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NEFPHL Showcase Series Saturday Recap: Top Gun Gets Win, Tie With RI Hitmen In U16 Play

Here is a quick look at some of the action from Saturday’s slate at the New England Fall Prep League Showcase Series….


Boston Knights U19 3, Valley Warriors Prep 0

Led by the hot Goaltending of Winchester High’s Robbie Divincenzo and Belmont HS newcomer Ryan Griffin, a  transfer from Belmont Hill,  the Knights earned the shutout win.

Angelo Mario
Boston Knights

They had the play in their end the majority of the game but were helped up by very structured D-zone play and transition game.  The Knights came out quick and opened the scoring with a quick shot on a play off the half wall by Winchester senior defenseman Nick Ciaccio, who pinched hard off the point,  attacked the net hard and released a quick snap shot over the goalie’s left shoulder.  St Mary’s senior Max Giardina added another tally about 10 minutes later off a rebound from a shot from Matt Pendenza of Wilmington.  Giardina’s net front presecence provided the screen for the goalie to lose track of the  puck and it was a easy tap home.

The scoring was capped off by a great transition in the D-zone on a great breakout pass by St Mary’s senior Colby Magliozzi to Winchester senior Angelo Mario who gained the zone  and played tic-tac-toe with Belmont senior captain Ben Fici,  who buried it home for the final nail in the coffin.

Three Stars:  3) Ben Fici; 2) Rob DiVincenzo; 1) Ryan Griffin

Eastern New England 8, 95 Giants  1

It was the Matthew Nuzzolilo of Shrewsbury and Nick Marino of Worcester Academy show in ENE’s win. Nuzzolilo had a four point game (2G, 2A) while Marino chipped in with a goal and two assists. Matthew Milotte added a pair of goals for the winners.

Three Stars:  3) Matthew Milotte; 2) Nick Marino; 1) Matthew Nuzzolilo

Boston Knights U18  5, RI Hitmen 5

In one of the more exciting games this weekend the Boston Knights U18 showed how resilient they  are.  Trailing 2-0, 3-1, 4-2, 5-3 at different points throughout the game they battled back to tie the game up with 15 seconds left.

The RI Hitmen jumped out to an early 1-0 on a easy net drive by Houser.  The Hitmen went up 2-0 with eight seconds left in the first period on a grenade thrown to the net that bounced of senior goalie Ben Banks of Belmont’s pad right out to Connelly who tapped it home.  The Knights cut the lead in half when 6’6 250 lbs “Big Rig” senior Adam Haytayan moved the puck low-to-high to Belmont senior Henry Stonehouse, who ripped a seeing-eye shot by the Hitmen goaltender.

The Hitmen responded about five minutes later to extend the lead back to 3-1, thanks to the hot hand of Connelly.  The Knights knocked the lead down to one towards the end of the period on a goal-post-in past the goalie’s glove goal by sophomore Cam Fici, who had a big overall weekend with five goals and three assists.  Off a turnover created by Austin Prep junior and Arlington transfer Jason Dibiase, Fici found the soft spot between the weak side winger and the weak side D-man.

The Hitmen claimed their third two-goal lead of the evening when Matt Glennon broke down the right side off a face off and beat Banks short side over the glove. DiBiase answers three minutes later on the PP with an assist from Cam Fici and Haytayan.  Thirty seconds later the Hitmen notched their fourth two-goal advantage when Glennon struck again.

The final comeback began when Cole Dente won an end-wall battle and hit Fici in the soft spot once again as he zipped one 5-hole.  Haytayan finished the comeback as he gathered a rebound off a DiBiase shot to tie the game 5-5 with 15 seconds remaining in the game.

Top Gun Prep 1, RI Hitmen U16 1

This was a classic goaltender battle between NEFPHL All-Star Cam Wickens (Revere Soph) and Anthony Beaulieu (Austin Prep Soph). and U16 Beast League goalie Christopher Hormann.  This game was a back-and-forth contest where each goalie stood on their head making save after save.  All three goalies tracked the puck well throughout the games and got whistles when needed and gave the crowd a performance for the ages.

The scoreless tie finally broke with four minutes left in the game when RI Hitmen forward Christian Olivera slid home a rebound off a shot from Corey Szabo.  Just two minutes later  Londonderry (NH) soph Sam Neville put a rebound home from Arlington Catholic’s Cooper Conlin for the tying goal.  This thriller ended in a 1 to 1 tie.

“I thought the Hitmen came out early and put a lot of pucks toward our net and made things difficult,” said Top Gun Prep coach Cody Ferreiro. “When we started to go North, chip in some pucks and win some battles along the lines – red and blue, we started to create offense. We were not consistent enough and I thought their goalie did a good job.”

Three Stars:  3) Sam Neville; 2) Chris Hormann; 1) Cam Wickens

Valley Jr. Warriors Prep 15 9, Top Gun U16 1

Braeden Curran (Central Catholic), Ty Wood (Austin Prep) and Ryan Cavanaugh (Pingree) led the way in this one as the Valley Jr. Warriors cruised to a 9-1 win.

Mass East 2, Mass Central 2

Battle of David vs Goliath ends in a 2 –2 tie.  On paper the heavily favored Mass East should have won.  Waltham goalie Jack Perry was the star of the show for Mass Central.  Three minutes into the game on pass across the royal road Perry slid across to meet an Ian Olinik shot with a quick flash of the leather.  From that moment on Mass East knew they were in for a game.

Kyle Melo
Mass Central

Mass Central led off the scoring early when Central Catholic senior Mikey Dinges entered the zone with speed and hit Kyle Melo in the middle who then made a back-hand, no-look pass to Cam Martin who ripped a shot past goalie Dave Palandjian over his blocker shoulder.  Mass East had an uphill battle and was certainly up to the task by bombarding Perry with shots for the remainder of the game.  It started with Governor’s junior and Andover MA native Noah Bird who received a cross ice pass from junior Thomas Heard who entered the zone with speed and he rifled a shot over Perry’s pad.

Mass Central tacked on a second goal late in the second on a point shot by Tyler Diburro.  The play was created by Melo, who laid a big hit on an East D-man and knocked the puck lose to Malden Catholic Jr Evan Foskett.  Foskett dropped a pass to Dinges, who worked the puck low-to-high to Diburro.  East stormed back with a attack to the net by Govs Jr Olenik who received a great pass from Longueuil QC Native and Governor’s  junior defenseman Thierry Fortin to poke it past Perry.  The East team would send a barrage of shots towards Perry who shut them down the rest of the way to earn the point.

“We wanted to get out and work hard,” said Mass Central coach D.J. Conte. “In the first few weeks of Fall Prep, the kids are getting to know each other a little. Now we have more consistency with our lines. (Kyle) Melo played very well for us. He was hard on the backcheck, in both sides of the ice. I thought (Jack) Perry was very solid. He controls the puck well, smart with his rebounds and is solid and square. He is moving well post-to-post and communicates well with his defense. It was one of the better efforts we’ve had.”

Three Stars: 3) Noah Bird; 2) Kyle Melo; 1) Jack Perry

Jake Donovan
Eastern NE Rockets

95 Giants 4, Valley Jr. Warriors 18 Prep 3

Two goals from Bryan Kearns and single tallies from Ryan O’Donnell and Sam Yeaman were enough for the 95 Giants to hold off Valley Jr. Warriors Prep by a 4-3 score.

East Coast Rockets 3, RI Hitmen U18 3

In this deadlock, the EC Rockets got goals from Jake Donovan, Mark Boyle and Sam Giuliotti, all from Reading.

Bobby Corkery
Top Gun Selects

Top Gun Prep  2, RI Hitmen 16  0

Game of the night was a repeat from earlier where sophomore netminder Cam Wickens pitches his second shutout of the weekend.  He played the full game this time as the U16 Top Gun AAA Select team was victorious 2-0.  Goals were unassisted and added by Phillips Andover defenseman Bobby Corkery and Sam Neville for his second goal of the day.

Three Stars:  3) Bobby Corkery; 2) Sam Neville; 1) Cam Wickens

  • Zach Lebowitz and Gary Demopoulos contributed to this report
HNIB Staff
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