The Boston Advantage are officially in the NCDC standings - and officially undefeated at 1-0. They were joined this past weekend by the Philadelphia Hockey Club in making their NCDC debuts, though a few days and states apart.
Philadelphia was the first of the two teams to get their first game, taking on the Islanders Hockey Club in New Jersey on Thursday. The team put up a good fight, but are still fighting for that first NCDC “W.”
The Advantage’s opening-season schedule was fluid right up to puck drop, with a planned Saturday debut in Maine being postponed that same day. They opened Sunday instead in a home game in Massachusetts, winning 2-0 against the Twin City Thunder.
Advantage Become Third New NCDC Team To Open With Shutout Win
With their 2-0 win, the Advantage joined the 2017-18 Islanders Hockey Club and the 2018-19 New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs in winning their first-ever NCDC game by a shutout score.
- Tony Achile’s goal just 1:04 into the first period is the fastest goal to open a first season for any NCDC team in the league’s four-year history. He beat the previous record - by 3:03 - set by Zachary Desmarais’ opening goal in the Thunder’s inaugural game on Sept. 13, 2019.
- Connor Bradford joined the Jersey Hitmen’s Damon Beaver (more on him soon) by registering a shutout in his NCDC debut this season. He is the 10th NCDC goalie to pull off this feat.
NCDC Goaltenders With Shutout Wins In First Game
Justin Ferguson - Islanders Hockey Club*
Brian Cannata - New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs*
Brian George - Jersey Hitmen
Evan Szary - Jersey Hitmen
Cal Wilcox - South Shore Kings
Henry Graham - P.A.L. Jr. Islanders
Colin Myers - Connecticut Jr. Rangers
Dominik Antala - Rockets Hockey Club
Connor Bradford - Boston Advantage
Damon Beaver - Jersey Hitmen
Hitmen’s Beaver Sets New Shutout Minutes Record
Damon Beaver kept the Islanders Hockey Club off the board until 1:59 in the third period of their 6-2 win. That capped Beaver’s shutout streak 221 minutes and 59 seconds (221:59), all from the start of his NCDC career with the Hitmen! That far surpassed his predecessor Gavin Abric’s 180:35 streak over four games last October.
- The Hitmen have started out 4-0 for the second straight season and third time overall, though they have a long way to go to match their record start of 13-0 out of the gate in 2019-20.
- Quinnipiac recruit Liam McLinskey’s three points against the Islanders gives him a career-high three-game multi-point streak. Only once last season (Jan. 25-26) did he string together multiple-point efforts. McLinskey remains the NCDC’s leading scorer with a 2-6-8 line in four games, one more point than the Junior Bruins’ breakout ‘04 Cameron Lund.
With Heavy Hearts, New Hampshire Wins Season Opener
The New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs went into Friday’s game against the Northern Cyclones still very much in mourning after the passing of late NCDC Head Coach and General Manager Ryan Frew on Monday, Oct. 5.
The Monarchs and Cyclones exchanged a total of 14 shots in the first, but it wasn’t until the 5:13 mark of the second when returning Monarch Riley Enderle scored the first goal of the Monarchs’ season. Just 15 seconds later, Grant Porter made it 2-0, a score that would stand into the third. Eric Brown scored his first two goals of the season back-to-back (for his first career multi-goal game) and Kevin Urquhart finished with an empty-netter. The Monarchs were heartbroken, but also satisfied to be able to “Win One For Frew.”
Junior Bruins Go 3-0 To Hold North Division Lead
The Boston Junior Bruins earned a pair of wins against the P.A.L. Jr. Islanders (5-1, 6-2) and finished the weekend with a 3-2 OT win against the Rockets Hockey Club.
- Frankie Ireland scored his first career overtime goal to end the Saturday game against the Rockets. Ireland is one of very few players in the NCDC who have seen games in each of the four seasons of the league’s existence.
- Newly arrived Ryan Rosborough, a 2000-born forward from Mount Brydges, Ont., scored points in each of his first three games this past weekend, standing with six points in four games.
- Cameron Lund, all of 16 years old, remains the Junior Bruins’ leading scorer with seven points in four games, and he continues on an active four-game scoring streak.
Philadelphia Hockey Club Falls In First Two Games
The Philadelphia Hockey Club made it very interesting in their NCDC debut, battling back from being down 5-1 to stand at 5-3 quickly with more than three minutes remaining. However, the Islanders Hockey Club scored an empty-netter to seal up the PHC’s first-ever game at this level.
- NCDC newcomer Frank Konopasek scored the first Philadelphia Hockey Club at 17:16 of the second, assisted by Jaxon Mase and Yale commit Connor Sullivan. Mase and Sullivan join Frankie Ireland as fourth-year NCDC players and they both joined from the former Boston Bandits, who previously owned the NCDC franchise purchased last fall by the Philadelphia Hockey Club.
Islanders Hockey Club Starts Out 2-1
The Islanders earned their season-opening win with their 6-3 victory over Philadelphia, fell 6-2 to the Hitmen before rebounding with a 7-4 victory against P.A.L. That was another one where their opponent almost snuck back in late, with P.A.L. scoring two consecutive third period goals to make it 5-4 with just under a minute left. The Islanders scored a 5-on-5 and an empty-net goal to pull out the win.
Rockets End Weekend With Three Points
The Rockets Hockey Club picked up a solid win against Philadelphia (3-1) and salvaged at least one other point with a late goal in their Saturday contest against the Boston Junior Bruins. Ryan O’Mara scored with 14 seconds remaining in regulation to force the Junior Bruins into OT, but Ireland - as aforementioned - scored his first OT game-winner.
Clark Kerner remains one of the leading scorers in the league, as he scored the game-winner against Philadelphia on Friday and stands with a 3-3-6 line in four games.