CM 6, Needham 3

CM bounces Needham

By Peter Martin
Globe Correspondent / March 3, 2010

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LOWELL - Catholic Memorial moved a step closer to repeating as Super 8 champion last night with a convincing 6-3 victory over Needham at Tsongas Center.

The victory moves the Knights to 2-0 in the first round of the tournament and clinched a berth in the crossover round.

Needham physically dominated the first period, but it was Catholic Memorial that found the back of the net first after a Needham penalty.

Chris Stathopoulos took a cross-ice feed from T.J. O’Brien at the right point and fired a shot that beat Evan MacDonald through the five-hole at 11:36.

But Needham, playing with outstanding energy, battled back a minute and a half later on a Sam Kane wrist shot that beat Tommy Knox.

“We were definitely happy to get out of the first tied,’’ CM coach Bill Hanson said. “They were playing with a lot of energy and emotion and we didn’t match it.’’

The Rockets kept the momentum rolling early in the second period, scoring just 56 seconds in when Tom Coleman fired a shot from the point that D.J. Walsh redirected in front. But that would be the last time the Rockets led.

Six minutes later, Needham (0-2) turned the puck over in its zone and CM capitalized with a goal from Brian Besinger.

“That one took the wind out of our sails a little bit,’’ Needham coach Bill Guisti said. “Breakdowns in your own zone can really come back to haunt you against a talented team like them.’’

The floodgates were opened, and Besinger’s linemates, Vinny Repucci and Dan O’Hear, added goals to open a 4-2 cushion.

“Brian [Besinger] is a third-line center who is really coming along,’’ Hanson said. “You never expect to get that production from the third line but it is nice when it happens.’’

Troy Starrett scored early in the third period to give CM a three-goal lead. Mike Lambert cut the deficit to two just over two minutes later when he buried a feed from Kane, but CM had the last word at 13:04, when Derek Collucci finished a two-on-one that he started.

Malden Catholic 9, Winchester 1 - Malden Catholic (2-0) clinched a spot in the crossover round spot by eliminating Winchester (0-2).

The Lancers had a 3-1 lead going into the third period. Brendan Collier popped in a goal just past the minute mark, and Malden Catholic went on to score five more times.

James Castrucci, Ryan Fitzgerald, and Alex Minter each had a pair of goals for the Lancers.

Colin Edwards scored the Sachems’ goal.

Globe correspondent Braden Campbell contributed.