Eastern Junior Elite Prospects League

Boston Jr. Bandits: Team celebrates quick advancement in Eastern Hockey League playoffs

Boston Jr. Bandits: Team celebrates quick advancement in Eastern Hockey League playoffs

The Boston Bandits Eastern Hockey League team finished the season with a respectable record of 22-17-3-2, good for third place in the very tough Northern Division.

By a little after 3 p.m. on Feb. 28, the Boston Bandits were already set for the Eastern Hockey League quarterfinals, before some other teams had even begun their first round playoff series. The Bandits defeated the New York Apple Core, 6-4, on Feb. 27, and the next day, it was a 4-2 win to advance.

In the playoffs, Colin Capton racked up five points in the two games, while Jon Stickel and Eric Salzillo (four points) and Freddy Gerard (three points) also had more than a point per game.

Gerard led the way on offense to finish the regular season, scoring 22 goals and chipping in 28 assists for 50 points. Second behind him was team captain Alex Bonito, with a 46-point campaign.

Salzillo, Matt Baldino and Tyler Drevitch all finished with solid numbers, each posting 37 points in the regular season.

The defense was led by returning players Shayne Bailey and Andy Price. Both players helped the offense with 11-point regular seasons and a point apiece in the opening playoff series.

Between the pipes, Ryan Hubbard and Billy Palmer both proved to be starting goalies. Hubbard posted a 3.40 goal against average and a .901 save percentage, while Palmer posted a 10-5-3-1 record with a 2.69 goals against average and a .926 save percentage.  Both goalies had outstanding regular seasons.

On the alumni front, UMass-Boston forward Peter McIntyre was named to the ECAC East First All-Star team. Babson College forward Michael Phillips was named to the ECAC East All-Rookie team. In the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, Alabama-Huntsville forward Matt Salhany led the team as a freshman in points with 12.

 

Metropolitan Junior League team wins regular season championship

The Boston Bandits Metropolitan Junior League (MET) team won that league’s regular season championship with an impressive 38-1-3 record.

“Entering the season, I felt that we had a good core of players returning from the previous year and we added some quality players to that core,” said head coach Scott Drevitch. “The players have really came together.”

The Bandits led the MET league in goals for (278), and also had the fewest goals against (62) in the league.

The team had four players in the top 20 in scoring. They were led by ’96-born Riga, Latvia native Davis Zembergs, who finished fifth in the league with 79 points (33 goals, 46 assists).

Other top forwards were Tom Mahoney (’95, Braintree, Mass., 25 goals, 64 points), Nick Cambria (’94, West Bridgewater, Mass., 33 goals, 63 points) and Connor Wiggins (’94, Grosse Pointe, Mich., 36 goals, 59 points).

Taylor Hale (’93, Glendora, Calif.) finished second in defenseman scoring in the MET with 40 points, while West Bridgewater’s Frank Cambria (’94, 24 points) finished 15th.

The Bandits’ goaltending tandem went 1-2 in goals against average. Tyler Miller (’95, Worcester, Mass.) was first overall with 0.99, and Ryan McCarthy (’93, Acushnet, Mass.) was second at 1.85.

Hale’s .942 save percentage was No. 1 in the MET as well.

“The players should be proud of themselves for their great regular season,” said Drevitch. “With their success, we had eight different players called up to our EHL team. Now, the regular season is behind us and we are focusing on the playoffs. They are continuing to work hard, as we have even bigger goals that lie ahead of us.”

 

High-scoring 16U team closes out season, joins new East Coast Elite League

The U16 team finished the season 33-22-1 overall.

Latvian Eduard Tralmaks led all scorers with 68 points, followed close behind by Logan Drevitch with 66.

The next three, John Giatrelis, Cooper Jones and Justin Bofshever all ended on a point-per-game pace with 56. Tralmaks and Jones also led the Eastern Junior Elite Prospects League in forwards and defensemen scoring, respectively.

Chad Merrell, coming off an injury, stepped it up at the end of the season, chipping in five points in the playoffs. Nick Flanders also chipped in two goals during playoff round robin play.

Drew Benedict and Andrew Bluestein continued to be a steady presence in the net.

The team is returning some key players, including Bofshever, Merrell, Jones, Flanders and solid, physical defenseman Chase Lieblein.

“The coaches are already on the recruiting trail, piecing together next year’s squad,” said head coach Mark Jones. “It was tough ending this season, because we had a great group of kids and talented players, but we have a lot of interest in the team after a few successful seasons and we are excited about the core coming back. This, along with going to the new East Coast Elite League should result in many players looking to be part of it.”

Eastern Junior Elite Prospects League: Apple Core win 16U regular season title, Monarchs win 18U crown

Eastern Junior Elite Prospects League: Apple Core win 16U regular season title, Monarchs win 18U crown

Congratulations are in order for the New York Apple Core Apple Core/Westchester Express 16U, who have won the Eastern Junior Elite Prospects League website regular season title with a 17-3 record.

Very close behind were the Boston Bandits at 15-3-2 and the surging Northern Cyclones at 15-5.

“The 16U playoffs are really going to be great and competitive,” said Cyclones head coach Frank O’Connor.

For Mykul Haun‘s Apple Core team, the offense was led by James Nicholas (14 goals, 30 pts), Rob Clerc (eight goals, 21 pts) and Ken McClean (14 goals, 20 points).

The goaltending was stingy, only allowing 35 goals in 20 games played. Goalies Brian Ketchabaw and Ben Fleischman had save percentages of .941 and .921, respectively.

The Apple Core team scored the most goals and let up the fewest, a formula for great success.

The Boston Bandits, coached by Mark Jones, finished just two points behind the Core with the difference being two OT losses in the mix.

For the very tough Bandit team, Eduards Tralmaks (20 goals, 34 points) and Logan Drevitch (nine goals, 27 points) led the potent Bandit offense, which scored 87 goals for the season.

The goaltending trio of Andrew Bluestein, Drew Benedict and Hayden Funk got the job done for the Bandits all season. For Frank O’Connor‘s much improved and hot squad going down the stretch, Channing Gorscak (19 goals, 31 points) led the team in scoring. Drennan Atherson handled most of the goaltending chores, posting an 8-4 record and a .922 save percentage. These teams were all expected to be hard to beat during the playoffs, which begin Friday, hosted by the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs in Hooksett, N.H.

Congratulations are also in order for Clint Edinger’s Monarchs, who clinched the 18U regular season crown with a pair of wins over the tough Jaguars over the weekend at the Igloo Showcase.

The Monarchs pulled down a 19-1 record for the 20-game season. The Monarchs just edged out the equally tough CP Dynamo, coached by Brad Shaver. The Dynamo finished 18-1-1, one point behind the Monarchs.

The two teams split their two games this year in tough battles. They could meet in a much-anticipated final game on Feb. 23. The Monarchs are led by Chris Moquin (29 pts) and Brendon McDonough (15 goals).

The goaltending trio of Jacob Cordeiro (.932 save percentage), Connor Minch (.932) and Josh Reinstein (.926) were stingy in the net all season.

For the CP squad, Tyler Bullard (All-Star MVP) tallied 38 points during the season on 19 goals and 19 assists. Josh Haskins, with 29 points, was also a main contributor. CP goalie Brandon Rathwell had an 11-0 record and a .916 save percentage.

It could be a game to remember if both the Monarchs and CP Dynamo get to the finals. Teams such as the Igloo Jaguars and Richmond Generals may have some say in that though.

The EJEPL playoff recap will appear in the next issue of USA Jr. Hockey Magazine as the league crowns its champions. The playoffs are to held at Tri-Town Ice Arena in Hooksett, N.H., with 15 teams competing in two levels of play.

 

Read past EJEPL articles in our archives:

Rhode Island Hitmen fighting to stay near top

Midget circuit excited for big sophomore season

Hitmen crowned regular season champs; Maksymum Hockey wins playoffs

Eastern Junior Elite Prospects League: Rhode Island Hitmen fighting to stay near top

Eastern Junior Elite Prospects League: Rhode Island Hitmen fighting to stay near top

The Rhode Island Hitmen weren’t quite sure what they were getting into, but three months in, they’re certainly happy with the Eastern Junior Elite Prospects League.

“Anytime you go into a new league, with a new team, you really don’t know what to expect,” said Hitmen general manager/head coach Howie Rosenblatt. “As far as the league itself, so far in the showcases and games, we’ve been very pleased with the competition we’ve been facing.”

The Hitmen established themselves early on as a force in the EJEPL’s 18U division, standing at first at one point before suffering a tough setback on Dec. 7-8 against the CP Dynamo, another new EJEPL team.

The Hitmen were tied for second in the EJEPL 18U Division as of Dec. 12 with a record of 8-4-0. They Dynamo have tied the Hitmen in points (16), but have only played eight games for an 8-0-0 record.

Leading the 18U Division are the Richmond Generals at 9-1-0 for 18 points.

Rosenblatt has coached the Hitmen 18U team for the last four years. The Hitmen started out as a split team to allow high school players to improve their game before their high school season began.

“However, over the course of the last two to three years, more and more players were coming to us in the middle of winter, and were wishing the Hitmen were full-season,” said Rosenblatt. “They wanted better coaching and competition than in high school. I wanted to make sure that, if we were going full-season, we wanted to join a league that was legitimate. The EJEPL reached out to our program director, Rich Jones, and asked if we wanted to add 16U and 18U teams.”

Rhode Island Hitmen,Eastern Junior Elite Prospects League,EJEPL,USA Junior HockeyThe 16U Hitmen have struggled out of the gate, going 2-6-0 in eight games as of Dec. 12.

The 18U Hitmen have been strong thanks to the net presence of Steve Schmitt, a ’96 who held a .920 save percentage (good for seventh in the league).

“I knew him from last year’s 16U team. We’re really excited to have him be our No. 1 this year,” said Rosenblatt. “He’s a very focused kid who wants to get to a higher level. He has stood tall for us.”

College and higher-level junior coaches asked early on about Schmitt and ’96 forward Tucker Alberigo. Alberigo had 10 points through 12 games, including a five-game goal streak to start the season.

“He’s a very skilled forward who can play defense as well,” said Rosenblatt. “His biggest obastacle right now is becoming more of a two-way player, and being stronger on the defensive end of things. That’s where we’re working with him.”

Eric Pesola is the team’s leading scorer, a ’96 who scored eight goals and 15 points in 12 EJEPL games.

“He is just a workhorse,” said Rosenblatt. “He’s impressed me with his work ethic, toughness and a knack for scoring as well. Given the right opportunity, he can go far.”

Rosenblatt had a long minor pro hockey career, and was on the first Merrimack College Division 1 team in 1988.

“I have some very good connections in the USHL and NAHL through my minor league days through former players or coaches,” said Rosenblatt. “If I feel a player is ready to take the next step, I would definitely be able to make some calls for them. My job is to develop them to make sure they’re ready for when they get that opportunity.”

 

Read past EJEPL articles in our archives:

Parity early in season on both U16, U18 sides

Midget circuit excited for big sophomore season

Hitmen crowned regular season champs; Maksymum Hockey wins playoffs

Eastern Elite Prospects League: Parity early in season on both U16, U18 sides

Eastern Elite Prospects League: Parity early in season on both U16, U18 sides

In early Eastern Elite Prospects League action, at the 16U level, the Connecticut Oilers, Greater New York Stars and Philadelphia Revolution were leading the way after the first couple of weeks.

For the Oilers, Brian Silard had nine points, with Declyn Thornton and Max Fuld close behind with six points each. In goal for the Oilers, Donny Battimelli led the stingy Oilers.

For the upstart GNY Stars, Ethan Cohen, Dan Edmonds and Dean Owen each have two goals each for the 2-0 Stars from Brooklyn.

For the Revolution, Andrew Bean had two goals in the first two games to pace Philly.

On the 18U circuit, the Rhode Island Hitmen were off to a quick 5-1 start.

Eric Pesola’s five goals and five assists for 10 points led the Hitmen offense. Steve Schmitt has been tough to beat in goal early this year, with a .925 save percentage.

For Ken Hoey’s Long Island Royals squad, Matt O’Shaughnessy led a strong offense with six goals and five assists for 11 points. Joe Bonsignore is a close second with nine points.

The 4-1 Royals are averaging more than five goals per game on offense. For the 3-1 Richmond Generals, on offense, Tyler Jahn and Jack Zielinski were leaders.

The 2-0 Cyclones were right in the early mix with Ed Ziegenfuss at the forefront of the offense with six points.

Many of the teams were set to begin their full EJEPL schedules after this group, as the New Hampshire Monarchs, Philadelphia Little Flyers, Jaguars, New York Apple Core, Boston Bandits, Connecticut Chiefs and CP Dynamo will all become major factors in the competition.

“Many of the games played so far have been close and pretty exciting,” said commissioner Henry Lazar. “The league is finalizing its plan for its All-Star Jamboree, which will be hosted by the Boston Bandits in January. Initial responses by junior and college scouts have been very positive through September.”

Lazar also announced that the league will announce academic help solutions for struggling students as grades are a major priority moving forward.

For more information regarding the EEPL, please go to the web site at EEPL.com. The team’s directory of teams and contacts will appear in each issue of the USA Junior Hockey Magazine.

Philadelphia Revolution: Local native, longtime pro DiLauro tabbed for EJEPL U16 team

Philadelphia Revolution: Local native, longtime pro DiLauro tabbed for EJEPL U16 team

Ray DiLauro has joined the Philadelphia Revolution coaching staff as head coach of the Eastern Junior Elite Prospects League U16 team in Warwick, Pa.

“It is an exciting time to be a part of this growing organization,” said Revolution general manager Chris Kanaly. “I had the pleasure of being on the coaching staff of the Philadelphia Flyers affiliate in Trenton (ECHL) where Ray was the captain. I was able to observe how he handled himself as a professional on a daily basis and now I am fortunate to be able to have him on my staff with our most important developmental team.”

Kanaly went on to say how important it is to have a coach of Ray’s character and playing experience on the staff.

“It’s not everyday that a candidate like this comes along and can be added to your staff to coach this U16 team,” he said. “I am very excited for the players and the organization and the future prospects of our teams.”

Before being drafted by the NHL’s Atlanta Thrashers (now Winnipeg Jets) in 1999, DiLauro played his youth hockey in Philadelphia with the Tier 2 Glaciers and then moved on to the Little Flyers organization. He then left home to play at the prestigious National Sports Academy (NSA) in Lake Placid, N.Y. He earned an athletic scholarship from St. Lawrence University, where DiLauro starred on the blue line for four years. During his 13 years as a professional hockey player, he played in the AHL, ECHL, CHL, in Europe and in Japan.

DiLauro has been a leader on and off the ice for many years, where, most recently, he served as captain of the Trenton Titans of the ECHL, the Double-A affiliate for the Flyers.

“I am excited for the opportunity to get to work and coach here with the Revolution Hockey Club,” DiLauro said. “When Chris [Kanaly] called me and asked me to come in for an interview, I really didn’t know what to expect. After a few days of talks, I knew that this would be the right decision for me. Chris has done a great job at turning this program around and I want to be a part of the future successes to come.”

DiLauro had often thought how he could give back to the hockey community that gave so much to him. He now has his chance to come back to where it all started.

Ray DiLauro will be an excellent role model for local hockey players as they continue their careers in the Philly area.

 

Read past Philadelphia Revolution articles in our archives:

Four Empire team players, coach off to All-Star Games

Eastern Junior League team hoping for better after up-down start