Lowell, Mass. -- There was little drama on the Tsongas Center ice on Wednesday night as each Super 8 game resulted in a series sweep for the higher seed. No. 1 BC High ended No. 8 Xaverian's season with a 4-0 shutout victory while No. 2 Malden Catholic rallied from a two-goal second period deficit to edge No. 7 Catholic Memorial, 6-4.
Super 8 coverage
Wednesday's 3 stars
No. 1 Ara Nazarian, Jr., Forward, Malden Catholic (UNH)
This one isn't even close. The Boxford, Mass. native showed everyone in attendance, including his future college coaching staff, why he's so highly sought after and why he'll likely hear his name called in the 2014 NHL Draft. He was strong on pucks, drove hard to the net and showed his offensive creativity on more than one occasion. He's only five-foot-10, but when he turns on the jets, he plays a bigger game. As he's been so often over the past couple seasons, he was absolutely dynamic and dominant Wednesday.
No. 2 Brandon Payzant, Soph., Goaltender, BC High
Head coach John Flaherty called Payzant "the best player on the ice," as his sophomore goaltender led the Eagles to a 4-0 victory and third semifinals appearance in four seasons. Payzant is a big goaltender that takes up a lot of the net and plays his angles well. He rarely, if ever, has to make a save look spectacular as he is usually in good position. He stopped all 28 shots and is a major reason the Eagles will be a favorite going further.
No. 3 Sam Topham, Sr., Defenseman, BC High
Topham was a calming presence along the Eagles blue line as he has so often been this season. He doesn't have the upside that sophomore Ryan Shea has, but he is a steady, reliable defender. He had a goal and an assist and played responsibly in his own end. He'll play a year of prep school or junior hockey next season and will be a very good pickup for a NESCAC school or maybe even a Division I program.
Other notables: UMass Lowell recruit and Malden Catholic senior Tyler Sifferlen, playing on his future college campus, had two goals, including the game-winner with 1.8 seconds left in the second period… Malden Catholic second line right wing Brian Cameron had two goals and an assist… Catholic Memorial sophomore goaltender Brandon Collett gave up six goals, but he made several highlight reel saves, including a glove save in the third period that many in attendance could barely believe… The bar was set so high by BC High sophomore defenseman Ryan Shea that he sometimes gets lost in the shuffle when coming up with three stars. His ability to break the puck out of his own zone as well as quarterback the power play is remarkable for a young player. He has such poise and it's easy to tell that he really sees the game one step ahead of most of the other players on the ice… BC High junior forward Connor Noonan picked the top corner for the first goal of the night and forced a turnover for the third goal of the evening scored by line mate Aidan Foley.
BC High awaits the winner of the Austin Prep-Central Catholic series while Malden Catholic will take on the winner of Springfield Cathedral and Duxbury.
Cathedral, leading its series over Duxbury, 1-0, will go for the sweep Thursday at 6 p.m. Austin Prep, up 1-0 in its series, looks to close out Central Thursday at 8 p.m. Both games are at the Tsongas Center.