2018 ECEL Fall Classic Recap
WALPOLE, Mass. – The three divisions of the East Coast Elite League kicked off the 2018-19 campaign Oct. 6-8 in the Boston area with the majority of clubs playing four games over the Columbus Day holiday weekend. Parity played out early this season with just one of the 26 squads that faced off four times during the three-day showcase emerging undefeated.
Balanced scoring from all three lines allowed the 15U New Jersey Titans to skate to a 4-0 record with three victories against fellow ECEL clubs plus an additional nonleague win. Meanwhile, the two Titans 18U squads also completed the Fall Classic unscathed, though each only suited up three times, and find themselves in a five-way tie atop the standings with 9 points.
In 16U action, an overtime loss denied the first-place Seacoast Spartans a perfect start to the season, while the Boston Advantage squad posted three straight impressive shutout victories before falling to Hill Academy in Monday’s finale, which proved a satisfying way for the Ontario-based high school club to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving.
Boston Advantage forward Jack Ring’s division-leading 10 points (4 goals, 6 assists) paced his club to a 3-1 record. The Advantage are tied for first along with the unbeaten New Jersey Titans and Titans Showcase squads as well as the New Hampshire Avalanche, who were powered by forwards Baxter Kimball (9 points) and Ryan Tobeler (8 points).
Also positioned at the top of the division after the league’s opening event is the Junior Reign, who were paced by forwards Micchal Sup and Allen Howland with 5 points apiece. Goaltender Tanner Rusnak turned aside 53 of 55 shots he faced in two starts for the East Coast Spartans to post a 1.00 goals-against average and .964 save percentage.
The first-place Seacoast Spartans forward Cy Le Clerc proved to be as much of a playmaker as he is a goal scorer during the Fall Classic, posting 6 goals and 6 assists for a showcase-best 12 points. Teammate Dom Chasse was second in the division with 9 points, including 6 goals of his own.
New Jersey Devils netminder Brett Cleaves notched a 0.94 GAA in more than two games played, earning both his team’s victories behind a .946 save percentage. Advantage goalie Conner Bradford was close behind, playing in three games and averaging just 1 goal against with a .962 save percentage.
Tucker Thorstad’s 4 goals and 4 assists for the .500 West Coast Renegades led the 15s with 8 total points, while goaltenders Marino Lupo (1.00 GAA) and Dmitrii Kapranov (1.50 GAA) backstopped the New Jersey Titans to a perfect 4-0 start.
“The first ECEL event of the showcase season was a great success. It is exciting to see each program within the league become stronger and stronger. We are establishing a brand and a proven system that works to help players better prepare for the next level and receive optimal exposure. We continue to see the rise competition and exposure, thanks to our unique event schedule, balanced competition and location in the hotbed of college hockey." Said Peter Alden, ECEL Commissioner.
Stay tuned for news and information for the upcoming ECEL Holiday Classic, November 30-December 2, 2018 in Connecticut. For more information, please contact Peter Alden Palden5@Gmail.com or visit www.ECELHockey.com.