BOSTON -- You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but there is nothing stopping the old pup from showing you a thing or two.
In a rematch of last year’s Super Eight championship, No. 3 Catholic Memorial avenged their title defeat with a 4-2 win over defending champion, No. 2 Hingham, at the Walter Brown Arena on the campus of Boston University.
The Knights are the kings of the Super Eight with 13 titles in all, their last coming in 2009. But the Harbormen stunned CM, 1-0, in last season’s finale preventing the Knights from back-to-back championships for the first time since they won three in a row in 2003-05. The win was the Harbormen’s first banner and was also only the second Division 1A crown for a public school in the history of the tournament (Reading, 2008).
But this time, the Knights showed they are back to lay claim to the top spot, as junior Cody Kingston’s goal 3:47 into the third period proved to be the game-winner in a game Catholic Memorial never trailed. If there was any sort of revenge factor, Catholic Memorial head coach Bill Hanson was not letting anyone in on that secret.
“Last year was last year, so (Hingham) have a Super Eight trophy at their school, but this is 2010-11 and no one has that trophy yet,” said Hanson.
Previously-unbeaten Hingham (4-1-3) controlled the first period, out shooting Catholic Memorial 11-5, and finding numerous scoring chances, as the Knights’ defense allowed the Harbormen to roam the slot and pick apart their blue line setup. Both teams, however, headed to the lockers without a tally.
After the scoreless first period, the Knights (5-3) finally broke through on a tip-in goal off the stick of junior forward Thomas Stanton at the 10:47 mark of the second. Sophomore defenseman Justin Ryder fired the puck from the left point, and Stanton had a perfect re-direct to beat Harbormen’s goaltender Derek McInnis (14 saves).
The lead didn’t last very long, as Hingham lit the lamp 2:42 later on a power play goal, courtesy of the Knights' third penalty of the second period alone. A tripping call on Stanton allowed Tim Driscoll, who had a goal and an assist, to punch home a rebound fired on net by fellow senior Marc Hetnik and the Harbormen were right back in the game.
But with only 40 seconds left in the period, sophomore Jack O’Hear gave the Knights a 2-1 lead on an assist from his brother, senior assistant captain Dan O’Hear (two assists).
“In the second (period) we adjust, in the third we adjust, and like I’ve told you guys before we just get better and better,” Hanson said about his team’s penchant for shutting teams down as the game progresses. “(We) were handling the puck better, made real good athletic plays, and we were opportunistic.”
No more so then in the beginning of the third period, when some great forechecking by senior Chris Stathopoulous on senior Jared Robichaud forced a loose puck out in front of McInnis and Kingston flipped the turnover into the Knights’ third goal of the game, a backhand tally right through McInnis’ five-hole.
“Kind of unfortunate, (Robichaud) was in the right spot down low, and we wanted him to center it,” Hingham head coach Tony Messina said. “He picked up the puck and made the wrong move to the center of the net -- unfortunately a good team like (Catholic Memorial) takes advantage of those mistakes.”
Said Hanson: “That’s (all) Stathopoulous and (Miles) McCarthy and they work so well below the faceoff dots. Cody just made a quick release, got rid of the puck, just got it to the goal, and I think that’s one (Hingham) might want to have back.”
Hingham was not finished, though, as Austin O’Connor cut the deficit in half when Driscoll’s blast rang the left post and went behind Knights’ goaltender Tommy Knox (17 saves) to the waiting stick of O’Connor, who was sitting on the right post for the easy tap-in poke.
But senior Dan Griffin picked up an untimely contact-to- the-head penalty with 2:45 remaining in regulation which ruined any momentum for Hingham to tie it up before the final horn and allowed Hetnik to double up the score on the power play with 2:11 left to play.
“Obviously you can’t take penalties in a game like this, especially a senior, we are going to learn from it,” said Messina. “Hopefully we will see (CM) sometime down in the future.”
CATHOLIC MEMORIAL 4, HINGHAM 2
HIN(4-1-3) 0 – 1 – 1 - - 2
CM (5-3-0) 0 – 2 – 2 - - 4
FIRST – None.
SECOND - CM – Thomas Stanton (Justin Ryder, Tom Barrett), 10:47; HI – Tim Driscoll (Marc Hetnik, Ryan Linehan), 13:17 (pp); CM - Jack O’Hear (Dan O’Hear), 14:20.
THIRD – CM – Cody Kingston (Chris Stathopoulous), 3:47; HI – Austin O’Connor (Driscoll, Alex Pompeo), 8:33; CM – Hetnik (Jack O’Hear, Dan O’Hear), 12:49
CM – Tommy Knox (17)
HI – Derek McInnis (14)