Special Feature: Homepage Story

Homepage Story

Sat, Mar 05, 2011 06:00 PM @ Central Catholic
Team 1 2 3 Final
Malden Catholic 2 0 2 4
Central Catholic 2 0 1 3

Central's effort goes for naught in Super 8 opener

  • Currently 0.0 with 0 votes.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Saturday, March, 05 By David Willis
Staff writer

NORTH ANDOVER — Fans, players and coaches jumped to their feet, trying to see if the puck had been knocked past the goal line before time expired.

“I didn’t know where the puck was,” said Central Catholic co-captain Nick Leonard. “I was just battling to try to put it home. Everyone was battling in front. But we just ran out of time at the end.”

In the final 22 seconds of play, the Raiders created two scrums in front of the Malden Catholic net. But the goalie was able to stop one shot, and the clock ran out before they could finish off another, as No. 8 Central Catholic pushed the top-seeded Lancers to the limit before falling 4-3 in the first round of the Super 8 tournament last night at Merrimack College in front of a packed house of 2.489 plus standing room.

“It was tough to lose,” said Raiders co-captain Josh Gallagher. “But now we have confidence that we can skate with and beat any team in the tournament. As long as we win the next two games, it will work itself out. We just may see them again.”

Central moves on in the round-robin tournament to face No. 4 Weymouth — a team the Raiders defeated in their regular season finale — on Tuesday again at Merrimack. The time is TBA.

“That last 22 seconds was incredible,” said Raiders coach Mike Jankowski. “When you have nothing left to battle like that in front says a lot about the guys. They thought one might have gone in, which is what you like to hear.”

Trailing by a goal with the faceoff in the Malden Catholic zone, Central won the draw towards the net. But a pair of attempts to stuff it into the goal were stopped by MC goalie Patrick Young from a seated position. The Raiders again won the draw and Tommy Evangelista sent a pass in front of the net, but the final buzzer sounded.

“MC is the best team around,” said Leonard. “We’re actually pretty pumped. We fought them until the end and kept with them. If we keep playing this way for the rest of the tournament, we’ll be OK. We are proud of ourselves.”

The Lancers took the lead just 2:50 into the game on a goal by Brendan Collier.

But Central Catholic surged back just 1:58 later when sophomore Mike Kelleher took a pass from Leonard and buried it. Then, just 1:38 later, a pair of freshmen combined to give the Raiders the lead, with Alex Lester scoring off an assist from Lloyd Hayes.

But after tying the game just before the end of the first, MC seemed to take control 1:25 apart early in the third period.

“They put a couple goals on us fast,” said Jankowski. “But we kept out composure, and we actually to it to them in spurts.”

With just 4:54 to play, Evangelista moved the puck to Kelleher, who fired the puck to an open Leonard in front, who easily beat the goalie to make it 4-3.

Central carried the momentum from there, but the Lancers were able to hold on in the final moments.

“We lost, and it hurts,” said goalie Kyle Williams, who made 29 saves. “But there are two more to go. We have to move on. One loss doesn’t matter now. We’re focused and ready.”

While the Raiders were energized by their play, Jankowski said they were far from satisfied.

“The guy want more,” said the coach. “Keeping the game close wasn’t the plan for us. We want to go out and win. That’s what we want to do from here.”

Central Catholic next takes on Weymouth, who the Raiders bested 6-3 on Feb. 24 — the win that earned them a shot at the Super 8.

“We know they’re going to be coming at us hard,” said Leonard. “Especially after the last game. We’re going to come back with the same intensity as this game and we want the W.”

Game Statistics:

FIRST PERIOD: MC — Brendan Collier (Mike Vecchione) 12:10; CC — Mike Kelleher (Nick Leonard) 10:12

CC — Alex Lester (Lloyd Hayes) 8:34; MC — Garrett White (Bob Keogh, Mike Iovanna) 1:10

THIRD PERIOD: MC — Ryan Fitzgerald (Conor Evangelista, Vecchione 11:28; MC — Collier (Vecchione) 10:03;

CC — Leonard (Kelleher, Tommy Evangelista) 4:54

Saves:  CC — Kyle Williams 29; MC — Patrick Young 27

Additional stories:

0 Story Comments