Central Catholic Raiders Boys Ice Hockey '16-'17

Sun, Mar 19, 2017 07:45 PM @ Central Catholic
Team 1 2 3 OT Final
Arlington 0 1 0 1 2
Central Catholic 0 0 1 0 1

Central loses title game on goal 15 seconds into OT

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Sunday, March, 19 By David Willis
Staff writer

BOSTON — History was waiting on the next goal, as Central Catholic and Arlington skated into overtime.
In a flash, however, the Raiders were left stunned on the TD Garden ice, with nothing but heartbreak.
Just 15 seconds into overtime, Arlington’s Mic Curran banked home a goal from an impossible angle behind the net, beating a shocked Central Catholic squad 2-1 in the Super 8 championship game.
“We laid it all out there and gave it everything we had,” said Central head coach Kim Brandvold. “Unfortunately that bounce didn’t go our way. It’s a shame it happened on the first shift of overtime, but that’s the way hockey is. Our kids still played an amazing game.”
It was the first Super 8 title for Arlington since the tournament was established in 1991, and just the third time a public school took the crown, following Hingham (2010) and Reading (2008).
It was Central Catholic’s first ever Super 8 title game appearance, and the first for any Merrimack Valley Conference/Dual County League team.
“This hurts,” said Raiders captain Matt Poulin. “We came out with a lot of energy and a lot of enthusiasm. We were feeling confident going into overtime. But they ended up getting the lucky bounce and that was it.”
Arlington led 1-0 heading into the third, but that was when Central Catholic seemed to steal momentum.
Raiders defenseman Joe Biddle picked off a pass and unleashed an absolute blast from the point that beat the goalie to tie the game 1-1 just under a minute into the third. It was Biddle’s third goal of the season.
“We felt like we were back in it after that goal,” said Poulin. “That was a huge goal.”
From there, Central continued to pressure Spy Ponders goalie Jack Pinard. But the junior turned away a few excellent attempts, including a redirect that he just grabbed out of the air with his glove.
“The Biddle goal was huge and I think after that we pushed for a little bit,” said Brandvold. “But then they came back and pushed a little. Either team could have taken it.
“Then, when you go into OT, you know it’s going to be a bounce or something. It’s just unfortunate how it happened.”
Off the opening faceoff of overtime, the puck went into the Central Catholic defensive zone. Arlington’s Curran raced it down, and from behind the net banked home a fluky score.
Before fans had settled into overtime, the Spy Ponders were already pouring out of the bench to celebrate the championship.
“Central is an outstanding team,” said Arlington coach John Messuri. “Their first line is terrific, their goalie is outstanding and Kim is an unbelievable coach. They do some little things so well that it shows how well coached they are. I told him, for him to take a team that young to this game is unbelievable.”
Central nearly took the lead in the first period, when a puck snuck through Pinard (26 saves). But the goalie dove backwards and managed to knock the puck away with his glove just before it touched the goal line.”
Raiders goalie Matt Pasquale finished his monster Super 8 tournament with another big performance. The sophomore made 28 saves, including a few dazzling stops. In four Super 8 games, he allowed just three goals.
“Matt’s the largest part of why we’re here,” said Brandvold. “His play in the quarterfinals and semifinal were excellent and today too he made some incredible stops. There were two or three on the back door that I don’t know how he stopped. He’s a rock back there.”
Just feet away from Arlington celebrating, Brandvold remained positive as he reflected on the season.
“The ride will stick with them,” said Brandvold. “So will the pain of losing in overtime at the Garden. But they will look back at the ride, doing it with your friends and how much better we worked to get every day. They’re going to look back at that with a lot of pride.”
With the pain of the loss still fresh, Poulin did his best to remember the good times as he prepared to leave the Garden in his final high school game.
“This season was awesome,” said Poulin. “It was an honor to be captain for this great group of guys. There was a lot of friendship and a lot of love. It was really special to get here.”

Game Statistics:

Super 8 Final

Goals: CC — Joe Biddle; A — Mic Curran 2

Assists: A — Kevin Ouellette

Saves: CC — Matt Pasquale 28; A — Jack Pinard 26

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