The 2018-19 Youth National Bound State Championships brackets are set and the Massachusetts tournament will commence Thursday at the New England Sports Center in Marlborough, Mass. 26 EHF teams will compete for their respective state championships and here’s a look at whom each will play in their first game.
18U Tier 1
Boston Junior Eagles - The Eagles finished the fall half season at 16-4-5 overall and 9-1-0-2 in EHF Selects play, earning them a No.3 ranking in the latest MyHockeyRankings.
The Eagles will try to add to their fantastic season by winning the state championship and they will get things going Saturday at 6 p.m. when they play the winner of the play-in match between the East Coast Wizards and the defending state champs and fellow EHF Selects members the Cape Cod Whalers.
The Eagles are led by forwards John Farinacci (11 goals, five assists) and Connor Joyce (six goals, 10 assists). Goalie Derek Mullahy went 9-1-0-1 with a 2.02 GAA. Farinacci and Mullahy are both Harvard University commits.
Top Gun - Top Gun finished the EHF Selects season ranked 14th nationally. They were 8-7-2 overall and 7-7-0-1 in EHF Selects play. Top Gun will play the winner of the East Coast Militia vs Springfield Rifles Saturday at 7:10 p.m.
Forward Drew Bennett leads Top Gun in scoring, just ahead of forward Matt Cormier and defenseman Andrius Kulbis-Marino. The goaltending duo of Connor Androlewicz and Joe Stanizzi are going to do their part to help Top Gun reach the state finals.
GBL Bruins - The GBL Bruins finished the season ranked 11th overall with a 15-6-3 record. They were 6-4-0-3 in EHF Selects play. They will get things going in the States on Saturday when they play the winner of the play-in game between the Eastern Mass. Senators and Boston Bandits.
“I thought we had a good season overall,” said head coach Bret Tyler recently. “We started off great at the Tier I Labor Day Faceoff, but the next weekend, the Eagles put a beating on us. We’ve improved every weekend after that. We got some great play out of our leaders and we’ve been getting some secondary scoring from the bottom lines and the defensemen.”
“You need guys like Kyle Penney [Cornell], Arlo Merritt [Ohio State], and Matt Toporowski to score and they’ve been doing it all season,” Tyler added. “Guys like Zach Taylor, Ean Small, and Grady Friedman have also been chipping in. You need all your guys going for the State Tournament. All three lines, all the defensemen, and both goalies have been moving in the right direction, so we’re feeling good about this weekend.”
Merritt leads the GBL Bruins in scoring, just ahead of Toporowski and Cornell recruit Kyle Penney. Between the pipes, Zach Paputsakis has been the regular guy in net for the GBL Bruins.
Boston Bandits - The Bandits finished 7-2-0-2 in the EHF Selects, and earned the state berth. They will play in the play-in round on Friday at 8:50 p.m. against the Eastern Mass. Senators.
Jace Rearic was the clear offensive leader for this team with 13 points through 10 games, while Thomas Milne and Colin Hedge also had some strong performances throughout the year. In goal, Greg Smith went 6-2-0-2 with a 1.60 goals against average.
Little Bruins - The Little Bruins finished the season at 12-10-1 overall and were ranked 24th nationally. The Little B’s were 4-9 in EHF Selects play. They will be in one of the play-in games and take on the USPHL 18U full-season Islanders Hockey Club’s Friday at 8 p.m. If they win, they will face the Neponset Valley River Rats Saturday at 7:20 PM.
The Little Bruins were led in scoring by forward Christian Powers and in goal by Kyle Myers.
Cape Cod Whalers - The Whalers come in as the defending state champions and will begin their title defense in a play in game against the East Coast Wizards Friday at 6:30 p.m. If they win, they will play the Junior Eagles Saturday at 6 p.m.
The Whalers finished the season 12-12-2 overall and 5-6-0-2 in EHF Selects play. The Whalers had six players lead the team in points. Forwards Thomas Manty, Riley Moran, Ryan Stevens, Nolan Fitzpatrick and Garret Foster, and defenseman John Murray were all among the team’s leaders in scoring.
Whalers Executive Director Rick Coan believes this team and all Whalers teams that made the States are ready.
"The Whalers’ goal is to best prepare our teams for the State Championships and a subsequent run at Nationals,” Coan said. “We pack a lot into the Fall half season. Each team will have played 25-30 competitive games, either four or five tournaments, 25-plus practices coupled with
our EHF Selects league play. Come November our teams are ready for the rigors of the Tier 1 State Championships."
Eastern Mass Senators - The Eastern Mass Senators finished the season ranked 20th overall with an 11-7-6 record overall and 6-4-0-3 in EHF Selects play. The Sens will play a play-in match against the Boston Bandits at 8:50 p.m. Friday. If they win, they will play the GBL Bruins at 7:50 p.m. Saturday.
The Senators were led by forward Nick Cafarelli who had five goals and three assists for eight points after his first 10 EHF Selects games. Forward Patrick Borella had four goals and three assists. Between the pipes, Max Caoutte was 2-2-0-1 with a 2.58 GAA and Joe Sharib had the same record with a 3.40 GAA.
16U Tier 1
Boston Junior Eagles - The defending state champions will begin their title defense on Saturday at 5:50 p.m. when they play the winner of the play-in game between the Boston Bulldogs and the Islanders Hockey Club.
The Eagles were ranked 15th nationally with an 18-5-2 record overall and went 7-1-0-0 in EHF Selects play. Forward Nick Roukounakis led the team offensively, while in the crease, Gavin Fitzpatrick went 4-1-0 with a 2.15 GAA.
Boston Bulldogs - The Bulldogs finished 18-6-5 overall this year, and were 5-4-0-4 in EHF Selects play. They kick off on Friday evening with a play-in game against the USPHL 16U full-season Islanders Hockey Club, with puck drop for that set at 5:20 p.m.
Angelo Mario and Reid Malatesta were the leaders on the offensive side, and Trevor Lally picked up the bulk of minutes in the net.
Cape Cod Whalers - The Whalers are ranked 11th nationally after going 21-5-4 overall and went 4-2-0-2 in EHF Selects play. They will play the winner of the play-in game between the Bay State Breakers and the Junior Bruins Saturday at 5:20 p.m.
Joseph Kramer led the team in points and defenseman Jeffrey Lee and Ian Moore were also up near the top of the offensive leaderboard. In goal, Chris Demers was undefeated at 3-0-0-1 with a 2.79 GAA.
Eastern Mass Senators - The Senators were 6-7-5 overall and 2-3-0-3 in EHF Selects play. The Sens will play a play-in game at 4:50 p.m. on Friday against the I95 Giants. The winner plays the East Coast Wizards Saturday at 5:40 p.m.
The Senators were led in points by Shane Zarcone, while Patrick Colburn had played the most minutes in net.
15U Tier 1
Boston Junior Eagles - The Eagles finished the season at 17-10-1 overall and 6-2-0 in EHF Selects play. They will start the tournament Saturday at 2:10 p.m. against Top Gun.
Ziv Chodirker and Mick Frechette led the team in goals with six lamplighters apiece. Chodirker and Ryan Meagher led the team in assists and between the pipes, Ryan Kazmouz was 6-1-0 with a 2.11 GAA.
Top Gun - As mentioned above, Top Gun will play the Junior Eagles in their first tournament game. Top Gun finished the season at 15-2-0 overall and 8-1-0 in EHF Selects play.
Defenseman Connor Chalmers led the team in goals with 11 and points with 18. Forward Leo Piandes led the team in assists with 11 helpers. Between the pipes, Connor Sullivan was 5-1-0 with a 1.41 GAA.
Cape Cod Whalers - The Cape Cod Whalers are 21-5-0 overall and finished 8-0-0 in EHF Selects play. The Whalers will play the Bay State Breakers Saturday at 1:50 p.m.
Defenseman John Logan and forward Zach Glass were leaders on the offensive side, while Jake Inzirillo was the top goalie statistically.
Bay State Breakers - As stated above, the Breakers will play the Whalers to open the tournament for each team. The Breakers 11-4-2 overall and 4-2-0-1 in league play.
Players to watch include forwards Max Desilva and Gavin Havens, as well as goaltender Theo Jacobs.
Boston Junior Terriers - The Terriers will start the tournament against the Neponset Valley River Rats Saturday at 1:10 p.m. The Terriers were 9-7-1 overall and 5-4-0-1 in EHF Selects.
Forwards Dylan McDonough and Zach Sideropoulos, defenseman Nick Recupero and goalie Dominic Walecka were among the team leaders in points and goaltending stats.
18U Tier 2
South Shore Kings - The South Shore Kings are 10-11-4 overall and finished 7-7-0-3 in EHF Selects play. They will start the tournament on Saturday at 7:30 PM against the winner of Wellesley Raiders vs Canton Bulldogs.
Forward Michael Pitocchelli and Dylan Webber kept a lot of the Kings’ offense alive and kicking this year, while the duo of Liam Kilgallen and Preston Baille almost evenly split time in goal this season.
Islanders Hockey Club - The Islanders were 2-8-0 in EHF Selects play and will start the tournament against the Neponset Valley River Rats Saturday at 7:40 p.m.
Joe Lucien, Jeffrey Matthews and Jared Huggins were the top forwards, while in goal, Joe Purtell saw the majority of minutes this season.
16U Tier 2
Northstars - The Northstars finished 10-1-0-3 in EHF Selects play and will play the winner of Thursday’s Wellesley Raiders vs MaxPro Jets at 3:10 p.m. on Saturday.
Forward Ryan Gardula led the team in assists and points with 17, and was closely trailed in the latter category by Jamison Alicandro. In net, Nichols Quatromoni went undefeated in regulation at 7-0-0-2 and held a 2.54 goals against average.
Islanders Hockey Club East - The Islanders were 7-6-0-1 in EHF Selects play. They will play the winner of the Breakers vs Kings on Saturday at 3:40 p.m. Max Giardina and Logan Bridgewater were leaders on the offensive side, and Peter Drakos put in eight games in net this season.
South Shore Kings - The Kings were 4-7-0-2 in EHF Selects play and will play the Breakers in the play-in game on Thursday at 6:20 p.m. Between the pipes, Michael Mazzocca was 3-0-0-1 with a 1.25 GAA, and Conor O’Neil was among the offensive leaders this year in EHF Selects play.