Boys To Men
by Alex Morrison
It’s the end of the road for the youth divisions. Today was the finish of the 12u division, as we crowned 3 champions, and it’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday, as the 21u division wrapped up. Let’s take a moment to recap these finals.
The ISCA Grizzles and HockeyMutt faced off in the Gold championship game, which was a rematch of the very first game of the division. The first time around, the New York HockeyMutt team bested the New Jersey Grizzly team by a 6-2 score, with Rocco Andreacchi and Mike Colella tallying 3 points each. In the final, HockeyMutt jumped out to an early lead and never looked back. Rocco ended up with the game winning goal in a 4-1 win.
The Platinum Final saw 2 good friends pitted against one another, as Jason Muro’s Black Ice was up against Anthony Violante’s Roadrunners. Jason and Vio are both based out of the same rink on Long Island, Rapid Fire, and probably spend more time together than any other 2 program heads in the sport. In this one, the favorite going in was probably Vio’s team, as his combination of Joey DiMartino and Max Halvorsen and Travis Pelke between the pipes was going to be tough for anyone to overcome. In the championship game, Travis Broughman was the guy that stepped up his game though, and scored all 3 goals for the Roadrunners in a 3-1 victory.
Today, we started things off with a bang, as Cayman Islands and the Tour Lizard Kings played in one heck of a hockey game. The Cooler was abuzz with excitement at 10am, as each team scored at will in the first half. In fact, 7 goals total were scored in the first dozen minutes, and Cayman leading the game 4-3, with 2 goals by Jaxon Cover. The second half started the same way the first ended, as Josiah Holley of the Lizard Kings knotted the score at 4 with more than 10 minutes to go. For the next 24 minutes of play, that would be all the scoring that would take place. Yes, we ended regulation tied, and went through an entire overtime period without a goal. The start of the second overtime had a different feel, as teams were tired and making mistakes. A couple players went down on their own, and a couple turnovers happened. One could feel that a goal was coming soon… but who would get it? Just a minute and a half in, Brayden Curry found the puck on his stick, and made no mistake, shooting low and beating the goalie to win the game for his team. The celebration was epic. This was one of those games that you hated to see a team lose.
The other 2 finals didn’t have quite the same feel as the first, as the CHILL Lizards easily beat Gwinett Thunder 6-0, with Geno Carcone getting the hat trick, and Jack Howard with the shutout in net. The last final saw 2 of the top 3 teams in the tournament, Konixx and the Jr Gladiators White up against each other. Konixx had played the River Monsters the night before to advance to the final, and took that momentum into this game. Nick Puricelli scored 6 times in the game, and Konixx stayed ahead through a chippy finish to win the game and the cup, 11-4.
The men’s skills competition is coming up in a few minutes, and it’s time for me to run. Look for more tomorrow with the men’s recaps!