Atlantic Youth Hockey League


WEST ORANGE, N.J. — It’s getting crowded at the top of the 16U division. The four highest ranked teams are separated by less than one win, and when two of them faced off this weekend, the rankings were shaken up in a big way. 


Philadelphia Hockey Club vs. New Jersey Devils Youth (Elite)

In a matchup between the number two and number three ranked teams in the division, this heavyweight fight more than lived up to the billing. The Devils seemed to have the win well in hand heading into the third period after they took a 2-0 lead, but their lead was anything but safe. Philadelphia unleased a furious barrage of goals in the third period, with four players each scoring a goal (one short-handed) to make the score 4-2 in the blink of an eye. Not to be deterred, the Devils’ Thomas White scored his second goal of the afternoon and dropped an assist to Dominic Locricchio to even the score up at four. Neither team could muster a goal in overtime, and the titanic clash ended in a stalemate. While both teams are doubtless frustrated by their failure to secure a win, a tie keeps them both squarely in the playoff hunt as they try to catch the number one ranked Washington Little Caps.  


Washington Little Capitals vs. North Jersey Avalanche (Elite)

Speaking of the Capitals, they certainly didn’t make things any easier for their competition, as they once again took care of business and further tightened their grip on the division. Four different caps scored to put down the Avalanche 4-2. The Caps overcame a heroic effort from the Avalanche’s Andres Jenkins, who scored both of his team’s two goals — including one short-handed. The Caps are now 10-3 with a three-game lead on the next closest team in the division. If they continue to play at this level, it’s difficult to imagine they don’t have a playoff berth in their future. 


New York Saints vs. Long Island Royals (Elite)

In a departure from the weekend’s high-scoring shootouts, the New York Saints were able to narrowly edge the Long Island Royals 1-0. The Saints rode their trademark, stifling defense — their 25 goals allowed is by far the lowest in the entire division — to an important victory. The Saints were buoyed by the spine of their elite defense: goalie Scott Caplan. Caplan knocked aside all nineteen shots sent his way to record the division’s only shutout of the weekend. Brady Juhn scored the lone goal of the contest. The Saints are now 7-3 and are squarely in the mix for the division crown — they are a mere three games behind the first-place caps and only one loss keeps them from taking second place. 

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