For first time, CM fails to gain Super 8

By Jake Seiner
Globe Correspondent / February 26, 2011

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Death, taxes, and Catholic Memorial in the Super 8 tournament — it doesn’t get more consistent than that.

Second-ranked St. John’s Prep changed that equation yesterday by defeating No. 6 CM, 3-1, in Revere in a game the Knights had to win to qualify for postseason play.

CM (8-10-2, 2-5-1 Catholic Conference) is ineligible for the Super 8 for the first time since the tournament’s inception in 1991. The Knights have won 12 of 17 Super 8s, and last failed to qualify for the state playoffs in 1984.

Had the Knights topped the Eagles (14-5-1, 5-3-0), they likely would’ve been a shoo-in for the Super 8 based on their strenuous schedule, which included 13 games against teams under consideration for a Super 8 berth.

“I’m disappointed,’’ said 35-year CM coach Bill Hanson. “I’m not discouraged. I know people will criticize me for having a schedule maybe this team shouldn’t have had. I’m not going to change that. It’s one of the reasons kids come to Catholic Memorial.’’

CM’s Achilles’ heel all season was its anemic offense. The Knights averaged 2.5 goals per game, last in the Catholic Conference.

Yesterday, the Knights fired 26 shots on net, 12 during a frantic third period. Eagles goalie David Letarte got a piece of each one, including Thomas Stanton’s second-period goal, which bounced off Letarte’s leg pad before trickling in.

“I’m not going to kid myself, I knew what we had,’’ Hanson said of his offense. “I really thought we would have to shut them out to beat them today.’’

Stanton’s goal gave CM a 1-0 advantage, but the Eagles’ line of Sam Kurker, Shane Eiserman, and Harvard-bound Colin Blackwell made the lead vanish before the second intermission.

Eiserman lifted home the first goal after Blackwell hit him with a cross-slot pass on a two-on-one chance with 2:24 left in the second.

Two minutes later, Eiserman flipped a shot on net from the left corner, and a charging Kurker stuffed the rebound past CM goalie Tommy Knox. Kurker scored again on an empty net with less than a minute to play, ending CM’s season.

“Certainly, it just feels more historic than anything,’’ said St. John’s Prep coach Kristian Hanson. “Whatever you can do to get the kids a little more motivated. They were aware of the ramifications. Bottom line is, we didn’t want to have to face CM in the Super 8.’’

St. Mary’s 5, Newburyport 1 — Senior forward Chris Surette scored twice and senior captain Cam Kennedy added four assists as the Spartans (14-5-3) captured the Newburyport Bank Classic. The Spartans are hoping for a berth in the Super 8 tournament. The hockey pairings will be announced today.

Canton 7, Melrose 4 — Defending Division 2 state champion Canton was led by sophomore Mike Denehy, who scored twice for the Bulldogs (15-3-2).

Wilmington 6, Masconomet 1 — The Cape Ann League champion Wildcats won their fourth straight game to finish the regular season at 16-2-2.

Shawsheen 6, South Shore Voc-Tech 1 — Joe Sodergren had a hat trick and three assists, leading Shawsheen to its fourth straight state vocational championship.

Wakefield 3, Reading 1 — Goalie Joe Cerulo had 25 saves in the win, which clinched the Middlesex title for Woburn.

Westford 7, Milton 3 — The Grey Ghosts got two goals from junior left wing Justin Pawlowski to win the consolation game of the Woburn Irish-American shootout.

Girls’ hockey
Rivers 3, Southfield 1 — Sisters Nicole and Janelle Ferrara each scored a goal for Rivers (14-6-2).

Boys’ basketball
Lynn Tech 82, Worcester Tech 80 — Senior guard Reggie Warren Jr. had 36 points and eight assists as the Tigers (16-5) captured their 10th consecutive State Vocational Tournament championship. Lynn Tech trailed by 12 early in the fourth quarter before Warren hit five consecutive shots.

St. Mark’s 82, Northfield Mt. Hermon 74 — St. Mark’s beat Northfield Mt. Hermon behind 27 points from junior forward and Duke-bound Alex Murphy.

Dexter 48, Brimmer & May 43 — Alex Perrone led Dexter with a team-high 18 points.

Girls’ basketball
Franklin 51, Millbury 49 — Senior guard Sarah Doherty dropped in a layup as time expired to help the Panthers defeat Millbury.