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January 22, 2014

The Blue Line Report: Measuring playoff stock heading into second half

(Continued)

Key upcoming games: Saturday vs. Gloucester (4); Wednesday, Jan. 29 vs. Danvers (5:15); Monday, Feb. 17 vs. Beverly (Carlin Cup, 2).

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A rarity in high school these days: seeing a player who not only prefers coming into the offensive zone on his off wing, but can do so with exceptional speed and awareness.

St. John’s Prep captain Jimmy Currier is a rare breed at this level in that he’s not only able to, but flourishes in doing so.

”I really like taking the puck down the right side,” said the 17-year-old from Middleton, a left-handed shot. “Even when I’m playing left wing (his regular position), I like to cut across the ice through the neutral zone and come down the right side.”

The reason, said Currier, is simple: it provides both comfort and options.

”I can come into the offensive zone strong on my forehand and do a lot more with the puck than if I’m carrying it down along the wall,” said Currier. “That way I can go hard to the net, dish it off to someone in the slot or a trailer, leave a drop pass for one of our D-men or take it wide. Even if I go to my backhand there, I can protect the puck or get it around the back of the net or pass it. I just like having all of those options.”

Currier said if his team gives the same effort they produced during last Saturday’s 4-2 setback to unbeaten B.C. High, they’ll be all right in the long run.

”A lot of our young guys are coming around and grasping the system,” he said. “All these new kids are starting to step up and they’ll have to play a big role (down the stretch). We’ll hopefully start finding the bounces and getting the puck to go in the net. We have to keep working hard, keep throwing pucks on net and get those dirty goals.”

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