Central Catholic Raiders Boys Ice Hockey '11-'12

Wed, Mar 14, 2012 08:00 PM @ Neutral Location
Team 1 2 3 Final
Malden Catholic 0 2 2 4
Central Catholic 0 0 0 0
CARL RUSSO/Staff photo. SALEM NEWS: Malden Catholic defeated Central Catholic 4-0 in the Super 8 hockey playoff game Wednesday night. Malden Catholic's forward, Ara Nazarian of Boxford (right) battles for the puck with Central's Michael Kelleher. 3/14/2012.  » Staff PhotographerMore photos

Central can't slow powerhouse MC, eliminated

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

Thursday, March, 15 By David Willis
Staff writer

NORTH ANDOVER — Through his disappointment, Central Catholic goalie Kyle Williams did his best to muster a smile.

“I hate to lose,” said Williams. “This hurts, it really hurts. But this was the furthest run in Central Catholic hockey history, so this is a great season. We played our hearts out until the end, and that’s all you can ask for of a team.”

Central Catholic hockey’s historic season came to an end last night, as the No. 7 seed Raiders fell to top-seeded defending champion Malden Catholic 4-0 in the Super 8 semifinals in front of a capacity crowd of 2.489 at the Lawler Arena at Merrimack College.

“We’re disappointed,” said senior co-captain Ryan Daigle. “But this was the best team in Central Catholic history so far, so we are really proud of that.”

Last night’s game marked the first appearance for an Eagle-Tribune area team in the Super 8 semifinals in the 21-year history or the elite tournament. Central Catholic is the only area team to ever qualify (2007, 09, 11-12).

“This is the furthest we have ever gone,” said Williams, who played well with 36 saves. “We were MVC Large champs, we had a winning record in the round-robin (Super 8) first round. It was a great year.”

And for two periods, Central Catholic was able to play nearly even with high-powered Malden Catholic (19-1-4), which sports three players already committed to Hockey East schools.

The Lancers applied enormous pressure in the first, outshooting the Raiders 14-2. But Williams was up to the task, holding MC scoreless with saves like an outstanding lunging stop kicking away a shot from an open net.

“In the first we came out with a plan,” said Raiders coach Mike Jankowski. “I had to keep reminding myself and the team to stay patient. Then, in the second, a few bounces didn’t go our way.”

Malden Catholic grabbed the lead with a pair of goals in the first 5:11 of the second, including one that hit the post and deflected into the goal, and Central saw a few chances fall just short.

“A few bounces go out way in the second and it’s a different game,” said Daigle. “We hit a few open nets, and a few go in and you never know.”

First, MC goalie Connor Maloney wandered too far outside of the crease for a save, only to have the puck deflect back towards the goal. But a defender was able to clear it out before a Raider could pounce.

Moments later, Central’s Alex Lester took a pass in front and flipped a backhand that beat Maloney and looked destined for the goal. But the puck caught a post and deflected away. Finally, 3:42 later Corey Webber earned a penalty shot, but was turned away by Maloney.

“Central is a great team that does all of the little things,” said Malden Catholic’s Ryan Fitzgerald of North Reading, whose squad added two more goals in the third.

“They were tough and never stopped coming. But we were relentless, didn’t change out plan and finally we started clicking.”

Despite the final outcome, Central expressed pride in its season and hope for the 2012-13 season.

“We had a tremendous season,” said Daigle. “We lost (2011 Eagle-Tribune Player of the Year) Tommy Evangelista and a few other guys, so people didn’t think we’d be that good. We got wins the dirty way and we ended up going pretty far. I’m honored to be a part of this, and next year they’ll be even better.”


Game Statistics:

Goals: MC — Nick Rolli, Brendan Collier, Ara Nazarian, Ryan Fitzgerald

Assists: MC — Fitzgerald 2, Michael Iovanna,  Colin MacGillivray, Patrick Wrenn

Saves: CC — Kyle Williams 36; MC — Connor Maloney 15

0 Story Comments