Boston, MA-The #3 Xaverian Hawks visited Warrior Arena, home of the #9 CM Knights for a Top 10 MIAA matchup. Lots on the line as everything is bunched up in Mass HS hockey and it appears there are a couple dozen teams with Super Eight aspirations and arguments. The Knights came away with a 5-2 win including two empty net goals. 2003 CM sophomore goalie Dom Walecka got the win in net and has not yet lost a game since entering the CM net in his sophomore season.
The first period was an up and down affair. CM got pucks deep and were able to work in behind the Hawks’ defensemen. The Knights also received the only power play chances including a short 5v3. It was Xaverian that would strike first, however, when Matty Ryan dragged a rebound around Walecka and put it home. The play was started when senior Ty Marchi flew in the zone untouched and created a chaotic situation near the CM goal. Junior Shane Spinale also picked up an assist. Xaverian junior goalie Kyle Harvey was not without challenges as he made several solid saves in the first. Seamus Burke and Mac Casper had great chances at the very end but Harvey was up to the task. The period ended 1-0 Hawks and we had a feeling we were in for an exciting last two periods.
The second period, Xaverian held a slight advantage early and ran a good-looking power play early on. Play went up and down and both goalies were forced to make some big stops. The Knights broke through with 14 seconds left when junior Will MacNeil set a Xaverian defenseman as a screen and snapped one home from around the dots. Glen Considine grabbed an assist but the whole play was started up ice by senior Kevin McCarthy as he took a hit to start the play. He should have had an apple as well. CM clearly was starting to take the game over as the period went on as they went to the net and were the more difficult team to play against. 1-1 after two.
The third period belonged to the Knights. They scored 2:31 in when junior Glen Considine snapped one home from senior Jack Lawn and junior Jonny Nichols. It was 2-1 Knights as they played with their first lead. They clogged lanes and blocked shots but kept hunting pucks with intensity. At 6:31 C struck again. Freshman James Koo went hard to the net, stopped on the goal and Jonny Nichols fired one on his tape. It was now 3-1 CM. Xaverian pulled the goalie and with 1:56 left, junior defenseman fired a rocket home to make it 3-2. Matty Ryan picked up the assist. Xaverian got Harvey out again but this time, Xaverian made them pay as freshman Brendan MacNeil found a loose puck and quickly fired it from his zone, dead center in the empty net to seal the win. CM added another empty-netter as Considine blocked a shot, jumped over the player who had fallen down and took off for the easy finish at the other end with 9.5 seconds left. Final was CM 5-Xaverian 2.
First: Dom Walecko (CM)
Second: Glen Considine (CM)
Third: Kevin McCarthy (CM)
TTPA: Paul Guiney (CM)
NZ Notes: For CM; they seem to be bonding quickly and buying in completely to Coach Rooney’s plan. They do not have a superstar but they have a super team. You can see it when they score. They went to the net and protected their own cage. They blocked shots and got pucks out and deep. Considine had a great night, forechecks with a plan and pace, attacks the net and played in every situation, Kevin MacNeil was one of our favorites so far this year (this was our scouts first viewing of CM.) Kevin played with toughness, clogged lanes and moved pucks quickly, has size and hand eye-coordination. Played lots of huge minutes for the Knights and led by example; MacNeill scoring that first goal was huge, he pushed pace and used the bad gap he created to set up a screen and snap a pea home, he is crafty and tough; Guiney is compact, succeeded in high traffic areas and picked Xaverian’s pocket a few times, clever and tough to play against, a pest; Seamus Burke is a big body on the blue line, some speed but his feet will improve, blocked shots and went back well for pucks, snapped passes all over the ice and could see the stretch guy; senior Joe Idelson hid his poke well, another big player who won wall battles, kept it simple and was tough to play against; Brendan MacNeil is talented and has lots of confidence firing that puck into the empty net from his end. We loved it, loved it, interesting player with real talent; Walecka just looked confident and that spread to his team. Koo played hard, hunted pucks and buried the ultimate game winner on a greasy goal, he plays the right way and is in a good spot at CM. Nichols did a lot of the dirty work, found pucks, forechecked hard and started plays, picked up a couple assists in a huge game for his efforts. For Xaverian; Aiden Rodriguez is a long, athletic, sophomore defenseman, one to watch; 2003 Jack Silva is a talented sophomore who can really shoot it; Matty Ryan is one of the top players in the MIAA and scored their first goal on a drag and bury; senior Ty Marchi was a factor, athletic and tricky as he played with Matty Ryan.
*note* Xaverian’s top pure goal scorer and a constant near the net Ryan Pomposelli isout but should return. Keep that in mind as he will make a big difference.
*note* we will add players that don’t yet have profiles ASAP and link them here!
Photo Credit: Dan Hickling/Hickling Images