ALLSTON, Mass. –- There’s no mystery that a great part of Malden Catholic hockey’s recent success can be attributed to some very talented top lines. The two-time defending Super 8 champion Lancers still have perhaps the state’s best line in Mike Iovanna, Ara Nazarian and Tyler Sifferlen returning for the 2012-13 season, but the question heading into this season is where else they’d find goals.
If Saturday’s 5-1 victory over New Jersey powerhouse Delbarton School is any indication, the Lancers might just have the depth in store to think about a three peat. MC (1-0-0) got contributions from throughout its ranks, particularly its second line of Brian Cameron, Cameron Ferry and Pat Wrenn, in a sound win over the Green Wave in the teams’ annual early season meeting.
“We’re just trying to work all four lines, trying to get as much chemistry as possible, get going and get as many goals early as we can,” said Wrenn, a junior center.
The teams engaged in a tightly checked first period, but the Lancers took a 1-0 lead to room for the first intermission after Cameron worked the end boards and sent a pretty back-handed pass to the slot onto the tape of Wrenn’s stick.
MC opened things up during a three-goal onslaught in the second. Defenseman John McLean’s blue-line blast gave the Lancers a two-goal cushion at 3:15 of the second. Then, Wrenn added his second of the game at 10:55. Ferry capped the outburst with a Lemieux-like bank shot from a steep angle at 13:51.
“Everyone was feeling jitters a little bit,” Wrenn said. “We started hitting our stride more [in the second period] and started playing more as a team.”
Delbarton broke up Connor Maloney’s shutout bid with M.J. Mellilo’s goal with 3:28 remaining in the game. While Delbarton’s defense did its best to limit the quality scoring chances of the Lancers’ top line, Iovanna rounded out scoring with a rising wrister with 32.9 seconds to play.
MC head coach John McLean Sr. talked about the expectation he has for the Lancers’ second line filling some of the scoring void this season.
While it didn’t start the way he’d envisioned, McLean was pleased with the group’s overall effort. In total, MC’s second line combined for three goals and two assists on the evening.
“I expect that from them,” McLean said. “They’re two juniors and a senior and they’re going to have to play that way.
“The first couple of shifts, they just didn’t click. But after we had some words, they turned it around. We can’t have one line, that doesn’t work. Then I thought they played great. [Wrenn] was flying around, doing all the dirty work and I really like his game tonight.”