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.”