SALEM, N.H. – Malden Catholic came to the Icenter, pillaged, plundered and left.
The No. 3 Lancers blitzed host No. 5 Central Catholic and rolled to an 8-2 win.
Malden Catholic scored three goals in a 76-second span late in the first period and followed it up with another three-goal eruption over a 75-second span in the second period.
In total, six different Lancers lit the lamp.
“We just kept digging, played our system, five-man defense and you get your chances and we buried them,” Malden Catholic coach John McLean said. “I think its good that everybody's getting a little piece of the pie. It'’ll make us better down the road.”
The Raiders controlled the tempo early, taking advantage of the Olympic-sized ice at the Icenter, but Malden Catholic solved the sheet late in the period. Jack Adams scored on the power play to open the scoring, and Ara Nazarian buried a rebound 33 seconds later to double the lead.
Jake Witkowski took all the wind out of the home fans when he potted one from an impossible angle over the shoulder of Central goalie Colin Soucy.
“It was a real good high school hockey game for a while and then a few dropped in the back of our net and everything fell their way for them,” Central coach Mike Jankowski said. “Give them credit, they played really well and made some great plays.”
The Lancers fully washed away their 2-1 loss to Delbarton (N.J.) on Saturday in the second period. Malden Catholic fully utilized the extra space on the ice to show the crowd of roughly 1,000 why they have won the last three Super 8 titles.
MC outshot Central, 14-4, in the second period and finished the stanza with goals from Pat Wrenn, Tyler Sifferlen, and Austin Goldstein.
Sifferlen and Wrenn also scored in the second period.
“We had some good opportunities to score and just put the puck in the net,” Sifferlen said. “It was a good two points.”
Sifferlen's first goal came shorthanded and he played a solid game in all three zones.
“He does all the work,” McLean said of Sifferlen. “He's very skilled. He's been that way since he was a freshman. [He] blocks shots, kills penalties, plays the power play. He just plays the game the right way.”
While the offense was rolling, Malden Catholic goalie Alex Reissis shut down the Raiders in goal. He turned aside 22 Central shots and didn't surrender a goal until the final five minutes of the game.
“Our goalie came up big,” McLean said. “Reissis had a real big game and that's why we named him player of the game for us.”
RAIDERS TURN RED: The Central offense has scored four goals or more eight times this season. In two of their other home games this season, they were able to let their speed roam free on the larger sheet at the Icenter and score 10 goals against Billerica and four against Waltham.
Yesterday, the faster, more agile Lancers were able to use that advantage against Central and punish them.
“The bigger ice surface exposed some of our weaknesses from time to time,” Jankowski said. “They won battles, they won races, and they just dominated the game from start to finish.”
While the Lancer speed was a problem the Raiders did themselves no favors. Central surrendered three goals on special teams, including two shorthanded goals on the same power play, and committed uncharacteristic mental mistakes throughout.
The most glaring came on Wrenn's first goal of the game when the Raiders made a lazy line change and let MC glide in on a four-on-one.
“We dug ourselves a hole,” Jankowski said. “ I think usually there's great character and we're able to bounce back quickly, but I think there was a different feel. A lot of it was self-induced. Just the turnovers really ended up costing us.”