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USPHL 16U American Playoffs: Pics To Face P.A.L., Rockets Black Plays CP Dynamo On Sunday

By Joshua Boyd and James Murphy /, 02/23/20, 12:30AM EST


The Springfield Pics turned a lot of heads when they defeated the previously unbeaten Rockets Hockey Club Black team in overtime on Saturday night, a fitting end to a dramatic Round Robin over Friday and Saturday at the Bridgewater (Mass.) Ice Arena. 

Here is a roundup of Saturday’s action in order of start time. 


Rockets Hockey Club Black 3, Jersey Shore Whalers 2 

The Rockets came into their first game on the ice with two points in the bank already from the Friday forfeit by the Northern Cyclones Academy Elite team, which withdrew from the tournament. 

With their Saturday morning win, they automatically punched their ticket to the Sunday semifinals by defeating the Whalers, who could finish no higher than second with that loss, their tie against Springfield Friday and the forfeit victory. 

Zachary Wagnon gave the Rockets their all-important first goal, and his fellow USPHL 16U All-Star Nicholas Vantassell put the Rockets up 2-0 by 10:18 of the second. The Whalers didn’t go to Bridgewater for their health, so Tyler Guttormsen and Leo Shear scored just 1:07 apart to tie the game at 2-2 late in the second. 

Just 41 seconds after Shear’s goal, All-Star Nicholas Del Gaizo scored to put the Rockets ahead at the 14:53 mark of the second period. 

The Rockets and Whalers traded six shots apiece in the third, but goalies Trey Mattern (Whalers) and All-Star Tyler Muszelik (Rockets) were equal to the task. 


CP Dynamo 5, South Shore Kings 1

All-Star Troy Pelton got the party started for CP Dynamo, posting a goal and an assist, while four other CP Dynamo players chipped in offensively, including Noah Carpenter with his third of the playoffs. Alex Gerard started the tournament 2-0 with a 33-save performance in net. 

CP Dynamo, with that win, could finish no lower than second in their pool so they automatically advanced to Sunday’s semifinal. 

The Kings could advance with a win over P.A.L., or if it comes down to a tie, the team with less penalty minutes would advance. P.A.L. entered that matchup with two less minutes than South Shore. 


P.A.L. Jr. Islanders 6, Rockets Hockey Club Grey 3 

The Jr. Islanders used a four-goal third period surge to keep themselves alive going into their final game of the round robin with South Shore. As mentioned above, a tie between the Kings and P.A.L. would institute the penalty minute tiebreaker - and if they ended up even there, it would down to the flip of a coin. 

Six different goal-scorers chimed in for the P.A.L., but the credit for the tying marker goes to Carmine Pittelli at the 4:46 mark of the third. The game-winner came off the stick of Sean Rice just 31 seconds later at 5:17.


CP Dynamo 7, Rockets Hockey Club Grey 3

Jack Pechar had a goal and three assists; Troy Pelton had two goals and Noah Carpenter had a goal and assist as CP Dynamo beat the Rockets Grey 7-3 to advance to the semifinals. Cam Murphy and Colin Merkle both had two helpers. 


PAL Islanders 3, South Shore Kings 0

Steven Reganato made 23 saves to get his second shutout of the day, and a trip to the playoffs, as the P.A.L. Jr. Islanders advanced to the semifinals with a 3-0 shutout over the South Shore Kings. Leonardo Capri lit the lamp twice for the Islanders and Marco Guzzetti scored in the win.


Springfield Pics 5, Rockets Hockey Club Black 4 (OT)

Springfield Pics and USPHL 16U all-time leading scorer Carter Hanrahan scored his second goal of the game 13:21 into overtime as the Pics handed the Rockets Black their first loss of the season with a 5-4 win.

The Pics made the semifinals just by advancing to overtime but Hanrahan’s OT winner added frosting on the cake, giving them home ice on Sunday morning. 

Mike Penna assisted on Hanrahan’s overtime tally and had three assists; Jan Hunor and Andrii Leutukhov lit the lamp and Tyler Cortis made 39 saves for the Pics. Jonathan Prue scored twice for the Rockets Black; Jason Plisak had a goal and two assists; Judson Zeese had three helpers and Zach Wagnon scored for the Rockets Black.