Central Catholic Raiders Boys Ice Hockey '07-'08

Brendan Slein, 18, of Salen N.H., hockey player for Central Catholic High School. » Tim Jean, Staff Photographer

Concussions can't hold back Central's Slein

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

Friday, February, 01 By David Willis
Staff writer

Central Catholic forward Brendan Slein knew the feeling all too well.

"We were playing Mount Saint Charles in a preseason scrimmage," he remembered. "I got hit three times really quick and I just started to feel queasy."

The senior left the game and was diagnosed with a concussion, his second on the ice in his career. "I had bad memories of a year ago," he said, "from the game against (Catholic Memorial)."

On Feb. 28 of last season, the Salem, N.H. resident was playing out the final moments of the Raiders' loss to CM in the Super 8 tourney when he suffered a massive hit.

The impact knocked Slein unconscious briefly, and he fell to the ice. He remained there for nearly 20 minutes as EMTs removed him on a stretcher.

"Coming to and looking up at all those people was pretty nerve-racking," he remembered. "And having to leave on a stretcher was pretty daunting."

After the concussion, Slein had to watch Central's final two games of the Super 8 tourney from the stands.

So when he suffered the same injury to open the new season, he was understandably upset.

"I was frustrated," he said. "They told me I had to shut it down for at least two weeks. I was still around the team, but I was sitting on the bench opening the door (for player to enter the ice)."

During his time away, Slein underwent a series of tests to ensure he had no lasting damage. He took tests for his memory, motor skills and reaction.

But after missing two weeks and the first four games of the season, and being cleared of any problems, Slein returned to the ice in style.

"I made it back for the game in Worcester," said the 5-foot-10, 175-pounder. "It was unbelievable. I got two great passes, one from (Tim) Houston and one from (Cam) Fisichelli. They got it to me and I finished."

In his first game back, against Saint Peter Marion on Dec. 29, Slein tallied a pair of goals in a Raiders' 5-2 victory. "I had a rough first period," he said. "But I found my way and both goals came in the second. It just felt great."

That success has continued for Slein. In 11 games, he has scored seven goals, third on the team to linemate Justin Kurek (11) and Fisichelli (10). His 14 overall points are tied for third.

"I have a different role this year," said Slein, whose scored four goals all of last season. "Last year I was on the second line and had to concentrate on defense. Now I am on the first line and I have to put points on the board. I have to finish when Timmy Houston (area-high 20 assists) gets me the puck."

Slein knows a little something about stepping up under pressure.

During the fall, he earned Eagle-Tribune All-Star and All-Merrimack Valley Conference honors in soccer. The goalie allowed 16 goals in 19 games (0.84 goals-against average) and posted nine shutouts despite battling a bone bruise below his knee late in the season.

"Hockey and soccer are both fast-paced sports," said Slein, who also plays outfield and catcher for the baseball team. "I play totally different positions, and I am more mentally drained after soccer and physically drained after hockey. But they're both about hand-eye coordination. Getting a quick shot off in front of the net is a lot like making a big save in soccer."

Athletics is not Slein's only area of excellence. The senior ranks No. 26 in his Central Catholic class of 320. And he doesn't stick to easy classes. He is taking two Advance Placement courses, government and psychology, which can earn him college credit.

The 18-year-old has already been accepted to highly-regarded Villanova and the University of New Hampshire and is waiting to hear from Boston College. He plans to study finance. But for now, his focus remains on the ice.

"We need to put a charge into the MVC," he said. "We still have plenty of MVC games left, so we have time to do some damage. We have a big game against Waltham coming up, and they want us bad after what we did to them last year (in the Super 8 play-in game)."

0 Story Comments