“Even with the lead early on, MC was better than us. (So) those early goals kept us it in,” said Hanson, who was particularly pleased with the play of Green Liners Crehan, Shaheen and Longo. The trio may be listed as the Prep’s “fourth” line, but provided their 10th and 11th goals of the season as a unit.
“We hate to put numbers on our lines; it’s really colors for us because we have a lot of balance. Our green was our best line offensively in the first two periods. Paul’s goal to start the third was huge,” Hanson added.
The hosts cut the Prep’s lead to 2-1 on Boxford native Ara Nazarian’s late first period goal, then got the only goal of the second on Matt Fillipe’s rebound tally. Still, the Eagles were in it thanks to selfless defense and physical play from defensemen like captain Brent Murray, Ean Mendeszoon, James Brightney and Evan Leclerc ... not to mention some timely stops from Price, who made 22 saves in the first two periods.
“I remember playing on the freshman team with him and it’s been a long road for some of us seniors, especially Billy. He made some great saves,” said Shaheen, who is also from Boxford. “We know MC is a high-powered offensive team, so whenever we play them its about motivation and finishing opportunities.”
Perhaps the most crucial chance came minutes after Crehan’s go-ahead goal when the Eagles were awarded a power play. Already 0-for-2 in the game, the Prep’s man advantage cashed in when Bird redirected a blast from Murray by MC goalie Connor Maloney (10 saves), who was chased from the cage when McCarthy scored off a clean faceoff win by Brian Pinho (2 assists) with 7:19 to play.
“We seemed to be somewhat fresh in the third, and we’re been consistent with that all year. There’s a benefit to playing four lines and maybe we saw that tonight,” said Hanson, who team turned the tables and outshot MC 12-5 in the third.