The MIAA hockey season got started last week across the state, with a few MVC squads in action.
Hockey season is back in the Merrimack Valley as eight MVC teams began their seasons. The lone loss for an MVC team came against another in the North Andover – Andover rivalry, so overall it was an extremely successful week for the conference.
Here’s a look at both the boy’s and girl’s games from the past week.
December 12, 2019
Central Catholic 2, Catholic Memorial 0
The season got underway for the Central Catholic Raiders on the Boston Bruins practice ice against a tough Catholic Memorial team. Early in the 1st period, Central Catholic was clearly struggling to enter the offensive zone against CM’s speed. The dump and chase simply was not effective for DJ Conte’s team. They found a spark though in freshman Sean Gray.
Gray began to use his own speed, carrying the puck end to end and into the offensive zone. He had a great chance from the slot but was denied. That didn’t curtail his high motor though. Later on in the first, he got the Raiders on the scoreboard with the same type of play. He carried the puck to the front of the net and fired a shot off. With a juicy rebound, a scrum ensued and senior James Doucette was able to hammer it in. After a period that felt like Catholic Memorial was mostly in control, Central Catholic actually carried a 1-0 lead into the break.
From that point on, sophomore goalie Mike Brothers stepped up big time. He made a ton of big saves on point-blank shots and breakaways to help preserve the one-goal lead for his Raiders deep into the third. Charle LeCain then scored an empty-net goal with a few seconds left to give Central Catholic the 2-0 win.
Methuen 4, Concord-Carlisle 3 OT
Colby Scott scored the overtime goal to give Methuen a win under the MIAA’s new OT pilot program. Both teams earned a point, but a winner was decided and can be used to determine league champions. Rangers goalie Zach Alfonso made 50 saves while Ethan Schena and Aidan Hollingsworth each found the back of the net.
Tim Wood was there and talked to Scott and head coach Bill Blackwell after the game.
December 14, 2019
North Andover 6, Andover 3
The Andover Warriors jumped out to an early 2-0 lead thanks to Steve Ingram and Michael Feeney in the first period, and it looked like they would carry that lead into the first intermission. North Andover had other plans though.
With just 1:41 to go in the period, Cole Fagan sent a rocket into the back of the net to get the Knights on the board.
Pat Roycroft, Jimmy Boyle, and Keegan Hughes then scored three more goals for North Andover to take a 4-2 lead just six minutes into the second frame. The momentum had swung big time, but their was still a ton of fight in the Warriors.
That fight paid off when Ingram scored his second of the night on the powerplay to pull Andover within a goal late in the period. The game remained that tight well into the third period, where things began to get a little chippy. Both teams earned roughing penalties on multiple occasions, and the game clearly meant something to the players in this rivalry. The Knights put the game away though with a shorthanded goal from Jack Roe and an empty-netter from Boyle.
The 6-3 final score is not as indicative of how tight this game actually was, and it overshadows the fact that Andover is an incredibly skilled team that will likely go deep into the postseason once they clean up their second period play.
Billerica 4, Shawsheen 1
Billerica downed Shawsheen in an Endowment Game that was labeled as a Blackout Cancer event between both teams. Hallennorg was absolutely packed!
Dracut/Tyngsboro 1, Littleton/Bromfield 0
The lone goal came in the 2nd period off of Jared DeBruin’s stick. The assists went to Pat Crowley and Brian Workman. Goaltender Caulin Martel earned a 29-save shutout.
December 12, 2019
Billerica/Chelmsford 5, Beverly/Danvers 3
In the first game of the season, superstar Samantha Fantasia notched a hat trick and added two assists for five total points. BC also had goals from Tori Apostalakes (3 assists) and Lea Gaspar (assist). Sarah Noyes earned the win.
December 14, 2019
HPNA 8, Norwell 2
Seven different players scored for HPNA as they throttled Norwell to open their hockey season. Eliana Kane had two goals, while Shelby Nassar, Morgan Whitlock, Hannah Keating, Kat Yelsits, Emma Skafas, and Reese Pascuci all added one a piece.