Central Catholic Raiders Boys Ice Hockey '07-'08

Mon, Jan 21, 2008 04:00 PM @ Central Catholic
Team 1 2 3 Final
Catholic Memorial 1 0 1 2
Central Catholic 0 1 1 2
North Andover: Goalie Mike Alesse, of Central Catholic High School boys hockey with one of many saves he made against Catholic Memorial High School at Merrimack College » TIM JEAN, Staff PhotographerMore photos

Tired Alesse exacts some revenge

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Tuesday, January, 22 By David Willis
Staff writer

NORTH ANDOVER | A year ago, Central Catholic goalie Mike Alesse was in net for the Raiders' 10-1 loss to Catholic Memorial in the first round of the Super 8 tournament.

So when CM appeared on the schedule this season, the senior netminder was anxious for a little redemption.

"Mike came to me and asked for the start," said Raiders coach Mike Jankwoski. "He alternates some with Evan Rurak. But that really showed us a lot. He worked so hard and prepared for so long. That is what we are looking for."

After shaking the nerves out early, allowing a goal that squirted through his pads, Alesse was dominant the rest of the way against a Knights' offense that was peppering him with shots for nearly 45 minutes.

"I'm pretty tired," he said with a weary smile after the game. "My legs are just gone."

He had all the right in the world to be exhausted. Alesse made a stunning 42 saves as he held off the Catholic Memorial push long enough for the Raiders to make their move and pull off a 2-2 tie with the No. 1-ranked team in Eastern Mass.

"It's really tough when you face that many shots," he said. "But you have to work to keep your focus up and stay in the game."

But Alesse has faced pressure before. The three-year starter also made 42 stops in the Raiders' victory over Malden Catholic in the second game of the Super 8 tourney last season.

Alesse's first highlight-reel save came with 26 seconds left in the first when he made a butterfly stop on a shot from point blank. Then, with 9:19 left in the second he made a dazzling glove save on a high shot from just outside the crease.

But his stop of the night came with 6:33 left in the third when he blocked a shot, then flashed to his right to stop and smother a rebound.

"I just let it all out," he said. "After this game, opponents are going to read the paper and say, 'Look out for Central Catholic.'"

Tough memories

Anyone could forgive Central's Brendan Slein if playing Catholic Memorial brought back on ugly memory.

During last year's loss, Slein briefly lost consciousness after taking a massive hit late in the contest. He quickly regained consciousness, but remained on the ice for nearly 20 minutes as EMTs took him off the ice on a stretcher.

But the senior was not even fazed after he took a brutal hit near the boards early yesterday. He rallied back to score the Raiders' first goal of the night.

For the season, Slein has six goals, tied for second on the team.

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