By Ed Flaherty
The Boston College High School boys hockey team advanced to the Super 8 semifinals a year ago before being eliminated by eventual champion Malden Catholic.
Fast forward a year, and it would appear the Eagles are eager for the opportunity to improve on that finish.
BC High has opened its 2011-12 slate with a 5-0 record, including an impressive 5-3 win over Super 8 runner-up St. John’s Prep (3-2) on Wednesday night.
The Eagles have outscored their opponents 28-6 in those five contests, including a pair of 6-0 shutout victories to open the season.
Among BC High’s victories are those back-to-back 6-0 wins – over St. John’s (Shrewsbury) and Framingham – a 7-2 win over St. John’s (Shrewsbury), a 4-1 victory against Winchester and Wednesday’s 5-3 win over St. John’s Prep.
The Eagles have received standout performances up and down their roster, starting between the pipes where junior goaltender Peter Cronin has been outstanding.
Among Cronin’s accomplishments already this season are the back-to-back shutouts, an 18-save performance against Winchester and a 25-save outing in the win over St. John’s Prep.
Offensively, the Eagles have relied on scoring from a variety of sources. On Wednesday it was Bartley Regan who scored the game-winning goal, his second of the night. Sam Kurker also tallied twice for BC High in the win.
A pair of freshmen – Connor Noonan and Tim Larocque – had solid outings earlier in the year against St. John’s (Shrewsbury). Against Winchester, four different Eagles had goals in BC High’s 4-1 victory.
Wednesday’s game was the Catholic Conference opener for BC High and the road gets no easier for the Eagles.
After defeating last year’s Super 8 runner-up on Wednesday, the Eagles get to take on the defending champs when BC High travels to face Malden Catholic at Malden Valley Forum II.
The East Haven High School boys team continued its winning ways with its 4-3 win over North Haven on Wednesday.
The Yellowjackets are 6-0-1 and have won six straight after a season-opening tie against Stamford.
Over the course of those six games, East Haven has outscored its opponents by a 33-16 margin.
Sophomore Stephen Marisco (nine goals, five assists) and senior Rich Decarlo (six goals, seven assists) have paced the East Haven attack, while sophomore goaltender Zac Bouve has a 3.40 goals-against average.
Craig Decato, who helped York High School win the school’s first hockey title last season, recently became the Wildcats’ top career scorer.
A senior forward, Decato surpassed brothers Dave and Anthony Figlioli, who both tallied 124 career points during their York careers.
Justin Bailey, a senior member of the Natick High School boys hockey team, passed away at home on Jan. 4, reportedly of natural causes. He was 17-years-old.
Natick’s scheduled game on Wednesday against Needham was postponed and the school’s boys and girls games scheduled for Saturday against Milton have also been postponed.
Merrimack High School has opened up its Division 2 schedule with three straight victories, but the Tomahawks showed they have what it takes to win at any level by capturing the Bauer Christmas Hockey Classic.
Merrimack posted four victories to claim the tournament title, including wins over Division 1 opponents Trinity, Hanover and Manchester Memorial.
Merrimack goaltender Brett Glendye made 45 saves in a title game shootout win over Manchester Memorial and was named tournament MVP.
The Mount St. Charles boys hockey team is a pedestrian 2-2 in Division 1 action this season, but the Mounties’ performance in their own holiday tournament could signal better things ahead.
The Mounties captured the tournament title with a 5-4 win over La Salle College High School of Pennsylvania, as tournament MVP Brian Campbell led the way with two goals.
Mount St. Charles goalie Brian Larence made 51 saves in the win.
Mount St. Charles continued to build on its momentum with a 4-2 win over Springfield (Mass.) Cathedral at Fenway Park on Monday night.
The South Burlington High School boys hockey team improved to 7-1 on Wednesday with a 3-0 win over Middlebury.
The win over Middlebury followed South Burlington’s strong showing in the annual Beech tournament, where the Rebels dispatched both Colchester (3-2) and Missiquoi (8-1).
In the Beech tournament title game, Tom Royer had three goals and an assist to pace South Burlington.
Game of the Week
BC High at Malden Catholic
A pair of Massachusetts Super 8 semifinalists from a year ago will square off in a Catholic Conference matchup at Malden Valley Forum II.
Malden Catholic defeated BC High in last year’s semifinals on its way to the Super 8 title.
BC High is flying out of the gates at 5-0, while Malden Catholic is 4-1.
New England high school power rankings
1. Notre Dame West Haven (7-0)
2. East Haven (6-0-1)
3. Fairfield Prep (5-1)
4. Trumbull (5-1)
5. Guilford (3-1)
6. Xavier (6-1-1)
7. Staples-Weston-Shelton (3-0)
8. West Haven (5-1)
9. South Windsor (6-2)
10. Hamden (3-1)
1. Marshwood/Traip (6-0)
2. Bangor (4-0)
3. Scarborough (5-0-1)
4. Biddeford (3-1-1)
5. Thornton Academy (4-1)
6. Brewer (6-1)
7. Greely (4-0-1)
8. York (2-1-2)
9. Cape Elizabeth (3-0-2)
10. Messalonskee (4-1)
1. BC High (5-0)
2. Catholic Memorial (4-1)
3. Malden Catholic (4-1)
4. Hingham (5-2)
5. Woburn (4-1-1)
6. Central Catholic (3-1-1)
7. St. Mary’s Lynn (6-1-1)
8. Needham (3-1)
9. Franklin (7-0)
10. Burlington (3-1-1)
1. Merrimack (4-0)
2. Pinkerton (4-0)
3. Memorial (5-0)
4. Bedford (3-1)
5. St. Thomas (3-2)
6. Dover (3-1)
7. Souhegan (4-0)
8. Kennett (3-0)
9. Alvirne (4-0)
10. Concord (2-1)
1. La Salle (6-1-1)
2. Hendricken (5-0-1)
3. Cumberland (6-0)
4. Johnston/North Providence (6-0)
5. Prout (6-2-2)
6. Portsmouth (5-1-1)
7. Cranston West (3-1-2)
8. Pilgrim (4-1-1)
9. Mount St. Charles (2-2)
10. Coventry (4-1)
1. Essex (8-0)
2. BFA St. Albans (6-1)
3. South Burlington (7-1)
4. Burr and Burton (6-1-1)
5. Middlebury (5-2)
6. Northfield (6-2)
7. Missiquoi (5-3)
8. St. Johnsbury (5-2)
9. CVU (4-3)
10. Spaulding (4-3)
Ed Flaherty can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.