of how the game had ended, slowly walked off the field, visibly upset. The coaches were even more upset, and appealed their case to the umpires but were turned down.
“It might be the right call, but it’s a tough way to end the game.” said Golden Tornadoes coach Rich Cullen.
Central Catholic had routed Malden, 17-2, during the regular season, but Amos kept Malden in it all the way on Monday.
Francesca Richardson scored the first Malden run on a double by Renee Santo to make it 1-1 in the sixth and the Golden Tornadoes took a 2-1 lead in the sixth when Santo scored on a double by Amos that nearly cleared the outfield fence.
Amos allowed just 1 earned run, 7 hits, and struck out 7.
Malden Catholic freshman forward Ryan Fitzgerald was selected by the Youngstown Phantoms in the United States Hockey League Futures Draft on Tuesday.
Fitzgerald was chosen in the second round with the 19th overall pick by the Ohio team.
After a stellar freshman campaign at MC where he scored 17 goals and added 30 assists, the 15-year-old now has the option to leave school and play for the Phantoms.
But at least for one more year, Fitzgerald will be wearing a Lancer uniform.
“I’m so excited to get drafted,” he said, “but next year I’m probably staying [at Malden Catholic] and playing here.
“But the year after that I have no idea what I’m doing, so I would consider playing for Youngstown.”
The son of 17-year National Hockey League forward Tom Fitzgerald, Ryan found out he was selected through a text message from his dad.
While he has already committed to Boston College for the 2013-2014 season, the Phantoms will have the rights to Fitzgerald for three years should he decide to leave high school.
He may be persuaded to leave after next season though by his best friend, Matthew Grzelcyk, a star from Charlestown who plays at Belmont Hill School. Grzlecyk was also selected by Youngstown, in the fourth round with the 49th overall pick. A defenseman, he has committed to play at Boston University after high school.
“We’ve played together since I was seven,” Fitzgerald said. “So maybe we’ll go out [to Youngstown] and play together.”
Youngstown finished with a 20-36-4 record last season, last place in the USHL East Division.
Several reporters and editors contribute updates, news and analysis to the High School Sports Blog.
- Bob Holmes: A Reading resident (Go Rockets!) and Boston College graduate, Holmes is the Boston Globe High School Sports Editor. We remind you now that his weekly picks are often made in jest so everyone just calm down when he picks against Everett for 11 straight weeks. Contact him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeHolmes.
- Craig Larson: A native of West Springfield (Leo Durocher anyone? Tim Daggett?) and Curry College graduate (a proud Colonel!), Larson is the sports editor for the Globe's regional sections: South, West and North, as well as a frequent contributor on the college beat. Abington to Xaverian: it all starts with the schools. Have a compelling story idea? Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeLars.
- Zuri Berry: Berry attended the same high school as sports legends O.J. Simpson and Joe DiMaggio. (Guess which one is his hero.) He's a South Boston resident (formerly of Eastie) and the editor of the High School Sports blog as well as the go-to-guy for everything high school sports on Boston.com. Contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @GlobeSchools for all of the latest updates.
Then there are our winter correspondents:
- Emily McCarthy | @EmilyMcCahthy | BPS correspondent
- Jake Fischer | @GlobeFischer | Boys basketball
- Michelle Fenelon | @michfenelon | Girls basketball
- Andrew MacDougall | @Andy_MacDougall | Boys hockey
- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Girls hockey
To reach the high school sports department, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.