By Ed Flaherty
For the second straight year, Catholic Conference foes have advanced to the Massachusetts Super 8 championship game.
|Malden Catholic forward Brendan Collier (Dave Arnold Photography)|
Top-seeded Malden Catholic, the defending Super 8 champion, will face Boston College High School for the title on Sunday (6 p.m.) at TD Garden.
Malden Catholic advanced with a 4-0 win over Central Catholic in semifinal action on Wednesday, while BC High dispatched St. John’s Prep, 3-2, in the other semi. Both games were played at Merrimack College’s Lawler Arena.
Malden Catholic received production from the freshman class through the senior class in its win over seventh-seeded Central Catholic.
Scoring goals for the Lancers were freshman Ara Nazarian, sophomore Nick Rolli, junior Ryan Fitzgerald and senior Brendan Collier.
For Central Catholic, it was the best Super 8 run in the program’s history.
Malden Catholic goaltender Connor Maloney turned in an outstanding performance in the victory, preserving his shutout with stops against a penalty shot and a breakaway among his 14 saves.
BC High’s win over St. John’s Prep had more drama than Malden Catholic’s semifinal victory, as the balance of the game hinged on one 29-second stretch of the third period.
With BC High clinging to a 2-1 lead late in the third, St. John’s Prep’s Evan LeClerc scored to tie the game with 5:56 remaining.
The Eagles answered and reclaimed the momentum just 29 seconds later, however, as Chris Laliberte tallied what would turn out to be the game-winning goal in BC High’s 3-2 win.
Tom Besinger and Tim Larocque added BC High’s other goals. Peter Cronin made 18 saves in net.
After dominating the Division 1 boys landscape for all of the 2011-12 season, Fairfield Prep was stunned by Glastonbury in the semifinals, falling 5-2.
Glastonbury will face Notre Dame West Haven for the Div. 1 title on Saturday.
Glastonbury stormed out to a 5-2 lead on Fairfield Prep and held on despite giving up a pair of extra-attacker goals in the final minute of play.
Aaron Mandell (two), Drew Mozzer, Ethan Holdaway and Conor Thompson scored goals for Glastonbury. Chase Gabor made 20 saves in the win.
Notre Dame-West Haven defeated West Haven, 6-2, to advance, with Ed Sherman, Kyle Thibault, Jeff Bausch, Greg Zullo, Matt Dostie and Alex Esposito scoring goals. Luc Amatruda made 15 saves for Notre Dame-West Haven.
Fifth-seeded Trumbull and No. 7 Branford will meet for the Div. 2 crown on Friday.
Trumbull knocked off No. 4 Wilton and No. 1 Guilford on its way to the title game, while Branford handled both No. 3 Daniel Hand and No. 2 North Branford to reach the championship.
The Division 3 championship game will feature top-seeded Newington-Berlin against No. 3 Northwest Catholic on Saturday.
The teams met once during the regular season, with Newington-Berlin earning a 6-3 victory.
Thornton Academy (Saco) made it back-to-back Class A titles with a 5-1 win over Saint Dominic Academy on Saturday.
C.J. Maksut, who scored the game-winning goal in the 2011 title game, had a hat trick and four points to pace Thornton Academy. Maksut is Thornton Academy’s all-time leading scorer with 154 points (90 goals, 64 assists).
Andrew Carignan and Greg Lodge also scored for Thornton Academy, while Joe Ferrante had 20 saves in goal for the win.
Thornton Academy closed its season with a 20-1-1 record on its way to the title.
In Class B, Greely earned its second title in the last four years with a 6-2 win over Messalonskee.
Pete Stauber and Ted Hart had two goals apiece for the Rangers, with Ben Hackett and Peter Hurley also scoring for Greely. Kyle Kramlich had 14 saves in the victory.
The girls Division 1 semifinals provided plenty of excitement, as each contest went beyond regulation.
In the end it was St. Mary’s of Lynn and Arlington Catholic who survived and will meet for the state title on Sunday at TD Garden.
St. Mary’s defeated defending state champion Hingham in a shootout, 4-3, to advance, while Arlington Catholic topped Braintree in overtime, 3-2.
In boys Division 1, top-seeded Burlington claimed the North Division title and will face South Division champ Milton for the Eastern Mass. title on Sunday.
In boys Division 2, Wilmington is the North champion and will meet South champ Franklin for the Eastern Mass. title on Sunday.
In the boys Division 3A title game Groton-Dunstable will meet South Hadley.
Medway will face either Hudson or Longmeadow for the state Division 3 crown.
It was championship day at Manchester’s Verizon Wireless Arena on Saturday and the day’s four games lived up to expectations.
Pinkerton Academy of Derry claimed the Division 1 boys title with a 3-2 win over Manchester Memorial, holding off a late Memorial charge.
Top-seeded Pinkerton held a 3-0 lead but Memorial scored two quick goals in the third to make things interesting. J.D. Dudek, Zach Sanford and Dominic Corsetto scored Pinkerton’s goals, with Matt Marchman making 17 saves for the win.
In the Division 2 boys title game, Bedford claimed its first state title with a 2-1 win over Dover. Kurt Mitchell and Jason Campbell staked Bedford to a 2-0 lead with second-period goals and the Bulldogs held on for the win as Stevan Tempesta made 26 saves.
Kennett (Conway) and Alvirne (Hudson) jockeyed for position atop the Division 3 standings all season long and needed overtime to decide the state championship. Anthony LaRusso tallied the game-winning goal in OT – his second of the game – as Kennett claimed the title with a 4-3 victory. Also scoring for Kennett were Kevin Murphy and James Gallo. John Bishop made 34 saves in the win.
The Hanover girls made it three straight state titles with a 5-1 win over Lebanon. Hanover’s ‘Black Line’ – made up of 100-point scorers Madison Hill, Tessa Hill and Maddie Dewhirst – accounted for all five of Hanover’s goals. Madison Hill had a hat trick to lead Hanover, while Madison Dewhirst had two goals and three assists. Tessa Hill assisted on all five Hanover goals.
Bishop Hendricken ended Mount St. Charles’ reign as Rhode Island’s boys state champion, winning Game 3 of their best-of-three championship series, 5-2.
Mount St. Charles had won the previous three State Championship Division titles.
Bishop Hendricken won Game 1 of the series, 4-3 in overtime, before Mount St. Charles bounced back with a 3-2 win in Game 2.
In the deciding contest, Paul Fillipone had two goals to lead the Hawks. Bishop Hendricken goaltender Billy Palmer was named the series MVP.
In the state’s other division championship series, Moses Brown defeated Barrington in Division 1, Coventry will meet Prout for the Division 2 crown and Mount Hope will face East Providence for the Division 3 title.
Barrington Co-op swept Burrillville Co-op in the girls Division 1 championship series.
Third-seeded BFA-St. Albans captured the Division 1 boys state title with a 3-1 win over No. 5 Colchester.
The title is the first for BFA-St. Albans since 2005 and the 16th in program history.
Mike Schreiner, Peter Dukas and Taylor Raftery scored for BFA-St. Albans, while Andrew Morin made 20 saves to preserve the win.
In the Division 2 boys title game, second-seeded U-32 rolled past Northfield to claim an impressive 5-1 win.
Andrew Danyew, Forrest Smith, Kyle Ferguson, Colvin Rice and Kyle Elliott had one goal apiece for U-32. Michael Bresette had 15 saves in goal to post the win for U-32.
The championship is the first since 1992 for U-32.
Essex claimed the Division 1 girls title with a 2-1 win over third-seeded South Burlington.
Melissa Moldovan scored the game-winning goal on a rebound late in the third period for No. 5 Essex. Alexandria Celia had the other Essex goal.
Freshman goalie Victoria Gibson made 15 saves in goal for Essex.
Burr and Burton defeated Stowe, 4-1, to win the girls Division 2 title. It is Burr and Burton’s fourth state title.
Freshman Abby Marmer scored a pair of goals to lead Burr and Burton, while junior Erin Thompson and freshman Jordan Harmon also scored. Junior goaltender Meg Chandler had 16 saves in the win.
Game of the Week
Sunday’s Massachusetts Super 8 title game at TD Garden (6 p.m.) will feature a pair of Catholic Conference foes who have been at or near the top of the Bay State rankings all season.
Sunday’s title game will mark the fourth meeting of the season between Malden Catholic and BC High. Malden Catholic owns 7-4 and 3-1 wins over BC High and the teams also skated to a 2-2 tie.
Ed Flaherty can be reached at email@example.com.