Philadelphia Hockey Club sent shockwaves across the USPHL 15U Division by defeating the New Jersey Rockets, 3-2, to claim the 15U Championship on Sunday at Skate 3 in Tyngsboro, Mass.
Behind the stellar performance of PHC netminder Matt Lynch, who made 30 saves on 32 shots, Philadelphia broke a season-long, 24-game winning streak by the Rockets.
“We knew coming in that we were playing a good team [in the Rockets],” said Lynch. “We came out, we worked, and we got the win.”
The Rockets stormed out of the gate when Kayetan Berezniak scored 2:29 into the opening period. The goal was one of 14 shots attempted by New Jersey in the first period.
PHC responded late in the first, as Thomas Rockey found the back of the net with only 20 seconds remaining to make it a 1-1 game.
Philadelphia took their first lead of the game, 2-1, when Mike Henry netted one past the Rockets’ goaltender with 3:12 to go in the second period.
Jimmy Gofreddo made it three straight goals for Philadelphia late in the second period, increasing their lead to 3-1 at the 16:48 mark.
The Rockets closed the gap when Berezniak scored his second goal of the game at 10:45 of the third period, but the Philadelphia defense managed to hold their one-goal lead until time expired.
For Lynch and his fellow Philadelphia teammates, this win was a statement for a squad that wasn’t even the top-seeded team in their pool. Now they finish the season as champions of the USPHL 15U Division.
Bronze Medal Game - Jersey Shore Whalers 4, Islanders Hockey Club 1
Jersey Shore broke out on offense with three unanswered goals in the final 6:12 of regulation. A.J. Menditto (2G) put the game away for the Whalers, scoring back-to-back goals in a span of 3:56.
P.A.L. Junior Islanders 4, Northern Cyclones 2
Leonardo Capri scored the game-winning goal with 4:03 remaining in the game to power the Jr. Islanders to a season-ending victory over the Cyclones. Dylan Bridgwood added an empty-net goal to seal the deal for the Jr. Islanders
Jersey Hitmen 7, Springfield Pics 2
Backed by a hat trick from Tommy Gilligan (three goals, assist), the Hitmen earned their first victory of the 15U Playoffs. Joseph Bossolina led the way in assists (four) for Jersey.
Damon Polk (goal, assist) and Cole Grownkowski (goal) provided the offense for Springfield.