As Xaverian’s Tim Sweeney came barreling down the slot, Brandon Payzant showcased once again the poise and athleticism that earned him the trust of the BC High coaching staff.
As Sweeney streaked in on a shorthanded breakaway bid, Payzant played the part of his mirror image — following Sweeney left, right, then left again to quell the scoring chance and keep the game scoreless less than five minutes into the first.
The save served as a prelude for the remainder of the night as the sophomore from Somerville turned aside all 28 shots Wednesday night for his seventh shutout of the season. More importantly, Payzant and the top-ranked Eagles dispatched of eighth-seeded Xaverian, 4-0, at the Tsongas Center to advance to the Super 8 semifinals.
“When you get to this end of the season and this part of the season, you need a guy back there that is going to make those saves, and that’s what Brandon has done for us,” said BC High coach John Flaherty.
BC High (16-2-4) scored first, 10:20 into regulation. With the puck idle in the slot, junior Connor Noonan gathered his prize, skated wide of the net, and tucked a shot over the glove of Xaverian goaltender Aidan Murphy (23 saves).
The Eagles then tacked on a pair of goals in the span of 42 seconds to enter first intermission with a 3-0 lead. Senior captain Steve DeForge fed junior Jake Lemanski across the crease for a one-timer to make it a two-goal lead. Senior Aidan Foley then added his fifth goal of the year when he sneaked a turnover through Murphy’s five hole.
Malden Catholic 6, Catholic Memorial 4 — The Lancers took one step closer to their fourth straight Super 8, advancing to the semifinals with a win over the Knights in the nightcap at Tsongas.
Seniors Brian Cameron and Tyler Sifferlen each scored twice for MC, which overcame a 4-2 second-period deficit with four straight goals. Sifferlen potted the winner with 1.8 seconds remaining in the second.
“It was a tough two games. [CM] never quit,” said MC coach John McClean.
“It was a battle to the end. I’m proud of the kids, we accomplished what we wanted to accomplish and we look forward to playing our next game.”
After Catholic Memorial (10-9-4) took a 4-2 lead at 5:33 of the second period, McClean pulled freshman goalie Kyle Casey in favor of junior Alex Reissis. The Lancers (18-4-0) began their comeback following the change.
“It may have [sparked the team],” said McClean of the switch. “But I tell the players, you have to get through five guys to get a shot on net. I don’t blame the goalies.”
Division 1 boys
Wilmington 3, Arlington 2 — Senior wing Luke Foley tipped in the winning goal from senior defenseman Jim Davey 2:32 into overtime. The second assist was from sophomore right wing Bill Falter. Senior Drew Foley made 36 stops for the Wildcats (15-3-7) who were outshot, 38-28. Wilmington advances to the Finals.
Braintree 2, Framingham 0 — Senior wing Brian Gallagher netted a goal in the first period assisted by senior forward Billy Cabanaugh and senior James Flaherty. Senior forward Gino LaRossa added a goal in the third period. Senior Nick Anson recorded 21 saves to power the Wamps (15-5-3).
Austin Prep 3, Beverly/Danvers 0 — A trio of freshmen forwards — Gabbi Floramo, Caroline Benson, and Michaela Boyle — scored a goal each for the 10th-seeded Cougars (15-5-3). Sophomore Caty Flagg posted her 10th shutout this season.