Middleton, MA – This afternoon saw two of the toughest teams in the state face off in a semifinal playoff matchup to determine who would be heading to the Catholic Conference Finals. The St. Johns Prep Eagles hosted the Catholic Memorial Knights in a game played over two 22:30 halves, and the game did not disappoint.
The first half of this contest was as one would expect from these two teams; grueling. Both sides were playing hard and fast, attempting to gain an edge over one another. Some penalties were called throughout the half, but neither side was able to find the back of the net. The biggest standout from this first half, as well as later in the game, was the play of Knights junior goaltender Dom Walecka. The play of Walecka kept the score knotted up as St. John’s Prep drove the play heavily for parts of the first half. His opponent between the pipes held it down extremely efficiently as well. Senior Eagles goalie Cam Smith was able to thwart all Catholic Memorial efforts throughout the first period, especially when he made some spectacular stops on the Knights counter attack. These two were able to keep the game scoreless as we went into the second half.
The second half started off similar to the first, with both teams going after each other extremely hard. Nearly five minutes into the half, we’d see the game’s first goal. Forward Joey Borelli made an excellent outlet pass onto the tape of fellow junior Dylan LaMonica who fired the puck into the back of the net to open the scoring, 1-0 Catholic Memorial. From here on, the play was seemingly fully controlled by St. Johns Prep. For the next ten minutes, they possessed the puck for a majority of the time, and had some excellent chances to tie the game back up, but they were met by Walecka time and time again. With eight minutes remaining, Catholic Memorial added to their lead. After heavy offensive zone time from the Eagles, the puck bounced out of the zone and led to a surprise 2-on-1. The initial shot was stopped, but in the pile up that ensued, sophomore forward Brendan MacNeil shoveled the loose puck into the net, doubling the lead for the Knights. Tough battles would occur for the next seven minutes, until senior forward Glen Considine scored in the empty net, icing the game for the Knights with 39.9 seconds remaining. Jake DiNapoli of Prep would get one back with 15.6 seconds remaining to break up Walecka’s shutout, but it was too little too late, as the Knights would hold on to advance to the Catholic Conference Finals by the final score of 3-1.
- G Dom Walecka, Catholic Memorial
- G Cam Smith, St. John’s Prep
- F Dylan LaMonica, Catholic Memorial