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Recap: No. 3 Malden Catholic 6, No. 16 Hingham 2

MALDEN, Mass. – It’s said the mark of a good team is one that is never satisfied.

Four-time defending Super 8 Champion Malden Catholic is certainly a good team, and despite a 6-2 win over Hingham on Saturday night, head coach John McLean was less than pleased.

“I saw a team that’s been on Christmas break. I didn’t think we played smart. Obviously we have a good bunch of talented players, but we didn’t play as a team,” critiqued the coach.

With the win, the Lancers advance to Sunday’s championship game of the Christie Serino Tournament, honoring the program’s former coach. Austin Goldstein’s two goals and Matt Filipe’s goal and two assists led the way offensively.

“It’s good to come out and get the win especially in this tournament that means a lot to Malden Catholic as a community,” said Filipe. “Chris Serino did a lot for Malden Catholic. Not just the program, the athletic department, everyone, he did a lot.”

Malden Catholic jumped on the board early with a strike from Corey Goldstein just 4:01 into the game. The junior left wing had a practically wide-open net after receiving a pass from defenseman John McLean, who made a really nice look to the weak side.

Austin Goldstein made it a one-two brotherly punch when he added to the MC lead at the 9:27 mark of the opening period. Filipe won the faceoff to himself and muscled his way through a defender before tipping the puck over to Goldstein who pushed it into the net.

With seemingly a parade of MC players heading to the penalty box Hingham cut the lead in half with 2:40 to play in the opening period. Senior Jack Forbes collected a loose puck in front and buried it past Lancers goaltender Kyle Casey.

Malden Catholic regained its two-goal lead 3:42 into the second period on Austin Goldstein’s second goal of the game. Nice puck movement on the power play started by Filipe and McLean created an open lane for Goldstein.

Filipe broke the game open just over two minutes later when he picked up a pass from Jake Witkowski before making a few quick moves and rifling a wrister into the back of the net on the breakaway.

“It was kind of a weird breakout, but it ended up on Jake Witkowski’s stick. He made a nice pass to me and I went in on a breakaway and put it in,” said Filipe, the Northeastern recruit who was playing in front of his future coach with Jim Madigan scouting the game.

“He’s big and strong. He’s a man out there,” said McLean of his junior captain. “He’s got great size and speed. He’s an asset for us.”

Malden Catholic’s third line has developed strong chemistry in the first two games of the season, led by the drastic improvement of junior winger Jack Adams. The line gave the Lancers some breathing room with tallies on back-to-back shifts in the third period. Brendan White tipped home Matt Ciulla’s point shot at the 2:29 mark to give MC a 5-1 lead.

Adams, who assisted on White’s goal, picked up his third of the season just under three minutes later. He backhanded one through the five-hole of Hingham goaltender Andrew Ehler after receiving a nice pass from White below the goal line.

“The [Nick] Botticelli line with Adams and White played better as the game went along. They’re three big guys who can all skate. They’re smart and can move the puck. As long as they play together as a unit it goes well,” said McLean.

Valuable Learning Experience for Harbormen: Hingham got one back in garbage time when sophomore Matt Egan continued his torrent pace to start the season. Despite losing by four goals Hingham coach Tony Messina thought the game could be a valuable learning experience for his young squad.

“We knew it was going to be a horse race. They are fast and skilled. At times we did well to keep up and play the way we wanted to, but other times we gave them too many easy goals. We know the way we need to play to compete at this level. We’re hoping that playing this schedule now, we’ll be able to play with these guys come the end of the year,” said Messina.

The Harbormen received the praise of their opposing coach, who was impressed with the team’s work ethic in his advanced scouting.

“I thought Hingham played a great game. I went and watched them on Christmas Eve. They played hard against Weymouth. I thought they played extremely hard tonight. They did what they had to do to keep it close,” said McLean.

Egan and classmate Matt Demelis saw a ton of ice time for younger players and exhibited elite talent level. The duo’s continued progression bodes well for the future of Harbormen hockey.

“They’re highly skilled for us. They’re on our power play with [junior] Billy McNally. They know what to do,” said Messina, who believes all his young players will become even better with more experience against stronger competition.

Hingham is still very much a work in progress after losing BC recruit Luke McInnis to prep hockey as well as a few other standouts. However, Messina is confident he still has enough talent in his locker room.

“We lost some good players, but every team does. We have some good players in our room. They just don’t know it yet. They have to believe before they can do it on the ice,” explained Messina, whose team will play in Sunday’s consolation game against St. Mary’s.