Malden Catholic won its third straight Christie Serino Christmas Classic on Sunday and did so in large part thanks to junior captain and Northeastern commit Matt Filipe. The center had a goal and two assists in the semifinal then lit the lamp twice and dished out a helper in the 3-0 win over Austin Prep in the championship game.
This observer took in Saturday's semifinals before heading up to Merrimack College for the Pete Frates Classic on Sunday. Austin Prep downed St. Mary's 4-1 and Malden Catholic dispatched Hingham, 6-2, setting up Sunday's final, a rematch of the past two MIAA Super 8 championship games.
Here's a look at the top prospects from the four teams as seen on Saturday:
Matt Filipe, LC, 6-2/200, Jr., Malden Catholic, 12/31/97 (Northeastern) - He was heads and shoulders above anyone else here in terms of college or pro potential. He's a late '97 so he's not eligible until the 2016 NHL Draft. He plays a powerful game. He's strong on the puck and is a strong skater. He's got a quick release and can absolutely fire the puck. He's so big and strong he sometimes has to rein it in a little at this level due to referee's calling high school games so closely. Basically when he wants to take a game over at this level he can do so. He factored on the score sheet in six of his team's nine goals in the tournament. He'll likely be with Cedar Rapids in the USHL next season.
Eric MacAdams, RC, 5-11/170, Jr., Austin Prep, 4/29/97 - After a sophomore campaign where he missed a good chunk of the regular season with an injury he came alive in the postseason, scoring a few real clutch goals for the Cougars. He had a nice showing at this summer's Select 17s and Beantown Classic. Playing in those summer showcases has allowed him to see the game better and let the plays come to him. He made a great shot fake and put a pass right on his teammate's stick on a two-on-one score Saturday. He's a complete player who is good in all 200 feet of the ice. He'll get picked up by a Division I school eventually.
Jack Adams, RW, 6-5/190, Jr., Malden Catholic, 2/5/97 - The brother of Providence College senior defenseman and Buffalo Sabres prospect Mark Adams, he scored a few goals last season as a sophomore, but he was slow and didn't always look very smooth out there. Reports began to surface that his skating improved drastically over the offseason working with renowned skating guru Paul Vincent and getting more stealth in the weight room. Those reports are all accurate. As his coach John McLean has pointed out, it takes longer for big guys to develop and blossom as a skater. This season he's doing a good job of puck possession and wheeling around the offensive zone. His line, in large part due to him, was dominant in the third period against Hingham. He's got good hands for a big guy and if he continues to work on his skating, he'll be a solid Division I prospect.
Dante Maribito, RC, 5-9/150, Soph., St. Mary's, 10/8/98 - He's the best prospect on Mark Lee's squad and talk around the rink is he'll likely be playing prep hockey next season. He's quick and has good hands. He's a player who makes his linemates even better. He centers Shawn MacBurnie and Eric Pedro most often. He's not a super star, but he's a good player to keep an eye on as he develops and brings his game to the next level.
Matt Egan, LW, 5-10/160, Soph., Hingham, '99 - He had a goal and saw a ton of time on the power play. He's got some good hands and above average skating ability. This observer went back and forth between him and fellow '99 and classmate Matt Demelis for who stood out more, but Egan gets the nod with finding the score sheet. Egan definitely has more offensive upside, but Demelis is a very solid two-way player. Egan, Demelis and defenseman Marc O'Rourke are three '99 sophomores to keep an eye on for the Harbormen. All three have come up playing, at least at times, for Tim Lovell's Boston Advantage squad.
Jeff Cox covers college, junior and high school hockey, NCAA recruiting and NHL Draft prospects. Follow him on Twitter @JeffCoxSports.