The West Haven Youth Hockey League represented well in the Hershey Columbus Day weekend tournament as all five teams played in the tournament finals. The Bantam A squad took home the title, while the Mite A, Squirt A, Peewee A and Peewee A1 teams all fell in the championship games.
The West Haven Squirt A hockey team advanced to the championship game of the Hershey (PA) Columbus Day Shootout, where it fell 8-3 to the West Point (NY) Jr. Knights. The Blue Devils went 1-2-1 in the Shootout and are now 5-3-1 overall on the season.
The Knights jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first period before the Westies battled back. Cameren Lipford zipped a wrist shot under the cross bar midway through the second to make it 5-1. Ryan Pniewski then fired a laser from the blue line on a power play with assists to Sean Studley and Ethan Kelly for a 5-2 score at the break.
Studley fed Lipford for another dazzling wrist shot in the third period but it was not enough. Maddex LaFountain made 22 saves in net for the Blue Devils.
Over the four games, the Westies were led by Lipford’s ten goals and three assists. Ethan Kelly scored three goals and added six assists. Studley chipped in three goals and five assists. Pniewski had two goals and two assists. Aedan Guarino and Matthew Kelly each scored a goal. Leo Mazuroski had two assists while John Charbonneau and Zach Melchiore each had one assist. Rafi Treat and Lucas Iversen played well as centermen.
West Haven advanced to the finals by going 1-1-1 in round robin play. The Westies tied Woodbridge (NJ) Wolfpack, 4-4 on Saturday afternoon. They lost 11-6 to the West Point Jr. Knights on Sunday morning.
West Haven knocked off the Piedmont (VA) Predators 6-0 on Sunday evening and the shutout earned the team the extra point needed to put West Haven in the finals.
In game one, the Westies got two short-handed goals to even the score 2-2 at the first intermission. Pniewski fired from the high slot after Lipford’s face off win and Studley buried Ethan Kelly’s rebound with 14 seconds left in the period.
Kelly scored a power play goal in the second and a short-handed goal with two minutes left in the game, but Woodbridge tied it in the final minute. LaFountain registered 12 saves as the Westies outshot the Wolfpack 37-16.
In game two West Haven got down 3-0 only 3:15 into the game before mounting a gritty comeback. Matthew Kelly scored first for West Haven, Lipford ripped a laser on the power play, Studley banged in a rebound, and Ethan Kelly redirected one through the five-hole for a 4-3 lead at the break. Lipford added a pair of goals in the second for a hat trick, but the Knights were too much down the stretch. LaFountain made 20 saves.
In game three West Haven needed a shutout to assure their place in the finals and the defense stepped up. Lipford registered four goals, while Studley and Aedan Guarino also tallied for the Blue Devils. Pniewski, Charbonneau, Mazuroski and Matthew Kelly dominated on defense, and LaFountain added 10 saves and was clutch all game.
The team won two exciting games over the weekend and remain undefeated at Edward L. Bennett Rink this weekend. The Westies are 5-0-0 at home and 7-3-1 overall after wins over South Windsor A (8-7 on Saturday) and Southeastern A (6-4 on Sunday).
On Saturday morning, Studley opened the scoring against South Windsor when he redirected Pniewski’s shot just 1:18 into the game. After the Knights took a 2-1 lead, Studley evened the score with a tremendous individual effort skating through four defenders and shooting through the five-hole. South Windsor regained the lead before Studley tied at again at 3-3 by going top shelf with Ethan Kelly’s pass.
West Haven went up 4-3 on the power play midway through the second period when Studley tipped Pniewski’s shot to Lipford who buried it. South Windsor scored twice to take a 5-4 lead at the second intermission.
Lipford’s rising wrister from Studley tied it again in the opening minute of the third period, before the Knights pulled ahead again a minute later. Lipford tied the game at 6-6 with a breakaway goal with 6:23 left to play. The Blue Devils made it 7-6 when Melchiore picked the puck from a defender and slid it to Aedan Guarino, who fired through the five-hole. Ethan Kelly scored an unassisted goal for an 8-6 lead before, South Windsor scored a 5-on-3 power play goal with a minute left. The Westies killed off the remaining power play and earned the 8-7 win. LaFountain made 15 saves in net for West Haven.
On Sunday afternoon, West Haven and Southeastern traded two goals apiece in the first period for a 2-2 score at the break. Lipford scored both Westie goals with Ethan Kelly assisting on the first and Studley assisting on the second. After the Seahawks scored in the second period, Lipford fed Studley for a shot and then Lipford banged in the rebound for his second hat trick of the weekend. Ethan Kelly then went the length of the ice and cashed in a backhand shot short-handed giving the Blue Devils a 4-3 advantage. Southeastern tied it at 4-4 as the teams went to the third period.
Off the opening faceoff, Ethan Kelly found Lipford in the slot and his shot deflected off a stick and in giving the Blue Devils the lead again. The teams skated back and forth throughout the period but LaFountain was up to any challenge and kept the Seahawks off the board. Lipford scored his fifth goal of the game (he now has 29 goals in 11 games) with assists to Ethan Kelly and Studley to cap the scoring and the West Haven defense shut down the Seahawks for the 6-4 victory. LaFountain finished with 17 saves.
The Peewee A team opened the tournament strong, went to a shootout in the semifinals, before running out of gas later that day.
Michael Madera (8 goals, 5 assists), Mickey Dowd (7 goals, 5 assists) and Zach Goetze (2 goals, 7 assists) led the offense during the tournament, while Bryan Hong and Jacob Silva were outstanding in goal.
The Westies opened the tournament Saturday evening with a 5-3 victory over the Hatfield Ice Dogs. Silva and Hong both played well in goal, making numerous big saves throughout the contest.
Offensively, Madera led the way with three goals and one assist, while Dowd had one goal and one assist, and Goetze added two assists. The defense was led by the play of Haygen Axelrod and Bruno Martone.
Madera gave the Westies a 1-0 lead 3:11 into the contest off an assist from Goeze, before Dowd scored a power play goal 1:50 later for a two-goal advantage. Leading 2-1, Cody Rocchio sent a perfect pass to Brady Price with four minutes to go for a 3-1 lead.
The Westies sealed the contest in the third period. Madera scored a short-handed goal 1:15 into the period off a rebound of a Dowd shot, before Madera iced the game with his third goal of the contest with 7:16 to go.
The Westies won their second straight to open the tournament with a 4-3 victory over Carolina. Dowd led the offense with two goals and two assists, while Madera had a goal and two assists, and Goetze added one goal and one assist.
The Westies jumped out to a 2-0 lead when Madera scored with 6:30 left in the first off assists from Goetze and Dowd, before Goetze scored off assists from Dowd and Ray Heenie 4:29 later.
After Carolina evened the game, Madera set up Dowd for a 3-2 lead just 28 seconds after Carolina got the equalizer. The Westies made it 4-2 when Madera raced up the right wing and had his shot denied, but Dowd popped in the rebound with 6:12 remaining.
West Haven suffered its first loss of the tournament when it dropped a 6-2 decision to the Exton Kings Sunday evening. Trailing 1-0, Danny Johnson got the equalizer with a tremendous effort which resulted in a wrap-around goal off an assist from Axelrod.
Exton put the game away with three goals in 56 seconds for a 4-1 advantage, before Dowd scored off assists from Goetze and Madera.
The two wins put the Westies in the semifinals where they again met Exton. With the game even at three after regulation and overtime, West Haven won the game in a shootout as Madera and Mike Page scored and Hong stopped four Exton attempts.
Trailing 1-0, West Haven evened the contest 1:12 later when Goetze scored off an assist from Dowd. Madera scored twice in the second period, the second off an assist from Goetze, to give West Haven a 3-1 lead, but Exton forced the overtime with the tying goal with 1:24 left in regulation.
West Haven advanced to the finals against the New York City Skyliners and fell 7-4. Dowd led the way with three goals and an assist, Madera had a goal and an assist, and Goetze finished with two assists.
Dowd evened the game at one off an assist from Madera in the first, before he got West Haven within a goal at 3-2 with 2:05 left in the first.
The Skyliners increased the lead to 5-2, before Madera scored off assists from Dowd and Goetze, and Dowd scored off an assist from Goetze with under a minute to go in the second. New York City iced the title with two power play goals in the third period.
West Haven opened this weekend with a 5-0 home victory over East Haven. Five different goal scorers were on the board for the Westies as Heenie, Price, Page, Madera, and Dylan Bosworth found the back of the net.
Dowd led the way with three assists and Jacob Silva was solid in goal, making several big saves to post the shutout. Axelrod, Heenie, Martone, Bosworth and Alling all played well defensively.
The Westies closed the week with an 11-2 defeat against South Windsor. West Haven got as close as 4-1 on a second period goal by Madera, off assists from Goetze and Martone, before Goetze scored an unassisted goal late in the game.
The West Haven Peewee A1 travel hockey team advanced to the finals of the Columbus Day Shootout in Hershey, Pennsylvania last weekend, before falling to the New Jersey Red Devils. The Westies were 2-1-1 in the tournament.
In the opener against the Ramapo Saints, West Haven posted a 5-0 victory. Daniel Lavallee assisted on Tyler McColgan goal to open the scoring. Two minutes later, Yousaf Ullah scores a goal from the blue line, assisted by Gavin Fanelli.
West Haven took a 3-0 lead 6:10 into the second period as Ullah scores on a breakaway. Lavallee made it 4-0, before McColgan assisted on Ullah’s third goal of the game. Oliver Sawitsky fends off all the Saints attempts for a West Haven shutout.
The Westies played the Red Devils in the second game and won 4-2.
Nate Pipeling gave West Haven a 1-0 lead, assisted by Viscuso. Ullah scored the second goal off an assist from Lavallee, and did the same for West Haven’s third tally. Ullah iced the game with 1:03 remaining.
The Westies tied the West Point Black Knights 2-2 in the third game of the tournament. Ullah and J.J. Hall scored for the Westies.
West Haven faced the Red Devils in the final and fell 4-1. Gavin Fanelli scored the lone West Haven goal.
Its been a busy two weeks for the West Haven Youth Hockey Bantam A Team. Last weekend, the Westies brought home the championship at the Columbus Day Shootout in Hershey, PA.
The tournament started on Saturday with 7-0 win over the Piedmont Predators. Anthony Peschell scored the first goal of the tournament for West Haven. Justin Pniewski and Carl Murgo scored in the second period, with assists coming from David Brown and Peschell.
In the third period, Joe D’Aurio scored the fourth goal of the game and first of four in the third period. Jayden Spreyer got the assist on D’Aurio’s goal. Ryan Bernardi, Luca Ubaldi and Peschell all scored in the third period as well, with assists coming from Brown, Ubaldi and D’Aurio.
The second game of the tournament was a close one, with the Westies coming out with a 3-3 tie against the West Point Knights. Brown started the Blue Devils scoring in the second period. Peschell scored later in the period, Ubaldi received the assist. Matt Morgan scored the go-ahead goal with 2 minutes left in the game, but the Knights scored in the final minute to tie the game.
For the third game in the Columbus Day Shootout, the pressure was on for the Westies to get points to be able to move on to the championship, which they did, beating the NYC Skyliners 3-0.
Mike Alfano scored midway through the second period to get West Haven on the board. Murgo scored early In the third period with Peschell getting the helper. Spreyer scored the game-sealer with an empty net goal from 150 feet away.
On Monday afternoon, the Blue Devils moved onto the tournament championship game, facing off against the West Point Knights for the second time in the tournament.
Morgan scored the first goal of the contest early in the first period. Ubaldi scored shortly thereafter, with Morgan getting the assist. Morgan scored his second of the game midway through the second period, with assists coming from Peschell and Adrian Fielosh.
The Knights scored once in the second period, but were never able to catch up. The Blue Devils took the championship home with a 3-1 victory over the Knights. Brendan Smith and Michael Andreesen split time in goal the entire weekend, with both giving outstanding efforts to keep the other team off the scoreboard.
This past weekend, the Blue Devils came back to West Haven for two home games. On Saturday, the Westies fell to Northwestern Youth Hockey by a score of 4-2.
Bernardi got the Westies on the board halfway through the second with a nice redirect goal. Ubaldi then scored four minutes later short-handed.
On Sunday, the Blue Devils won with a dominant 8-2 win over New Canaan. D’Aurio scored the first goal early in the first period, with Pneiwski getting the assist. Spreyer scored later in the first with helpers coming from Cade Simone and Matt Wezenski. Spreyer then scored again to start the second period, with an assist coming from Kevin Gardner.
Peschell scored halfway through the period, Morgan got the helper. Colin Deane scored with 4:56 remaining in the period as Alfano and Ubaldi were credited with the assists. Peschell scored his second of the game just a minute later, Joey Honcz and Ubaldi got the assists. Alfano scored the final goal of the second period, with Morgan getting the final goal with 4:50 left in the third period.
Smith played superb in goal, playing full games in both contests this weekend. Dante Hardt, Sean Bosworth and Nolan Cole all made positive contributions over the past two weekends.