Braintree, MA – Neutral Zone was in attendance virtually at the Thayer Sports Center on Wednesday afternoon to watch the first round Catholic Conference Playoff game between the visiting Lancers of Malden Catholic and BC High. The winner of this game would go on to meet Xaverian in the Semifinal game on Friday night. The game was played in two 22.5 minute halves but would need overtime to complete. The game was generally tight checking and defensive, with most chances coming from the perimeter of the rink. Both goalies had solid nights: Brady Roux (Salem, NH) earned the win, while Andrew Webb (Hingham, MA) was the hard-luck loser.
The two teams met three days prior and BC High skated away with a 3-0 shutout win. Today, however, Malden Catholic jumped on the Eagles early. Just a few minutes into the game, Evan Foskett (Haverhill, MA) finished on a rebound from the low slot after a strong net drive from Nick Julian (Lynnfield, MA). The lead would hold until two minutes to go in the half and then the Eagles went on the power play. James Marshall (Weymouth, MA) walked out from behind the net and found Aidan McDonnell (Dedham, MA) backdoor for a tap-in.
There would be no scoring by either team in the second half and the game would head to a 4-4 overtime for 8 minutes. Again, Malden Catholic wasted little time and just over 26 seconds into the frame scored the game winner. Julian would receive a dump-in from Foskett and chip the puck to the front of the cage, where it bounced off a BC High defender and into the net.
Malden Catholic advances to the Canton Ice House on Friday night to play Xaverian.
- F Nick Julian, MC
- F Evan Foskett, MC
- F Aidan McDonnell, BC High
The difference in the game was that Malden Catholic started fast in the first half and overtime and was able to capitalize in the first minute of each frame. The rest of the game was a defensive battle played primarily in transition.
For the home team, Aidan McDonnell had a strong night. He was around the puck and created chances each time he went out on the ice. He keeps his feet moving and gets to spots. He stops on pucks and plays a responsible game in each end. He made some nice moves in space to beat defenders and has good balance and edges. He got to the right spot on the power play and was able to finish a nice cross-ice feed. James Marshall was again solid. He is smooth with the puck and creates in space. He sees the ice well and processes decisions quickly. He snaps passes and has some touch. Neil Murphy (Scituate, MA) and Brian Bulger (Norwell, MA) were also strong in their last games for the Eagles. Both players played responsible in both ends and worked hard through the middle of the ice. They created some chances and made smart plays to create positive chances.
For the Lancers, Cam Chute (Woburn, MA) and Sammy Ohannesian (Lynn, MA) were defensively strong all night and kept the Eagles in check. Both are big defenders with long reach and strong lower halves. They kept the chances to the perimeter and cleared traffic in front of the net. David Bazile (Wilmington, MA) was all over the ice. He is a strong, athletic forward that gets up-and-down the ice easily. He was fast in on pucks and created turnovers. He snaps shots in stride and is direct getting pucks to the net. Nick Julian again led the way offensively for the Lancers. He contributes each time he is out on the ice and the puck seems to find him. He doesn’t try and do too much with the puck in tight spots. He crashes the net and isn’t afraid to play in the dirty areas.