Central Catholic Raiders Boys Ice Hockey '18-'19

Sat, Jan 12, 2019 05:30 PM @ Andover
Team 1 2 3 Final
Central Catholic 2 0 0 2
Andover 2 1 2 5

Andover overcomes early two-goal deficit to down archrival Central Catholic

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Saturday, January, 12 By David Willis
Staff writer

LAWRENCE — The start couldn’t have been worse for Andover boys hockey.
Just 2:19 into play on Saturday, the Golden Warriors found themselves trailing 2-0 after archrival Central Catholic’s first two shots of the game found the back of the net.
“We were shocked when they put in the quick two goals,” said Golden Warrior forward Evan Arpin. “But we still believed it was our game. We were mad, but coach reminded us it could still be our game, and to stick to the game plan. Once we responded, we felt good.”
Andover bounced back with two goals before the end of the first, and it was all Golden Warriors from there on the way to a 5-2 victory over Central at the Valley Forum in Lawrence.
“This is a huge win,” said junior Leo Byers, who scored two goals. “Every win is huge, but this one really meant a lot to us. We’ve really worked hard. To get a win against our archrivals always means a lot.”
Early on Saturday, however, the Golden Warriors (5-2-1) faced an uphill battle after the fast star by Central (2-7-2).
Only 58 seconds into play, senior defenseman Steve Birch gave the Raiders the lead with a goal. Then, just 1:21 later, Matt Lajoie made it 2-0 Central, taking a pass from Charles LeCalin and finding the back of the net. 
Right away, Andover coach Chris Kuchar called a time out.
“I asked them if they were ready to play hockey,” said Kuchar. “We came out flat. Two goals on two shots. We told the kids we had to regroup because there was a long way to go. We had to hit the reset button, take a deep break and start playing hockey because the game was far from over.”
Andover cut the deficit to one with 3:45 left in the first period on a Michael Feeney goal.
Then, with just 0:02 left in the first, Sam Murray beat the buzzer with a shot to make it 2-2 heading into the break.
“That was a huge momentum swing,” said Kuchar. “Instead of going to the locker room trailing by a goal, we go in tied, and that’s huge. We felt like, if we had a few more minutes, we could have scored a few more. That was a big play.”
Andover controlled play to start the second period, and Arpin gave the Warriors the lead when he came off the left wing and fired a shot between the goalie’s pads. It was the junior’s first goal of the season.
“A shift earlier I didn’t take my shot,” said Arpin. “But the next time I took the shot and it went in. It felt great to give my team the lead.”
It stayed that way until the third, when Scott Lachance slid a beautiful pass in front of the net to Byers, who tapped it home for his second goal of the season.
“I came in on the (line change),” said Byers. “Shane brought the puck in from the right and gave me a great pass. I just had to put it in. It was so exciting.”
Byers then iced the victory with 1:01 left, taking the puck from the opposing blue line and flicking in an empty net goal to close out the scoring.
“We knew we had a comeback in us,” said Byers. “We always find a way to fight back. Adversity never gets us down too bad. We never get down on ourselves. We just keep playing.”
Now winners of three straight, the Golden Warriors will look to sweep the rivalry with Central Catholic when they travel to the Salem Icenter on Feb. 9.
“Central is a great rivalry,” said Kuchar. “They are always at the top of the league, and they will be until someone dethrones them. They’re the standard we shoot for. We’ve always had good games against them, and we knew this year would be no different.”

Game Statistics:

Goals: A — Leo Byers 2, Michael Feeney, Sam Murray, Evan Arpin; CC — Steve Birch, Matthew Lajoie

Assists: A — Patrick Archambault 2, Shane Lachance 2, Matt Schuhwerk, Feeney; CC — Michael Dinges, Charles LeCalin

Saves: A — Alex Trottier 14; CC — Zach LeTendere 26

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