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Central Catholic is up to challenge

LOWELL -- With one loss each in Super 8 round-robin play, it was clear that the loser of last night's Malden Catholic-Central Catholic tilt at Tsongas Arena would see its chances to advance essentially vanish.

But for almost all of the eighth-seeded Raiders' 8-3 thrashing of the No. 4 Lancers in Lowell, it appeared that only one team decided to treat the situation with urgency. Eight Central players scored as the red, white, and blue crew rattled off two quick goals in the first 3:06 of the game and refused to let up.

"I think the [two quick goals] were hugely important," said Raiders coach Mike Jankowski. "They gave us the momentum and the confidence that we were looking for."

Jankowski said his team's depth is sometimes overlooked.

"We talked about it from the get-go. A lot of people that don't know us outside our league talk about that [Paul Jaskot-Kevin McCarron-Tim Houston] line and they deserve it . . . but it was just good to see the depth."

Jaskot, who scored at the 3:06 mark in the first period and also tallied a pair of assists, was ecstatic about his team's performance, one week removed from a 10-1 loss to Catholic Memorial.

"Coming away from CM 10-1, to get a jump out of a couple goals is unbelievable," the senior forward said. "We never looked back from there, played a strong defensive zone, and just worked our way in and finished the puck."

The Lancers found many of their attempts to kick-start their offense either broken up in mid-pass by the Raiders or turned back by Central junior goalie Mike Alesse, who stopped 27 of 30 shots.

Malden Catholic coach Chris Serino zeroed in on some costly errors, a lack of aggression -- and himself -- as the causes for his team's flat effort.

"To be honest with you guys, I'm more disappointed in myself," he said. "We had a great season and did a lot of good things, but I don't think I ever got them to play as a team. That's the coach's job."

Central Catholic finishes the first round against surprising Weymouth (2-0) while Malden Catholic will face Catholic Memorial (1-1).