CANTON — Just two games into the season, the BC High hockey team has made a bold statement about where it stands in the Catholic Conference pecking order.
After beginning the year by dispatching defending champion Catholic Memorial, the Eagles took out another main contender on Wednesday night, scoring four unanswered goals to pull away from Xaverian in a 5-2 victory at the Canton Icehouse.
“To get arguably the top-two teams out of the gate is not a great draw but we have persevered, and as I said to the guys, I would argue that this was probably not our best game but we got it done,” said BC High coach John Flaherty. “And they are going to come back at us just like CM is going to come back at us.”
Junior Ryan Flaherty scored twice for BC High, who had four different players find the net.
Tied at 2-2 after the first of the two periods, both 22:30 in length, BC High took the lead for good on a breakaway 1:30 into the second. Defenseman Nick Martin fired off a pass from deep in his own end that hit Aidan O’Donnell on the tape at the red line and the junior skated in and finished past the blocker of Xaverian goalie Kyle Harney for the 3-2 edge.
Midway through the final period, Xaverian was whistled for the first and only penalty of the contest and BC High capitalized with 7 seconds left in the power play when Flaherty deposited his second of the game at the left post for a 4-2 edge.
A Cormac Joyce goal sealed it with 4:53 remaining.
“It shows the character of our team and how much of a team we are and the bond that we have,” said Ryan Flaherty of shaking off the early deficit.
Flaherty got BC High on the board less than two minutes in, but Xaverian answered with a pair of goals from Max Lockwood, part of an electric all-junior first line with Jack Silva and Braden O’Hara that spurred the Hawks to a 28-20 edge in shots for the night. Senior Andrew Webb made 26 stops in net for BC High to register the win.
Jackie Murphy drew the Eagles even at 2-2 with 11:53 to play in the first, but BC High suffered a tough blow before the break between periods when Christian Bracher had to be helped off the ice with a lower leg injury.
“We got some bounces but we earned them,” said John Flaherty. “They had just as many pucks laying in the crease that we did but we put ours away. Credit to these guys getting to the loose pucks and getting to areas, and sometimes you get puck luck and I would say that we have had that the last couple days.”