MIAA Boys Division 1 Tournament – Winchester Starts Fast, Holds Off Central Catholic, 2-1. Next Up, Round Of 16 Contest With #1 Seed SJP

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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Throughout this season, Winchester showed it could play with anyone in the state when clicking on all cylinders.

The level of competition head coach Gino Khachadourian scheduled was so his team would be fully prepared for whoever they saw once the state tournament rolled around.

On Thursday night in the round of 32 in the MIAA Division 1 tournament, the No. 16 Sachems got two first period goals and a stellar performance in net from sophomore goalie Max Lowenberg (25 saves) en route to a 2-1 win over No. 17 Central Catholic.

Winchester (11-8-3) now has a date with top seeded St. John’s Prep in the round of 16 (Monday at 5:30 pm at Essex Sports Center) while CC’s season ends at 10-9-4.

“Just a great high school hockey game,” said Khachadourian. “The first or second period Max made a couple glove saves from the slot, had a big save at the end, he’s definitely come along and his confidence is through the roof right now.

“Playing a couple fast teams at the end of the season, playing the caliber of opponents we played this year, we knew we could handle the speed having seen teams like this and we were able to manage the game.”

Winchester’s Mike Cashell fires shot at Central Catholic goaltender Michael Brothers. Red & Black won this D1 Round of 32 game 2-1.

The Sachems jumped out to a 1-0 lead with 8:55 to play in the first when Shane Napolitano jammed home a loose puck in front after a shot from the point by Liam Doherty. Moments later, Max Tong let a snap shot go from the right circle on a power play (assists to Trevor Mahoney and Cole Dente) that beat Michael Brothers (22 saves) for the 2-0 lead.

With 7:39 left in the second period, Central Catholic got on the board thanks to a goal from Andrew Duval. Cam Marzilli got the primary assist after ripping a shot from the point that Duval was able to get a stick on and tip it past Lowenberg.

Winchester seemed destined to go back up by two when CC was called for hooking with 4:32 left in the second. The Sachems put on a power play clinic, ripping shots left and right but couldn’t find the back of the net and the Raiders got to the dressing room for the second intermission still down one.

Lowenberg was needed quite a bit in the third and had a bit of luck as the Raiders hit a post during a power play and nearly scored on several other chances. Central Catholic pulled Brothers with 1:05 left and had one late surge that almost resulted in the game-tying goal before Lowenberg made one final save before skating over to the student section and then getting mobbed by teammates.

“We knew we could play with anybody,” said Lowenberg. “Coming in, we were the higher seed but still felt like we had something to prove. I think just beating BC High, we almost beat Hingham twice, those are statement type games and we just believe in ourselves.”

The Sachems will need to ramp that belief up even more to have a crack at taking down St. John’s Prep, but they won’t be backing down.

“I think it’s like David and Goliath, right?” Khachadourian added. “We’re the underdog, we’re not supposed to win, but as you know, one game elimination anything can happen.”

“It’a a statement game,” Lowenberg said. “They think they’re going to roll over us and stuff, but we’ve proven we can play with Hingham, beat Arlington. We can play with anybody, we’ve just got to bring it.” 

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