Hot hockey rivalry
Central Catholic hockey’s 2-1 victory over St. John’s Prep Wednesday was the latest installment of what is quickly becoming one of the top rivalries in Mass. high school hockey, and not just because the two schools have become perennial Super 8 qualifiers. They have also begun turning in nail-biters year after year.
The Raiders got the better of the Eagles this year, the Prep took both matchups a season ago, and the Central won each meeting in the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons. In the last seven meetings between the two schools (3-3-1), only one matchup has not been decided by a single goal, last year’s 4-0 regular season Prep win.
Few would be shocked if these two teams met up again in the Super 8 this postseason.
Andover receiver and two-time Eagle-Tribune All-Star Will Heikkinen was the lone local named to the Massachusetts “All-State” football team, selected by the Mass. High School Football Coaches Association. Heikkinen, an All-Scholastic, shattered the modern (1994-present) Eagle-Tribune area records with 1,126 receiving yards and 67 catches.
Obvious local snubs include Heikkinen’s teammate, Eagle-Tribune offensive Player of the Year C.J. Scarpa, and record-setting Haverhill running back Chance Brady.
New arena, same result
If Andover girls hockey freshman star Veronica Alois’ name seems very familiar — if a bit out of place — to you, you aren’t alone.
Alois, who has scored six goals in the Golden Warriors’ first five games this season, is the sister of 2012 Eagle-Tribune female Athlete of the Year and current basketball star Jackie Alois, fellow Golden Warriors hoops starter Rebecca Alois and older sister Alex Alois, who started on the 2010 basketball title team.
Former Merrimack College hockey coach Chris Serino, who passed away from throat cancer in October, is being honored by Malden Catholic this season with his initials etched into the ice at their home rink. Serino was the head hockey coach and athletic director at Malden Catholic from 2005-11, before having to step down last season due to his battle with cancer, an illness he beat while coaching Merrimack. MC won the Super 8 title each of the last two seasons.