The Metro Fighting Moose took down a couple top teams from the Empire Junior League over the Dec. 14-16 weekend at the Connecticut Jr. Wolfpack’s Northeast College Classic.
The Moose also defeated fellow Metropolitan Junior League’s Walpole Express, 2-1, in overtime. From the Empire League, they beat the Boston Bandits (8-7 in overtime) and the Boston Junior Bruins (3-0).
Jonathan Lazarus scored 15 of his 18 points in the last 14 games.
“[Lazarus] continues to improves just needs to be a more consistent threat,” said head coach Craig Doremus of the ’96-born forward. “He has all the ability to be a big time player and goal-scorer.”
Derek Caruso, a ’95, scored nine points in the Moose’s five December games. Doremus considered him the most improved player since Day 1 of training camp.
“He is coming on big time. He plays a ton of minutes and contributes in all situations,” said Doremus. “The coaches all say ‘He simply knows what it is to be a successful junior player.’”
Forwards Paul Vella and Ryan Cheng also impressed Doremus with their play.
“Paul is another good player who just needs to be more consistent. He was very good for us in the [Connecticut showcase] and was physical all weekend,” Doremus said.
Vella led the team with 32 points at the end of 2012, while Cheng had 26 points in 21 games. He played for the Moose’s team in the former Continental Hockey Association two years ago and scored 94 points there.
“Cheng is our second leading scorer. He returned to the Moose this year and has come on of late,” said Doremus. “He has the skill and ability to put up monster numbers. He just needs to work hard and prepare.”
The team also welcomed back Bryce Lewan from a short stint in the Tier-2 North American Hockey League with the Corpus Christi Ice Rays. He is nursing a shoulder injury and the team hopes to have him back in January.
“We got great reports from their staff,” said Doremus. “They were pleased with his development. He was able to dress and play a regular shift [on Dec. 1 and 7].”
On the defensive side of the game, Sean Kacerosky (coming in from the Philadelphia Jr. Flyers of the Atlantic Junior League) has been a huge addition to the blue line corps.
“He has played a lot of power play and penalty kill minutes,” said Doremus. “He has contributed nicely offensively and has fit right into our room. He is solid defensively and can lead the rush as well.”
Read also: Still pushing for consistent play
Read also: Players welcomed, coach wished best of luck