Central Catholic Raiders Boys Ice Hockey '07-'08

Sat, Feb 16, 2008 08:00 PM @ Central Catholic
Team 1 2 3 Final
Andover 1 2 0 3
Central Catholic 0 2 1 3
Andover, Central Catholic » Deborah Hammond, Staff PhotographerMore photos

Tie elminates Central Catholic, delays Andover's title hopes

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Sunday, February, 17 By David Willis
Staff writer

There was no celebration in the locker rooms last night. "There was a lot of emotion on both sides," said Andover coach Mario Martiniello. "Both teams had a goal they wanted to accomplish. There were a couple breakdowns and both teams took a few tough penalties."

Central Catholic center Tim Houston's goal with 1:10 left gave the Raiders a 3-3 tie with Andover in front of a vocal crowd of about 500 at the Lawler Arena at Merrimack College. It was the second time in two matchups the two teams tied, with Central scoring late in both matchups.

However, the tie eliminated the Raiders (5-9-4) from tournament contention.

"We played hard tonight and we knocked them out of the tourney," said Andover's John Hyslip. "So that feeds into the rivalry. But a tie right now is good and bad."

It was bad for the Golden Warriors because a win would have clinched Andover at least a tie for the Merrimack Valley Conference/Dual County League Division 1 title.

"We really wanted that MVC/DCL championship," said Hyslip. "But we still have a good chance at it against Westford."

The Golden Warriors are currently tied with Westford for first in the division. The two schools face off tomorrow at Westford in their final game with the title on the line.

It appeared early that Andover would clinch the title.

With 4:25 left in the first period, Matt Perry picked off the puck at center ice, skated past a pair of defenders and beat Central goalie Evan Rurak to give Andover a 1-0 lead.

That's where it stayed until 8:32 in the second when Hyslip took a pass in front of the net and stuffed it into the goal for a 2-0 lead.

But, with 3:33 left in the second, Central cut the lead to 2-1. After two straight saves by Nick Drew, Nick Leonard grabbed a rebound and stuffed it into the net. The Raiders then tied the game when, after Andover drew a pair of penalties on the same play, Mark Brien took a pass and fired the puck into the net to tie the game 2-2.

The tie would be short-lived. With only six seconds left in the second, Hyslip skated into the Raiders zone and flipped a shot on goal that slid into the net.

The third period was played mostly at center ice, with Central's Mike Alesse making a big kick save to rob Hyslip of a hat trick.

After the Raiders pulled their goalie with 1:30 left, Houston tied the game when he was in the right place at the right time for a rebound. But that was all they could manage.

"We had our chances," said Central coach Mike Jankowski. "We executed that 3 on 5 and we had chances in the final seconds. We even had a shot with three seconds left. We played very well."

Drew was outstanding in net for Andover at times, making 25 saves, including crucial stops with seconds left. Alesse and Rurak split the duties for Central.

George Flanagan had two assists for Andover, upping his team-high point total to 31 for the year, one behind Houston for third in the area.

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