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High School Hockey

CM misses postseason again

By Craig Forde
Globe Correspondent / February 21, 2012
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The Catholic Memorial hockey team needed victories in their last two games to avoid getting left out of the postseason picture for the second straight season.

CM ran into a wall in the form of Central Catholic goalie Kyle Williams, who stopped 30 shots to maintain a 1-1 tie at BU’s Walter Brown Arena yesterday, dashing the Knights’ hopes of extending their season.

“We’ve got a great nucleus, we have talented guys and I just feel badly for the few seniors we have that they won’t get the opportunity to play in a tournament game,’’ said CM coach Bill Hanson, whose 27-year postseason streak was snapped a year ago. “I’m just really disappointed for them. It’s tough.’’

It wasn’t for a lack of effort as the Knights (7-8-3) produced immense pressure, outshooting the No. 6 Raiders, 21-15, through two periods.

“They took it to us in spurts and we were able to sustain it,’’ said Central Catholic coach Mark Jankowski. “If [Williams] is going to play like that, good things are going to happen.’’

Central Catholic (11-3-5) got on the scoreboard late in the first period when Michael Kelleher pounced on a bouncing puck in front of Knights goalie Shane Starrett (24 saves) and slammed it home for a 1-0 lead.

The No. 19 Knights evened things up in the second period off the stick of Aaron Marcel, who received a long pass from Liam Coughlin and skated up the left wing, snapping his shot glove side.

Williams played calm and cool in the face of the Knights’ relentless flurry and came up with the save of the day with eight minutes left when his blocker thwarted Kevin Bletzer’s backhander.

“My team played amazing,’’ said Williams. “Last year [CM] did a great job of screening me. This year we worked really hard to get the screens out and let me see the puck.’’

With just more than three minutes to play, Coughlin got hauled down as he tried to break in alone from the blue line, setting up a penalty shot that he pushed wide on a backhander.

The Knights pulled Starrett with 30 seconds to play, but the Central Catholic defense did not allow any viable chances.

“The last four games we’ve only scored four goals,’’ said Hanson. “It’s been the story of our season. You need a go-to guy, one of those guys that’s just going to get things done for you, and statistically we just didn’t have that at all.’’

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