Several of the Massachusetts’ top programs at the U18, U16 and U15 levels participated this past weekend at the Cape Cod Whalers Showcase. Each team got to play two games. Five of the 11 total games played ended in ties. Here is a look at some of the action:
Sunday, October 18th
U16 East Coast Wizards 2, U16 Jr Eagles 2
A very highly-touted match between the heavy loaded 04 East Coast Wizards vs the highly-skilled majority 05 group U16 Jr Eagles.
Throughout the first 22 minutes both teams had numerous scoring opportunities. Trying to feel each other out a bit the older group of the East Coast Wizards had the ice tilted a little more in the way of the Eagles. 05 goalie Sam Scopa, of Belmont Hill stood tall to the task of the onslaught in the first by the Wizards.
Belmont Hill sophomore James Fisher of Wilmington was all over the ice creating scoring chances left and right for the Wizards. The grade A opportunity for the Eagles came late in the first when Northeastern commit and potential 2023 NHL Draft pick Will Smith, a Lexington, Ma native and current forward at St Sebastian’s, went end-to-end inside out on three different Wizards players, came across the goal mouth only to be robbed by an outstretched Dexter Southfield goaltender Max Gatti.
The second half started out with fireworks when the Eagles won the opening draw and got the puck in deep. They had the Wizards hemmed in for about 30 seconds until Bennett Macdonald via Weston and a sophomore at Nobles won a 1v1 battle on the half wall, stepped to the middle of his D-zone and hit a stretching Fisher to send him in on a breakaway on Scopa Fisher proceeded to drop his shoulder on his forehand side and then went backhand over the outstretched blocker of Scopa to put the Wizards on top, 1-0.
The lead lasted until the Eagles went on the power play with about 15 minutes remaining. On a failed clear attempt Dexter Southfield freshman Jonathan Lanza of Winthrop kept the puck in, walked the line to the middle and launched a grenade to the front of the net that was redirected home by Cushing freshman Ethan Gardula to tie the score at 1-1.
About 90 seconds later Fisher was at it again. On a puck that was put to the wall by Eagles defenseman Mike Fischer, who rushed down the wall and threw the puck at the net that was then deflected in the air and baseball-batted home by James Fisher for a highlight reel goal to give the Wizards a 2-1 lead. It wasn’t until later in the period when Eagles D-man Harrison Kinne, a St. Mary’s sophomore, made a breakout pass from behind the net to the half wall where Gardula received it and made a cross ice pass to a stretching Smith, who came into the O-zone 1v1 with a Wizards defenseman, backhand toe-dragged to change the angle of his shot and unleashed a quick release under the Wizards’ Dman Stick and over Gatti’s blocker side shoulder. The teams went back-and-forth to finish the game but both goalies stood tall for the 2 -2 tie.
Three Stars: 3) Sam Scopa; 2) Will Smith; 1) James Fisher
U16 Boston Jr. Bruins 2. U16 Little Bruins 1
A game where both teams already had a good feel for each other there was quite a bit of neutral zone play. Both goaltenders were up to the task in this low scoring affair.
The Lil Bruins were heavy on the attack to start the game but the structured D-zone of the Jr. Bruins team held the heavy attack. The Little Bruins struck first on the PP when they worked the puck to the top of the umbrella and fed the bumper with a pass from Beverly, MA native and defenseman Trey Scott. Scott hit Shane Baker, from Grafton, who ripped a shot off the glove side pad of the tender who pushed a rebound to North Grafton’s Brady Keeler who slid the puck into the yawning net to give the Lil Bruins a 1-0 lead.
Five minutes later the Jr. Bruins went on the attack to tie it up. It all started when SJP Eagle forward Will Van Sicklin of Lynnfield entered the zone with speed and as he gained the net he wrapped the puck hard to the soft spot out front where he found an uncovered SJP teammate and Stonham’s Paul Santosuosso, who ripped the puck by Lil Bruins netminder Tyler Bloomfield of Hudson to tie the game up at 1-1.
The Jr. Bruins and the Lil Bruins battled back-and-forth with the slight offensive edge going to the Jr Bruins throughout the rest of the game. Bloomfield kept the score even throughout battling shots left and right. The Jr Bruins team was able to break through on Bloomfield late on the PP when the puck was worked low to high to Van Sicklin who found Malden Catholic freshman and Saugus native Owen Keefe for a one-timer that was redirected out front over the glove hand of Bloomfield by St Mark’s sophomore Frankie Ruperto for the game-winning tally.
Three Stars: 3) Frankie Ruperto; 2) Will Van Sicklin; 1) Tyler Bloomfield
U18 Jr Eagles 4, Cape Cod Whalers 1
This highly anticipated U-18 game currently has six D1 commits on the ice and soon to be many more. The game certainly lived up to the hype.
The Jr Eagles jumped out early in the first half when St Sebs sophomore Michael Cataldo (Norfolk) hit a streaking Ziv Chodirker down the wall through the neutral zone. Chodirker received the pass, drove the net and chipped the puck short side over Tristan Mecenas’ blocker to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead. Halfway through the period the Whalers came back to tie the game up at 1-1 when senior Brendan Dumas of St. Sebastian’s ripped a shot towards the net that deflected off a diving Joe Fleming on a puck that went up and over Ryan Kazmouz’s glove.
The Jr Eagles were determined to flex their 5 D1 commits on the ice but Tristan Mecenas, the senior from Governor’s Academy, stood on his head. The Eagles kept the Whalers hemmed into their end for the last quarter of the first half. Finally, late in the period Fleming picked off a pass in the neutral zone and streaked into the zone with speed. He wound up for a clapper and drew the strong side D-man up, which created a lane for Ziv Chodirker to drive the net. Fleming brought his stick quickly down and zipped a dime to the stick of Chodirker who went backhand, forehand 5 hole to give the Eagles a 2-1 lead.
The second half brought a different start than the finish of the first half. The Whalers came out buzzin’ with easy zone entries and open shots from the points but Kaz stood tall. This seemed to frustrate the Eagles who took two bad penalties to put the Whalers on a 5-3 early and Kaz once again stood tall as well as the kill included a big eat by the big D-man and Wellesley native Fleming. The tide turned once again and this time for the last time as the Eagles went on a tear but were once again met by the wall of Mecenas.
Then with about nine minutes left Nobles D-man Roman Tacelli found Fleming, who moved the puck low to high and slid the puck across to Governor’s senior and UConn commit Jack Pascucci, who unloaded a snapshot past the screened Mecenas. Mecenas stood tall the rest of the game as the Eagles kept the puck down the end of the Whalers. With 1:30 remaining the game the Whalers pulled Mecenas to get the extra attack but Pascucci picked the puck up on the wall and chipped it to Tacelli, who shot the puck into the open net as he was being hooked down to ice the game and give the Eagles a 4-1 victory.
Three Stars: 3) Tristan Macenas; 2) Joe Fleming; 1) Ziv Chodirker
Saturday, October 17
U15 Cape Cod Whalers 5, U15 Jr. Eagles 1
The Whalers jumped to a 3-1 lead after the first half en route to an eventual 5-1 win. Joseph DiMartino scored twice to lead the attack for the winners, while Owen Leahy had a goal and two assists, and Gates Omicioli a goal and assist. Ben Jarosz also scored, while Joe Hurton had the lone goal for the Jr. Eagles.
U15 Jr. Eagles 3, U15 East Coast Wizards 1
Goals from Brady Bullock, Brett Stone and Joe Hurton were enough for the Jr. Eagles to slip past the East Coast Wizards. Braden Duggan found the back of the net for the Wizards.
U18 Cape Cod Whalers 1, U18 Little Bruins 1
Domenic Murphy staked the Little Bruins to a 1-0 lead in the first half, assisted by Zach Peltz. The Whalers drew even in the second half on a Brendan Dumas strike.
U16 Little Bruins 2, U16 East Coast Wizards 2
Henry Wilson and Josh Furman had goals to lead the U16 Little Bruins to this deadlock. Matthew Biotti and Bennet MacDonald each had a goal for the Wizards.
U16 Jr. Eagles 1, U16 Boston Jr. Bruins 1
A second half goal from Shawn Leary brought the U16 Jr. Eagles even in this one. In the first half, the Jr. Bruins jumped to a 1-0 lead with a goals from Luke O’Sullivan.
U18 Jr. Eagles 8, South Shore Kings Prep 2
Two Brendan Gorman goals lead a balanced scored attack as the Jr Eagles took this 8-2 decision. Also denting the twine for the winners were Nick Roukounakis, Donovan O’Neil, Landyn Greatorex. Timmy Delay (2 assists), Ziv Chodirker and Roman Tacelli. Drew Haxton and Steve Canavan had goals for the Kings.
Friday, October 16
U18 South Shore Kings Prep 1, U18 Little Bruins 1
Both goals in this contest were scored in the second half. Stephen Canavan scored for the Kings, and Kyle Heath countered for the Little Bruins.
U15 Cape Cod Whalers 9, U15 East Coast Wizards 1
The Whalers pulled away in the second half for a convincing win. Owen Leahy led the attack, scoring four goals and assisting on three others, and Joe DiMartino added a pair of goals. Noah Mertz finished up with a goal and three assists. Matt Egan had the Wizards goal.
- Zach Lebowitz and Gary Demopoulos contributed to this report