Don Bosco Prep Edges Catholic Memorial, 1-0, Behind Oller, Marich

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BOSTON, MA — Sometimes, all it takes is one.

Ty Oller snapped a scoreless tie 4:53 into the second period and Ethan Marich made sure it stood with 22 saves as Don Bosco Prep, No. 1 in The Hockey Night in Boston New Jersey Top 10, slipped past Catholic Memorial, No. 14 in Massachusetts, at Warrior Ice Arena in Boston. 

With his team peppering Catholic Memorial goaltender Dom Walecka from all angles, Oller’s seemingly harmless shot from the side of the net went off the back of the sophomore goalie and in behind him for what proved to be the only goal of a highly-contested inter-state battle.

Ty Oller celebrates after scoring what would prove to be the only goal of the game for Don Bosco Prep. (Photo by Dave Rubel/NJ Sports Media)

“It feels great, anything to get the boys on the board,” Oller, a freshman, said of his first-career varsity goal. “Got the boys rolling from there.

“I just got lucky, picked the puck up, made a move around their defenseman and put it on net — good things happen when you put pucks on net,” Oller said. “I was just trying to put it over his shoulder. I saw a little net and that’s where I hit.”

With seven regulars out of the lineup due to injury or illness, it was a fresh-faced, freshman effort which led Don Bosco Prep (5-1) to victory in the first of back-to-back sets against Massachusetts prep teams on the New England road trip.

Marich turned aside all 22 shots he faced, including several pinpoint opportunities down the stretch as Catholic Memorial pulled Walecka in favour of an extra attacker in the waning moments of regulation. 

Ethan Marich makes one of his 22 saves to record his first-career varsity shutout. (Photo by Dave Rubel/NJ Sports Media)

Marich, also a freshman, looked anything but in between the pipes.

“Playing up in hockey is always a good place to be,” Marich said. “With the lead after Ollie scored was great. It gave us a little leeway. 

“All the shots they were getting weren’t getting through,” Marich said. “My defense — Jake Geraci, Brendan Flaherty, Michael Rubin Will Fortescue, Hunter McGee — all of them — getting down, blocking shots, making sure that puck didn’t go in at the last minute. As a freshman, posting my first varsity shutout is a great feeling.”

After a scoreless first period, Catholic Memorial (0-3) rang the post behind Marich just 38 seconds into the second frame. Marich halted James Koo, then turned in a miraculous stop on a 3-on-0 rush with three minutes remaining. 

Connor Sedlak nearly extended Don Bosco Prep’s lead to 2-0 53 seconds into the third, but Walecka, who finished with 41 saves on 42 shots, would not be solved a second time.

Freshman Ty Oller scored, while freshman Ethan Marich made it stand for Don Bosco Prep in a 1-0 victory over Catholic Memorial at Warrior Ice Arena in Boston, MA on Dec. 20, 2019. (Dave Rubel/NJ Sports Media)

“They crashed the net hard, just right place, right time that one time,” Walecka, a sophomore, said. “It was a tough one. They had guys in position putting rubber on the net whenever they could. For me, it’s better to be involved, staying on your feet, making good saves… When you’re in the game from the get-go, you’re always in it.”

Walecka also credited the play of his defense in front of him, allowing him to see the shots — and react in making the saves.

“Paul Guiney, Joe Idelson are leaders on defense,” Walecka said. “Always talking out there, clearing kids out in front, being physical. They did a good job out there.”

(Photo by Dave Rubel/NJ Sports Media)

Marich was tested again on a one-timer from Catholic Memorial’s Ty Magliozzi, but made a nice shift, left-to-right, to make the stick save late in the third. 

Walecka followed suit, foiling Arthur Tsimerman twice from point-blank range, then halted Sedlak again to keep it a 1-0 game. 

Catholic Memorial strung together several scoring opportunities in the third, but some uncharacteristic penalties down the stretch wrecked havoc on any momentum they could muster.

“We got outplayed the first and second and didn’t come to play until the third,” Catholic Memorial coach Larry Rooney said. “If not for our goalie, who made 41 saves… you’re not going to win many games scoring zero goals or showing up for just one period.

“Obviously, you need to stay out of the box when the puck is in your zone 80 percent of the time,” Rooney said. “That’s something we’ve always stressed: playing 5-on-5 clean hockey.” 

After giving his team the lead, Oller was hoping it would hold up on the road in an airtight atmosphere which also serves as the Boston Bruins’ practice facility. 

“It’s obviously nerve-wracking, but it felt great,” Oller said. “We played really well in the D-zone and picked up our guys. We didn’t let them get behind us or in front of the net. We held on to the game and got a win.”

Don Bosco Prep coach Greg Toskos liked what he saw from a mostly underclass lineup that skated without Drew Fortescue, Drew Hansen, Lukas Klemm, Zach Hammond, Sal Guzzo, Sean Kenny and Ryan Fine.

“It was great seeing Oller get his first goal tonight — we were actually talking about him shooting the puck more in practice because he really shoots it professionally, he really shoots it well,” Toskos said. “I pulled him aside and said, ‘We need somebody to score some goals, so if you get the puck in tight fire pucks on net,’ and that’s what happened.”

“Ethan didn’t face a lot of shots, but he made a couple of big saves at the end,” Toskos said of his other standout freshman. “We had a couple opportunities where we had two good whacks at pucks and didn’t score. I think our power play needs to get better. We need to bury those rebounds.”

Don Bosco Prep will continue with its second of back-to-back sets against defending MIAA state champ, Boston College High School, on Saturday. The puck drops at 6pm at Matthews Arena on the campus of Northeastern.

Scoring

1-0 DB Ty Oller (unassisted) 10:07-2nd

Shots: 42-22 Don Bosco Prep

 

 

Written by John Christian Hageny  @JCCSPORTS 

Special to HockeyClan

 

 

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