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Central falls to Pope Francis, eliminated from Super 8

NORTH BILLERICA — A postseason that began with so much promise ended in disappointment for Central Catholic on Saturday night. 

The No. 1 seed Raiders fell behind early in the second quarter, and could not recover against an aggressive No. 7 Pope Francis attack, falling 4-1 in the Super 8 loser’s bracket at the Chelmsford Forum.

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Boys Ice Hockey, 03/10/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Scarlet Knights fall to Boston Latin in North semis

LOWELL — While the defense showed up Tuesday night at the Tsongas Center, the North Andover offense was missing in action.

Minus one-third of its top skating line, eighth-seeded North Andover managed only five shots on goal in its Division 2 North Regional semifinal Tuesday night as No. 13 seed Boston Latin took advantage of the power outage to claim a 2-0 victory Tuesday night.

“We picked a bad night not to play our best game,” North Andover coach Peter Marfione said. “We were missing (senior captain) Tyler (Buonopane) tonight, but Boston Latin played better than us. They took away our offense. They limited us to under 10 shots, and you’re not going to win a game with that.

Buonopane, who is second on the team with 18 goals and 37 points, suffered a concussion in a 5-2 win over top-seeded Danvers in Friday’s quarterfinal.

North Andover (14-8-2) defeated Boston Latin (13-7-3) twice in the regular season by a combined 8-1 and had piled up 12 goals in two regional victories. But the Knights managed only one shot on net the first 12 minutes. Two of their five shots were in an eight-second span late in the first period

“We just didn’t seem to get anything going. We’ve scored (12) goals the last two games, but we just didn’t get anything going tonight. We just didn’t have it offensively.”

Even though most of the match was spent in the Knight defensive zone, Jack Walsh kept the Wolfpack in check most of the match, surviving an early first-period penalty. The junior gave up a goal midway through the second on a Nick O’Connell one-timer blasted from between the circles.

But that was the only shot that got past Walsh, as the Wolfpack added an empty-netter with 33.6 seconds remaining.

Maintaining form, the Knights were held to only one shot in the crucial third period, while Latin piled up 11 more, including three on another power-play chance that Walsh thwarted.

“It was frustrating but not as frustrating as I thought it would be,” said Walsh, who stopped 23 shots. “It wasn’t anything the team was doing. I know the effort was there. It was just that the puck wasn’t bounding our way, but that’s the stuff you have to deal with.”

 

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Boys Ice Hockey, 03/06/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Backs against the wall: Central stifled by Hingham, falls to Super 8 losers bracket

LOWELL - It's not the chosen path it wanted to take to win a Super 8 championship, but Central Catholic still is used to playing elimination games.

Heck, last year's Super 8 championship game was as do-or-die as it gets.

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Boys Ice Hockey, 03/05/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Andover eliminated from Super 8

CHELMSFORD  — Andover had already made history, earning its first Super 8 berth in program history in a year that could have been derailed by controversy. 
 
Unfortunately for the Golden Warriors, there would be no storybook end to that run.
 
After a few Andover chances in overtime were stopped, St. John’s Shrewsbury raced up ice and scored to take a 3-2 victory in the Super 8 loser’s bracket. 
“I think the kids left it all on the ice,” said Golden Warriors coach Chris Kuchar. “We had our chances down the stretch. We had a few really good chances in overtime. It’s so tough to end this way.”
The loss eliminates No. 5 Andover (13-7-2) from the Super 8. No. 8 St. John’s Shrewsbury continues in the loser’s bracket, to take on the loser of Monday’s game between No. 2 Boston College High School and No. 3 St. John’s Prep. 
“A lot of the kids are hurting right now,” said Kuchar. “We’re all hurting. But with the things that we have gone through this year, and I couldn’t be more proud of them.”
Each time the Golden Warriors took the lead, Shrewsbury was quick to respond. 
Andover went up 1-0 midway through the first quarter. Senior Caeden Dillman took a pass inside the blueline and blasted the puck over the goalie’s blocker for his eighth goal of the year. But just over three minutes later, the Pioneers scored to tie the game.
Michael Reilly gave the Warriors the lead back 1:33 into the third, skating out in front and flipping a shot into the goal. But this time, Shrewsbury needed just 24 seconds to tie it up again.
“They’re a good hockey team,” said Kuchar. “We knew we were facing a tough team. They made it hard for us to get the puck in the net. We had a few chances in the 4 on 4 (overtime), and they got their sticks in the way.”
Andover had a few golden chances in overtime. But one shot skidded just wide of the post, and two others were saved to keep Shrewsbury alive. Then, with 1:30 left in the first OT, the Pioneers scored the winner.
Golden Warriors goalie Cole Chingris once again starred. He finished with 26 saves, his two best coming in overtime. First, he sprawled out to knock a puck away with his left leg. Then, a minute later, he made a huge glove save in traffic.
“I can’t say enough about how our goalie played,” said Kuchar. “He played his heart out. Cole gave us the opportunity to be here, and he played his heart out until the end.
“We would have loved to move on. But with how this year played out, my kids showed amazing character and resilience. They just kept on fighting. It shows not just their hockey ability, but their character as men. I couldn’t be prouder of them.”
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Boys Ice Hockey, 03/04/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

BG upsets Pinkerton

HOOKSETT, N.H. — Pinkerton created a few golden opportunities in the closing moments.

With their net open and the extra attacker on the ice, the Astros fired shot after shot on net, each time drawing massive cheers from the vocal Pinkerton fans as pucks looked destined for the goal.

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Boys Ice Hockey, 03/03/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Late rally falls short for Rangers

BILLERICA — For a moment, it appeared Methuen may be able to finish the amazing comeback. 
 
Brett Blackwell took a pass and fired home a goal with 0:39 left in regulation to cut what was a three-goal Rangers deficit midway through the third to just a single score. 
 
Methuen followed that with a pair of rushes that nearly found the back of the net, and had a faceoff to the left of the Boston Latin goalie with five seconds left.
 
But No. 12 Methuen could not find that final goal, falling to No. 13 Boston Latin 4-3 in the Division 2 North quarterfinals at the Chelmsford Forum.
 
“We came out flying and we finished very well,” said Methuen coach Bill Blackwell. “But in the middle we started to make some mistakes. Those mistakes multiplied and put us in a hole. All season we have had trouble putting 45 good minutes together. But I am proud of the guys.”
For nearly two full quarters, Boston Latin appeared to be in full control. The Wolf Pack took a 4-1 lead 3:34 into the second quarter, and dominated the puck and the momentum.
The Rangers, however, would not go away quietly.
First, Brett Blackwell hauled in a loose puck in his zone and floated a perfect pass to Matt Horan, who was breaking towards the goal. Horan did the rest, faking out the goalie and burying the puck to make it 4-2 with 8:12 left.
Then, with 0:39 remaining, Horan set up Blackwell for his goal to make it a one-score game. But a few final attempts were saved by the Latin goal, and time expired.
“We were playing like gangbusters in the final minutes,” said Bill Blackwell. “But time just ran out on us tonight.”
Methuen was actually the enforcer out of the gates. The Rangers came out flying, controlling the puck and delivering a few big hits. Ryan Mackey gave the Rangers the lead 4:21 into play when he buried a rebound in front of the net. 
But Boston Latin responded with two goals just 1:34 apart to take a 2-1 lead.
“We had talked about putting pressure on their defense and getting them off balance early,” said Bill Blackwell. “But once they settled in, they started controlling the game a little, and we started committing turnovers.”
With the loss, Methuen ended its season at 11-8-3. The Rangers made the playoffs for the second straight season after not making it the previous four years, and their record was one win shy of last season’s 12-5-4 mark, the team’s best since the Eagle-Tribune began keeping records in 1995-96.
With his goal and assist, Blackwell finishes his senior season 20 goals and 45 points, both team-highs. Horan’s score was his 17th of the season, while Mackey scored his 13th goal.
Goalie Eddie Mrozowski also impressed in just over 26 minutes of action. He made 18 saves and did not allow a goal.
“We told the guys that this is where we want to be at the end of the year, in the tournament,” said coach Blackwell. “I told the guys they should walk out of here with their heads up because they had a great year. These juniors and senior have really rejuvenated the program. This group was amazing, and hopefully we can continue this path and be back at the party every year.”

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Boys Ice Hockey, 03/02/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Super 8 opener: Central trounces St. John's-Shrewsbury

LOWELL — Noah Jankowski skated onto the ice ready to make an impact. But by the midway point in the first period, the Central Catholic star had surprised even himself.
“You’re always hoping, as a confident player, for a big game,” said the junior center. “But I wasn’t expecting that.”
Jankowski scored twice in the first 6:47 of play, and the top-seeded Raiders were rolling from there on the way to a 5-0 victory over No. 8 St. John’s of Shrewsbury in the first round of the Super 8 tournament. 
“I thought we came out and played really well,” said captain Joe Biddle. “Noah gave us a lead, and we kept the momentum going. Now we feel like we have a lot more for the rest of the Super 8.”
The Raiders advance to the Super 8 second round, where they will play No. 5 Hingham (12-4-6) on Monday back at the Tsongas Center (time TBA.) Central is now two wins away from the Super 8 title game.
St. John’s Shrewsbury moves to the loser’s bracket, and will face No. 6 Andover on Sunday at the Chelmsford Forum. The loser of that game will be eliminated from the tournament. 
“I thought we played well, especially in the first half of the game,” said Raiders head coach Kim Brandvold. “St. John’s (Shrewsbury) is a good team. We skated well, got on the pucks and limited their opportunities.”
After his two quick goals, the crowd was buzzing about the play of Jankowski. But Brandvold said he has high expectations for the son of longtime Central Catholic head coach Mike Jankowski.
“Noah’s been scoring goals for us like that all season,” said Brandvold. “He plays the game the right way every day. We take pride in getting to the inside and in front of the net and scoring goals that way, and Noah has done that all year.”
Jankowski started the scoring exactly five minutes into the game. He took rocket pass from behind the net and buried it for a 1-0 lead.
It took just 1:47 for Jankowski to strike again. This time, he tapped the puck home for a 2-0 advantage. Jack Gray and Biddle assisted on the score.
“On the first goal Owen (Fowler) made a great play behind the net,” said Jankowski, who now has 13 goals and 22 points for the season. “He was able to get it to me and I just tapped it in for the goal.
“The second one was in traffic. We were getting pucks to the net, which we want to do. Biddle got a nice shot on net, and I was able to get my stick on it and get it into the net. I was awesome to set the tone for the game like that. It really got us going.”
Junior defenseman Steven Birch added to the advantage with 0:04 left in the second. He hauled in a loose puck and fired a shot from the left faceoff circle into the goal. It was the third goal of the season for the Windham resident. 
That was all the scoring until the final two minutes of the game. With 1:50 left, Will Winship scored his team-best 15th goal of the season to make it 4-0. Then, six seconds later, Charles Stahley added a goal to cap off the scoring.
Reigning Eagle-Tribune All-Star Central Catholic goalie Matt Pasquale was rarely tested, but made all 14 saves he was asked to for his area-best 10th shutout of the season.
“Matt was amazing for us as always,” said Biddle. “We always know we can rely on him.”
Central next takes on Hingham, which beat Andover 2-1 in overtime in their Super 8 first round matchup. The Raiders rolled past Hingham 4-0 in their regular season meeting.
“We want to go into the next game with the same speed and energy we went into this game with,” said Jankowski. “We want to keep pushing and keep moving forward. It will be a fun game.”
...
Contact David Willis at DWillis@eagletribune.com

Central Catholic 5, St. John’s-Shrewsbury 0
St. John’s-Shrewsbury (13-7-3): 0 0 0 — 0
Central Catholic (22-1-0): 2 1 2 — 5
Super-8 First Round 
Goals: CCHS — Noah Jankowski 2, Steven Birch, Will Winship, Charles Stahley 
Assists: CCHS — Jack Gray 2, Eric Lester 2, Nick Foderaro, Joe Biddle, Jankowski, Owen Fowler, Evan Digiovanni, Sean Brown
Saves: CCHS — Matt Pasquale 14; SJ-S — Greyson Payne 31  
 
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Boys Ice Hockey, 03/01/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Salem rolls to win in tourney opener

Chris Wilson scored a pair of goals and assisted on another to help lead No. 8 Salem to a 7-3 win over No. 9 Nashua South-Pelham in the New Hampshire Division 1 first round.
 
"We played a strong game tonight," said Blue Devils coach Mark McGinn. "A lot of guys stepped up."

 
Anthony Survilas (assist) was one of five Devils with a single goal each, while goalie Brady Roux made 18 saves and had an assist on a goal. Salem will next travel to take on Concord in the Division 1 quarterfinals. The time is tentatively set for 7:30 p.m.
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Boys Ice Hockey, 02/28/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Andover hockey falls in Super 8 opener

LOWELL — With the game on the line in the opening minute of overtime, Cole Chingris turned in yet another brilliant save. The Andover goalie stretched his left leg as far as he would go, kicking the puck away from the net and keeping his team alive.
 
But No. 4 Hingham was able to regain possession, worked it around and scored 0:55 into overtime to beat the No. 5 Golden Warriors 2-1 in the first round of the Super 8 tournament. 
 
“I thought we started off slow, then made some changes in the second period that allowed us to climb back in,” said Andover coach Chris Kuchar. “We showed tonight that we can play with any team in Massachusetts. We just didn’t get the breaks.”
 
The Golden Warriors (13-6-2) now move into the Super 8 losers bracket. They will next face the loser of No. 1 Central Catholic and No. 8 St. John’s Shrewsbury, who play on Thursday at the Tsongas Center (7:30 p.m.)
 
Andover and the loser will face off on Sunday at the Chelmsford Forum in Billerica (time TBA). The loser of that game will be eliminated from the tournament. 
“We will come to practice on Thursday and we’re going to work hard,” said Kuchar. “And we will prepare for our next opponent. If we come out and play better early on Sunday I think we have a good shot. But it’s do-or-die on Sunday.”
Playing in the first Super 8 game in program history, Andover came out slow, and fell behind 1-0 after one period. 
After that first goal, however, Warriors goalie Chingris (37 saves) began to take over the game. 
The netminder turned in a huge glove save midway through the second. Then, in the final moments of the period, he stopped a puck in traffic that looked destined for the goal. 
“Cole was outstanding,” said Kuchar. “He played so well. He has done that all year. He put us in position to make the Super 8, and he delivered again.”
Andover finally broke through 2:26 into the third. Freshman Shane Lachance took a pass and fired a shot that just dribbled through the pads of the Hingham goalie to make it 1-1. Assists went to Jack Keeler and Steve Ingram.
“That whole line played great,” said Kuchar. “They were out for a long stretch in the second and really swung momentum. They earned their shifts and did it again tonight.”
From there, Chingris continued to shine. After going to his stomach to make one save, he was able to reach up with his glove to make a highlight-reel stop. Then with 6:23 left in regulation, he reached back with his glove to block a backhand.
“We couldn’t get to the front of the net like we wanted to because of Andover’s defense,” said Hingham coach Tony Messina. “They are a great team with a great goalie. They are very hard to score on. We are happy to get out of there with a win.”
After a few more huge stops by Chingris, Hingham was able to break through less than a minute into overtime. The Harbormen will next play the winner of Central Catholic and St. John’s Shrewsbury on Monday.
“I’m proud of our effort,” said Kuchar. “That’s a big, strong Hingham team there that put us on our heels a little bit. We have to perform now, because the loser goes home starting Sunday. And we are going to do our best to keep playing.”
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Boys Ice Hockey, 02/28/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

O'Malley, Rangers beat Methuen in double OT

CHELMSFORD — Playing 3-on-3 in the second overtime session, Masconomet surged for one chance before Methuen charged up ice and scored to take a 5-4 win in the first round of the Division 2 North sectionals.
Connor O’Malley got the game-winner to send the Rangers into the North quarterfinals. They’ll play Boston Latin Friday at 5:40 p.m. at Chelmsford Forum.


Chieftains coach Andrew Jackson said, “Some of our guys thought they heard a whistle, but it is what it is.”

The Rangers (11-7-3) led 2-0 early before surrendering the next three goals to the Chieftains (11-6-4).


The scoring started quick for the Rangers when senior Brett Blackwell buried a shot just over three minutes in. The Rangers quickly doubled that lead with a tally from sophomore Matt Horan.

The Chieftains weren’t down for long, though. Freshman Logan Campbell got one back just 19 seconds after the second Rangers’ goal — and that’s when Masconomet took over.

Campbell scored under three minutes later to tie the game after an onslaught of shots from the Chieftains on Rangers goalie Devin Coonradt.

Will Major took a pass from captain Garrett Young and banked it off the goalie and in to give fifth-seeded Masconomet a 3-2 lead with 6:24 left in the second period. But the Rangers persisted and earned a late power play.

Blackwell — the son of head coach Bill Blackwell, who formerly coached the Chieftains — carried the puck down low and passed it, then forced in a rebound to tie the game. 
It wasn’t ruled a goal at first, but after a lengthy review it was determined the Rangers had indeed tied the game with 25 seconds left in the frame.

Masconomet leading scorer Andrew Gotts took a rebound on the near side of the crease and got it past the outstretched leg of Coonradt to lead 4-3 with just over five minutes left in the game.


With 1:19 left following a Methuen timeout, Blackwell netted his third of the game to tie it, 4-4. 

The first overtime had plenty of chances for both sides, but a late shot from Connor O’Malley found twine and sent the Rangers to the next round.


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Boys Ice Hockey, 02/27/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars
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