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February 24, 2010

Refocused Central looks for success in Division 1 North

(Continued)

The Raiders (13-5-3) have struggled of late, going 0-2-1 in their last three games. But each of those losses were to Super 8 qualifiers (top-seeded Catholic Memorial and Winchester), as was an early-season loss to Austin Prep.

If Central Catholic is to make a run, they will rely on the top-scoring duo of Evangelista (team-high 17 goals) and Johnny Daniels (14 goals) along with the likes of Nick Leonard (7 goals) and Steve Balsamo (6 goals) and sophomore goalie Kyle Williams.

"When we lost we felt like we were done, but we're not," said Evangelista. "But we need to get back to what made us good. Goal scorers need to score goals, defenders need to defend and everyone has to do their role. Everyone seemed really up-beat and focused in practice (on Wednesday). We can still keep going, and we can still win a state championship."

Also alive

Here's a look at the other local hockey teams still striving for a title:

Division 1 North Boys

Andover (8-8-4)

Seed: No. 14

Tourney opener: at No. 3 Woburn today, 8 p.m.

Players to watch: Matt Swett, 10 goals; Alex Patti, 6 goals; Joe Kuta, 6 goals, Matt Gibson 5 goals; Kyle Berthiaume, 2 shutouts

Notes: Warriors needed a win or tie in the regular-season finale to qualify for the tourney, earning a tie with Reading. ... Finished 3-5-2 over their final 10 games. ... Fewest wins for an Andover team since 2004-05 season (7-9-4). ... Leading scorer Matt Swett had not scored a varsity goal going into the season, and tallied his first career hat trick in Andover's most recent win, a 5-2 victory over Westford Academy. ... Joe Kuta (6 goals) is the area's highest-scoring defenseman. ... Have advanced to at least the North quarterfinals in each of the last three seasons after not having done it since the 1991-92 season.

Division 1 Girls

Andover (11-6-3)

Seed: No. 16

Tourney opener: hosts No. 17 Marblehead today, 7:30 p.m.

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