BOSTON – Couldn’t have convinced anybody that No. 3 BC High would walk away with a 4-0 win over Catholic Conference rival sixth-ranked Catholic Memorial after the first period in Saturday’s matinee at Frozen Fenway.
The Eagles barely touched the offensive zone and were outshot, 12-3.
Then, something during the first intermission must have clicked.
“We were all nervous coming in because it’s a huge atmosphere,” Eagles senior assistant captain Bartley “Moe” Regan said. “We just bore down in the second period.”
With a renewed commitment to the forecheck, BC High (6-1-0, 2-1-0) scored the game’s first goal 39 seconds into the second period.
“We had [three] shots in the first period, and that’s unacceptable,” BC High head coach John Flaherty said. “I made sure [the team] understood that.”
Regan, the quarterback of the Eagles’ Super Bowl championship football team, now has a penchant for scoring big goals, netting what proved to be the game-winner of Saturday’s contest. Regan also potted the game-winner in the Eagles’ Catholic Conference-opener against St. John’s Prep.
Regan’s goal Saturday was his team-leading fifth of the season.
“He was a role player for us last year, but he’s been stepping up big for us this season,” senior captain Matt Sullivan said.
The Eagles kept coming with the onslaught through the second, when they outshot the Knights (4-4-0, 1-1-0) by a margin of 13-6.
Tom Besinger found Adam Foley on a perfectly executed 3-on-1 chance for a goal at 8:23.
Chris LaLiberte then put BC High to a 3-0 lead before the second intermission with the back-handed putback of a rebound with 1:29 remaining in the second.
Sullivan capped scoring with a top-shelf wrister at 5:35 of the third period, with an assist by Regan.
“That goal doesn’t happen but for Moe [Regan] getting on the forecheck,” Flaherty said. “And if there’s one guy that I want finishing a play, that’s 1-9 [Sullivan] because he can finish.”
CHANGING IT UP
BC High’s dominance of the second stemmed from an adjustment in how they attacked their transition game.
With the Eagles’ struggles to move out of their own end, playing on the wings in the first period, BC High started to look up the middle.
“We were trying to throw it up the wall a lot [in the first], then we noticed that the center was open on the breakout,” Sullivan said. “We just needed to pick our heads up and find that center.”
Not to be lost in the fray was BC High goaltender Peter Cronin’s third shutout of the season. While things got considerably easier for the junior in the later periods, Cronin (22 saves) was under siege at time in the first period and held the fort long enough for the Eagles to take off.
“It looked like we were a little bit in awe of the park,” Cronin said of the team’s slow start.
He added, “My teammates did a good job of keeping the shots to the outside, taking good angles to the puck.
NO PUCK LUCK
Goals have come at a premium for CM in the first half of the season.
The Knights have just 14 goals through eight contests, yet they’ve remained afloat largely thanks to a stingy defense. CM has allowed a league-best 14 goals against, which has helped keep the Knights at .500, despite the offensive outage.
“They’re a good team, they work tremendously hard, but we’ve got to start scoring goals,” CM head coach Bill Hanson said. “We can’t expect out goaltender to throw shutouts all the time.”