Chris Serino Christmas Classic Recap: Day One

Malden, MA-Malden Catholic hosted their annual tribute to former coach Chris Serino at the Valley Forum II in the form of the Serino Christmas Classic. We were there for both games and below are the recaps and stars of the games.

The first game featured the 3-0 Hingham Harbormen and the 0-1 host MC Lancers. The first period was fairly uneventful as neither team really challenged MC’s goalie Brady Roux or Hingham’s Theo Jacobs. Both teams were able to put one in however. First, Hingham senior Terrance Concannon picked a puck up behind the net and jammed it home near side. Junior Paul Forbes and classmate Lars Osterberg picked up assists. Malden Catholic responded 28 seconds later as sophomore Matthew Babineau used his reach and long handle to get to split the defense and get to the net. Junior Brendan Curtis followed up and whacked home the rebound. Play remained even and the teams ended the period knitted at 1-1.

The second period belonged to the Lancers. Play was even and both goalies stood tall. However, 7:24 in, David Bazile who looked dangerous all game, came down the wing and snapped a rocket far top corner to give MC the lead. Seniors Matthew O’Brien and Tyler Blumberg picked the assists. Soon after captain Sean Noonan drew a penalty and MC took advantage. Brendan Curtis worked the give and go from the point with Babineau and Curtis snapped one under the crossbar on the short side. It was now 3-1 Malden Catholic. Roux made some big stops but MC took a late penalty. The Harbormen would start the third on the power play.

The third period would not see a goal scored but the Hingham end of the ice looked really smooth, barely touched. Malden Catholic killed off two key penalties, one late; blocked shots, got pucks out and weathered the storm to sink the Harbormen 3-1. 2003 Brady Roux was outstanding in the goal for the win in his first career start for the Lancers.

Three Stars:

First: David Bazile (MC)

Second: Brady Roux (MC)

Third: Brendan Curtis (MC)

NZ Notes: Hingham came in with three quality wins and gaudy numbers. However, they never looked dangerous tonight even when they controlled play. Senior Timmy Carroll has a good stick, looked slick with possession and has great speed. Senior James Eustace was relentless up front and played hard. Paul Forbes is an interesting 2002. Nice frame, reach, stride and vision. Terrance Concannon scored their goal and took and made hard hits. Tough to play against. Danny Packard, Bobby Falvey and Lars Osterberg showed flashes on the backend. For Malden Catholic, Bazile ripped the game winner home. He was dangerous every time he had the puck. He was consistently the biggest threat for either team. Sophomore Babineau had two assists and is slippery in space and strong in traffic. Curtis is dynamic and the puck finds him. His second goal was pretty and he has a burst to get quickly to scoring space. Sean Noonan was all over the ice. He was excellent on the top PK unit and blocked shots. He had no fear and wanted to win. Sophomore Nicholas Julian was another key player on the PK and in the defensive end. Good on the dot and helped down low on the breakout. O’Brien ate up quality minutes on the blue line. Tyler Blumberg was physical and tough. Chris Merryman played with an active stick and clogged passing and shooting lanes. MC is dramatically better than last season. Congrats to Coach Chris Kuchar on his first win at Malden Catholic.

Coach Chris Kuchar commented after the game:

“I’m happy for our kids. To get a win vs a quality team like Hingham is a big boost. Hingham is a tough, well coached team. We were playing with some heavy hearts as David Bazile lost his brother over the holidays. I thought he was our best player on the ice and I couldn’t be more impressed with what David, Brendan Curtis and Matthew Babineau did tonight. They were out there a lot and made plays.  I also thought Tyler Blumberg and Matt OBrien were outstanding on the backend. Their PP is outstanding and our goalie Brady Roux in his first start at MC was our best penalty killer tonight. Happy for the kids. On to the finals; vs a well-coached, very good St. Mary’s team.”

In the nightcap, the Austin Prep Cougars took on the St. Mary’s of Lynn Spartans. The two teams had a couple power play chances but solid defense and goaltending by seniors Andrew McDonald (AP) and Sal Caruso (SML) kept the scoreboard at zero. There were not many quality chances as both teams seemed to have a solid defensive plan with smart sticks and positioning.

It was more of the same in the second although the game did loosen up a bit, especially late. With three minutes left Austin Prep almost scored on a flurry where the puck seemed to remain loose in front of Caruso for an eternity until St. Mary’s were able to clear. Then with 1:30 left, the Cougars took two penalties in one shift. The Spartans went to work with a few chances but nothing to show for it. 6’3” sophomore defenseman Aidan Elkins was essential to killing the last minute and a half of the period as he blocked shots and cleared a puck late. St. Mary’s would start the third with 30 seconds of 5-3 power play. Game still stood at 0-0 after two periods.

The Cougars were able to kill off the remainder of the 5-3 power play. However, they were not able to sustain a consistent attack in the St. Mary’s end. Austin Prep took a couple of late penalties and finally their luck ran out as they headed to the box with just 1:30 left in the game. St. Mary’s called a timeout and 26 seconds into the man-up, Colby Magliozza buried a rebound from Davis Kinne and Brady Carpenter. 1-0 Spartans with 1:14 remaining. Austin Prep immediately took another penalty which all but sealed their fate. The Cougars had a couple chances 5v5 with the goalie out but Owen McGuire scored the empty netter with 5 seconds left to seal the win. 2-0 St. Mary’s. they will play Malden Catholic tomorrow night for the Championship and Hingham and Austin Prep will plat in the consolation game.

Three Stars:

First: Colby Magliozzi (St. Mary’s)

Second: Davis Kinne (St. Mary’s)

Third: Sal Caruso (St. Mary’s)

NZ Notes: Austin prep is very young. They have eight freshmen on the team and only four seniors. They play a solid game in their end as they have active sticks and their forwards invest in the DZone. The block shots and one of their seniors, goalie McDonald looked solid. He is 6’3”, takes away the bottom of the net and has a sharp glove. He was one of the best players on the ice, either team. Junior Colin Berube has some size and some speed. Reach to protect and backchecked hard with a long reach. Late 2005 Ty Wood is quick, showed solid offensive instincts and can separate. Senior Nolan Ricci was great on the penalty kill and showed flashes of speed and skill. Made a hard, difficult, cross-ice pass look easy. Aidan Elkins is a late 2003; 6’3”, 200lbs DMan who played lots of minutes, defended with reach and physicality, played special teams, can rip the puck and showed he has added a step as he carried end to end. There is an argument he was the best player on the ice. For St. Mary’s; this was a hard-fought, quality win. They played four defensemen and they all played well. Harrison Kinne is an eight grader (2005) who played about 20 minutes (he didn’t play PP). He has great hands and is a smooth skater. Passes well and has lots of upside. His brother Davis is a magician along the offensive blue line and picks pucks with the best of them. Heads up offensive defenseman who was good tonight. Kory Oullette was balanced and steady. The late 2002 battles, keeps his gaps tight and makes quick passes up ice. Chris Kolodziej is a senior and was steady, poised and tough. Those four along with Caruso shut the door on AP all night. Magliozzi scored the goal and it was deserved. He played a solid all-around game. He blocked shots, played hard and was on the puck a lot. It will be interesting if St. Mary’s can get away with four defensemen and consistently score this season. They are well versed in their end and that’s a good place to start.