fb-pixelMassachusetts high school hockey: Previewing the boys' and girls' championships Skip to main content
MIAA HOCKEY CHAMPIONSHIPS

There are 6 MIAA boys’ and girls’ hockey championships at TD Garden Sunday. Here’s a preview.

Hopkinton senior Pavit Mehra is coming off a four-goal performance in a 5-1 victory over Walpole in the Division 2 semifinals.Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff

The MIAA Division 1-4 boys’ hockey finals and the Division 1 and 2 girls’ hockey finals are Sunday at TD Garden. Here’s a detailed look at the matchups.

Division 1 boys

Matchup: POPE FRANCIS (20-2-3) vs. XAVERIAN (16-8-0), 1 p.m.

Coaches: Brian Foley, 18th season (Pope Francis); Dave Spinale, 22nd season (Xaverian).

Player to watch/Pope Francis: F Josh Iby (Sr.) –– The fastest member of the Cardinals, the 6-foot-2-inch, 200-pound senior forward netted the overtime winner against Wellesley in the quarterfinals to increase his season total to 18 goals and 18 assists.

Player to watch/Xaverian: F Gavin Moynihan (Sr.) –– The Norwood resident plays a true 200-foot game, utilized on the first unit of both the power play and penalty kill, notching 10 goals and 19 assists.

Advertisement



In net: Sophomore Nick Ritchie (Pope Francis; 10-0-1, 0.81 GAA, .950 save percentage); junior Cole Pouliot-Porter (Xaverian; 15-7-0, 1.97 GAA, .930 save percentage).

The lowdown: A speedy and skilled Pope Francis squad bested defending champion St. John’s Prep in the semifinals to meet the Hawks, who are making their second consecutive championship game appearance. Both goaltenders have been at the top of their games in the tournament. The Hawks, a team that embraces hard-nosed play, will need to match the Cardinals’ ability to dictate the pace.

Division 2 boys

Matchup: CANTON (21-4) vs. HOPKINTON (20-4), 11 a.m.

Coaches: Brian Shuman, 18th season (Canton); Scott Hayes, 2nd season (Hopkinton).

Player to Watch/Canton: F Jack DiGirolamo (Sr.) – A perfect blend of size and skill, the 6-foot-1 DiGirolamo has eight goals and 19 assists for 27 points to lead a balanced Bulldog attack which features 11 players with 10 points or more.

Player to Watch/Hopkinton: F Pavit Mehra (Sr.) – Few players in the state are capable of taking a game over as Mehra did in the state semifinals, when he scored four goals in the second period of a 5-1 win for the Hillers over Walpole. In total, Merit has 39 goals and 28 assists for 67 points.

Advertisement



In net: Sophomore Colin Davis (Canton, 1.39 GAA, .910 save percentage, five shutouts); senior Jack Lang (Hopkinton, 2.03 GAA, eight shutouts).

The lowdown: The Bulldogs are outscoring foes 14-1 in the tournament. Canton has yet to lose to a team aligned in Divisions 2-4 this season (15-0). The Bulldogs won it all in 2019, were declared co-champions in 2020 and advanced to the final last year. The Hillers are making their second appearance in a state final following a loss in the Division 3 title game in 2019 vs. Wachusett.

Division 3 boys

Matchup: SCITUATE (20-4-2) vs. NASHOBA (14-5-5), 5:30 p.m.

Coaches: Brian Hurcombe, 5th season (Scituate); Matt Biggs, 2nd season (Nashoba).

Player to watch/Scituate: F Teagen Pratt (Sr.) –– The captain paces the Sailors in points (30 goals, 27 assists) and surpassed the 100 career points earlier this season.

Player to watch/Nashoba: F Joe Quinn (Sr.) — The senior captain can do it all, winning battles in the defensive zone before getting up ice to contribute 20 goals and 19 assists.

In net: Junior Thomas McMellen (Scituate, 2.00 goals against average); junior Charlie Mattocks (Nashoba, 1.89 GAA, .916 save percentage).

The lowdown: After the Sailors ousted the Wolves in the quarterfinals last season, the two squads meet with everything on the line. Both clubs rely on sturdy defensive units, able to block shots, locate outlets quickly, and keep the puck on the perimeter. In what should be a thrilling affair, the team that can win battles in front of the net will likely prevail.

Advertisement



Division 4 boys

Matchup: NORWELL (24-1) vs. SANDWICH (19-4-1), 3 p.m.

Coaches: Jim Casagrande, 15th season (Norwell); Jordan Mohrecq, 15th season (Sandwich)

Player to Watch/Norwell: F Timmy Ward (Sr.) — The South Shore League’s Most Valuable Player in the regular season, Ward is the leader in the pack for a deep group of Clippers with strong offensive games.

Player to Watch/Sandwich: F Colin McIver (Sr.) — Following a hat trick in the state semifinal vs. Nantucket, McIver has surpassed 100 career points and raised his season total to 50 (22 goals, 28 assists).

In net: Senior Sean Donovan (Norwell); senior Mitchell Norkevicius (Sandwich, 1.29 GAA, .942 save percentage, eight shutouts)

The lowdown: The Blue Knights are vying for back-to-back titles while the Clippers — who were eliminated by Sandwich in double overtime in the state semifinals a season ago — are into the final for the first time ever. The teams met back in their respective season openers in the Jim Gormley Cup at Gallo Arena, with Norwell skating to a 4-1 victory on Dec. 8. Jack Connolly, who scored the double-OT winner in the championship vs. Watertown last winter, makes up Sandwich’s top line along with McIver and Chris Cardillo, a trio which has combined for nearly 130 points of production this season.

St. Mary’s senior Jenna Chaplain racked up two goals and three assists in the semifinals against Billerica/Chelmsford. Nathan Klima for The Boston Globe

Division 1 girls

Matchup: ST. MARY’S (25-1-0) vs. SHREWSBURY (20-2-2), 7:30 p.m.

Advertisement



Coaches: Frank Pagliuca, 18th season (St. Mary’s); Frank Panarelli, 15th season (Shrewsbury).

Player to watch/St. Mary’s: F Jenna Chaplain (Sr.) — The senior captain had two goals and three assists in the Spartans’ 6-3 semifinal win over Billerica/Chelmsford, raising her season point total up to 59 (27 goals, 32 assists).

Player to watch/Shrewsbury: D Maddie Mrva (Sr.) — Converting to defense this season has not slowed the offensive production of the senior captain (14 goals, 13 assists). She netted the third-period tying goal and the winner in double overtime as the Colonials moved past Hingham, 3-2, in the quarterfinals.

The lowdown: St. Mary’s has outscored opponents 116-19, and their top line of Chaplain, Maggie Pierce (23 goals, 29 assists), and Amanda Forziati (14 goals, 19 assists) is lethal in the offensive zone. Still, coach Frank Pagliuca believes that sticking to their game plan of being a “defensive first team” will give them the best chance of success against the Colonials.

Shrewsbury rallied from behind to win its quarterfinal and semifinal matchups vs. Hingham and Notre Dame (Hingham), respectively, so you cannot count the Colonials out of any game. Senior captain Taylor Ryder is tops in points with 12 goals and 17 assists, followed by Mrva and sophomores Yasmine McKenzie (8 goals, 18 assists) and Mia Ryder (8 goals, 15 assists).

Both squads play a challenging regular season schedule, but give the MVC/DCL-tested Colonials the advantage here. “We played 12 playoff games before we started the playoffs,” said Frank Panarelli. “It’s a great honor to represent our league.”

Advertisement



In net: Senior captain Ang Catino (St. Mary’s, 25 wins, 0.72 GAA, 0.951 save percentage, 15 shutouts); junior Risa Montoya (Shrewsbury, 20 wins, 1.02 GAA, 11 shutouts).

Division 2 girls

Matchup: DUXBURY (23-1-2) vs. CANTON (19-2-4), 9 a.m.

Coaches: Dan Najarian, 4th season (Duxbury); Nikki Petrich, 1st season (Canton).

Player to watch/Duxbury: D McKenna Colella (Sr.) — In the second period of Duxbury’s semifinal win over Andover, Colella netted two goals in two minutes to put the game out of reach en route to a 5-1 victory. In addition to anchoring a stingy Dragon defense, the senior captain has netted 11 goals and 11 assists on the season.

Player to watch/Canton: F Audrey Koen (Sr.) — She has three goals in the postseason and 13 total this season, including the winner in Sunday’s 1-0 state semifinal victory over Archbishop Williams.

The lowdown: Expect an evenly matched showdown between two of the state’s top defensive squads. This game marks the fifth time in six seasons that Canton is playing in a state championship game. “We are feeling energized, but calm and prepared,” said Petrich. The defense, starring Maya Battista and Abby Brogan, have been dominant in the postseason, allowing just two goals in four tournament games.

Duxbury is back in the final for the first time since 2011-2014 stretch, when the program netted four straight titles. The Dragons’ strength is team defense, but don’t underestimate the scoring talents of sophomore forwards Maddie Greenwood (16 goals, 9 assists), Zoey Madigan (10 goals, 11 assists) and Megan Carney (12 goals, 4 assists). Colella and fellow senior Lily McGoldrick provide experience and poise on the blue line.

In net: Junior Anna McGinty (Duxbury, 21 wins, 0.78 GAA, 0.942 save percentage, 11 shutouts); senior captain Carolyn Durand (Canton, 19 wins, 0.92 GAA, eight shutouts).



Cam Kerry can be reached at cam.kerry@globe.com. Olivia Nolan can be reached at olivia.nolan@globe.com. Julia Yohe can be reached at julia.yohe@globe.com. Follow her @juliacyohe.