NORTH ANDOVER, MASS. -- Max Shusterman scored twice and Vito Bavaro had a goal and an assist to lead Brooks School past St. Mark's, 4-1, in a New England prep school hockey game Wednesday.
Bavaro gave the home team an early lead when he cleaned up a loose puck sitting just outside the crease. Bavaro, a Sacred Heart commit from Bradenton, Fla., made a real pretty pass to find Jack Goodwin on the backdoor 1:08 into the second period for a 2-0 lead.
Shusterman scored the first of his two goals streaking down the right side later in the period. His snap shot beat St. Mark's goaltender Ryan Ferland high glove side.
The two teams traded a pair of power play tallies later in the period. Zach Tsekos got St. Mark's on the board before Shusterman regained the three-goal cushion for Brooks.
Despite the three-goal win, Brooks was outplayed for large stretches of play. '97 senior goaltender Max Prawdzik made 35 saves on the afternoon including several key stops.
Brooks was without K.J. Moore for the entire game and his brother Connor for the last two periods. Connor, a '97 junior defenseman committed to BC, was the victim of some stick work from a St. Mark's player in the first period and didn't come back out for the second and third.
Colin Stevens, a '97 junior defenseman, was a player that stood out, despite not being on many people's radar before the season. The Concord, NH is a right shot who skates well, makes smart decisions with the puck and is a puck-mover. He played the left point on the power play and is smooth, but somewhat raw. Reports are it wasn't one of his better games, but he played his gaps fairly well and is certainly a player to keep an eye on. He's the type of player that could fit nicely in the ECAC with some more seasoning.
Bavaro has some refining to do in his game, but does a lot of things well. He has a good reach, a heavy shot and seems to be around the puck a lot. He needs to be more consistent and better away from the puck before he arrives at Sacred Heart.
He only played just less than a period so it's not a fair representation, but BC recruit Connor Moore, while not the flashiest of defensemen, had a good stick and was poised with the puck on his stick.
Prawdzik is a big goalie who covers a lot of the net. He's s a sound fundamental butterfly goaltender who is pretty quiet in net. He was definitely strong on shots down low and made a couple nice blocker saves. One area of concern, if there was one, was his inability to hold onto glove saves yesterday. He's definitely been a key to Brooks' success this year.
Paul Capozzi is a small forward who generated a few nice chances due to his speed and hands. He made a real nice toe drag in the second period and also had a breakaway chance when he burst through the St. Mark's defense.
Luke O'Brien, a '97 right-shot right wing, was definitely the best player for St. Mark's yesterday. The Acton, Mass. native showed off some good speed, had a strong stride, nice stick skills and good hand-eye coordination. He had a presence in the offensive zone.
Tsekos, a '96 junior, was the goal scorer. The Montreal, Que. native had good puck skills, vision and made a real nice pass that he fit through a seam.
Peter Housakos, another '96 junior from Montreal, was good moving the puck from the blue line. He's got good size, but needs to improve his speed to become a legit Division I prospect.
Adam Lee, the team's leading scorer, had his moments yesterday, but didn't really stand out. He's got real good size, but the '95 from Montreal struggled with his footwork and using his strength and size to his advantage to get into the scoring area.
Ferland, a '98 goaltender who has impressed this observer before, didn't face too much rubber and it was hard to get a good read on him from yesterday's game. He doesn't have the size, but he's quick in the crease.
Even though St. Mark's held the advantage in possession and shots on goal, the Lions didn't have the depth to match up line-for-line with Brooks' overall team speed and skating ability.
Jeff Cox covers college, junior and high school hockey, NCAA recruiting and NHL Draft prospects. Follow him on twitter @JeffCoxSports.