Eastern Hockey League: Haverhill Showcase Recap

Anthony DiPaolo
Anthony Di Paolo has been working in various levels of hockey over the last five years, ranging from juniors to the pros. Di Paolo spent four seasons as the Communications Director and play-by-play announcer for the New Jersey Titans of the North American Hockey League (2016-2020), and is entering his fifth season in a similar role with the New Jersey 87’s of the Eastern Hockey League. Graduating from Seton Hall University in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism, the New Jersey native covered Division I athletics for his school’s radio station, WSOU, and spent two years writing for the Fischler Report, a newsletter run by U.S. Hockey Hall-of-Fame inductee Stan Fischler.

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Another leg of the Eastern Hockey League’s showcase series is in the books, as the EHL and EHLP played 32 games in Haverhill, Mass. over the course of the previous weekend.

Let’s take a look around the leagues and see how the divisions fared in the Haverhill showcase.

Josh Higgins
NH Avalanche

Every team in the North Division had at least one win in Haverhill, and the New Hampshire Avalanche went 2-0 while extending its point streak to 14 games. On Sunday they defeated the New Jersey 87’s 3-2, as Evan Victor scored the game-winning goal with just 2:31 left in regulation. The following day, New Hampshire defeated the hosting Valley Jr. Warriors 4-2 with a two-goal performance from Josh Higgins.

All of the other teams in the North split their games in the showcase. The Seacoast Spartans defeated the Connecticut Chiefs 3-2 in a shootout, including a two-point performance from Cooper Board. Coming off a loss against the Railers Jr. Hockey Club, the Vermont Lumberjacks had a dominant 5-0 win over Team Maryland and a two-goal game from Tyler Murray.

The New England Wolves picked up three out of four points in their two games, with their win coming against the Connecticut RoughRiders in overtime. Kristian Malec picked up the game-winning goal to give the Wolves a 4-3 victory. It was also the second time this season he scored an overtime winner in a showcase game.

Like the North, the East Division also saw every team win at least one game. With that, however, came the end of the Boston Jr. Rangers’ 10-game winning streak. They started off with a 2-0 win over the Protec Jr. Ducks, but then fell to the Railers by the same score.

The Seahawks Hockey Club won both of their games against Connecticut teams, starting with a 3-2 overtime win against the Chiefs, off a game-winning goal from Andrew Kimball. He picked up four more points (1g, 3a) in a 6-3 win over the RoughRiders, racking up a total of two goals and four assists in Haverhill.

Three teams in the division managed to snap losing streaks, most notably the Walpole Express. They defeated New York Apple Core 5-0 to end an eight-game winless streak. Meanwhile the host team Valley Jr. Warriors beat the New Jersey 87’s 5-2 to end their own six-game losing streak. The East Coast Wizards ended a three-game slide with a 4-2 victory against the Protec Jr. Ducks, powered by a three-point game (2g, 1a) for Cole Scott.

Damon Dulac
Railers JHC

In the Central Division, the main focus is the new top team in the EHL power rankings, and that’s the Railers Jr. Hockey Club. They were one of the few teams to play three games over the weekend, and ran through the gauntlet unscathed. It started with a back-and-forth battle with the Vermont Lumberjacks, and Damon Dulac scored a go-ahead goal with 3:38 left in regulation to secure a 5-4 win.

Next up were the Valley Jr. Warriors, and the Railers cruised to a 7-1 victory. Mike DiMascolo had a hat trick plus an assist, and goaltender Xavier Lapierre, who was called up from the Railers EHLP team, made 15 saves on 16 shots for his first win in the EHL. The Railers then wrapped up their showcase by knocking off the defending champion Jr. Rangers 2-0, as Stefan Kulhanek recorded a 28-save shutout.

New York Apple Core also picked up a win in the showcase, a 3-2 shootout victory over the New England Wolves. Zachary Conboy tied the game in the second half, and Colby Walters scored twice in the shootout to seal the win.

Two teams in the South Division secured at least one win, and the Philadelphia Little Flyers managed to sweep their weekend. On Saturday they defeated the Spartans 4-3, and defenseman Chris Blango scored the overtime goal in his debut with the team. They kept the momentum rolling with a 6-3 victory over the Wizards, with Adam Beauvais and Kyle Patton notching two goals each.

Team Maryland won their contest against the Walpole Express by a score of 4-2. Owen Schmidt scored twice as the team managed to break the 70-goal plateau just 19 games into the season.

EHLP

Similar to their EHL counterparts, the Railers took the spotlight in Haverhill. They beat both New Jersey teams by convincing margins, with a 6-1 win over the Renegades and 5-1 victory against the 87’s. JT Gary, who only had one goal coming into the showcase, managed to score three goals over the two contests.

The Seahawks and Jr. Rangers also won both of their games, further proving the East Division’s dominance in the EHLP. The Seahawks defeated the Avalanche 3-2 in a shootout, then beat the New England Wolves 2-1 the following day. The Rangers, meanwhile, beat the Valley Jr. Warriors 3-2 in a shootout and the New Jersey Renegades by a score of 7-1.

Rounding out the East Division is the Express, and their lone win was a 6-5 barn burner against the 87’s. Nine of the 11 goals scored in that contest came in the second half, and Evan Gravel notched the hat trick for Walpole.

Up in the North Division, the Vermont Lumberjacks had the best showing of any team by winning both of their contests; a 4-2 win over the Express and a 5-1 victory against the Warriors. While the Avalanche lost one game against the Seahawks, they defeated the Philadelphia Little Flyers 7-1 to pick up three out of four points in the showcase.

In the South Division, the Little Flyers won two of their three games. After losing to the Avalanche, Philadelphia bounced back with a 7-1 win over the Chiefs and a 4-3 overtime victory against the New England Wolves. Johnny Lee recorded five points (4g, 1a) in the two games, including the overtime winner against the Wolves.

Rounding out the division, the 87’s picked up a win against the Chiefs with a 2-1 final score, while Connecticut earned their lone victory in the showcase with a 4-2 victory over the Renegades.

Haverhill marked the third showcase for the EHL in just over a month. The next showcase will take place in early December in Newington, CT and will be the final showcase of the calendar year.

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