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Atlantic Youth Hockey League

 

AYHL Teams Set to Kickoff Play in Nationals

Release Date : 03/25/2015

AMHERST, N.Y. – The 2015 Toyota/USA Hockey Tier I National Championship kicks off tomorrow with round robin play that runs through Saturday, March 28th. The quarter and semifinals are being held on March 29th and National Champions will be crowned on Monday, March 30th.

Team Comcast (14U and 16) and the North Jersey Avalanche (18U) are representing the Atlantic Youth Hockey League.

After finishing second in the AYHL 14U Bantam Major division, along with a second place finish in the Atlantic District, Team Comcast won the Atlantic District qualifier and was placed in the National-Liberty bracket along with Little Caesars, Compuware and the TPH Thunder.

Comcast will begin play against Compuware on Thursday at 8:00am before games with Little Ceasars (Friday) and the TPH Thunder (Saturday). For Comcast to advance, goaltenders Ian Graiff (’00 birth year/Newfield, N.J.) and Matt Sankner (’00 birth year/Pennington, N.J.) must continue their strong playoff play where the two combined to only allow five goals over five games.

At the 16U level, Comcast used a similar formula it used at Bantam Major to advance: a third place AYHL regular season finish, a second place Atlantic District finish and then a victory on Atlantic District qualifying weekend to advance to nationals.

Comcast was again placed in the National-Liberty bracket along with Omaha AAA Hockey, the Chicago Mission and the Syracuse Stars. Comcast will begin round robin play against the Mission (Thursday) before moving on to take on Omaha (Saturday) and closing with the Stars on Sunday.

Comcast struggled a bit offensively in the AYHL playoffs and in the first game of the district championships with nine goals in four games before exploding with six goals in the deciding game against Valley Forge.

Leading scorers Matthew Cassidy (’99 birth year/Medford, N.J.), Jonathan Bendorf (’99 birth year/Yardville, N.J.) and Evan Barratt (’99 birth year/Bristol, Pa.) each received an invitation for the US NTDP Evaluation Camp and must return their play to the elite levels they are capable of in order for Comcast to advance out of round robin play.

The North Jersey Avalanche were the only AYHL regular season champion to also claim the district title to advance to nationals. The Avalanche were placed in the American-USA bracket along with Shattuck St. Mary’s, the Chicago Mission and the hosting Amherst Knights.

In order for the Avalanche to advance out of round robin play, goaltender Joshua Sarlo (’97 birth year/Lynbrook, N.Y.) must continue his strong play from the AYHL playoffs and Atlantic District qualifier. Sarlo is nationals battle tested after an appearance in the 2013 Tier III Junior Nationals.

Atlantic Youth Hockey League regular season champions, the North Jersey Avalanche (18U) along with Atlantic District qualifier Team Comcast (14U and 16U) were victorious and received the automatic birth to nationals.

Click here to stay up to date with all of the games from the 2015 Toyota/USA Hockey Tier I National Championship.

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