Fast Start Has Boston Bandits Leading The Way
The first-place Bandits got off to an 10-1-2 start, suffering their only regulation loss to the Vermont Lumberjacks on Oct. 17. Coach Todd Stirling’s squad swept the three Philadelphia teams at the Columbus Day Showcase and had opened an early six-point bulge by the end of October.
Rangy Eduards Tralmaks, a native of Latvia, has already netted three game-winners and owns the team scoring lead (19 pts) just ahead of forward Nate Chase (17 pts). Scott Donahue (11 points), Tim Larocque (6 goals), Gordy Harwood (5-4-9), Ryan O’Donnell (6 goals) and Chaise Howard (5-3-8) are all key contributors to a potent group of forwards.
Ryan Barnes, David Hopfer, Cody Braga and Hadan Jordan form the nucleus of a stout defense that has helped the Bandits build a plus-28 differential. Lead goalie Kenny Graham owns a 1.85 goals against average and .938 save pct. and has a shutout to his credit.
Balanced Scoring Attack Has Walpole In Good Shape
The Express have established themselves in the season’s first month via victories against both Conference leaders – the Bandits and the Philadelphia Revolution – as well as a pair of wins against the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs. If coach Jon Lounsbury’s club lacks anything at this point, it might be consistency.
A balanced attack features forwards Joe Hall (6-12-18), Eric Lipa (5-12-17), Dan Eruzione (4-8-12) and Tim Thurnau (4-5-8) as well as defensemen Zach Feldman (3-8-11) and Samuel Topham (3-5-8). Forwards Michael Ferraro, James Varney and Cody Rorick as well as defenseman Kyle Moss add depth. In total, 11 players already have scored multiple goals.
Connor Rodericks (2.45/.932) has seen the bulk of the action in goal. Bryan Holmberg is the backup.
Monarchs Boast A Bevy Of Offensive Weapons
NH. JR. MONARCHS
After dropping their first two games of the season, coach Ryan Frew’s team seemed to find traction with a four-game win streak during which it erupted for 29 goals. However, the Monarchs have won three out of four and sit eight points off the pace being set by the Bandits.
The Monarchs spread the wealth on offense and are third in the Premier North Division in goals with 48. Forwards Luke Bennett (8-7-15), Derek Neal (4-10-14), Connor Powell (6-7-13), Sean Patrick O’Leary (4-6-10), Derek Britner (4-6-10) and Hunter Laslo (4-6-10) have all achieved double figures. Connor Jewett have nine points apiece. Cory King has been a contributor.
Four goalies have seen action with Josh Reinstein (1.62/.907/1 SO) seemingly settling in as the first option. Ryan Romeo, Ross Delabruere, Sylas Kalyan and Neil Maietta man the defense, along with James Zachary Davis and newcomer Sean O’Brien, acquired recently in a deal with the New England Wolves.
Stellar Defense Has Cyclones In The Hunt
The Cyclones had played fewer games (nine) than all but one teams through the season’s first month. With at least two and as many as five games in hand on all but one team in the North, coach Bill Flanagan’s club is well positioned for a major pre-holiday move.
The Cyclones’ goaltenders have been next to unbeatable, yielding a cumulative total of 13 goals. Joe Lissak (1.29/.950) and Evan Cline (1.38/.954) both have a shutout in the books and Drennan Atherton allowed just one goal in his two starts. Chris Dumont, Joe Griffin, Shawn O’Meara and Drake Longaker comprise the core of an active defense.
The forwards have been scoring at will, helping the Cyclones fashion a league best differential of plus-33. Jarrod Fitzpatrick (6-14-20), Nolan Redler (8-7-15), Blake Brazil (6-4-10), Jack Barton and Eric Rogorzenski lead the attack.
Boston Jr. Rangers Definitely In The Mix
BOSTON JR. RANGERS
The Rangers opened the season with back-to-back wins against the Monarchs and Cyclones. While coach Rich DeCaprio’s crew doesn’t score much its defensive approach can frustrate opponents and a grinding, tight-checking style has seen seven of 10 games decided by two or fewer goals.
Goalies Brendan Cytulik (2.62/.937) and Sean Kuhn (2.64/.922) have both provided solid work in the cage. Six-foot, four-inch defenseman Dante Fiori anchors the back line and also is second in team scoring with 10 points. Kolby Vegara, Tim Biddle and Charley Salk are mainstays on defense, along with John Moritz and Alex Hreib.
Brycon Johnson (8-3-11) leads a balanced forward group that includes Aleksandr Makarov (8 points), Eriks Zohovz (8 points), Jared McCracken (6 points), Connor Rubin (6 points), Michael Cacciato and Zachary Pard.
Valley Jr. Warriors Ready To Make A Move
VALLEY JR. WARRIORS
After winning three of four to start the season, the Jr. Warriors endured a six-game losing streak before defeating the Jr. Rangers on Oct. 18, 4-2. During their slide, the Warriors were shut out three times and netted just five goals. Improved offensive output is a must moving forward.
Garrett McGowan and Kazakhstan native Rustem Smakov are splitting time in goal, posting nearly identical numbers. Top defensemen are Cole Crawford, Evan Nyhus, Grant Wellinger and Drew DiGeronimo.
Matt Wiesner (7-7-14), Matt Bernot (6-4-10), native Swede Henning Dahlberg (4-6-10), Chris Mayer, Garrett Gintoli (3 goals) and Zack Cote have been the most consistent forwards.
Vermont Lumberjacks Have Been A Tough Out
They may sit in the lower third of the Conference at this early juncture, but the Lumberjacks have not been an easy draw to date. A 5-4 home win against Walpole and a 4-3 come-from behind road win against the Boston Bandits are proof of that.
Coach Doc DelCastillo likes the overall make-up of this club, citing team speed and work ethic as its primary attributes. He says the goal moving forward is to continue to “grow and develop” while improving overall offensive output.
Captain James McDonald (7-5-12), Brad Reitter (4-10-14), Parker Richards (2-5-7) have emerged as the top forwards, complemented by Domenick Kuziak (3-6-9), Patrick Farnan and Dawson Quint. Defenseman Markuss Komuls (4-13-17), a native of Latvia, has dazzled. Axel Hallin, who hails from Sweden, has also excelled on the back line. Henry Butler (2.73/.900/1 SO) is solid in goal.
East Coast Wizards Looking To Improve
EAST COAST WIZARDS
The Wizards will look to build of their strong showing at the league’s Columbus Day Showcase where they picked up 2-1 wins against both the New York Bobcats and the Connecticut Oilers.
“I really like our team and the progress we have made the past couple weeks. It’s exciting to see guys buying into team concepts and having success playing together,” says coach Freddy Meyer.
Team captain C.J. Grinnell (5-5-10) powers the offense, joined by Assistant Captain Chris Kanamine, Glenn Wiswell, Connor Demore, Pat Daley and Vaughan Kavanaugh at forward. Assistant Captain Tanner Otts, Pete Orlandella and Nick White anchor the defense while Dakota Delbridge, Will Ribas and Drew Foley have all seen time between the pipes.
NE Wolves Look To Get On The Right Track
NEW ENGLAND WOLVES
Since defeating the Jr. Warriors in their season opener, the Wolves have struggled mightily. Offense has been difficult to generate and goaltenders Garrett Mello and Kurt Gutting have faced a combined total of 440 shots – just about 40 per game – thus far.
Forwards Ryan Dunn, Andrew Lee, Zachary Sullivan, Nicolas Chaoush, Tai Finberg and Jake Saxe have accounted for the Wolves’ 16 goals, led by Dunn, Sullivan, Chaoush and Lee with three each. Newcomer Chris Peter, acquired from the Monarchs organization, will help up front. Karl Wright and Maxwell Kent lead the defense for coach Steve Jacobs.
Coming Soon: EHL Premier South Division Overview