Imagine what could have been!!! Putting three friends on the same line who have been playing hockey together since childhood (particularly if your team has been struggling for wins the last few seasons) seems like a good idea. The Salem St. “Townie” trio of rugged senior wing Danielle Kelley, junior whirling dervish Jacqueline Sindoris, and sophomore phenom Rose Sullivan were united for one game last season, which resulted in a win and 4 points from the talented trio. During the second half of this season, the “Townies” have responded to an increased role by leading the Lady Vikings to 3 wins in their last 5 games (with both losses of the heartbreaking variety despite the heroics of the terrific “Townies”). Did I mention that the ladies have generated 50% of the offensive points and are averaging a combined 9 shots on net during the streak?…Watching Pope John XXIII “hoop” Coach Leo Boucher in action has given me a better understanding of why he has been selected as “Coach of the Year” on three occasions. Yes, he is an adept “in-game” tactician and has been blessed with an abundance of skill players. However, finding the balance of effectively teaching the players the value of sportsmanship and effort is no small task and Leo gets high grades in my book. Coach Boucher also has a knack of nurturing “Townie” basketball talent as witnessed by his string of “key” role players through the years (John Posada, Jesus Gambaro, Marty Rose, Luke von Hunnius, Conor Kelly)…I think Brendan Collier’s “Townie” upbringing is serving him very well as he settles into an ECHL career with the Jacksonville Icemen. Despite a concussion, broken jaw and other obstacles that would derail most players seasons, Brendan has bounced back with a vengeance and has emerged as an offensive catalyst for the Icemen. As the saying goes, “When the going gets tough, the Colliers get going,” (or something like that).
Proud uncle and “Townie” icon Billy Boyle reports the achievements of his nephews Ned O’Keefe (Arlington Catholic) and Brendan Boyle (Worcester St.). At the Division 5 State Indoor Track Championships (held at the Reggie Lewis Center in Roxbury), Ned – a Catholic Central League All Star – helped the Cougars post a fourth place finish anchoring the 4 x 800 relay team. Not to be outdone, Brendan – a rugged freshman wing – has shown steady improvement in helping the Lancers hockey team contend for the MASCAC title.
Congratulations to senior Aislinn Carrier on a sensational swimming career at Elms College. Aislinn put the finishing touches on a great two-year run by helping the Blazer 400 Freestyle Relay team pick up 24 points at the NEISDA Championships (held at the University of Rhode Island). In her junior and senior seasons, Carrier emerged as one of the conference’s most formidable freestyle swimmers.
A MONK SWIMMING
St. Joseph of Maine (16-9), who finished in third place in the GNAC Conference, hosted sixth-place Suffolk University (14-11) in the quarterfinal round of the playoffs on Feb. 20. Monks freshman forward Patrick Kelly, the lone “walk on” on the team, gets his first taste of “March Madness.” In their only regular season meeting, Suffolk overcame a 14-point halftime deficit to defeat St. Joseph by a score of 68-56. All signs pointed to a “heckuva” game.
GOING OUT IN STYLE
Mystic Valley senior standout Samantha Dagle added a storybook ending to her high school swimming career. At the MIAA State Championships (held at BU), the Eagles set a school record in both the 200 Medley Relay (1:54.70 – 4th place) and 400 Freestyle Relay (3:51.56 – 9th place) on their way to finishing 10th out of 43 teams. In addition to anchoring the two relay teams, Samantha also placed 20th in the 100 Backstroke. (Samantha is the granddaughter of Phil Kelly)
VISIT FROM THE CANADIAN TUNDRA
Calgary Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk – whose family still lives in Charlestown and has deep roots in the Town – made his annual visit from the vast Canadian tundra that is Calgary to his hometown last weekend to play the Bruins. Last year, the sophomore NHL sensation made his first visit to Boston with the Flames and drew a huge Townie crowd rooting for him (but not for the Flames!).
This time around, Tkachuk scored a goal on the Bruins, but his team didn’t prevail. The Townie Sports favorite has more than 20 goals on the season and is marked as an up and coming star. Even Flames legend Don Cherry had great things to say about the Tkachuk’s – both Matthew and his dad, Keith (who was also a pro).
“I remember his dad [Keith Tkachuk]. Boy, was his dad tough. He could throw ’em and [Matthew] can throw ’em pretty good,” Cherry said during the Coach’s Corner segment on Hockey Night in Canada Saturday. “Good little hitter. I give him the ultimate compliment: he reminds me of [Boston Bruins star Brad Marchand] and I can’t say anything better than that.”
Maine wing Nolan Vesey tallied an assist and four shots on net in the Black Bears 4-3 triumph over UNH…UMass-Dartmouth wing Patrick Wrenn dished out an assist in the Corsairs 10-1 manhandling of Framingham St…The Salem St. “Townie” trio stole the show in a 4-2 win over Becker; junior Jacqueline Sindoris had three assists and three shots on net, sophomore Rose Sullivan had a goal and an “eye-popping” seven shots on net, and senior Danielle Kelley had an assist and a shot on net. The “Townie” trio remained on fire in a rematch 2-0 win over Becker; Jacqueline, Danielle and Rose each notched an assist and combined for 10 shots on net…Assumption wing Tom Mahoney blasted eight shots on net in the Greyhounds 2-1 victory over Post. In a rematch 6-2 smackdown of Post, Mahoney added a goal and three assists.
Jacksonville wing Brendan Collier dished out an assist in the Icemen 5-2 victory over the Norfolk Admirals…Manchester wing Mike Doherty is third on the Monarchs in shots on net and is among the Top 10 rookies in ECHL scoring.
Walpole wing Will Ahearn notched an assist in the Express 5-3 setback to the Boston Rangers. Ahearn, who has seven points in his last seven games, added a goal in the Express 8-1 pounding of the New England Wolves.
Lowell Catholic defenseman Mike Andrea popped in a goal and brother Mitch added a goal and an assist as the Crusaders pulverized St. John Paul II by a score of 8-0. In the Crusaders 6-2 spanking of Lowell, Mike had a goal and an assist and Mitchell contributed a goal and two assists…Boston Latin defenseman Devin Gallagher tallied two assists in the Wolfpack 5-1 win over Haverhill…Nobles wing Sean Wrenn scored a goal in the Bulldogs 4-3 setback to Thayer…Worcester Academy standout Micaela Sindoris scored a goal and added an assist in the Hilltoppers 5-1 triumph over Millbrook. Sindoris has 23 goals on the season.
Kimball Union forward Nick Timberlake tossed in 24 points in the Wildcats 65-53 victory over Bridgton…Pope John XXIII captured the Catholic Central League title for the second time in three years with a 73-49 shellacking of Cristo Rey. The Tigers (18-1 overall, 12-0 league) also clinched the #1 seed in Division 4 North with an impressive 70-55 conquest of Arlington Catholic as Coach Leo Boucher and junior forward Conor Kelly gear up for the MIAA tourney…Winchester guard Liam Fitzpatrick scored 17 points, including the clinching free throws with 1.7 seconds left, to help the Sachems topple Arlington by a score of 57-55 handing the Spy Ponders their first league loss in 32 games.