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Atlantic Youth Hockey League

 

Seven AYHL Champions crowned on final day of playoffs

WEST CHESTER, Pa. (March 5, 2018) – Seven champions were crowned Monday on the last day of competition in the 2018 Atlantic Youth Hockey League (AYHL) playoffs.

The Long Island Gulls swept the Squirt Division, while the New Jersey Colonials were victorious at three levels: sweeping both Pee Wee championships and also winning at Bantam Major. The North Jersey Avalanche captured the final two championships of the day at Bantam Minor and 16U National to round out the victors. All told, nine different organizations were represented across the seven championship games with four different organizations winning AYHL championships.

At Squirt Minor, two local rivals reached the championship game, with the Gulls topping the Royals 7-1. Max Stracar (Syosset, N.Y.) and Kevin Lysohir (Lake Ronkonkoma, N.Y.) combined for five goals in the win. Tyler O’Keefe (Seaford, N.Y.) stopped 22-of-23 shots to earn the championship victory. Logan Ferrara (Kings Park, N.Y.) had the lone score for the Royals and Jordan Valcich (Deer Park, N.Y.) made 23 saves.

Ryan Walsh (Commack, N.Y.), Sean Felker (Massapequa, N.Y.) and O’Keefe swept the individual awards.

At Squirt Major, a three-goal third period powered the Gulls to a 5-2 victory over the Mercer Chiefs. It was the second straight division where the championship opponents were in the same pool for round-robin play.

Donny Bracco (Freeport, N.Y.) and Brady Logue (Philadelphia, Pa.) alternated first-period scores to deadlock the teams at 1 after the opening period. Joseph Argentina (Philadelphia, Pa.) and Michael Munroe (Hanover, Mass.) repeated the feat in the second period, before three goals in a nine-minute span broke the game open. Marko Lisica (Plainview, N.Y.) found the back of the net 98 seconds into the period. Colin Foley (Massapequa, N.Y.) scored six minutes later and Bracco recorded his second of the game to provide the final margin of victory.

Mason Caruso (Hamilton Square, N.J.) and Chase Phillips (Merrick, N.Y.) combined for 46 saves in net.

Argentina, Jesse Orlewsky (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and Hurst Tasha (Centerville, Mass.) received the championships All-American Forward, All-American Defenseman and Great American Goalie awards.

At Pee Wee Minor, the Colonials and the New Jersey Jr. Titans each used thrilling one-goal games to reach the finals, including an overtime win by the Titans on a Cole Longacre (Sewell, N.J.) score, the teams continued the exciting hockey in the championship, with the Colonials taking a 2-0 victory.

Thomas Zocco (Staten Island, N.Y.) opened the game’s scoring early in the opening period. Zocco’s score would hold up solid goaltending from Lukas Bergman (Old Bridge, N.J.). Not to be outdone, Hayden Thorsen (Brooklyn, N.Y.) singlehandedly kept the Titans in the game, making 20 saves over the first two periods. Zocco finally gave the Colonials a little breathing room with just over two minutes to play with his second of the game, however, despite a few frantic moments, the Colonials held on for the win. The shutout was one of four in either the semifinals or finals at any level.

Zocco, Longacre and Bergman received the division’s individual awards.

It was also a one-goal finish at Pee Wee Major, where the Colonials scored two times in the second to come-from-behind and defeat the Royals, 2-1. Jake Johner (Saint James, N.Y.) scored the game’s first goal, beating Ethan Marich (Pearl River, N.Y.) in the game’s fifth minute. Unfortunately, the first-period goal would be the only one of the day for the top-seeded Royals, as Marich made 24 saves to earn the victory. Caden Pasqualone (Long Beach, N.Y.) was equally as sharp, making 34 stops in defeat. John Olsen (Basking Ridge, N.J.) and Benjamin Yurchuk (Randolph, N.J.) scored in a five-minute span in the second to give the Colonials the lead.

Armed with a one-goal advantage, Marich stopped eight shots in the final period to preserve the win.

Yurckuk and Pasqualone earned individual awards after the game, along with Colonials’ defenseman Alex Bosland (Basking Ridge, N.J.).

At Bantam Minor, the Avalanche scored four times in the second to come-from-behind to top Team Maryland, 4-2.

After both teams swept through round-robin play, and earned two-goal victories in the semifinals, Brandon Chen (Potomac, Md.) scored a power-play goal to give Maryland a 1-0 lead after the opening period. It was just the second deficit the Avalanche faced in the playoffs.

The Avalanche took the lead in the second period with a pair of goals 29 seconds apart. Jason Gallucci (Robbinsville, N.J.) began the key stretch with his 12th goal of the season and Antonio Arcaroli (Maywood, N.J.) followed to put North Jersey ahead for good. Team Maryland’s Jack Spicer (Rockville, Md.) finished with 31 saves on the day.

Dylan Gallagher (New York, N.Y.) and Kevin Rush (Denville, N.J.) added goals 1:42 apart to put the game out of reach. Cameron O’Neil (Odenton, Md.) scored midway through the final period to provide the final 4-2 margin.

Gallagher was named All-American Forward in the division, while Team Maryland’s Jacob Vassa (Rockville, Md.) earned All-American Defenseman recognition. After making 33 saves in the championship, North Jersey’s Christian Green (Boothwyn, Pa.) was named Great American Goalie. Green spun two shutouts in pool play.

After falling to the Avalanche in the opening game of the playoffs, a three-goal second period proved to be the difference as the New Jersey Colonials topped the North Jersey Avalanche, 6-2.

Luka Sukovic (Lincolnshire, Ill.) opened the game’s scoring with his second goal of the season. Cam Bergeman (Newark, Del.), and two power-play goals from Tyler DesRochers (Howell, N.J.) put the game out of reach.

Dante Palombo (White Plains, NY.) finally put the Avalanche on the board, but goals from David Chen (Livingston, N.J. and Zach Sedlacek (Chantilly, Va.) in the final period thwarted any comeback hopes.

Thomas Heaney (Eatontown, N.J.) made 20 saves to earn the victory.

Bergeman and DesRochers were named All-American Forward and Defenseman, respectively, while North Jersey’s Daniel Antal (Park Ridge, N.J.) was named Great American Goalie after making 20 stops in the championship game.

In the final game of the day, the Avalanche scored seven unanswered goals to top the Mercer Chiefs, 8-1. Although the roster has changed over the years, the Avalanche have not lost an AYHL game at 16U National/Premier since February 28, 2016.

Alexandros Gaffney (West Orange, N.J./Harvard) opened the scoring late in the first period. Mercer’s Lukas Sedlacek (Staten Island, N.Y.) answered at the start of the second, but the Avalanche netted four goals in a seven-minute stretch that proved too much to overcome. Alex Dominique (North Miami, Fla.) scored a pair of goals during the game-deciding stretch, with John Lundy (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and Travis Treloar (Alpine, N.J.) providing the other two markers.

With a commanding lead, Dominique completed the hat trick to open third-period scoring. Gaffney collected his second goal of the game and Alex Laferriere (Chatham, N.J.) picking up his 20th goal of the year to provide the game’s final margin. Dominique’s three-goal performance earned the forward All-American Forward honors. The Avs swept the postgame awards with Brandon Cimino (New Rochelle, N.Y.) taking home All-American Defenseman accolades and Tyler Franchi (Denville, N.J.) earning Great American Goalie recognition. Franchi made 12 saves to earn the victory. Mercer’s Dylan Ringheiser (Pine Hill, N.J.) matched a season-high with 41 saves in the loss.

In Sunday’s four championship games, Mercer took two of the three individual awards, with Shane Albert (Philadelphia, Pa.) and Jeremy Siegel (Richboro, Pa.) taking home All-American Forward and Great American Goalie accolades, while Virtua Hockey defenseman Sean Melso (Philadelphia, Pa.) was recognized for his play in the championship game.

At 16U American, North Jersey’s Michael Ranaldi (Tenafly, N.J.) and Joseph Hughes took home All-American Forward and Great American Goalie honors, while Long Island Royals rearguard Luke Ronayne (Huntington, N.Y.) was named All-American Defenseman.

At 18U National Elite, North Jersey took two of the top three individual honors as Dylan Saccone (Deltona, Fla.) and Jonathan Kopack (Ramsey, N.J.) were named All-American Forward and Great American Goalie, respectively. Team Maryland’s Mitchell Bozhko (Baltimore, Md.) took home the All-American Defenseman award.

Lastly, at 18U National Premier, Thomas McLarnon (Fountainville, Pa.) was chosen Great American Goalie, while North Jersey’s Cole Kodsi (Boca Raton, Fla./Michigan State) and Nicholas Petruolo (Neshanic Station, N.J./Union) took home the All-American Forward and All-American Defenseman accolades.

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.

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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