• It certainly didn’t take long for St. John’s of Shrewsbury to make a statement under new coach Mike Mead. The Pioneers surprised pre-season No. 2 Springfield Cathedral with a 3-3 tie in Saturday’s Catholic West season opener at Holy Cross, rallying from two goals down to do so.
Garrett Lehan, Kevin Connelly and Patrick Storer had the goals for St. John’s and Conor McCann had two assists. The difference maker for St. John’s this year may well be the return of goalie Mario Pizzeri, who had 24 saves after missing much of last season with a knee injury.
Holy Cross-bound junior Peter Crinella scored twice and assisted on Zac Prattson’s goal for Cathedral, which opened the season last Thursday with a 9-1 rout of Longmeadow. John Liquori stopped 22 shots.
Mead previously served as long-time St. John’s coach Brian Murphy’s assistant. Next up? A Bridgewater-Raynham club that is off to a 2-0 start tomorrow night at the Hart Center.
• Saturday was a homecoming of sorts for St. Mary’s senior goalie Bailey MacBurnie, back with the Spartans after playing at Brewster last winter. MacBurnie, who steered St. Mary’s to the 1A semifinals as a sophomore, had 17 saves in a 1-0 shutout of St. Peter Marian. Freshman Eric Pedro’s first varsity goal accounted for the scoring.
• In our pre-season poll we suggested that opponents shouldn’t sleep on the Middlesex Freedom Division’s pre-season No. 13 Melrose. Coach Vin Mirasolo’s Mustangs showed why as they bolted out of the chute with a 4-4 season-opening tie against pre-season No. 6 Winchester of the Middlesex Liberty Division.
Top 5 results:
No. 1 Malden Catholic was idle.
No. 2 Springfield Cathedral tied St. John’s of Shrewsbury, 4-4.
No. 3 Catholic Memorial outgunned Billerica, 6-3
No. 4 Austin Prep was idle
No. 5 B.C. High shut out Don Bosco of New Jersey, 2-0