WILMINGTON — Pretty goals win YouTube hit counts, and dirty goals win games.
When one of the best players in the state is scoring goals of both varieties, his team is going to be very difficult to beat.
Malden Catholic’s Ara Nazarian put his nose in the blue paint for a pair of goals Saturday as his Lancers stopped St. John’s Prep, 5-3, at Ristuccia Arena.
“A goal is a goal,” said Nazarian, a junior from Boxford who is committed to play at the University of New Hampshire. “We knew St. John’s was going to play hard and to beat a team like that you have to focus on getting the puck deep and going to work. We knew we needed those dirty goals.”
Another Boxford native, sophomore Jack Adams, buried the winning goal for MC (10-3) midway through the third. Prep captain and Danvers resident Mark Etherington’s second goal of the game had tied it (3-3) just 24 seconds into the third period.
St. John’s Prep freshman goalie Zach Laramie (19 saves) denied Adams’ bid from the wall initially. But about 30 seconds later with the Lancers bringing heavy pressure, Adams finished to make it 4-3.
“That line controlled that shift. They were flying around, working hard and Jack was in the right place at the right time to use his reach and get a big goal for us,” said MC head coach John McLean.
The Eagles (5-8-1) had an early lead on Tyler Scaerbo’s goal in the first period. Both of Etherington’s goals erased one-goal deficits, and while the Prep played reasonably well the Eagles were left needing nine points over their final 12 games to make the state tournament.
“Maybe early in the season you can build off a close game, but this is February now. We did some good things, but we didn’t do enough,” said Prep head coach Kristian Hanson.