Arlington (#1)2Framingham (#8)1Arena: Loring ArenaDate: 02/27/20Time: 7:30 pmNotes: Game #1
St Johns Prep (#4)2Xaverian (#5)1Arena: Loring ArenaDate: 02/26/20Time: 5:00 pmNotes: Game #2
BC High (#2)3Burlington (#7)0Arena: Loring ArenaDate: 02/26/20Time: 7:10 pmNotes: Game #3
Pope Francis (#3)6Catholic Memorial (#6)1Arena: Loring ArenaDate: 02/27/20Time: 5:15 pmNotes: Game #4
The field for the 30th annual Massachusetts Division 1A Tournament is set following dramatic 3-2 wins by Burlington and Framingham (2 OTs) in play-in games Feb. 23. Four league champions – No. 1 Arlington (Middlesex Liberty), No. 6 Catholic Memorial (Catholic Conference), No. 7 Burlington (Middlesex Freedom) and No. 8 Framingham (Bay State Carey) – are among the elite eight.
Quarterfinal games for the double-elimination event are set for Wednesday (No. 4 St. John’s Prep-No. 5 Xaverian, 5 p.m.; No. 2 BC High-No. 7 Burlington, 7:10 p.m.) and Thursday (No. 3 Pope Francis-No. 6 Catholic Memorial, 5:15 p.m.; No. 1 Arlington-No. 8 Framingham, 7:30 p.m.) at Loring Arena in Framingham. Losing teams drop into the Elimination Bracket. Sites, times and dates for Elimination Bracket and Winners Bracket games moving forward have not yet been determined.
Seven of this year’s participants have two or more State titles to their credit, accounting for 41 overall dating back to 1943.
Is Arlington poised to make history?
Since Reading and Hingham lost play-in games and returned to their respective Sectionals, the Spy Ponders stand alone among public schools attempting to win this tournament for the second time as they seek to duplicate their 2017 achievement.
For that matter, will Catholic Memorial return to glory?
The 1A was often called the CM Invitational in its early years and for good reason – the Knights won the first five, nine of the first 11, and 12 of the first 15 tournaments. They last won in 2009 and seek their 14th 1A crown and 18th State title overall.
Does BC High have what it takes to repeat – again?
If so, the Eagles would become the 27th Catholic Conference program to claim the championship. A seventh title would break a tie with Malden Catholic for second place behind Catholic Memorial.
Will BC High and Pope Francis meet in a third straight title game?
Since they are on the same side of the draw, one scenario could see each losing its first game and then playing an elimination match ending one’s season. Or one team could play through the Winners Bracket and the other emerges from the Elimination Bracket as occurred last year. BC High fell to PF in the Winner’s Bracket semis, bounced Xaverian in the Loser’s Bracket semis, then ripped out the Cardinals’ hearts for the second straight year in an epic 2-1 quadruple OT win for the title.
A look at the field in order of seeding:
League: Middlesex League Liberty
Coach: John Messuri
State Championships (7): 2017 D1A; 1971 D1; 1967 D1; 1964 D1; 1959 D1; 1949 D1; 1947 D1
The Middlesex League Liberty Division champion Spy Ponders lost their third game of the season to Pope Francis, 4-2, on Dec. 23. They haven’t lost since and carry an 18-game unbeaten streak (14-0-4) – that included three 3-0 shutouts of play-in picks Reading (twice) and Hingham – as they seek to match the magic of 2017. Despite a thin dossier against the field, due to a 15-game league slate, the Spy Ponders will wear a target.
Arlington won the 2017 1A with a group that remained home. Senior forward Anthony Messuri, a Northeastern University commit, was a freshman on that team and is now the leader of this one. Seniors Brendan Jones, John Hourican and Brendan Pigott, junior Leo Piandes and sophomores Jake Murphy and Reid Malatesta complete a talented forward group.
Senior goalie Nathan Brennan anchors a defense that tied for the division lead with just 29 goals allowed, posted five shutouts and allowed just one goal six times. Ryan Davies leads a senior-heavy group of defensemen.
Spy Ponders Against The Field:
Wins – Burlington, 5-2, Jan. 25.
Losses – Pope Francis, 4-2, Dec. 23.
Ties – Pope Francis, 2-2, Jan. 20; B.C. High, 2-2, Feb. 5.
GF: 11 GA: 10
BC High (13-3-4)
League: Catholic Conference
Coach: John Flaherty
State Championships (7): 2019 D1A; 2018 D1A; 2007 D1A; 2006 D1A; 2002 D1A; 1996 D1A; 1994 D1
The Eagles seek to join Catholic Memorial and Malden Catholic as the only programs to win this tournament three times in a row. They know what it takes to do so and understand they will be tested. They split games with Catholic Memorial and Xaverian, defeated Framingham and St. John’s Prep, but also lost to Pope Francis and tied Arlington. That said, they begin postseason play fresh off a fifth consecutive Buddy Ferreira Classic championship and finished unbeaten in 10 (7-0-3).
Senior Michael Dragon (3-9-12) and junior John Logan (1-11-12) patrol the blue line along with senior Nolan Anderson and juniors Paul Terry and Nick Martin. Freshman goalie Tom Kieswetter (1.52 gaa, .913 save pct., 2 SOs) settled in as the starter in the second half.The offense is driven by a seasoned group of forwards. Senior Matt Keohane (14-15-29) and junior Colin Norton (12-13-25) lead the way. Seniors Colman Benson (6-12-18) and Aidan Carey (6-11-17) and juniors Brian Bulger (7-6-13) and Declan Joyce (5-6-11) provide secondary scoring. Sophomore Max DaSilva, senior Matt Creamer and freshman Ryan Flaherty add to the depth up front.
Eagles Against The Field:
Wins – Framingham, 2-1, Jan. 2; St. John’s Prep, 4-2, Jan. 14; Catholic Memorial, 4-1, Jan. 26; Xaverian, 4-2, Jan. 29.
Losses – Catholic Memorial, 3-2, Jan. 8; Xaverian, 3-1, Jan. 11; Pope Francis, 3-1, Jan. 18;
Ties – St. John’s Prep, 1-1, Dec. 27; Arlington, 2-2, Feb. 5
GF: 21 GA: 18
Pope Francis (13-4-2)
Coach: Brian Foley
State Championships (3, all as Springfield Cathedral): 2009 D1; 2003 D1; 1996 D2.
Upon returning home from a three-game set at Albany Academy’s Rider Cup, the start to their MIAA season didn’t unfold as perhaps the Cardinals hoped it might. December losses to Framingham and St. John’s Prep somewhat overshadowed a win against Arlington. However an unbeaten January (5-0-2) featured a 3-1 win against BC High. The Cardinals would lose just once more, to Hingham, finishing 11-1-2 after losing to SJP in the Peter Frates Winter Classic title game.
Freshman forwards Ryan Leonard (24-7-31) – the younger brother of former Cardinals’ star and current UMass standout John Leonard – and Ryan Shaw (9-14-23) burst onto the scene to lead the Cardinals’ offense. Junior Brandon Spaulding (6-18-24), senior Connor Cognac (8-6-14), juniors Jake Iby (6-8-14) and Evan Phaneuf (6-5-11) and sophomore Jack Moltenbrey (2-8-10) round out a balanced forward unit.
Junior Ben Zaranek, in his third season as the Cardinals’ keeper, posted a 1.73 goals against average to go along with a .929 save pct. and four shutouts. Seniors Logan Dapprich (3-6-19) and Matthew Pelletier (4-7-11), sophomore Jack Kennedy and freshman Jack Turowsky form the nucleus of a stout defense that yielded only 31 goals.
Cardinals Against The Field:
Wins – Arlington, 4-2, Dec. 23; BC High, 3-1, Jan. 18; Catholic Memorial, 7-4, Feb. 15.
Losses – Framingham, 3-2, Dec. 19; St. John’s Prep, 2-1, Dec. 28.
Ties – Arlington, 2-2, Jan. 20.
GF: 19 GA: 14
St. John’s Prep (11-4-5)
League: Catholic Conference
Coach: Kris Hanson
State Championships (3): 2015 D1A; 1985 D1; 1979 D1.
With wins against Pope Francis, Framingham and Xaverian (twice) the Eagles’ 1A resume equals any in the field. A mind-boggling 9-1 season-opening loss to Hingham proved to be an outlier and SJP got things together in short order with a 2-1 shootout win against BC High (MIAA tie) and 2-1 decision of Pope Francis on back-to-back days in December to win their own prestigious Pete Frates Winter Classic. They hit the 1A on a 6-1-3 roll, playing their best hockey of the year.
The Eagles have only one double-digit goal-scorer – junior Zach McKennelley (10-7-17) – and just one 20-point scorer – senior Ned Malolepszy (7-13-20) – but the offense has been steady, producing 3.35 goals per game, a veritable avalanche these days. Junior Jake DiNapoli (8-8-16) and seniors Evan Moore (6-10-16), Patrick Moran (5-10-15) and Ryan Hart (4-7-11) add to the overall balance.
Seniors Jack Gilligan (4-6-10), Josiah Brown and William Perry are staples on defense along with junior John Riley. Senior Noah Dorsey-Sarofman handles the goaltending chores.
Eagles Against The Field:
Wins – Pope Francis, 2-1, Dec. 28; Xaverian, 3-0, Jan. 1; Framingham, 1-0, Jan. 8; Xaverian, 5-1, Jan.18.
Losses – Catholic Memorial, 2-0, Jan. 4; BC High, 4-2, Jan. 14.
Ties – BC High, 1-1, Dec. 27; Catholic Memorial, 1-1, Jan. 22.
GF: 15 GA: 10
Coach: Dave Spinale
League: Catholic Conference
State Championships (0)
The Hawks are hot, riding a five-game winning streak during which they knocked off South qualifier Marshfield and North qualifiers St. John’s (S) and Melrose; blasted Rhode Island No. 3 Bishop Hendricken, 9-2; and doubled up Framingham 4-2. They also posted an impressive 3-1 mid-January win against BC High but lost twice to St. John’s Prep, the team they will have to beat to avoid being moved to the Elimination Bracket.
As has been the case for a couple of years now, the offense features the terrific one-two punch of senior captains Matt Ryan (15-19-34) and Ryan Pomposelli (14-11-25) at forward. Sophomore Jack Silva (13-6-19) has made a major contribution from the outset. Seniors Ty Marchi (7-8-15) and Stefano Lanci (4-8-12) and sophomores Max Lockwood (8-2-10) and Brock Casey (7-2-9) provide additional options.
Junior Kevin Harvey (2.07 gaa, .922 save pct., 3 SOs) has been a steadying presence in goal. Juniors Trevor Connolly and Shane Spinale and sophomores Aiden Rodriguez and Nolan Dion form up on the blue line.
Hawks Against The Field:
Wins – BC High, 3-1, Jan. 11; Framingham, 4-2, Feb. 15.
Losses – St. John’s Prep, 3-0, Jan. 1; St. John’s Prep, 5-1, Jan. 18; BC High, 4-2, Jan. 29; Catholic Memorial, 5-2, Feb. 1.
Ties – Framingham, 3-3, Dec. 28; Catholic Memorial, 1-1, Jan. 15.
GF: 16 GA: 24
Catholic Memorial (8-6-6)
Coach: Larry Rooney
League: Catholic Conference
State Championships (17): 2009 D1A; 2005 D1A; 2004 D1A; 2003 D1A; 2001 D1A; 2000 D1A; 1999 D1A; 1998 D1A; 1995 D1A; 1994 D1A; 1993 D1A; 1992 D1A; 1992 D1A; 1990 D1; 1988 D1; 1987 D1; 1986 D1
With a record well suited for the Premier League soccer table, it was an interesting year for the Knights – you don’t often win a league title and wind up seeded behind three of the teams you finished ahead of in the regular season. CM dropped three in a row out of the gate to Central Catholic, Rhode Island No. 1 LaSalle Academy and New Jersey stalwart Don Bosco Prep before starting its turnaround with a 4-0 win against Delbarton (NJ) in an MIAA Endowment Game.
That reversal coincided with the switch to goalie Dom Walecka (1.44 GAA) as the starter. The five-foot, nine-inch sophomore has been a huge difference-maker, racking up four shutouts and allowing only one goal eight other times. Key defensemen are senior captain Kevin McCarthy, senior Paul Guiney and sophomore Tommy Goonan.
The forward unit features a good blend of seniors such as Mac Casper, Sebastian Henault and Zach Callahan, and underclassmen such as juniors Glenn Considine, Will MacNeill (captain) and Jonny Nichols, sophomores Gavin Havens and Joey Borelli, and freshman Brendan MacNeil.
Knights Against The Field:
Wins – St. John’s Prep, 2-0, Jan. 4; B.C. High, 3-2, Jan. 8.
Losses – B.C. High, 4-1, Jan. 26; Pope Francis, 7-4, Feb. 15.
Ties – Xaverian, 1-1, Jan. 15; St. John’s Prep, 1-1, Jan. 22.
GF: 12 GA: 15
League: Middlesex League Freedom
Coach: Bob Conceison
State Championships (2): 2013 D1, 2012 D1
The Red Devils have, in essence, been in playoff mode all season and that served them well in their 3-2 play-in win against Reading, their eighth win of the season by one or two goals. Junior Jack Jay deposited the game-winner with 2:21 left in regulation.
The Devils own a plus-24 differential but played only two teams in this field, tying Framingham and losing to Arlington, and also lost to Malden Catholic on Jan. 20 – their only game against a Catholic school this season. However, since losing to Arlington on Jan. 25, they are 5-1-4 and closed the regular season by winning the Ed Cahoon Classic.
Junior goaltender Joe Trabucco has been as steady as they come, posting three shutouts to go along with a 1.88 goals against average and .923 save pct. The balanced attack features seniors Ryan O’Halloran (16-18-34), Cam Costa (9-20-29), Jacob Vozikis (11-10-21) and John Condon (6-10-16) and juniors Zach Auble (9-9-18), the aforementioned Jay (6-8-14) and Sean Malone (7-4-11). Seniors Spencer Reith (11 points) and Trevor Janis, juniors Colin Browne and Ray Magliozzi, and sophomore Anthony Andriolo form the defense.
Red Devils Against The Field:
Losses – Arlington, 5-2, Jan. 25
Ties – Framingham, 2-2, Feb. 19
GF: 4 GA: 7
League: Bay State Carey
Coach: Will Ortiz, Jr.
State Championships (2): 1992 D1, 1961 D1
Senior captain Will Trischitta’s dramatic goal with the teams skating 3v3 in the final minute of the second overtime lifted the Flyers past Reading in the play-in round, 3-2. Among public schools, the Flyers played one of the more challenging schedules in the state. They defeated Pope Francis, 3-2, tied Xaverian and had one-goal losses against both BC High and St. John’s Prep.
Although 8-2-1 in their last 11, the Flyers must crank up an attack that has produced only 15 goals in the last nine games. Trischitta (20-25-45) has been a force at forward but is the only Flyer with double figure goals. Seniors Hunter Balducci (7-8-15) and Robbie Lopez (5-5-10), sophomore Joe Ferrante (6-5-11) and freshman Ryan Shimelman (5 goals) will be counted on. Sophomore Thomas Duane scored twice in the play-in win.
Steady senior goalie Jake Handy anchors the defense. Senior captain Jared Shimelman (3-8-11) and junior Dom Leone (2-13-15) are sound two-way performers on the back line, adept at moving to attack mode.
Flyers Against The Field:
Wins – Pope Francis, 3-2, Dec. 19.
Losses – BC High, 2-1, Jan. 2; St. John’s Prep, 1-0, Jan. 8; Xaverian, 4-2, Feb.15.
Ties – Xaverian, 3-3, Dec. 28; Burlington, 2-2, Feb. 19.
GF: 11 GA: 14