Malden, Mass. -- Austin Prep and Malden Catholic advanced to the finals of the second annual Christie Serino Christmas Classic at the Valley Forum. The game will be a rematch of the terrific MIAA Super 8 Finals that the Lancers won last March for their third straight state crown.
Austin Prep advanced to the finals with a shootout win over St. Mary's. Cam Russo scored a power play goal late in the second period to give Lou Finocchiaro's team a 1-0 lead after 30 minutes. St. Mary's evened the score in the third period on a goal by Connor Foley.
After a scoreless overtime period, the teams went to a shootout to decide who would advance to the finals. Russo lifted a forehand past St. Mary's goaltender Bailey MacBurnie for the only score of the shootout.
MacBurnie was tremendous as he kept Mark Lee's Spartans in the game with several huge saves. MacBurnie is one of the top three goaltenders in the state after returning from a year of prep school at Brewster Academy.
Malden Catholic advanced to the finals thanks to a 6-2 win over Hingham. The Harbormen and Lancers were deadlocked, 1-1, after 15 minutes, but MC scored two quick goals at the start of the second period to gain control of the game.
UNH recruit Ara Nazarian registered a hat trick and UMass-Lowell recruit Tyler Sifferlen added two goals of his own. Linemate Jake Witkowski also had a terrific game. Nazarian, a Boxford, Mass. native, assisted on the other three goals for a six-point night.
Malden Catholic and St. Mary's will square off at 5:40 p.m. Saturday afternoon. St. Mary's and Hingham will play in the Consolation game.
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Jeff Cox covers college, junior and high school hockey, NCAA recruiting, NHL Draft prospects and the AHL for SBNation. Follow him on twitter @JeffCoxSBNation.