Boston, MA – Neutral Zone was in attendance virtually at the Warrior Ice Arena in Boston, MA on Wednesday night to watch the first round Catholic Conference Playoff game between the visiting Pioneers of St. John’s Shrewsbury and the Knights of Catholic Memorial. The winner of this game would go on to meet St. John’s Prep in the Semifinal game on Friday night. The game was played in two 22.5 minute halves.
Both goalies, Dom Walecka (Stoughton, MA) and Ryan Dailida (Shrewsbury, MA) played strong games and challenged shooters throughout the night. The first half started slow with each team trying to feel each other out. CM had the best chance of the frame when a deflected shot from the point hit the post. There were some good chances towards the end of the half as each team had a couple power plays but both goalies held the game scoreless after 1.
The second half started out much the same with each team playing physical and generating some scoring chances. With 11 minutes to go in the game, CM struck first. Jack Dunsmore (West Roxbury, MA) threaded a seam pass to Glen Considine (Brighton, MA) who stayed onside, cut in on a breakaway, faked the goalie and slid the puck between his legs for the lead. With just over four minutes to go, CM would double the lead when Tommy Goonan (West Roxbury, MA) received a pass at the point from Jonny Nichols (Framingham, MA) and snapped a low shot through traffic that found its way into the net. CM would close out the scoring when Joey Borelli (Watertown, MA) would hit an empty netter just after center ice.
CM will advance and play St. John’s Prep on Friday afternoon with the winner playing the winner of the other semifinal between Xaverian and Malden Catholic.
- G Dom Walecka, CM
- F Glen Considine, CM
- F Jonny Nichols, CM
CM was opportunistic and finished the chances they got. They played a strong defensive game and used a strong performance from Walecka to earn the shutout. They will need to bring a similar effort in order to advance against a deep St. John’s Prep team in the semifinals.
For the home team, Dom Walecka was solid in between the pipes. He was up to every challenge and really battled at the beginning of the second half. He squares-up shooters well and was athletic moving side-to-side. He limited rebounds and steered loose pucks away from the goal. Brendan MacNeil (Belmont, MA) was strong all night. He is a smaller forward but is quick and can make defenders miss in space. He is slippery down low and spins away from pressure. He gets the puck to the net and has some touch around the goal. Glen Considine drives the CM offense and contributes each time out on the ice. He has a strong lower half which makes it tough to knock him off the puck. He slips into open areas on the ice and has a good first step to gain separation. He made a nice move on the first goal, out waiting the goalie. Jonny Nichols also had a good night and was around the puck each time out on the ice. He had an assist on the second goal and created scoring chances on more than a few occasions. He keeps his feet moving through traffic and isn’t afraid to battle in the dirty areas.
For the visitors, they had some chances but were unable to solve Walecka. Mitch Albert (Northborough, MA) plays a ton of minutes and is used in all situations. He is smart with the puck and made some nice seam passes to create easy zone entries. He shoots with purpose from the point and gets pucks through the forecheck. He sees the ice well and doesn’t panic under pressure. Damon Myers (Worcester, MA) had the best chance for the Pioneers when he ripped a shot off the post. He is slippery and will sneak into space. He has a fluid stride which lets him get around the ice well. He gets pucks to the net and uses his hands to make plays in tight spaces. Evan Parente (Grafton, MA) was also solid for the visitors. He wins battles and uses his body well to protect the puck. He is slick with the puck on his stick and can make defenders miss. He made a few nice rushes where he cut to the open area and released shots quickly on the net.