MIAA Boys Division 1 Tournament: Arlington Ousts Malden Catholic, 4-2, In Front Of Huge Ed Burns Arena Crowd

Kevin Stone
Kevin Stone
Kevin Stone, a Waltham High Class of 06 graduate, played lacrosse and golf before going into journalism at New England College in Henniker, NH. Kevin went to Framingham State and Middlesex Community College after that. He started doing freelance work in August of 2008, working for The Palo Alto Daily (Palo Alto, CA) and The Waltham Daily News Tribune, and worked for Patch.com until getting jobs with The Norwood Record and Metro West Daily News in 2012. Stone's been writing for the Metro West ever since and has since added The Boston Globe, HNIB, MassVarsity, The New England Football Journal and BostonLax to his already extensive resume.

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As the enormous Arlington student section on hand greeted Spy Ponder players coming off the ice following a 4-2 win over Malden Catholic in the MIAA Division 1 state tournament on Tuesday night, it seemed as if everything was back to normal for the time being.

Two years ago, Arlington made a magical run to the Super 8 final before having the game taken away from them. After no postseason last year, a massive crowd at the Ed Burns Arena watched as the No. 6 Spy Ponders took down No. 11 Malden Catholic, putting Arlington just two wins away from returning to a state championship game.

The Spy Ponders (18-4-2) will face No. 3 Hingham in the “quarterfinal round of the D1 tournament (Saturday, 5pm at Gallo Arena) while the Lancers’ season ends at 12-10-0.

Arlington’s Mike Dunning looks to move the puck as MC’s Anthony Ghergurovich and John Jenkins move in.

“We had a down year (last year) because we’re Arlington. Right now, we’re 18-4-2 and lead the state in plus/minus. We were just immature in the beginning of the year and didn’t get it until Winchester came in and beat us,” said Arlington coach John Messuri of his team’s turnaround.

“We’re playing better now. We had a down year because of all this (pointing to various championship banners), we kind of get it now and we’re playing better.”

Brendan Hirsch (2 goals) got things started when he buried a loose puck 4:33 into the game with assists going to Jake Russell and Drew Fecteau. Both Jake Davies and Brendan Zinck (33 saves) dueled early and often starting with the first 15 minutes.

Malden Catholic got a PPG from Robert Ghergurvoich (assist to Nick Julian) in the final two minutes to make it 1-1 after one. Zinck was the main reason Arlington didn’t score multiple goals in the frame. 

MC goalie Brendan Zinck covers up puck just out of the reach of Arlington forwards Killian Wright and Liam Gore in Spy Ponders’ 4-2 win Tuesday night.

Hirsch put home a rebound with 6:34 left in the second to make it 2-1 (assists to Brendan Flynn and Russell). Less than two minutes later, Mike Dunning let an absolute rocket go from the point that whistled into the top left corner with the Spy Ponders on the power play, making it 3-1 as Killian Wright and Hirsch got the helpers.

“It feels great, it was a tough game,” said Hirsch. “It was an all around team effort, we got the job done and it feels great. The boys are going nuts in the locker room so it’s awesome, an awesome feeling.”

A fluttering shot from the point off the stick of Nick Evans with 1:41 left in the second cut it to 3-2 after two. In between the second and third periods, Messuri had a very simple message for his team.

“15 minutes to go, someone’s going home,” he said. “That’s all we told them. Win a period you keep playing, lose a period that’s it.”

Arlington goalie Jake Davies clears puck out of harm’s way with Malden Catholic’s Owen Delvalle on the doorstep.

The Spy Ponders got the message loud and clear and made it 4-2 with 13:04 left in the game when Hirsch hit Drew Fecteau with a phenomenal breakout pass, Feacteau carried over the blue line and fed it in front for Russell who tapped it home.

As expected, Malden Catholic began to ramp up the pressure with its season quickly fading away, but Davies stood tall in the face of a few flurries late to seal it.

The Arlington boys hockey team is fighting for a state championship again, all is right in Spy Ponder country and it should be a fun day at AHS tomorrow.

“It was awesome, all the students coming out and supporting us, it’s awesome,” said Hirsch. “Especially at our home rink, there’s nothing better playing in front of that many people. Seeing them at school tomorrow and knowing they’re going to come up and high-five ya and say congrats, it’s awesome.”

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