Atlantic Youth Hockey League


AYHL 2015 Playoffs Recap

Release Date : 03/09/2015

WEST CHESTER, PA. – The Atlantic Youth Hockey League held their annual playoffs at the Ice Line in West Chester, Pennsylvania and Oaks Center Ice in Oaks, Pennsylvania.

The Philadelphia Little Flyers (Squirt Minor), the Connecticut Oilers (Squirt Major), the New Jersey Colonials (Pee Wee Minor and Bantam Minor), Team Comcast (Pee Wee Major and Bantam Major), the Philadelphia Junior Flyers (Midget 16U American) and the North Jersey Avalanche (Midget 16U National and Midget 18U) all claimed championships.

Squirt Minor: After being the top team in the division during the regular season, with a record of 25-1-1, the Philadelphia Little Flyers went 3-0 in the round robin portion of the playoffs, outscoring their opponents 30-3 to advance to the semifinals.

Also advancing to the semifinals were the Long Island Royals, the New Jersey Colonials and the New Jersey Rockets.

In the semifinals, the Little Flyers continued their dominance over the division, beating the Rockets, 6-2, to advance to the finals, where the met the Colonials, who had upset the Royals, 4-3 in overtime, to advance to the championship game.

In the final game, the Little Flyers jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period, on the strength of goals from Pat Karbach (’05 birth year) and Porter Byrd-Leitner (’06 birth year), then added three more in the second to take a commanding 5-0 lead midway through the second period.

The Colonials would finally get on the board late in the second period on a goal from Anderson Pirtle (’05 birth year) to make the score 5-1, which is how the game would end.

After scoring ten goals in his team’s march to the championship, Little Flyers forward Chris Pelosi (’05 birth year) was named the division’s All-American Forward.

After being part of a defensive unit that was the regular season’s top defensive unit, and only allowed six goals in the playoffs, Philadelphia’s Nick Fascia (’05 birth year) was named All-American Defenseman.

Philadelphia’s goaltender Billy Stuski (’05 birth year) was named the Great American Goalie.

Squirt Major: Despite only winning one of their round-robin games (over the New Jersey Rockets), the Connecticut Oilers pulled off a pair of upsets in the semifinals and finals to win the division.

After falling to the North Jersey Avalanche during the final game of the round-robin portion of the tournament, the Oilers matched up with the Avalanche in the semifinals where forward Daniel Hu (’04 birth year) scored a pair of goals in the third period, breaking open a tie game, sending the Oilers to the finals with a 6-2 win.

In the finals, the Oilers faced-off with the New Jersey Rockets, where it was again Hu providing the offensive spark, scoring a power play goal with 1:12 to play in regulation to win the game for the Oilers, 3-2.

For his offensive heroics in the semifinals and final, Hu was named the division’s All-American Forward.

Lukas Klemm (’04 birth year) was named the division’s All-American defenseman and Gavin Moffatt (’04 birth year) was named the Great American Goalie, making it a clean sweep of the player award for the Oilers.

Pee Wee Minor: After an undefeated regular season (23-0-2), the New Jersey Colonials rebounded from an early tie in the round robin portion of the playoffs to sweep their remaining games en route to a division championship.

Because of the early tie by the Colonials, Team Comcast was the number one seed in the crossover rounds.

Both Comcast and the Colonials won their semifinal matchup, setting the stage for the top two teams in the division to battle one last time.

Patrick Neal (’03 birth year/Summit, N.J.) would have a hat-trick through the first two periods and Thomas Heaney (’03 birth year/Eatontown, N.J.) made 28-saves, including ten in the third period after Comcast had trimmed the Colonial lead to 1, as the Colonials won the division, 4-3.

The Colonials swept the individual awards as Neal was named the All-American Forward, Michael Rubin (’03 birth year/Blauvelt, N.Y.) was named All-American Defenseman and Heaney was named the Great American Goalie.

Pee Wee Major: After reaching the crossover round by virtue of a tiebreaker, Team Comcast then spun a pair of shutouts to be crowned champion in the Pee Wee Major Division.

The Washington Little Capitals finished last in the regular season, but were the only team to win multiple games in round robin play, where they reached the final game by upending the New Jersey Colonials, 3-2, on an overtime goal by Tyler Fowles (’02 birth year).

In the other semifinal, Charlie Banquier (’02 birth year/Moorestown, N.J.) would score midway through the first period, giving Comcast the lead. They’d add another goal in the first, four in the second and one more in the third to defeat the Long Island Royals, 7-0. T.J. Semptimphelter (’02 birth year/Marlton, N.J.) made 15 saves in the win.

In the championship game, a first period goal by Anthony Gurcsik (’02 birth year/Sewell, N.J.) stoop up as the game-winner as Comcast defeated Washington 2-0 behind 19 saves from Frank Petkunas (’02 birth year/Ambler, Pa.).

Gurcsik was named the division’s All-American Forward and Semptimphelter was named Great American Goalie.

After helping the Little Capitals reach the final game, Bauer Morrissey (’02 birth year) was named the All-American Defenseman.

Bantam Minor: After a regular season in which they outscored teams by a league-best 235 goals, the New Jersey Colonials continue their offensive dominance in route to a division championship, defeated the Mercer Chiefs, 5-3.

Reaching the crossover round by virtue of the highest goals for, combined with the fewest goals against, the Colonials defeated Bantam Minor American winner, the Connecticut Oilers, 5-1, on the strength of a pair of goals from Danny Colon (’01 birth year/Mendham, N.J.) and Matthew Manahan (’01 birth year/Skillman, N.J.) to reach the final game.

In the other semifinal, the Chiefs upset the second-seeded Connecticut Wolfpack, 3-2, on third-period goal from Toby Webster (’01 birth year/Lawrenceville, N.J.). Dylan Ringheiser (’01 birth year/Pine Hill, N.J.) made 36 saves in the victory.

In the final game, after spotting Mercer a 1-0 lead, the Colonials received a pair of goals from Colon and Alex Laferriere (’01 birth year/Chatham, N.J.) to pull ahead 4-3 in the third period.

Ryan Siedem (’01 birth year/Madison, N.J.) added an insurance goal to provide the game’s 5-3 margin.

John Werber (’01 birth year/Belle Meade, N.J.) made 32 saves in the loss for Mercer.

Laferriere and Siedem were named the All-American Forward and Defenseman respectively and Werber was named the Great American Goalie.

Bantam Major: After splitting their four games in the regular season, the top two teams in Bantam Major National Division met in the finals and Team Comcast defeated the North Jersey Avalanche, 2-0, to be crowned playoff champions.

After finishing first in the regular season, an opening-game loss by the Avalanche, 6-4, to the Connecticut Wolfpack, forced the Avalanche to win their final two games (2-1 over the New Jersey Colonials and 7-5 over the Connecticut Oilers) to reach the crossover round and have a chance at a championship, where they matched up with the Long Island Royals.

In the game itself, a pair of goals from Nichols Seitz (’00 birth year/New York, N.Y.) bookended a hat-trick from Adam Robbins (’00 birth year/Alpine, N.J.) as the Avalanche beat the Royals 6-3. Daniel Dachille (’00 birth year/Saddle River, N.J.) made 33 saves in the victory.

On the other side of the bracket, Comcast rebounded from a round-robin loss to the Wolfpack to defeat the Wolfpack, 4-1, in the semifinal. Kyle Peters (’00 birth year/Mount Laurel, N.J.) had a pair of goals in the game, including the game-winner.

In the championship game, a first period, powerplay goal by Ryan Baker (’00 birth year/Kennett Square, Pa.) proved to be the game-winner as Ian Graiff (’00 birth year/Newfield, N.J.) was perfect in net, spinning a 19-save shutout.

Peters and Zach Egber (’00 birth year/Furlong, Pa.) added goals in the second and third period to provide the final 3-0 margin.

It was a clean sweep for the individual awards for Team Comcast as Peters was named All-American Forward, Baker was named All-American Defenseman and Graiff was named Great American Goalie.

Midget 16U American: After an undefeated regular season, the Philadelphia Junior Flyers continued their dominance over the division, going undefeated in round-robin play, then defeating the North Jersey Avalanche in the semifinals and the New Jersey Junior Titans to secure the championship.

After being the highest scoring offense in the regular season, the Junior Flyers continued their offensive prowess, led by Brett Christie (’98 birth year/West Chester, Pa.) scoring 25 goals over five goals, averaging 5 goals per game.

In the semifinals, goals from three different skaters were more than enough as goaltender Jason Grande (’99 birth year/West Chester, Pa.) made 25 saves, in the team’s 3-1 win over the Avalanche.

In the other half of the bracket, the Titans updended the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Junior Knights 4-0, behind a goal and an assist from Leszek Gronowski (’98 birth year/Jackson, N.J.) and 25 saves from Thomas Walker (’99 birth year/Spotswood, N.J.) to advance to the final.

In the final game, forward German Poddubnnyi (’99 birth year/West Chester, Pa.) scored a pair of goals, including a third period, short-handed goal that proved to be the game-winner as the Junior Flyers outlasted the Titans 5-3.

With 12 points in the tournament, Poddubnnyi would be named the All-American Forward, defenseman Harrison Layne (’99 birth year/West Chester, Pa.) would be named the All-American Defenseman and Grande would take home the Great American Goalie award.

Midget 16U National: After an exciting regular season in which the playoff teams were separated by just nine points, the playoffs proved to be equally as competitive, with only two points separating the four crossover teams.

After being the only team to register points in all three round-robin matchups, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Junior Knights matched up the fourth-seeded North Jersey Avalanche in one semifinal and the Connecticut Wolfpack took on the Valley Forge Minutemen in the other.

Goaltending stole the show as Avalanche netminder Justin Robbins (’99 birth year/Alpine, N.J.) swatted away 22 shots and the Avalanche scored three times in the second period to win 3-0 and advance.

Nick Abruzzese (’99 birth year/Slate Hill, N.Y.) would open the scoring at 5:33 of the period and a pair of powerplay goals later in the period would be all the offense needed as Robbins spun the shutout.

In the other semifinal, Simeon Pincombe (’98 birth year/Skolkie, Ill.) saved 28 shots and three, second period goals were the difference as the Wolfpack defeated the regular season champion Minutemen, 5-1.

Joey Cipollone (’99 birth year/Purchase, N.Y./Vermont) led the Wolfpack offense with a goal and an assist.

In the championship game, Pincombe made 27 saves on 30 shots but Robbins was a perfect 34 for 34 as the Avalanche were crowned 16U National champs with their 3-0 victory.

Nolan Moyle (’99 birth year/Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.) scored at 9:25 in the first period to open the scoring.

Michael Nisky (’98 birth year/Colonia, N.J.) would add a goal just three minutes later and Patrick Cozzi (’98 birth year/Greenlawn, N.Y.) would add a second period powerplay goal to provide all of the offense needed as Robbins picked up his second straight shutout.

Nisky would be named the All-American Forward; Diarmad DiMurro (’99 birth year/Highland Mills, N.Y.) would be named the All-American Defenseman and Robbins would take home the Great American Goalie as the Avalanche swept the individual awards.

Midget 18U: With only the top four teams making the playoffs in this division, round-robin play was eliminated and the teams went straight into the semifinals.

Seeking to avenge their only regular season loss on the season, the North Jersey Avalanche jumped on the board with four goals in the second period to open up a 4-0 lead en route to a 6-1 victory.

Christopher Grando (’98 birth year/Islip, N.Y.) led the way for the Avalanche with a pair of goals and an assist, including a short-handed goal, which helped break the game open.

Devon Schell (’97 birth year/Scarsdale, N.Y.), Sam Sternschein (’98 birth year/Syosset, N.Y./Cornell) and Joseph Mortilaro (’97 birth year/Lockland, Fla.) each added two points in the victory.

In the other semifinal, the Philadelphia Junior Flyers used goals from four different skaters to defeat the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Junior Knights, 4-2.

Joey Kubackha (’98 birth year/Philadelphia, Pa.) would break a 2-2 tie late in the second period and Bobby Wurster (’96 birth year/New Hope, Pa.) would add a third-period insurance goal to provide the 4-2 final margin.

In the championship game, Dylan Healey (’96 birth year/Goshen, N.Y.), who only scored four goals during the AYHL regular season, scored with 1:17 remaining to win the game for the Avalanche, 3-2.

After spotting the Junior Flyers a 1-0 lead on a goal from Jay Furst (’97 birth year/Schwenksville, Pa.), the Avalanche respond with goals from Evan Wisocky (’98 birth year/Paramus, N.J.) and Paul Cimilluca (’97 birth year/Colonia, N.J.) to claim a one-goal lead in the third period.

Tiernan Seningen (’97 birth year/Landenberg, Pa.) would tie the game just nine seconds later, setting the stage for Healey’s heroics.

Joshua Sarlo (’97 birth year/Lynbrook, N.Y.) would make 28 saves in the game, including several in the final moments of the game to preserve the victory.

Marc Johnstone (’96 birth year/Cranford, N.Y.) would be named All-American Forward; Cimilluca would be named All-American Defenseman and Sarlo would take home Great American Goalie honors for the Avalanche.

Full AYHL playoff information may be found by clicking here and results may be found by clicking here.


Additional Note: Brothers Charles (’96 birth year), John (’99 birth year) and Steven (’01 birth year) Spetz all won championships at their respective birth year, becoming the first trio of siblings to win AYHL Playoff titles in their respective birth years in one season.

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