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Atlantic Youth Hockey League


Four AYHL Champions Crowned!

WEST CHESTER, Pa. (March 4, 2018) – Four champions were crowned Sunday on the second day of competition in the 2018 Atlantic Youth Hockey League playoffs.

The Mercer Chiefs were victorious at 15-Pure, while the North Jersey Avalanche claimed championships at 16 American, 18U National Elite and 18U National Premier.

League champions at the remaining seven levels will be decided tomorrow afternoon.

At 15-Pure, Mercer defeated Virtua Hockey, 3-2 in the championship game. The Chiefs reached the final with a 3-2 semifinal win over the Philadelphia Junior Flyers, while Virtua reached the final with a 6-4 win over the Long Island Royals. In the final, a three-goal third period helped Mercer stun Virtua. The teams exchanged first-period goals. Robbie Seewagen (Langhorne, Pa.) gave Virtua a lead after two periods. Damien Carfanga (Wood-Ridge, N.J.) netted a power play goal early in the final period to tie the score, before David Sherman (Old Bridge, N.J.) beat Owen Yancy (Gilbertsville, Pa.) to give Mercer a 3-2 advantage. Yancy finished with 36 saves.

Trailing by one, defenseman Sean Melso (Philadelphia, Pa.) scored his third goal of the playoffs to again tie the teams. With overtime looming, Timmy Regan (Spring Lake, N.J.) found the back of the net with 1:45 remaining in regulation for the championship-winning goal.

Jeremy Siegel (Richboro, Pa.) made 39 saves to pick up the victory.

At 16U American, Joseph Hughes spun a 24-save shutout and goals from three different skaters produced a 3-0 victory for the Avalanche over the Long Island Royals. Christopher Buonauro (West Islip, N.Y.) matched Hughes shot-for-shot over the opening 17 minutes, making 11 saves in the first period. Michael Ranaldi (Tenafly, N.J.) finally solved the Long Island keeper with 90 seconds remaining in the second period. Erik Hegyi (Paramus, N.J.) and Ryan Oechsner each scored in the third period to provide the game’s final margin. Hughes made Ranaldi’s goal hold up, making 13 saves over the first two periods, before stopping 13 saves over the final 17 stanza to earn the victory.

At 18U, the Avalanche swept the division’s championship games in the first season of tiered competition at the 18U level. At National Elite, Christopher Hilliard (Stony Point, N.Y.) and Dylan Saccone (Deltona, Fla.) each scored a pair of goals and Jonathan Kopcak (Ramsey, N.J.) made 30 saves as the Avalanche scored three times in the second period to break open a one-goal game, en route to an 8-3 victory over Team Maryland. Mitchell Bozhko (Baltimore. Md.) netted two goals for TM.

At 18U Nati0nal Premier, the Avalanche avenged one of their two AYHL regular season losses with an 8-2 win over the Valley Forge Minutemen. Five goals in the opening period proved to be too much for Valley Forge to overcome. Oliver MacDonald (Grosse Point Park, Michigan) and Cole Kodsi (Boca Raton, Fla./Michigan State) each recorded four points in the rout. Tate Brandon (Irvington, N.Y.) made 14 saves for the win. Kevin Hatten (Phoenixville, Pa.) and Marc Colavita (Narbeth, Pa.) were the lone goal scorers for Valley Forge.

The next step for teams in their quest to reach the USA Tier I National Championships will be the Atlantic District Tier I Qualifier, which will take place at Ice Line, March 9-11. The following week, the AAHA will host championship weekend, March 17-19, at the Ice House in Hackensack, New Jersey.

Click here for more information on AYHL team advancement to the qualifiers.

Each of Monday’s seven championship games will be live streamed with play-by-play via HockeyTV.

The Atlantic Youth Hockey League is the USA Hockey-sanctioned Tier I AAA youth hockey league of the Atlantic District. From Connecticut to Maryland, the AYHL’s membership is comprised of over 100 teams, representing four districts, and is spread across six playing divisions. The AYHL’s mission is to develop young players with competition, fun, and good sportsmanship, and move them on to the next phase of their hockey career. With a distinguished alumni list of players that spent a portion of their playing career in the AYHL, today’s players choose to play in the AYHL knowing that it is a proven stepping stone for those serious in their hockey pursuits.

For more information on the AYHL, log on to HTTP://WWW.ATLANTICHOCKEY.ORG/AYHL.PHP or on Twitter @AYHL or on Facebook at HTTPS://WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/THEAYHL

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