By Ed Flaherty
While it’s not the official start of the Massachusetts high school hockey season, Saturday afternoon’s doubleheader at Harvard University’s Bright Arena is a can’t-miss affair.
The games will feature the top two teams in the New England Hockey Journal’s preseason Massachusetts boys top 10, with Super 8 runner-up BC High (preseason No. 2) taking on New Jersey’s Don Bosco Prep at 3 p.m., followed by two-time Super 8 defending champion Malden Catholic against Delbarton School, which has won five straight New Jersey state titles.
BC High senior standout goaltender Peter Cronin (2.00 GAA last season) will lead the Eagles (13-7-5 last season) against Don Bosco Prep, which has scored 29 goals in its five games this season. Don Bosco enters Saturday’s contest with a 4-1 record.
Tom Besinger (14-18-32) is BC High’s top returning scorer. The Eagles will be making their season debut on Saturday.
Delbarton School makes the trip north to face Malden Catholic with a 4-0-1 record. The Green Wave has had no difficulty finding the back of the net, with 37 goals in five games.
Delbarton already has three players scoring in double-digits, led by John Baiocco (9-8-17), Alex Hagerty (9-7-16) and Josh Melnick (2-11-13).
Malden Catholic, which will be making its season debut on Saturday, returns plenty of firepower as well. Back for the Lancers are the top line of Mike Iovanna, Ara Nazarian and Tyler Sifferlen, along with defenseman Casey Fitzgerald.
Saturday’s game will mark the third-straight year Malden Catholic and Delbarton have met on the ice. Malden Catholic won the first meeting two years ago, 3-0, with Delbarton bouncing back last year, winning 2-1.
Delbarton is also scheduled to face Catholic Memorial on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Boston University’s Agganis Arena.
A scholarship fund in memory of former Malden Catholic coach Chris Serino (pictured right) has been established.
The Christie Serino Scholarship Fund was set up in October after Serino passed away after suffering from throat cancer.
Serino also served as Malden Catholic’s athletic director.
The scholarship will be awarded annually to a Malden Catholic student who demonstrates leadership skills, possesses a strong commitment to the community and is involved in the school’s extra-curricular activities.
Donations may be made to Malden Catholic High School, c/o The Christie Serino Scholarship Fund, 99 Crystal Street, Malden, MA 02148.
Larry Vieira is back as a Connecticut high school hockey coach after taking over at Immaculate High School in Danbury. Immaculate is a Division 3 co-op program with New Fairfield High School.
Vieira was previously the coach at Branford High School for 26 seasons and led the Hornets to a state title in 1988. He also coached at Darien High School and with the Staples/Weston/Shelton co-op team.
Don Boucher, who led the St. Dominic girls hockey program for four seasons from 2008-09 through 2011-12, died on Nov. 21 at the age of 50 after battling cancer.
Boucher led the Saints to the 2010-11 Maine girls hockey title.
“Certainly, he’s going to be missed very, very much,” Lewiston High School coach Ron Dumont told the Lewiston Sun-Journal. “Not just at St. Dom’s, but throughout the league. The coaches, we all know each other. We all compete; we don’t always agree, but at the end of the day, we’re all in it for the kids. He certainly was, too.”
It required a court ruling, but Shelby Herrington is back on the ice with the Bishop Brady High School boys hockey team.
The ruling on Monday allowed Herrington, a junior, to remain on the Bishop Brady boys team despite the creation this year of the Bishop Brady/Trinity High School girls team.
The New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association (NHIAA) declared Herrington ineligible to play on the boys’ team. Herrington has challenged that decision, and Merrimack County Superior Court judge Richard McNamara ruled that she can play for the boys team for at least the first three games of the season.
McNamara is scheduled to make a final ruling by Dec. 19 regarding the NHIAA’s decision.
Brown University and the Rhode Island Interscholastic League have announced plans for the state’s 2012-13 boys and girls hockey tournaments will be played at Brown’s Meehan Auditorium.
“Brown is committed to supporting high school athletics and is thrilled to be partnering with the Rhode Island Interscholastic League,” said Brown athletic director Jack Hayes. “We are excited to welcome the many communities of Rhode Island to the Brown campus for these championships.”
“Over the years the RIIL and countless student-athletes have enjoyed a great relationship with Brown University,” said Rhode Island Interscholastic League executive director Tom Mezzanotte. “Thanks to the encouragement and leadership of Brown’s new athletic director, Jack Hayes, we are pleased to announce an expanded partnership over the next three years. Through this partnership our high school athletes, fans and families will have the opportunity to visit the Brown University campus, and our championship teams will compete on some of the best facilities in Rhode Island.”
Providence College’s Schneider Arena was the site for the 2011-12 hockey championships.
The South Burlington High School girls hockey team advanced to Vermont’s Division I championship game a year ago, falling to Essex, but the Rebels needed help to field a team for the 2012-13 season.
The solution to that problem is for South Burlington to join forces with Mount Mansfield to form a co-op team this season.
"It's been a challenge across the state to maintain some programs," South Burlington coach Mickey Toof told the Burlington Free Press. "It goes through peaks and valleys, but when you get caught in a really low mode, the only way to survive is by a co-op."
The collaboration is for just one season, as both schools are expected to have enough players to field their own teams next year.
Ed Flaherty can be reached at email@example.com.