Lowell, Mass. -- Eric MacAdams had two goals and an assist as Austin Prep rolled on to the semifinals of the 2014 Super 8 with a 4-1 win over Central Catholic on Thursday night at the Tsongas Center.
The sophomore missed significant time this season with an injury, but was terrific at both ends of the ice tonight, even racing back to break up a CC opportunity in the third period.
"He had a big night for us. He had two goals and a beautiful assist on the power play," said Austin Prep head coach Louis Finnochiaro. "We've been waiting for that from him. He was out for seven weeks and he's finally getting into game shape now. We're pleased to get him going," he added.
Central Catholic jumped on the board first at the 7:59 mark of the opening period when Alex Lester was there to bang home a loose puck in the crease. The play began with a nice pass from Corey Webber to Lloyd Hayes who shot it on net, and the rebound just sat in the crease until Lester banged it home.
"We didn't play well at all in the first period," explained Finnochiaro. "They out shot us and beat us in all the foot battles," added the former Merrimack College assistant.
Austin Prep evened the score midway through the second period on a nice setup from Boston University commit Bobo Carpenter. The junior wheeled around the offensive zone before finding an open Jake McKenelly who fired the puck past the glove of CC goaltender Colin Soucy.
"We played much better in the second period. That McKenelly goal got us going a little bit," said Finnochiaro.
MacAdams scored his first of the night with 4:35 to play in the second period, giving Austin Prep its first lead of the night. Cam Russo and Mike Discuillo assisted on the play that made it 2-1 Cougars heading into the second intermission.
"To get ahead 2-1, that gave us a little bit of confidence," explained Finochiarro.
Defenseman J.J. Layton gave the Cougars some breathing room 7:10 into the third period when he let go a blast from the point on the power play. The puck cleanly sailed past Soucy and into the back of the net. Carpenter and MacAdams picked up the helpers.
"That power play goal was a beautiful pass from MacAdams to Layton. That third goal was a big one," said Finnochiaro of the goal that gave his team a two-goal cushion, and seemed to deflated Central Catholic.
MacAdams added a goal to put the game and the series completely out of reach with 1:38 to play in the game. He knocked a Andrew Cross point shot out of midair and then made a nifty move before tucking the puck up and past Soucy.
Austin Prep junior goaltender made 27 saves on the night. The highly touted goaltender was seemingly well-positioned all night and rarely had to make an acrobatic stop.
"He played sensational the other night [Sunday in game one]," said Finnochiaro. "He played well again tonight. He made the saves we need him to make. He seems to play big in the big games. He did last year for us in the playoffs and these two games have been his best games all year," added the former Saugus High star.
The win meant the series sweep for the Cougars, who will next face BC High in the semifinals next Wednesday night at 8 p.m. Malden Catholic and Springfield Cathedral will meet in the other semifinal at 6 p.m. Both games will be at the Tsongas Center.
"Obviously we have some time off. [BC High] is a very good team. We'll prepare for them. They beat us 6-2 in the Falmouth Tournament. We'll be ready to go," said Finnochiaro.
Jeff Cox covers college, junior and high school hockey, NCAA recruiting and NHL Draft prospects. Follow him on twitter @JeffCoxSBNation.