By Kevin Kelly
- HERE WE GO AGAIN
With a Catholic Conference co-champion feather stuck in their cap, courtesy of junior wing Sean Wrenn, Malden Catholic (MC) seems a lock to go deep into the Super 8 tournament. A gut-wrenching defeat to St. John Prep in last year’s title game has fueled the Lancers (10-1-3) quest and the Wrenn family, in particular, have an insatiable thirst for acquiring “bling” (Dad Paul has a ring, Paul Jr. has 2 rings, Pat has 4, and Sean already has one). As the tourney draws closer, Sean (7 goals) has been on fire and has emerged as an impact player for MC while teammates Hughie O’Donnell (SR/wing), Cameron DelValle (JR/wing) and Ronan Carrier (SR/defenseman) carry on the longstanding tradition of “Townie” players.
- CAN FITZY DO IT?
Winchester sophomore phenom Liam Fitzpatrick, who is averaging 15 points per game, has been a one-man wrecking crew for the Sachems (7-8). In what was supposed to be a rebuilding year, the whirling dervish guard has carried his team to the brink of qualifying for the MIAA State Tourney. Fitzpatrick inherited his floor leadership savvy from his father Joe, a former star at Pope John XXIII, who helped the Tigers end a 14-year Tourney drought in 1986 (with help from fellow “Townie” Bobby Goggin). Regardless of how the Winchester campaign ends, the future is bright for Fitzy.
- VOTE TWICE
As the Beanpot Tourney for 2016 fades into history and Hockey East and ECAC teams jockey for playoff position, it won’t be long before Hobey Baker Award candidates are scrutinized. A clear favorite this season, and a finalist from last year, should be Harvard senior sensation Jimmy Vesey, whose credentials (73 goals, 60 assists) speak volumes. His dad, Jimmy Sr. (a scout for the Toronto Maple Leafs and former Merrimack superstar and NHLer) foresaw his son’s potential and no doubt there will be another “Townie” grass roots campaign to help Vesey’s cause. I will be casting a vote (or 2 or 3…) for Vesey, but I’m also casting a vote (or 2 or 3…) for Boston University senior defenseman and two-year captain Matt Grzelcyk. Consider “Grizzy’s” accomplishments: a Beanpot title, a national championship appearance and 24 goals and 65 assists despite two injury-shortened seasons. While all of their accolades are richly deserved, in my opinion, their greatest achievement will be walking onstage this May to receive their college degree. Boy does their future look bright.