Atlantic Youth Hockey League


Atlantic District Championships to begin tomorrow

Release Date : 03/11/2016

WEST CHESTER, Pa. – Eight Atlantic Youth Hockey League teams will take to the ice at Ice Line Quad Rinks this weekend for the right to be called Atlantic District champions.

The New Jersey Colonials (12U and 14U), Team Comcast (12U and 16U), North Jersey Avalanche (14U, 16U, and 18U) and Philadelphia Junior Flyers (18U) will compete in best-of three-series, with the winners of the 14U, 16U, and 18U divisions advancing to the Toyota/USA Hockey Tier I National Championships.

How’d we get here – Comcast (12U), the Colonials (14U) and the Avalanche (16U and 18U) reached the district championships by virtue of claiming first place in the district standings.

The Colonials (12U), the Avalanche (14U), Comcast (16U), and the Junior Flyers (18U) reached the district championships by winning their way through the qualifying weekend.

The Colonials advanced with wins over the New Jersey Devils Youth (4-1), Valley Forge Minutemen (3-2), and the Avalanche (5-0).

The Avalanche advanced with wins over the Jersey Hitmen (7-0), Devils Youth (9-1), and the Mercer Chiefs (4-1).

Comcast advanced wins over the Hitmen (6-3) and the New Jersey Titans (4-2).

The Junior Flyers advanced out of the qualifying weekend with wins over the Hitmen (3-2), Comcast (7-4), and the Junior Titans (7-1).

In the regular season: At the 12U level, Comcast and the Colonials played two games, splitting the series with each team winning at home. On October 17, a third period, powerplay goal by Cristiano Walker (Kennett Square, Pa.) broke open a 2-1 game as Comcast won 4-1. Sammy Byrd-Leitner (Collingswood, N.J.) had three assists and Andrew Lavdas (Marlton, N.J.) made 15 saves in the victory. Will Donato (Collegeville, Pa.) had the lone goal for the Colonials.

Three weeks later, David Chen (Livingston, N.J.) and Patrick Neal (Summit, N.J.) combined for four goals and four assists as New Jersey scored two goals in the second and two goals in the third to come-from-behind and claim a 5-3 victory, evening the season series.

The teams did not matchup in the AYHL playoffs.

At 14U, the Colonials and the Avalanche skated to a pair of 2-2 ties.

On November 15, John Ryan Gelatt (Middletown, N.J.) scored a pair of goals to give the Colonials a 2-0 lead but Kenneth Riddett (Fishkill, N.Y.) and Christian Sarlo (Lynbrook, N.Y.) answered with goals 21-seconds apart to tie the game. Goaltenders Tyler Franchi (Denville, N.J.) and Matthew Schoer (Long Valley, N.J.) combined for 13 saves in the third period to protect the tie.

On January 16, Alex Laferriere (Chatham, N.J.) notched a second period goal, giving the Colonials a 2-1 lead, but Jake Giannone (Rockville Center, N.Y.) evened the score late in the third period, sending teams to their second 2-2 tie. Franchi made 30 saves.

The four goals against the Avalanche marked the lowest total against any opponent by the high-powered Colonial offense.

The teams did not matchup in the AYHL playoffs.

At 16U, the Avalanche defeated Comcast in both regular season meetings. On October 2, goals from six different skaters propelled the Avalanche to a 6-1 victory. Steven Agriogiannis (Florham Park, NJ/Penn State) led all players with three assists and Nick Abruzzese (Slate Hill, NY/Vermont) had a goal and an assist. Ian Graiff (Newfield, N.J.) had 32 saves for Comcast in defeat.

In the rematch that took place two weeks later at the AYHL’s showcase at the East Coast College Cup, Matthew Cameron (Berwyn, Pa/Quinnipiac) and Abreuzzese each had a goal and an assist as the Avalanche rallied for a 4-2 victory. Tyler Gratton (Pottstown, Pa.) had the other goals for North Jersey, including an empty-net goal to seal the victory. Justin Robbins (Alpine, N.J.) and Matt Sankner (Pennington, N.J.) combined for 45 saves.

In the AYHL playoffs, the teams matchup in the opening game of pool play. Cameron had two goals and an assist and Robbins made 26 saves en route to a 4-1 Avalanche victory.

At 18U, the Avalanche split the regular season series from the Junior Flyers. However, the Junior Flyers downed the Avalanche in double-overtime to win the AYHL postseason championship.

On October 24, Evan Wisocky (Hoboken, NJ/UCONN) registered a hat-trick, with the final goal coming in overtime, as the Avalanche downed Philadelphia, 3-2. Bobby Hamptson (Middletown, NJ/Northeastern) had two assists and Joshua Sarlo (Lynbrook, N.Y.) had 26 saves. Mitchell Gibson (Phoenixville, Pa.) made 23 saves for the Junior Flyers.

In the rematch on February 4, Jarrett Slear (West Chester, Pa.) had a pair of goals and Harrison Feeney (Lafayette, Pa.) made 30 saves as the Junior Flyers edged the Avalanche, 3-1. Caelan Briere (Haddonfield, N.J.) and Skylar Pugh (Reading, Pa.) each had two assists for the Junior Flyers. Paul Cimilucca (Colonia, N.J.) had the only goal for the Avalanche. The loss was the only AYHL regular season loss for the Avalanche.

In the 18U championship game, Jack McDonough () scored at 9:39 of the second overtime to give the Junior Flyers a 5-4, come-from-behind victory. After Hampton’s powerplay goal gave the Avalanche a 4-2 lead after two periods, Tyler Riddle (Springfield, Pa.) and Andrew Bean (Warminster, Pa.) scored early in the third period to tie the game. Sarlo and Feeney then combined for 24 saves until McDonough’s game-winner.

The games – Here is the schedule of games for each division:
Game 1 – New Jersey Colonials @ Team Comcast, 3/12/16 @ 11:15 a.m.
Game 2 – Team Comcast @ New Jersey Colonials, 3/13/16 @ 9:00 a.m.
Game 3 (If necessary) – New Jersey Colonials @ Team Comcast, 3/14/16 @ 9:15 a.m.
Game 1 – North Jersey Avalanche @ New Jersey Colonials, 3/12/16 @ 11:00 a.m.
Game 2 – New Jersey Colonials @ North Jersey Avalanche, 3/13/16 @ 1:00 p.m.
Game 3 (If necessary) – North Jersey Avalanche @ New Jersey Colonials, 3/14/16 @ 9:30 a.m.
Game 1 – Team Comcast @ North Jersey Avalanche, 3/12/16 @ 3:15 p.m.
Game 2 – North Jersey Avalanche @ Team Comcast, 3/13/16 @ 5:15 p.m.
Game 3 (If necessary) – Team Comcast @ North Jersey Avalanche, 3/14/16 @ 11:30 a.m.
Game 1 – Philadelphia Junior Flyers @ North Jersey Avalanche, 3/12/16 @ 5:30 p.m.
Game 2 – North Jersey Avalanche @ Philadelphia Junior Flyers, 3/13/16 @ 7:30 p.m.
Game 3 (If necessary) – Philadelphia Junior Flyers @ North Jersey Avalanche, 3/14/16 @ 1:45 p.m.
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