BOSTON -- The opening round games of the Super 8 came and went on Sunday with three very competitive, exciting contests. The most entertaining game of the day was probably the back-and-forth affair between Malden Catholic and Catholic Memorial, eventually won by the Lancers, 4-3. All of the higher seeds won the first game in the best-of-three quarterfinals.
No. 4 Austin Prep 2, No. 5 Central Catholic 1 (Recap)
No. 3 Springfield Cathedral 4, No. 6 Duxbury 1 (Recap)
No. 2 Malden Catholic 4, No. 7 Catholic Memorial 3 (Recap)
No. 1 BC High 2, No. 8 Xaverian 1 (Recap)
Note: We'll have a complete ranking of the top college prospects in Massachusetts High School Hockey after the conclusion of the state tournament, but here is the list of top performers from Sunday's four Super 8 games. This list is of players who stood out yesterday, and exclusion of high profile players just means they didn't stand out as much as usual.
Bobo Carpenter, Junior, Forward, Austin Prep - The Boston University commit had a hand in both of the Cougars goals, each coming in the first three minutes of the hockey game. He was strong on the puck and tenacious on the forecheck. His goal 35 seconds in was a snipe that beat Central goaltender Colin Soucy high. He assisted on a goal just a few minutes later when his forecheck caused a turnover.
J.J. Layton, Sophomore, Defense, Austin Prep - The uncommitted defenseman is a big bruiser out on the blue line, and he delivered several bone-crunching hits. He has good vision and does well transitioning the puck up ice. Like a lot of young players, he has to get better at picking and choosing his spots, but there is a lot of promise. He's a player that could very well end up being a top four blue liner in Hockey East. He had a goal and an assist in last July's USA Hockey Select 16 Festival.
Elijah Harris, Junior, Goaltender, Austin Prep - The Haverhill, Mass. native really came on to the scene last spring and summer with his play in this tournament and his showing at the USA Hockey Select 16 Festival and the Beantown Classic. He is undersized, but is lightning quick going from post-to-post. Several Hockey East schools are interested and he was clutch in closing the door with Central throwing everything but the kitchen sink his way.
Keith Petruzzelli, Freshman, Goaltender, Springfield Cathedral - The Quinnipiac recruit was the first '99 to commit to a Division I college earlier this season. He is already very tall and growing into his frame, but he has good positioning and is technically very sound. He made some nice saves with his pads with the game still in doubt.
Riley Prattson, Freshman, Forward, Springfield Cathedral - He and his older brother Zac both had a goal in the team's 4-1 win over Duxbury. His goal came right after a power play expired when he eluded the Dragons defense to retrieve a pass from UMass commit John Leonard. In turn he lifted the puck above the goaltender's glove for the game-winner. He is the more talented of the two Prattson brothers and could become a hot commodity on the recruiting trail if he grows a little.
Peter Crinella, Junior, Forward, Springfield Cathedral - The Holy Cross commit is starting to garner interest from some Hockey East schools with his play. He is a big-bodied forward with a hard shot and can play a physical game. He uses his body well to create space and fend off defenders.
Tyler Sifferlen, Senior, Forward, Malden Catholic - The UMass Lowell commit scored two goals in the game, including the game-winner with 2:08 to play. He does a good job of creating space and using his speed to his advantage. He probably projects as a second or third liner in college, but could be very effective in that role and as a penalty kill weapon.
Matt Filipe, Sophomore, Forward, Malden Catholic - The Northeastern recruit didn't see the ice much in the first period, but made his presence known over the final two stanzas. He is big, physical and strong. He scored on a nifty breakaway where he bursted through the CM defense before going five-hole. He had several other chances where he used his strength and physical presence to cut through seams.
Aaron Clancy, Junior, Forward, Catholic Memorial - He had two goals in the Super 8 play-in game last Monday and scored again Sunday. A lot of his goals come in the dirty areas as he is a big kid with strength, but he also has a hard shot. He's the type of player who could continue to develop into a college player if he puts in the work.
Paul Hardiman, Sophomore, Forward, Catholic Memorial - He was one of the best penalty killers for Bill Hanson's team a year ago, but didn't see much ice otherwise, with the older talent on the team. This year he has seen his role increase with departures to juniors, prep school and graduation. He scored twice on Sunday and is creative with the puck. He's a little undersized, but could certainly see his stock go north over the coming years.
Tim Weinstein, Sophomore, Defenseman, Catholic Memorial - He is very small for a defenseman, but he is really crafty with the puck and plays a smart game in his own end. He has been the most reliable defender for Hanson's team all season. If he grows just a little, he could be in the mold of a David Warsofsky type player who is undersized, but makes things happen with the puck from the back end.
Brandon Collett, Sophomore, Goaltender, Catholic Memorial - He has been a mainstay between the pipes for the Knights who kept his team in the game with several really quality saves against the high-powered offense of Malden Catholic.
Tim Larocque, Junior, Forward, BC High - The Middleboro, Mass. native had both goals for the Eagles and both came from right on the goal mouth. His first goal was a great individual effort, making a strong drive to the net from the left boards before a powerful finish. The game-winning goal was a play where he stormed the net to clean up a rebound of a loose puck. He is a player that could definitely develop into a college prospect once things fully come together.
Brandon Payzant, Sophomore, Goaltender, BC High - He was instrumental in BC High holding down the fort, especially when his team was shorthanded twice in the final five minutes of the hockey game. He benefits from a strong defense in front of him, but he's been very good all season. He made some nice saves last night and definitely has the size and tools to be a college goaltender someday.
Antonio Marini, Senior, Forward, Xaverian - He isn't the biggest player in the world, but he plays with a lot of heart and grit. He has good hands and makes nifty moves with the puck. He scored the only goal of the game for the Hawks and could be a player with some Division I interest after a year or two of junior hockey.
Jon Beniers, Sophomore, Forward, Xaverian - His speed really benefits the top line with Marini and Tim Sweeney. He does a good job of playing the half wall on the power play and shows signs of upside. He's definitely a player to keep an eye on over the next few years.
Aidan Murphy, Freshman, Goaltender, Xaverian - He showed some nerves in the Super 8 play-in game last Monday, but there were no such signs on Sunday. He played poised and made some strong saves on some chances from BC High in tight. He played on the South Shore Kings U16 team prior to the start of the season and is a goaltender who could develop into something special.
Jeff Cox covers college, junior and high school hockey, NCAA recruiting and NHL Draft prospects. Follow him on twitter @JeffCoxSBNation.