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The verdict was all but in as time ticked down in regulation. Malden Catholic, leading by two goals late in Thursday night’s Super 8 semifinal against Springfield Cathedral, would be returning to the Division 1A final barring an uncharacteristic meltdown.
As the high-octane Lancer offense flicked the switch to cruise control and dropped back on defense, the Malden Catholic student section filled the Tsongas Center with chants of “We Want Austin,” an ode to the impending second semifinal — Austin Prep vs. BC High.
JJ Layton was happy to oblige. Nearly three hours later, the Austin Prep defenseman potted the game-winner in the eighth round of the shootout, locking up a 2-1 win over the Eagles and ensuring a rematch of the 2013 Super 8 championship.