No. 1 B.C. High and three-time defending MIAA Division 1-A Tournament champion Malden Catholic completed two-game quarterfinal series sweeps Wednesday night at Tsongas Arena in Lowell, albeit in decidedly different fashion. The Eagles clamped down on Xaverian, 4-0, while MC pulled away from Catholic Memorial, 6-4, in an offensive extravaganza.
No. 1 B.C. High 4, No. 8 Xaverian 0
(B.C. High sweeps series, 2-0)
Needing a win to keep their season alive, Xaverian came out hard and pressed the Eagles through the first half of the opening period. However, once they settled, the Eagles took over in a hurry to the tune of three goals in a span of 3:10 that closed out the first period and gave them absolute control.
Connor Noonan notched the game-winner with 4:40 left in the first period, gathering a loose puck high in the Xaverian slot and swinging wide to the right around a defender before snapping a shot over the glove of Xaverian goalie Aidan Murphy.
With 2:02 left in the period, defenseman Sam Topham carried under control into the offensive zone and feathered a pass to Steve DeForge, who then sent a crisp left-to-right diagonal delivery to Jake Lemanski for an open net finish at 13:40. Forty-two seconds later Aidan Foley snapped a point-blank shot past Murphy after Noonan forced a turnover deep in the offensive zone.
Topham completed the scoring in the second period, whacking a rebound past Foley. From that point, it was a matter of maintenance for the Eagles and preserving the shutout for sophomore goalie Brandon Payzant (28 saves). The Eagles were 3-0-1 this season against Xaverian, which concluded an 11-5-6 season.
B.C. High takes on the winner of the Austin Prep/Central Catholic series in next Wednesday’s semifinal round at Tsongas.
No. 2 Malden Catholic 6, No. 7 Catholic Memorial 4
(MC sweeps series, 2-0)
For a time, it appeared that CM, a 17-time winner of this tournament, was going to force the three-time defending champion Lancers to a third game. That was before MC changed goalies, bringing on Game One starter Alex Reissis in relief of Kyle Casey, and then scored the game’s final four goals.
The teams exited the first period tied, 2-2, as CM’s Zach Sullivan sandwiched two power play goals around the first of two goals by MC’s Tyler Sifferlen and John McLean’s man-advantage strike.
CM opened the second period with a pair of quick strikes by Tim Weinstein (unassisted) at 2:26; and Anthony Pannagio’s rebound tally at 5:36. Reissis relieved Casey at that point and the Lancers went to work. Brian Cameron made it a one-goal game with his first of two at 11:09 of the period. Matt Filipe tied it with an unassisted short handed beauty at 13:10. Then the UMass-Lowell recruit Sifferlen delivered the dagger with his second of the game with 1.8 seconds left in the period, sending the Lancers off with the lead and all the momentum.
Cameron’s second at 3:18 of the third period stretched MC’s lead to two and it may as well have been 10 as they muzzled the CM offense to 16 total shots, four in the final 15 minutes. Meanwhile, CM goalie Brandon Collett turned back 34 MC shots to keep the Knights within striking distance. CM finishes 10-9-4.
Malden Catholic meets the winner of the Springfield Cathedral/Duxbury series in next Wednesday’s semifinal round at Tsongas.