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New England Fall Prep Playoffs: Public/Catholic Takes U18 Title; East Earns U19 Crown With Shootout Win

The New England Fall Prep Hockey League has come to a close, with Public/Catholic taking home the title in the U18 division, and Mass East earning top honor in the U19 Division in Sunday’s championship games.

In the U18 final, Public/Catholic edged the Boston Knights, 2-1, while Mass East needed a shootout to slip past Eastern New England in the U19 championship game, also by a final of 2-1.

Domenic Hall
Public/Catholic

The U18 final was tied at 1-1 well into the third period, before Domenic Hall notched the game-winner. Hall and linemate Anthony Papa got free for a 2-on-1 break. Papa cruised into the zone and slid a perfect feed across left to right to Hall, who moved in and snapped home a wrister off the far post past Boston Knights goalie Ian Burns with 5:05 left.

Public/Catholic’s Stefano Sotiropoulos battles a Boston Knights player in first half of Sunday’s New England Fall Prep U18 title game. Public/Catholic won it, 2-1.

With just 2:34 to play. The Knights’ Cam Fici used his speed to break in alone, but couldn’t get off a shot as he was hooked. Fici was awarded a penalty shot, but was unable to connect. Wickens cut down the angle and Fici’s bid shot off the outside of the post.

Knights coach Chris Capasso pulled Burns with 52 seconds left but they could not get teh equalizer. #29 had the best chance from in close, but Wickens came up big.

Despite being outshot 11-7 in the first half, Public/Catholic held a 1-0 lead at the break. Cole Blaeser notched the goal at 17:08 taking a pass from Christian Iacoviello as he was cutting down the slot and firing home a wrister.

Defenseman #7 Alec O’Connor evened the score at 1-1 at 3:08 into the second period after a nice rush into the zone, cutting into the slot and blasting home a wrist shot. Chris Bonney had an assist on the goal.

Mass East goalie Max Lacroix readies to make save off Eastern New England’s Jonathan Groth during shootout in Sunday’s U19 title game at the New England Fall Prep Hockey League.

The U19 final needed to a shootout round to decide a winner after Mass East and Eastern New England were deadlocked 1-1 through regulation and a five-minute overtime.

In the shootout, Mass East connected twice, on scores by Ian Olenik and Aaron Mulligan, while Eastern New England could just score once, a goal from Drew Malatesta, giving Mass East the title.

Mass East grabbed a 1-0 lead just 1:36 into the game with a goal from Thierry Fortin, converting a pass from Mulligan.

Malatesta notched the equalizer a few minutes to later, at 5:23 of the first half. Defensemen Bobby Corkery and Matthew Bishop assisted on the goal.

Olenik had a great chance to win the game for Mass East late in regulation but his bid hit off the post with just 57 seconds left.

U19 Playoff Recap

Quarterfinals

Mass West 2, Mass Central 0

Cody Plaza and Sam Murray assisted on the only goal Mass West would need in this one, scored by Jack McLaughlin. Justin Pare added a late goal with 23 seconds left.

Mac Casper
Mass East

Mass East 4, Eastern New England 2  0

Mass East started strong with three first half goals in this 4-0 victory. The winners got goals from Mac Casper, Noah Bird, Kyle Elliott and Bryan Tang.

Reid Malatesta
Eastern NE

Eastern New England 4, Mass North 3

Reid Malatesta’s second half goal proved to be the game-winner in this tight battle. Brett Baldassare (assist), Jonathan Groth and Thomas Milne also had goals for ENE.  David Jacobs and Will Canavan had a goal and assist each for Mass. North, who also got a goal from Sam Stone.

Semifinals

Eastern New England 4, Boston Knights 3

Reid Malatesta scored in overtime to lift ENE to a 4-3 win over the Knights and a berth in the title game. Drew Malatesta and Owen Atkinson also lit the lamp for ENE. The Knights had goals from Declan Harrington,  Angelo Mario and Trevor Mahoney.

Mass East 4 Mass West 1

Second period strikes from Noah Bird, Ian Olenik and Cooper Conlin snapped a 1-1 halftime tie and powered Mass East. Kyle Elliott also scored. Drew Blackwell had the Mass West goal.

U18 Playoff Recap

Quarterfinal

Mass North 6, Mass East 4

Two goals apiece from Charlie Winship and Michael Daniels led the attack for Mass. North. Jack Toohey and Brendan Ardito also had goals.  Thomas Workman, Ethan Lintner, Will Maher and Brian Workman each scored a goal for Mass East.

Semifinals

Cam Fici
Boston Knights

Public/Catholic 3, Mass North 1

After Public/Catholic’s Reuben Osborn and Mass North’s Cameron Jankowski traded first half goals, David Hederman and Matt Alesse had second half goals to propel Public/Catholic to the championship game.

Boston Knights 7, Mass West 1

Cam Fici scored four goals in this 7-1 win for the Knights. Cosmo Curtatone added a pair and Peter Grace had one. The Mass West goal scorer was

Gary Demopoulos
Gary Demopoulos has been covering prep school hockey for the HNIB News for over 30 years, and has been the editor of the HNIB News since 2005. A former sportswriter and news editor at the Woburn (MA) Daily Times Chronicle, he has been the HNIB News' key reporter for Mens Prep School hockey since 1988, as well as womens hockey, both at the prep school and high school levels. for almost 20 years. Gary also helps organize and oversee HNIB's many summer tournaments and festivals for scholastic players.
Gary Demopoulos
- 2 days ago
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