Monarchs Off To Fast Start
Lumberjacks, NE Wolves Look To Make Their Mark
As the calendar hit early November, the defending regular-season champions had rattled off 13 consecutive wins following a season-opening loss, opening a six-point gap in the process. The Monarchs built a +38 differential through their first dozen games.
Luke Babcock has emerged as an offensive leader and gets plenty of support from forwards Brent Beaudoin, Hunter Laslo, Luke Bennett, Connor Jewett and Cole Stallard. CJ Valerian ranks among the league’s premier two-way defensemen and leads a deep group that includes Ross DeLaBruere, Jonathan Grassie, Braden Mitchell, Alex Joscelyn and Trent Johnson.
Goalie Simon Leiva won two games and yielded only two goals during the Columbus Day Showcase and owns a league-best .955 save pct. He shares time with Cole Burack, who won his first five starts.
Northern Cyclones In Good Position
The reigning playoff champs and 2014 National semifinalists have positioned themselves well. Despite trailing the Monarchs by six points in the early going, they are right in the mix and and have been especially stingy in the defensive end, yielding only slightly more than two goals per game.
Leading the way on the back line is L.J. Fellows, who excelled during the Columbus Day Showcase when the Cyclones allowed just two goals in three games. Tony Crow, Dennis Maier, Matt Salera, Sean Morgan and Patrick Farnan complete an effective group.
Alex Gross gets the bulk of the work in goal, backed by both Jimmy Poreda and Matt Michaels. Top forwards include Sean Brown, Joey Meehan, Alec Lefave, Casper Dyrssen, Nick Felan and Aaron Bland.
The Lumberjacks began existence in the EHL with a bang, defeating the Monarchs, 4-2, in their first-ever game. They’ve since come back to earth but have put a solid product on the ice. Defensive issues will need to be addressed moving forward.
Tucker Cobb, Evan Antisdale and Gabe Flood have emerged as a dependable trio of forwards. James McDonald, Dylan Teed and Zach Pard also rank among the top six up front.
Brett Robinson, Doug Cross, Hunter Brody, Teddy Marshall, Zach Turner and Stefan Boskovic patrol the blue line in front of lead goalie Anthony Giordano, off to a steady start. He’s backed up by Henry Butler.
NEW ENGLAND WOLVES
Also new to the EHL this season, the Wolves have started slowly but, have more than enough time to work themselves back into the hunt. Defense has been solid but ratcheting up an offense that produced just 2.1 goals per game in the early going is the primary task as hand. The team played just two of its first 12 games at home.
Eric Bogart and Simon Jasmin essentially split time in the goal. The defense features Sean O’Brien, Alec Cochran, Sean Hallice, Ben Perron, Jonathan Ellis and Ryan Shea.
Mike Kelleher emerged as an immediate force at forward, netting six goals in the first 14 games. Jarrod Fitzpatrick, Ryan Dunn, Nick Marin, Brian Cameron and Jeffrey Kirkwood join him on the forward line.