No. 1 B.C. scored less than two minutes into each period and knocked off No. 13 St. John’s Prep, 4-2, Saturday in the sixth annual Derek Hines Memorial Game at Ristuccia Arena.
The game honors U.S. Army 1st Lieutenant Derek S. Hines of Newburyport, a four-year varsity player and captain of the Prep’s 1998-99 Super Eight semifinal squad who went on to play four years at West Point, where he became team captain and graduated in 2003.
He was killed in action on Sept. 1, 2005 while conducting security operations in Baylough, Afghanistan with the 173rd Airborne Brigade.
As has become tradition, his father, Steve Hines, spoke to the team before the game. The Prep wore special blue-on-blue camouflage sweaters for the game and a jersey with Derek’s No. 23 was hanging behind the St. John’s bench throughout.
Mr. Hines also accepted a $6,500 donation to the 1st Lt. Derek Hines Soldiers Assistance Fund during a brief pre-game ceremony.
“We’re humbled that St. John’s continues to honor who Derek was and what he was about in this way,” said Mr. Hines, who was accompanied by Derek’s brother Trevor. “For (Coach) Kris (Hanson) to do this is an honor. Every year they re-print the story (on Derek, in a national magazine) and give it to the players. Each year when I speak to the kids I can see the understanding and the sincerity in their eyes.”
Although the Prep fell, Hanson was more than pleased with the effort and it’s a pretty safe bet that Derek Hines would have been happy as well with the gritty performance that mirrored the hard-working, non-stop manner in which he played. St. John’s spotted B.C. High a quick 2-0 lead but twice closed to within a goal at 2-1 and 3-2.
“It’s a special game for us every year and it was important for us to compete and we did that. I’m not happy with the outcome but I am happy with the effort. It was important for us to compete. This is a young team and we competed for 45 minutes,” Hanson said.
B.C. High coach John Flaherty said his club is certainly appreciative of the opportunity to play in this game each year.
“It’s great honor that Kris keeps inviting us back and for us to be involved and able to honor a great young man like Hinesy,” he said.
The game started at a frenetic pace as B.C. High’s Tim Larocque (at 1:23) and Steve DeForge (at 2:09) staked the visiting Eagles to a quick 2-0 lead over their Danvers-based namesakes.
Larocque’s tally was a top-shelf snipe past St. John’s goalie Zach Laramie after a blocker save on Justin Fein. DeForge converted tic-tac-toe passing by defensemen Ryan Shea and Sam Topham for a backdoor finish from the left circle.
Prep’s Jimmy Currier countered 38 seconds later, zipping a shot from the slot over the glove of B.C. High’s Brandon Payzant.
That scenario repeated in the second period. DeForge made it 3-1 with his second at 40 seconds on a long-range shot from the right side that handcuffed the freshman Laramie (8 saves) and resulted in senior Brian Conry (17 saves) taking over in goal.
Prep’s Nick Latham made it 3-2 on the power play at 1:46 with a rebound jam past Payzant.
B.C. High’s Jake Lemanski restored the two-goal lead at 59 seconds of the third period. The Catholic Conference leaders then killed off essentially a full 5-on-3 following penalties assessed at 4:02 and 4:05, holding St. John’s without a shot on net. And that was that.
B.C. High (3-0-1, 8-0-2) takes on No. 7 Xaverian Wednesday night (UMass-Boston, 6 p.m.) while St. John’s (0-4-1, 4-5-1) visits Framingham Monday night (Loring, 6:50 p.m.).