Sports

Prep shocks Malden Catholic in Super 8 final

BOSTON – It took 30 years to do it. Now the St. John?s Prep hockey team is back as champions after beating Malden Catholic, 2-1, Sunday night at the TD Garden.
It wasn?t decide until the final buzzer, when the Lancers controlled the faceoff with 2.7 seconds left and MC?s Pat Harrington got a shot off on Prep goalie Kyle Martin. The puck hit Martin?s right pad as the horn went off, giving St. John?s its first Super 8 title and the school?s first championship since a Division 1 crown in 1985.
?I didn?t even see it, really,” Martin said from outside a jubilant St. John?s locker room last night. “I got into position, and it hit me, and we held on, my teammates came up big in this game.”
Martin turned aside 31 shots and was only beaten once: on a power play goal by Jake Witkowski with 60 seconds left in the game.
The Eagles got their first goal from Marblehead?s Teddy McNamara with 3:58 left in the second period, off passes from Nick Latham and Tyler Scearbo. McNamara was 15 feet outside the cage, and whipped a shot past Lancer netminder Kyle Casey.
?Just fantastic work by my linemates, what can you say about them, they, and my team did it all year, and to win this one is fantastic, a great way to finish up the year,” McNamara said.
Scearbo was big again on the eventual game winner, sending the puck back to the left point to defenseman Brian Groom, who slammed one by Casey with 12:04 left in the game.
?Tyler made a nice play to get me the puck, it was a little nerve-wracking as the time wound down, and we were able to win it, just a great feeling, Super 8 champs,” Groom said.
St. John?s had the better chances Sunday night, hitting three posts, and missing on two breakaways. But every time the Lancers had a good chance to score, Martin turned it away.
Coach Kris Hanson said that it may have been fate, after losing to the Lancers and tying them earlier in the season, in addition to beating them for that title in 1985.
?The players were tremendous, great leadership by the captains, our seniors, it seems like if we were going to win it we?d need to beat Malden Catholic, and we did, just a great accomplishment for our guys,” Hanson said.
The Eagles swept BC High and defeated Springfield Cathedral to make it to the championship game, and senior co-captain Nick Latham from Salem said it was a fantastic way to finish the season.
?This could be my last game playing hockey (Latham will play baseball at Phillips Andover next year), and it was a fantastic, just fantastic way to end things if this is my last game,” Latham said. “I can?t say enough about everybody on this team, we never quit, never backed down, and now we?re the champs.”Scot Cooper can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at @bscooper60

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