This past weekend the Boston Jr Rangers 18U team headed down to Bridgewater, MA as the 2nd seed in the EJEPL playoffs.
Following last season's heartbreaking semi-final loss to the Boston Bandits, the Rangers were looking for some revenge in this year's semi-final game against the Bandits. The Bandits, winners of the past two EJEPL titles, went into the game as the 3rd seed and winners of the previous three meetings this season against the Rangers. "They're a tough team to play against" said Rangers captain Brendan McCormack "it was the seventh time we played them this season. We won the first three, they won the next three. Coach made sure we knew we had to come out with a game seven mentality and the returners from last season wanted to knock them out of the playoffs for a little payback."
The Rangers came out strong from the opening face-off and Dom Malatesta scored on the first shift assisted by Josh Sanchez and Anthony Quatieri. Minutes later that line connected again, this time it was Sanchez taking a great feed from Quatieri and Malatesta to make it 2-0 mid-way through the 1st period.
The score would stay that way until 7 minutes into the 2nd frame as Malatesta made it 3-0 on the power play from Quatieri and Alex Dalton. The score would stay that way until about 10 minutes left when the Bandits scored to make it 3-1 before Brendan McCormack picked up the insurance marker from Chaz Rometty and Max Hennessy to ice a 4-1 victory giving the Rangers a spot in the EJEPL championship game against rival Northern Cyclones.
Sunday saw the Cyclones strike first 20 seconds into the game but it was Alex Dalton who score on the next shift to even the score at 1 a piece from Jacob Lane and Chaz Rometty. From there it was all Rangers in the 1st period as they outshot the Cyclones 13-5. Anthony Quatieri scored from Josh Sanchez and Dom Malatesta with 7 minutes left and 30 seconds later Jake Mendeszoon scored from Sanchez and Malatesta to make it 3-1.
The second period was again all Rangers as they outshot the Cyclones again. Cullen McCormack took a feed from Jake Mecrones and Phil Shemyakin to make it 4-1 to make it appear that the Rangers would run away with it. But the Cyclones had other plans as they scored with 2 minutes to go in the 2nd period before the teams headed to the locker room.
As the 3rd period started the Rangers were just 17 minutes from their first league championship. With the Cyclones applying heavy pressure it was Devon Bruzzese who stole the show for the Rangers as he put on a show in net. Finally the dam cracked as the Cyclones scored with 5 minutes to play to make it 4-3. Again it was Brendan McCormack to the rescue scoring with 3 minutes left assisted by Rometty and Dalton. With a 5-3 lead, Bruzzese once again came up with multiple key saves in the final minute securing the EJEPL championship for the Rangers.
Congratulations to all players and staff on their first league title!
Tag(s): Breakaway Ice Center