Beast League Fall Classic: Host Of Key Matchups At U18 Level

Gary Demopoulos
Gary Demopoulos
Gary Demopoulos has been covering prep school hockey for the HNIB News for over 30 years, and has been the editor of the HNIB News since 2005. A former sportswriter and news editor at the Woburn (MA) Daily Times Chronicle, he has been the HNIB News' key reporter for Mens Prep School hockey since 1988, as well as womens hockey, both at the prep school and high school levels. for almost 20 years. Gary also helps organize and oversee HNIB's many summer tournaments and festivals for scholastic players.

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There are no less than 23 league games at the U18 level this weekend at the Beast League Fall Classic. The three-day event runs from Friday, September 15 – Sunday, September 17.

The majority of U18 games will be be held at the New England Sports Center in Marlboro, MA. Others will take place at Rodman Arena (Walpole, MA) and New England Sports Village (Attleboro, MA).

One team looking to make a big splash are the Valley Forge Minutemen, who will face Atlantic Coast Academy (Friday, 8:10pm, NESV), the Connecticut Chiefs (Saturday, 11:40am, NESC) and the Boston Hockey Academy (Sunday, 11:00am, NESV). The team comes in with a win and tie in its first two Beast League games.

“I’m looking for our team to play to the level we know we can,” said Valley Forge coach Joe Slowik. “We’re going to compete this weekend and show what we know what we can do.”

A key thus far has been the play of goaltender Aries Carangi, who, according to Slowik, has been absolutely stellar. “His play on the ice speaks for itself but his leadership off the ice is immeasurable,” coach Slowik said.

Also off to a good start have been the Buffalo Regals National, who will certainly be tested with a pair of tough games Saturday against Mid-Fairfield (3:20pm at NESC) and the Long Island Gulls National (8:20pm, NESC).

“It will be instrumental for us to play sound defense and win all the loose puck battles,” said Regals coach Kyle Quick. “This weekend I look for us to compete hard up and down and be very tough to play against.”

For the Regals, Tanner Duncan has paced the offense. Veteran defensemen Nolan King, John Baird-Gajdos and Leo Letta have held down the fort on the blue line.

And in goal, Cole Pouliot-Porter has been more than solid. “He has carried us and has been a brick wall in net,” Quick said.

The Long Island Gulls National are primed to make a move up the U18 standings with a big weekend, where they will face the Buffalo Regals (Saturday, 8:20pm, NESC) and the Yale Bulldogs (Sunday, 1:20pm, NESC).

Standouts thus far in the Gulls 12 overall games to date include forwards Ryan Wachtel and Richie Rucireto, and defenseman Andrew Cowgill.

“I would like to see the team continue to grow as individuals and as a team,” said LI Gulls coach Mark Lotito. “(We need) to do all the little things extremely well and compete.”

The Neponset River Rats National will look to bounce back from a 6-1 loss to the Gulls last weekend as they ready to play three games in less than 24 hours this weekend, taking on the Yale Jr Bulldogs (Saturday, 6:40pm, NESC), the East Coast Militia (Sunday, 8:00am, NESC) and the Avon Regals (Saturday, 1:30pm, NESC).

“We are off to a good start,” said River Rats head coach Ross Pasquantonio. “Three good challenges for us this weekend. I think keys for us are playing hard, disciplined hockey and keeping the game 5-on-5. We’ve had a lot of success early on playing 5-on-5 hockey.”

Through 10 overall games this fall, Ty Wood and Spencer Hirsch lead the Rats in scoring with nine points, followed by Sam Ciappa (5-3-8). Teddy Mallgrave has six points from his blue line position, while Ben Skowronek and Ethan Romanetti have split time between the pipes.

Other U18 Beast League games this weekend:

Friday 9/15

Boston Hockey Academy vs CT Chiefs, 1:00pm NESC

Atlantic Coast Academy vs NH Mountain Kings, 2:10pm, Rodman

CT Chiefs vs New Jersey Bears, 8:40pm, NESC

Saturday 9/16

Long Island Gulls Showcase vs Maine Jr. Mariners, 11:40am, NESC

Boston Hockey Academy vs Atlantic Coast Academy, 12:40pm, Rodman

Mid-Fairfield Showcase vs NH Mountain Kings, 5:10pm, NESC

Atlantic Coast Academy vs East Coast Militia, 7:10pm, Rodman

CT Chiefs Showcase vs Maine Jr. Mariners, 7:20pm, Rodman

Boston Jr. Huskies Tierney vs Red Bank Generals, 7:50pm, NESV

New Jersey Bears vs LI Gulls Showcase, 8:50pm, Rodman

Buffalo Regals Showcase vs North Shore Wings, 8:50pm, NESC

Mid-Fairfield vs Avon Regals, 8:50pm, NESC

Sunday 9/17

Red Bank Generals vs CT Chiefs Showcase, 9:40am, Rodman

Boston Hockey Academy vs Valley Forge Minutemen, 11:00am, NESV

North Shore Wings vs Boston Jr. Huskies Sarno, 11:30am, NESC

Buffalo Regals Showcase vs Mid-Fairfield Showcase, 11:40am, NESC

East Coast Militia vs NH Mountain Kings, 3:40pm, Rodman

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