Monarchs win North, Philadelphia grabs last spot in South
Boston, MA- The Eastern Junior Hockey League"ôs eighteenth season is in the books and when the dust cleared, the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs won their sixth consecutive Northern Division title and the Philadelphia Revolution secured their first trip to the playoffs.
The Monarchs entered the weekend tied with the Junior Bruins, but locked up the division title thanks to a win over the Huskies on Wednesday and two wins over Apple Core over the weekend.
The Bruins certainly did not make things easy for the Monarchs and enter the playoffs in fine form after beating the Bridgewater Bandits on Wednesday and the Huskies on Friday.
The Jersey Hitmen took three points from Philadelphia, skating to a 3-3 draw on Saturday before picking up the win on Sunday. The point from Saturday, however, pushed the Revolution into the final playoff spot in the Southern Division.
Springfield enters the playoffs with a three-game winning streak after a tremendous week. The Pics started off with a 3-1 win against Bay State on Wednesday afternoon. The Pics stayed home for the first half of the series with Bridgewater and won 2-1 thanks to Dan Mele"ôs two goals, including one in the final minute. On Sunday, the teams traveled to Bridgewater and Ross McMullan provided the heroics for the Pics as they prevailed 3-2 in overtime.
The South Shore Kings spent the weekend in Vermont for a pair with the Green Mountain Glades and came out on top of two one-goal games. Jon Mleczko netted the game-winner in Saturday"ôs 4-3 win. Sunday saw the Kings lead 6-3 after two periods. The Glades picked up third-period goals from Chris Gratton and Shane Youngclaus, but the Kings held on for the 6-5 win.
Valley hosted the Capital District Selects for two games and emerged victorious in both of them.
Rochester likewise ended the regular season in fine form with a two-game sweep over the Huskies.
WEEKEND PREVIEW: The EJHL Dineen Cup Playoffs are in full swing with the first round wrapping up today. The Bay State Breakers will host the South Shore Kings on Friday and Sunday. The Junior Bruins host the Springfield Pics over the weekend. The New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs host the Valley Jr. Warriors, and the Jersey Hitmen host New York Apple Core. All games will be broadcast on FastHockey.com. For the full schedule, please visit EasternJunior.com.
COLLEGE COMMITMENT: Bay State Breakers leading scorer Matt Vidal will become a Holy Cross Crusader in 2012.
ALUMNI UPDATE: Barry Almeida (Boston College/ Springfield Pics), Doug Carr (UMASS-Lowell/ South Shore Kings), Brian Flynn (University of Maine/ New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs), Steve Moses (University of New Hampshire/ Junior Bruins), Joe Pendenza (UMASS-Lowell/ Bruins), and Paul Thompson (New Hampshire/ Monarchs) were named to the Hockey East top performers list. Connor Knapp (Miami University/ Junior Bruins) was named to the CCHA Notable Performers list.
EJHL Players of the Week
Offensive Player of the Week
Max Novak (Jersey Hitmen)
Max had a break-out weekend in Philadelphia, netting two goals and five assists in two games for the Hitmen. He recorded an assist on Saturday and put up two goals and four assists on Sunday. His 61 points place him fourth on the team and sixth in the EJHL. A native of Oak Ridge, NJ, Novak will head to Union College in September.
Honorable Mention: Trent Ruffolo (New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs), Jonathan Neal (Rochester Stars)
Defensive Player of the Week
Jonathan Neal (Rochester Stars)
Jonathan had a phenomenal weekend, scoring two goals and adding three assists from the Stars blue line. He netted the game-winning goal in Saturday"ôs 4-2 win over the Huskies. He then led the team with a goal and three assists in Sunday"ôs win. The 1992-born defenseman is a native of Encinitas, CA.
Honorable Mention: Peter Ryan (Jersey Hitmen), Ian Ellenberger (Rochester Stars), Brian Billett (New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs)
Rookie of the Week
Connor Leen (Jersey Hitmen)
Connor had another outstanding weekend with five points in two games. He netted a third-period goal on Saturday and netted a hat trick on Sunday and added an assist. The University of Maine recruit is tied for second in the EJHL with 67 points and is making a strong case for Rookie of the Year honors. Connor is a native of Chester, NY.
Honorable Mention: Brian Morgan (New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs), Nick Berst (Rochester Stars)