Stars shine at coaches all-star games

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WORCESTER — There were fireworks a-plenty at the Massachusetts State Hockey Coaches Association’s Boys All-Star Game Sunday.

Catholic Memorial’s Connor Fryberger and Franklin’s Ben Paterson each registered a pair of goals to go with an assist, while Marshfield standout Tommy Carroll (two goals) added a spark as the Southern All-Stars capped the winter with a memorable 8-7 victory over Team North at the Fidelity Bank Worcester Ice Rink.

“I think (this) is a great take for the seniors,” said Team South and Boston Latin boys hockey coach Frank Woods. “It allows them one more game, and they enjoy playing this game. The pace is excellent. There’s a lot of skill out there.”

Following a somewhat slow start, fans witnessed a barrage of scoring at the onset of the second period, led primarily by the Northern All-Stars. Catholic Conference stars Brady Plaza of St. John’s Prep’s sniped the net with a one-timer from just inside the blue line, and St. John’s (Shrewsbury) standout Luke Gerardi added a pair of goals in a divided second period, with Team North holding a 3-1 edge at the makeshift intermission.

“We went into the locker room at halftime,” said Carroll. “(We said:) ‘We’ve just got to bring it. We had to bring it. The energy wasn’t up in the first half. I think the bench had a spark there, we started popping some in. That’s how you finish it.”

Back on the ice, the Southern stars flipped a switch. Suddenly, the chemistry between the athletes began to show, as goals started being registered left and right. Over the final half of the game, Team South outscored Team North, 7-1.

With 3:39 left in regulation, Fryberger put the South ahead for good, as he gained a bit of space in transition. After making a deke around the keeper, the senior lost sight of the puck, wondering where it had gone. The whistle sounded, as it turned up under a pad across the line. At that stage, his group had pulled off a rally to take a 7-6 lead.

“I didn’t think it went in at first,” Fryberger said. “I just kind of made a couple of moves, and just threw it on net.”

Reading’s Cam Fahey cut the deficit to 8-7 for Team North with a play reminiscent of the acclaimed Michigan “wraparound” goal with 1:17 left, but that was as close as his group could get. St. John’s Prep star Christian Rosa added a pair of goals for the Northern All-Stars.

For Woods, the comeback victory put a close on a winter season in which his Boston Latin team capture its first Div. 2 championship since 2005. It was an added bonus that the Wolfpack coach was joined by two of his players at the showcase with Aidan Fitzpatrick and Matt Carrara alongside.

“(Great way) to sort of cap it off,” said Woods. “What was nice was that we had two of our guys here in the game today. To see two of our guys play in this game, with both Fitzpatrick and Carrara, it was nice to see.”

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