The 18U Hitmen traveled to South Kent, CT for a weekend series versus the #3 ranked team in the nation; Selects Academy and came out victorious in back to back games. The Saturday night battle tested the 18U’s ability to react to adversity climbing back from two, one goal deficits. The Selects jumped out in front in the first period with an even strength goal but was erased when Mickey Burns took a Greg Barnych pass wide and ripped a laser over the goalies glove early in the second period. Selects regained the lead with an even strength goal at 5:33 into the third but the 18U’s again battled back scoring a gritty, in tight goal coming off the stick of Kevin Paganini with the assists going to Brayden Patricia and Cory Checco. Regulation wasn’t enough to decide the game and a 5 minute 3 on 3 OT provided much back and forth action. The Hitmen killed off a penalty in the final 32 seconds of overtime to force a shootout. Mickey Burns and Greg Barnych scored two silky goals out of the three Hitmen attempts while Evan Szary earned the first star of the game making 50 saves in the contest including 2 of 3 shootout attempts.
The 18U’s quickly turned the page as the Sunday mid-day game had even more pace and intensity than the night before. The Hitmen jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead as Braden Patricia scored a two on one goal off a finesse pass from Ryan Willet half way through the first. Selects responded with an even strength goal before the end of the first. The game stayed tied through the second and for most of the third until John Campomenosi riffled a shot from the blue line which beat the Selects goalie just under the glove. Solid goaltending the first night by Evan Szary was matched by Anthony Del Tufo. He was sharp as he made 38 saves in the weekend finale. The 18U Hitmen look to build on these two character wins as they take on the NY Aviator next weekend in Brooklyn, NY.