As if there weren’t enough challenges already this season, the BC High hockey team has been coping with the temporary loss of its home facility.
The Eagles looked plenty comfortable on their new ‘home’ ice Sunday though, cruising past Catholic Memorial, 7-1, in the Catholic Conference opener for both programs at Valicenti Rink in the Thayer Sports Center.
“We’re a road team this year,” BC High coach John Flaherty said. “It builds adversity and makes us a better team.”
BC High has been forced to relocate during the coronavirus pandemic from the Clark Athletic Center at UMass Boston, which is adjacent to its own campus in Dorchester; the building has remained closed since last winter.
While the Eagles are playing all of their home games at the Thayer complex, they’ve shuffled from the Canton Ice House to Shea Rink (Quincy), to Devine Rink (Dorchester) to Murphy Rink (South Boston) for practice at various points during the elongated preseason.
The Eagles jelled from the get-go on Sunday, taking a lead they’d never surrender just 1:05 into regulation on a goal by junior Aidan McDonnell. BC killed off two minor penalties before Matt Cox scored at 20:46 for a 2-0 lead at the half (the Catholic Conference is among the many leagues playing two 22:30 halves rather than three 15-minute periods this winter).
Right out of the break, the Eagles scored their first of four power-play goals, this one courtesy of freshman James Marshall’s first varsity goal at 1:07. Ryan Flaherty, son of the head coach, made it 4-0 at 2:11 with BC High back on the man advantage.
“We’ve been practicing for so long as a team and just starting to get clicking. It was great to get out on the ice and get a win under us,” BC High senior Brian Bulger said.
Michael Corbett scored the lone goal for the Knights at 10:09 of the second half.
Bulger became the fifth Eagle scorer at 17:14 for a 5-1 lead and Marshall and Cox added second tallies, both on the power play, in the waning minutes.
“We’re watching practice and seeing what the kids are doing, and we were happy with what they were doing, but until you face an opponent you don’t know what you have,” John Flaherty said.
Andrew Webb stopped 15 shots for the Eagles.
Dover-Sherborn 64, Norton 41 — The Raiders opened their season with a Tri-Valley League win behind strong efforts from Luke Rinaldi (19 points), Ben Teich (12), and Ben Chittick (8).
Hopkinton 70, Norwood 60 — Ten players scored for the Hillers in the Tri-Valley triumph, with Josh Czerepuszko (14 points) leading the way.
Mansfield 89, King Philip 59 — Senior Matt Boen tied his career high with 32 points while adding 7 rebounds, 6 steals, and 5 assists for the visiting Hornets in the Hockomock victory.
Hopkinton 42, Norwood 39 — Junior guard Kiki Fossbender used a 14-point effort to propel the Hillers in a narrow Tri-Valley League win.
Norton 60, Dover-Sherborn 47 — In her varsity debut, freshman Emma Cochrane led the Lancers with 19 points in the Tri-Valley win.
Bishop Fenwick 98, Cardinal Spellman 63 — Captain Emily DelBene (100 freestyle, 1:04.19), Hannah English (500 free, 6:37.38; 100 breaststroke, 1:31.64), and the 200 freestyle relay of Sabrina Botthof, Hannah English, Marian Ryan, and DeAnna Gauthier (2:09.44) recorded first-place finishes for Fenwick in the virtual meet.