At the midpoint of the 2012-13 high school hockey season, a Malden Catholic three-peat in Massachusetts’ Super 8 tournament appeared highly unlikely.
The Lancers lost five of their nine games in January and at one point owned a 5-6-3 record.
Hardly the stuff of champions.
Malden Catholic slowly began its climb out of mediocrity, however, and finished its season with an 11-game winning streak that was punctuated by a 3-2 victory over Austin Prep at Boston’s TD Garden.
To even earn a chance for a three-peat, Malden Catholic had to win a play-in game — as the 10th and final team in the bracket — to advance to the Super 8. From there, the Lancers proceeded to sweep Springfield Cathedral in the first round before dispatching Catholic Memorial in the semifinals and Austin Prep in the championship game.
“I am very excited for the kids,” Malden Catholic head coach John McLean told the Boston Herald following his team’s Super 8 title game win. “We had an up and down year, but the kids pulled through. We knew we had the talent and we just needed to get the kids on the right page and (get) them to believe in themselves as a team.”
Nothing would come easy for Malden Catholic this season, and the title game was no different.
Austin Prep jumped out to a 1-0 lead just 14 seconds into the contest on a Nolan Vesey goal.
Malden Catholic answered with a pair of first-period goals of its own, however, and took a lead it wouldn’t relinquish.
First, Malden Catholic’s Tyler Sifferlen scored to make it 1-1 just four minutes after Vesey’s goal, and the Lancers led 2-1 when Austin Goldstein tallied late in the period.
Malden Catholic’s Ara Nazarian put the Lancers ahead 3-1 in the third period.
Vesey scored his second goal of the game for Austin Prep with 27 seconds remaining, but it wasn’t enough to stop Malden Catholic’s three-peat.
Malden Catholic goaltender Connor Maloney made 10 saves to record the victory.
Austin Prep’s Elijah Harris made 30 saves.
Burlington High School won its second straight Division 1 boys state title thanks in large part to a three-goal outburst in its 4-2 win over Marshfield at TD Garden.
Tied 1-1 in the second period, Burlington scored three-straight goals over a span of 3 minutes, 19 seconds to seize control on its way to the title.
Joe Berardi, Sean Murphy (two) and J.P. Scola scored for Burlington. Michael Carbone and Matt Burchill scored for Marshfield.
Derek DeCastro made 27 saves in goal to earn the win for Burlington. Connor Lemieux had 13 saves for Marshfield.
Wilmington and Franklin faced each other in the Division 2 state title game for the second straight season, with Wilmington once again claiming the championship, this time with a 4-0 victory.
Wilmington goaltender Drew Foley recorded the shutout in the title game, stopping 15 shots.
Cody McGowan, Brandon McDonough, Jake Rogers and Luke Foley scored Wilmington’s goals.
Franklin made its third straight trip to the Division 2 championship game, but the Panthers are 0-3 in those title contests.
Westfield claimed its third Division 3 state title with a 4-1 win over Swampscott, which was making its first-ever championship game appearance.
Adam Collier (two), Connor Sullivan and Anthony Cagliostro scored Westfield’s goals. Robert Serino scored Swampscott’s lone goal.
Nick Liberto made 22 saves for Westfield in the win.
The St. Mary’s of Lynn girls won their fourth Division 1 state title in the past six years thanks to Alison Butler’s late goal that provided a 2-1 win over Arlington Catholic.
Butler scored with 2:46 remaining in the third period as St. Mary’s defeated defending champion Arlington Catholic in a rematch of last year’s championship game.
Gabby Crugnale also scored for St. Mary’s, while Lauren Skinnion made 24 saves to record the victory.
Adrieana Rossini scored Arlington Catholic’s lone goal. Megan Messuri made 16 saves for Arlington Catholic.
Duxbury High School sophomore Liz Collins has developed a knack for scoring big goals.
After scoring the game-winning goal in last year’s Division 2 state title game, Collins was at it again this season as she netted the only tally in Duxbury’s 1-0 victory over Falmouth.
For Duxbury, it was the Green Dragons’ third straight state title and the second straight season they defeated Falmouth in the championship game.
Duxbury goaltender Rachel Myette made 21 saves as she completed the postseason without allowing a goal and ran her shutout streak to seven straight games.
Madison Scavotto made 30 saves in goal for Falmouth.
The Fairfield Prep boys went unbeaten against in-state competition during the 2012-13 season, capped by a 3-2 win over rival Notre Dame-West Haven in the Division 1 championship game.
Top-seeded Fairfield Prep earned its 15th state title and eighth since 2000.
Matt Wikman scored two of Fairfield Prep’s three goals, including the game-winner.
Notre Dame-West Haven jumped out to a 2-0 lead on goals from Louis Iannotti and Bill Vizzo just seven minutes into the championship game.
Fairfield Prep bounced back when Wikman scored late in the first period, then tied the score at 2-2 in the second period on a Michael Ventricelli goal.
Wikman then notched the game-winner with 6:26 remaining in the third period, giving Fairfield Prep the title.
Matt Beck made 20 saves in goal for Fairfield Prep.
Notre Dame-West Haven goalie Paul Sliwinski made 28 saves.
Four of second-ranked Notre Dame-West Haven’s six losses this season came against Fairfield Prep.
In Division 2, Kevin Robinson scored all four Fairfield Warde-Ludlowe goals in a 4-3 overtime victory against East Catholic.
Robinson capped off his outstanding performance with the game-winning goal in OT when he scored on a penalty shot to give Fairfield Warde-Ludlowe the championship.
Fairfield Warde-Ludlowe, the No. 13 seed, nearly won in regulation but a last-second goal was waved off, setting the stage for Robinson’s heroics.
Kyle Greenhurst made 17 saves in goal to earn the win for Fairfield Warde-Ludlowe.
Thomas Usseglio had 26 stops in net for East Catholic.
The Newington/Berlin/Manchester co-op boys made it back-to-back Division 3 state titles with a 1-0 win over the Bolton/Coventry/Rockville co-op team.
Newington/Berlin/Manchester’s Marco DiPaola scored the game’s only goal in the second period and goaltender Drew O’Leary made 16 saves to record the shutout.
O’Leary also was in net for Newington/Berlin/Manchester’s win over Northwest Catholic in last year’s Division 3 championship game.
The New Canaan High School girls earned a measure of revenge against Hall-Conard in the girls state title game with a 2-0 victory.
New Canaan, which has won six of the past eight girls state titles, was defeated by Hall-Conard in the championship game a year ago.
Olivia Hompe capped her stellar high school career with a goal for New Canaan, while Catherine Granito — who set a freshman record with 33 goals this season — also scored.
Hompe finished the season with 61 goals and 44 assists. Nathalie Deney made 18 saves for New Canaan, while Lauren Sorgio had 40 stops for Hall-Conard.
When it comes to high school hockey state championships in Maine these days, Greely High School has the market cornered.
Greely’s boys and girls teams both won their second straight championships in 2013, with both teams winning in shutouts.
The Greely boys dispatched Messalonskee, 3-0, to win the Class B state title, as goaltender Kyle Kramrich recorded the shutout with 17 saves.
Aidan Black, Reid Howland and Ted Hart scored Greely’s goals.
Ben Weeks made 28 saves in goal for Messalonskee.
On the girls side, Greely became the first program to win back-to-back girls state titles when the Rangers defeated Scarborough in overtime, 1-0.
Greely’s Mary Morrison scored the game’s only goal at 3:44 of overtime to give the Rangers the victory.
Greely goalkeeper Maura Perry recorded the shutout.
Scarborough’s Devan Kane made 39 saves in goal for the Red Storm.
The Class A boys championship game was a shutout as well, as Falmouth won its first state title with a 3-0 win over high-powered Lewiston.
Andre Clement (two) and Andrew Emple scored Falmouth’s goals.
Falmouth goaltender Dane Pauls made 17 saves for the shutout. Evan Bourassa had 19 saves for Lewiston.
After falling in the Division 1 title game a year ago, Manchester Memorial High School defeated city rival Manchester Central in overtime, 3-2, to claim the state championship at Verizon Wireless Arena.
Adam Tack scored the game-winning goal in OT for Memorial in a championship game that featured two Manchester public schools for the first time.
Kyle Broussard and Bryan Syrene also scored for Memorial, while Devon Sprague and Mitch Fortin scored for Central. Joshua Jacob made 16 saves in goal to record the Memorial victory. Ian Beliveau had 38 stops for Central.
In Division 2, Bedford made it back-to-back state titles with a 5-2 win over Merrimack. Bedford defeated top-seeded Merrimack in consecutive games to end the regular season and again in the title game, handing the Tomahawks their only losses of the season.
Kurt Mitchell, Christopher Viola, Neil Soucy and Christopher O’Hara (two) scored Bedford’s goals. Connor Powell scored both Merrimack goals.
Stevan Tempesta made 23 saves for Bedford, while Brett Glendye had 28 stops for Merrimack.
Top-seeded Berlin entered the Division 3 championship game with a 20-0 record, but second-seeded John Stark/Hopkinton handed the Mountaineers their only loss of the season, a 3-2 overtime setback.
Simon Hunter intercepted a pass in the Berlin zone and scored the game-winning goal in OT for John Stark/Hopkinton.
Peter Sawitsky and Simon Becka also scored for John Stark/Hopkinton. Brandon Poulin and Connor Jewett scored for Berlin. Connor MacDonald made 30 saves in goal for the John Stark/Hopkinton win, while Shane Mailhot had 22 stops for Berlin.
The Hanover girls earned their fourth straight girls state championship and fifth in the last six years with a 3-1 victory over Oyster River. The Marauders finished with a perfect 20-0 record and outscored their opponents 113-14.
Kelly Brigham scored twice for Hanover and Julie Montgomery added an empty-net goal. Hannah Herz-Kahn scored Oyster River’s goal.
Katie Fenton made nine stops in goal for Hanover, while Emily Croot had 33 saves for Oyster River.
Mount St. Charles won its 43rd state hockey championship as the Mounties defeated La Salle in Rhode Island’s Super Four boys championship series.
Mount St. Charles swept the best-of-three series, winning the opener 7-0 and Game 2 by a 5-2 count.
The championship is the fifth in the past six years for Mount St. Charles and 31st in the past 36 years.
Mount St. Charles’ Daniel Glod was named the MVP of the Super Four.
Mount St. Charles goaltender Brian Larence posted the shutout in Game 1 and made 29 saves in Game 2.
La Salle goaltender Tyler Walsh stopped 56 shots in Game 2.
Barrington won the Division 1 boys title, defeating Burrillville two games to one in the best-of-three championship series.
Barrington won the opener 1-0 and Game 3 by a 2-0 score to claim the title. Burrillville won Game 2, 7-2.
Barrington’s Andrew Galbraith posted shutouts in Game 1 and Game 3 with a combined 80 saves in the two wins. Galbraith made 28 saves in Game 1 and 52 stops in Game 3.
Michael Lombardi scored the only goal to provide the winning margin for Barrington in Game 1 and scored again in Game 3, along with teammate B Fay in Barrington’s 2-0 win.
In Burrillville’s Game 2 win, Chad Stone and Riley Tupper scored two goals apiece.
Lincoln swept Prout to win the boys Division 2 title with a 2-0 sweep. Lincoln won both games by identical 3-2 margins.
In the deciding Game 2, Lincoln’s Griffin Hevey scored at 3:36 of overtime to give the Lions the victory and the championship.
Ryan Krohto and Jerzy Polak also scored for Lincoln in Game 2.
In Game 1, Krohto had a pair of goals. Lincoln’s Chris Leclaire made a combined 62 saves in the two games.
Austin Gemma made 47 saves in each game for Prout.
In Division 3, West Warwick/Exeter/West Greenwich swept Tolman to claim the state title.
West Warwick/Exeter/West Greenwich won Game 1 (5-2) and Game 2 (5-1) for the championship.
In Game 1, Antonio Rei had a pair of goals and Ivan Forcier made 29 saves in West Warwick/Exeter/West Greenwich’s 5-2 win.
In Game 2, Rei and Troy Sankey scored two goals apiece and Forcier had 39 stops in a 5-1 win.
Tolman goaltender Jared DaSilva made 50 saves in Game 1 and 48 saves in Game 2.
Freshman goaltender Taylor Peltier posted her fourth straight playoff shutout as La Salle swept Mount St. Charles to win the girls championship division state title.
La Salle won both games of the championship series by 2-0 scores. The title is the second straight for La Salle.
In Game 1, Meaghan Rickard and Sarah Migliori scored for La Salle, while Peltier made 27 saves to record the shutout. In Game 2, Migliori scored both La Salle goals and Peltier had 38 saves.
Mount St. Charles goaltender Arianna Tourtellot had 33 saves in Game 1 and 53 saves in Game 2.
The Barrington/Mount Hope/ Portsmouth co-op team won its second straight Division 2 girls title with a sweep against Lincoln/Cumberland.
Barrington/Mount Hope/ Portsmouth won Game 1 in double overtime (6-5) before wrapping up the title in Game 2 with a 5-2 victory.
Allie Kelsey scored the game-winning goal in Game 1 and Kelly Kraunelis added two goals in Barrington/Mount Hope/ Portsmouth’s win. Sophie Faxon made 30 saves in goal for the victory.
In Game 2, Meghan Miller scored two goals and Faxon had 38 saves as Barrington/Mount Hope/Portsmouth secured the title.
Lincoln/Cumberland goalie Ashley Devolve had 45 saves in Game 1 and 35 saves in Game 2.
South Burlington claimed its
Division 1 boys title — and its first state championship since it won in Division 2 in 1994 — with a 4-2 win over rival Champlain Valley.
Eric Craig, Connor O’Toole, Matt Baechle and Gabe Simpatico scored South Burlington’s goals in the title game. South Burlington’s David Streeter made 17 saves to record the victory.
Kirk Fontana and Jake Garrett scored for Champlain Valley. Greg Talbert made 18 saves in goal for Champlain Valley.
U-32 won its second-straight Division 2 state title with a 5-2 win over Burr and Burton.
Cole Mugford (two), Wyatt Peterson, Colvin Rice and Shane O’Neil scored the U-32 goals, while Jordan Blais made 16 saves in goal for the win.
Henry Buckley scored both Burr and Burton goals. Zack Stewart made 22 saves in goal for Burr and Burton.
BFA-St. Albans defeated Spaulding in the girls Division 1 state championship game for the second straight season with a 2-0 victory.
BFA-St. Albans has now won nine state titles over the past 11 seasons.
Top-seeded Spaulding lost in the state championship game for the third straight year.
Taylor Girard and Tory Hubbard scored BFA-St. Albans’ goals, while Shanley Howrigan made 21 saves to record the shutout in net. Howrigan has four straight postseason shutouts.
The Harwood High School girls won their first state title in dramatic fashion with a 1-0 overtime victory against North Country.
Harwood sophomore Hayley Martini scored the game’s lone goal when she deflected a shot past Danielle Kuiper to give the Highlanders their first championship.
Harwood goaltender Siena Damon made 17 saves to record the shutout.
North Country goalie Mikaella Doran had 20 saves in the loss.
This article originally appeared in the April 2013 issue of New England Hockey Journal.