Grit goes a long way in hockey and St. Mary’s has displayed a healthy dose of that commodity during a recent 4-0-1 stretch that has seen the Spartans – unranked in pre-season – move to No. 16 in this week’s poll.
The Spartans pitched double road shutouts this weekend, blanking Bishop Fenwick Saturday night at McVann-O’Keefe in Peabody, 5-0, then trekking to Lowell Sunday night to whitewash Lowell Catholic, 3-0, at Tsongas Arena.
Senior captain and goalie Bailey MacBurnie now has three shutouts in nine games and senior captain Jordan Manthorne had two goals against Fenwick and another against Lowell Catholic, giving him a team-high five. While St. Mary’s in no way resembles an offensive juggernaut, the Spartans play stout team defense with senior captain Chris Price an anchor on the blue line.
“We have to work hard and as long as we come to work, then we’re going to compete,” said coach Mark Lee. “I thought we got out of the gates a little slow to start the season but in the last week and a half have made a lot of progress. We’re very focused.”
The Spartans’ streak started with a regulation league tie (shootout loss) against No. 8 Austin Prep and a consolation game win against Hingham in The Christie Serino Christmas Classic and continued New Year’s Day with a 4-3 road upset of No. 11 Archbishop Williams.
Sparty returns home this week for a Wednesday night rematch with Hingham and a Saturday night date with No. 19 Bridgewater-Raynham.
Here comes St. John’s of Shrewsbury. The No. 9 Pioneers popped Williams Saturday, 5-2, a second straight loss that temporarily bumped Archies outside of the Top 10. SJ’s Pat Storer had a goal and an assist and Ian Wetherbee served up two helpers, supporting another strong effort by goalie Mario Pizzeri.
It seems as though No. 5 Catholic Memorial has been hurrying up and waiting all season due to large gaps in its schedule. However, a week between games didn’t slow CM Saturday night as they handled struggling Hingham, 5-1, behind two goals each from Zach Sullivan and Anthony Panaggio.
No. 20 Marshfield walloped Nauset in Atlantic Coast League action, 8-1, thanks to two goals and an assist from David Cataldo. Pat Shea added a goal and three assists and JoJo Carbone notched a goal and two assists.
No. 17 Falmouth is quietly going about the business of building its post-season resume. The Clippers silenced Barnstable, 2-0, behind goalie Jake Beaton and goals from Robbie Souza and Zack Barrett.
Al Lynch had 28 saves and, after his mates had been shutout for two-plus games, third-period goals from Ryder Lessing and Colton Chassie as Framingham knocked off Weymouth, 2-0.