U16 Beast League playoff action gets underway on Saturday with quarterfinal games at both New England Sports Village (Attleboro) and Rodman Arena (Walpole).
Also, four more U16 clubs will vie for a championship in both the Gold and Silver divisions, with games in Newington, CT and the International Skating Center (Simsbury, CT). (See schedules below).
Here is the playoff schedule for the U16 top tier:
Saturday October 21:
#8 Avon Regals vs. #1 Long Island Gulls, 1:50 pm at NESV 2
#7 Yale Jr. Bulldogs vs. #2 Mid-Fairfield, 3:40 pm at NESV 2
#6 Boston Hockey Academy vs. #3 NJ Rockets, 11:50 am at Rodman Arena
#5 East Coast Militia vs. #4 Neponset River Rats, 1:40 pm at Rodman Arena
Sunday October 22:
1/8 winner vs. 4/5 winner, 9:10 am at NESV 1
2/7 winner vs. 3/6 winner, 9:20 am at NESV 2
CHAMPIONSHIP – 2:10 pm at NESV 1
There will be a lot of great teams going at it in the Beast League U16 playoffs as eight teams will be battling it out for the title.
The #1 seed Long Island Gulls have been a lot of fun to watch and coach Dan Cassano is ready to see his team compete and keep growing. The Gulls will play the Avon Regals in the quarterfinals Saturday at 1:50 pm.
“For us to win a championship, we need to continue to improve our consistency,” said Cassano. “For us, the opponent doesn’t matter, it’s about playing the right way consistently. Being a team that’s detailed and plays hard which will allow us to get to our skill sets and make plays. That is when we are most successful.”
Cassano has two key players to keep an eye on in forward Cooper Dennis and goalie Ryan Cameron, both who have been strong assets to the team all season long.
“Cooper had a hat trick in our last game and is really starting to value playing away from the puck, his stick detail and his play in the defensive zone,” said Cassano. “He is a high end talent offensively who’s working to become a better player all over the ice. Ryan has been really strong for us the last two weekends and is regaining the form that helped him lead our U15 team to some championships last year. I am excited to keep seeing him progress.”
A few others to keep on the lookout for are two of the team’s top forwards, both committed to play college hockey. Jesse Orlowsky is committed to Harvard and Ethan Wyttenbach at Quinnipiac. Brendan DeFeo, another key member of the Gulls, is also committed to play at Vermont.
For the Regals to pull the upset, Owen Knight, David Ambuhl and Conor Nicolini will need to come up big, along with defenseman Mason Serafin. Liam Joyce has seen the bulk of the action in goal.
Number two seeded Mid-Fairfield will be another group to watch as they will take on the Yale Jr. Bulldogs in the quarterfinals Saturday at 3:40 pm.
Head coach Chris Gragnano is ready for his team to compete this weekend and is stressing playing together as a group.
“We need to compete and trust each other,” said Gragnano. “We will need to play hard, stick together and get a total team effort.”
Players to watch on Gragnano’s team include forwards Ryan Hedley, Tommy Coccaro, George McCaffrey (recently committed to UNH), Luke Dow and Corbin Carkner, and defensemen Tommy Bleyl and Marco Senerchia. All be key components to Mid-Fairfield’s success.
The Jr. Bulldogs will be led by forwards Indy Grossbard and Dom Clarizio.
Third-seeded New Jersey Rockets are ready to compete as they will face #6 Boston Hockey Academy on Saturday at 12 noon in the quarterfinals and it should be a competitive game.
Coach Noel Rubin is looking for a well-structured game from his team.
“We need to play a well structured 200 feet game,” said Rubin. “Our goalies Nikita Kluev and Matthew Minchak have been very good all season and it will take a total team effort. It is important to have no penalties and a good two-way game.”
Dante Rodriguez and Frantisek Netusil have had solid falls for the Rockets.
For BHA, a balanced attack is led by Zakhar Puzriakov, Yan Krasavin, Nikita Mikhailov, and defenseman Trent Coleman.
Another great 16U quarterfinal matchup will be between the #4 Neponset River Rats against the #5 East Coast Militia. These two teams will battle it out Saturday at 1:50 pm at Rodman Arena.
The River Rats have some key players that have put up solid numbers this season including Maine commit Michael Munroe (27 pts), Joe Marchi (25 pts), Dartmouth-bound Graydon Robertson-Palmer (15 pts), Trevor Pellecchia (13 pts), Tommy Anderson (13 pts), Evan Handler (12 pts) and Jake Assad (11 pts). Goalies AJ Levy (2.63 GAA) and Anthony Palmer (2.81 GAA) have both been solid for the River Rats this season.
EC Militia have been another strong and competitive squad this season. Forwards Justin Graf, Jack Fitzpatrick, Tristan Parmentier, Cameron Reed, Matthew Homer and Nicholas D’Olympio have all been key. On defense, James Baker, Alex Dzavik, Brian Burke and Nathan Patch have been solid blue-liners.
Here are the playoff slates for the U16 Gold and Silver Divisions:
SEMIFINALS – Saturday, October 21
Atlantic Coast Academy vs. NJ Jr. Titans, 9:20 pm at NESV 1
NH Mountain Kings vs. Springfield Thunderbirds, 9:10 pm at Rodman
CHAMPIONSHIP – 4:30 pm at Rodman
SEMIFINALS – Saturday, October 21
CT Chiefs Full vs. Yale Bulldogs Showcase, 7:00 pm at Newington, CT
Mid-Fairfield Showcase vs. CT Chiefs Split. 8:40 pm at Newington, CT
CHAMPIONSHIP – 9:55 am at International Skating Center, CT