There are 12 games at the U15 level happening this weekend at the Beast League Fall Showcase across three different rinks.
The East Coast Militia have gotten off to a hot start and they are one team to keep your eye on this weekend.
The Militia play a big game Sunday morning at 9:50 at the New England Sports Center against the Long Island Gulls and coach Jack McIntosh is excited to watch his team compete.
“Keys to competing well with the top teams like the Gulls will be to be better in our own zone,” said McIntosh. “We don’t spend a lot of time in our own zone, but when we do we need to play with more structure. We put a lot of pressure on teams below the face off dots offensively and will need to definitely find ways to bury more of our chances. With all that being said, most important to our success will be to stay out of the box. Boys are off to a good start and are a great group who works hard.”
McIntosh has been impressed by his whole team but there are a few players in particular that have really stood out to him.
“The scoring has been pretty spread out with Nate Dono, Tommy Wilkinson, Whalen Chin, Patrick Benson and Nick Stevens leading the team right now,” said McIntosh. “Missing Finn Kilbourne the last couple of weeks has hurt us, but Brian McFadden, Kevin Fitzgerald, Gavin Thompson and Hunter Lee have been solid on the back end. Louis Slesar and Drew Karlovits have been great in net.”
Another team in the U15 tier that has been playing well are the New Jersey Rockets. The Rockets will be busy this weekend with three key games. The first two are Saturday against the Long Island Gulls (5:10pm, NESC) and Seacoast Performance Academy (11:20am, NESC) and they will wrap up the weekend on Sunday with a game against the Neponset River Rats (9:50am, NESC).
“For the team to continue to be successful this weekend we need our special teams to continue their strong play,” said head coach Matthew Juneau. “So far on the season the team has notched six power play goals while only giving up three power play goals against. Special teams is a major part of any team’s success and will continue to be a focal point of the team throughout the season. This weekend’s opponents will test our depth and abilities as a team. Last year we had very competitive games vs SPA and the Gulls. All three opponents will present different match-up issues for us and we need to be sharp to have a favorable weekend.”
Juneau is impressed by his team so far and says their depth is a large part of their early success.
“I believe the strength of our team is our depth at every position,” said Juneau. “We are four lines deep with talent and are solid on the defensive side of the puck as well. Goaltending has been strong so far as both goalies have a GAA under 2.26.”
The Yale Jr. Bulldogs are another team to keep your eye on. They have three games this upcoming weekend. The first on Saturday against Atlantic Coast Academy at 4 pm at Rodman Arena and the others on Sunday against the NH Mountain Kings at NESC at 11:20 am, and the Neponset River Rats at 3:20pm at NESC.
“We are looking to be better defensively and have more O-zone time,” said coach Steve Novodor. “(We) want to be great in front of the net offensively and defensively this weekend coming up.”
As for players to keep your eye out, Novodor has a few that he has been impressed with thus far.
“Tyler Roccas on defense has been huge for us since the start of the year,” said Novodor. “Offensively Joseph Burke, Shane Fraser and Brody Baum have been productive for us.”
Other U15 games on the weekend slate are:
– Boston Hockey Academy vs. Atlantic Coast Academy 12:40 pm, 9/15 at Rodman
– Red Bank Generals vs NH Mountain Kings 2:20 pm, 9/15 at Rodman
– Boston Hockey Academy vs. Long Island Royals, 12:20 pm 9/17 at Rodman