Playoff Positions Secured During
2019 ECEL Winter Classic
GUILFORD, Conn., – The 2018-19 East Coast Elite League (ECEL) completed its regular-season slate with the third of four ECEL Showcase Series stops January 11-13, 2019, at Pilgrim Skating Arena and Boch Ice Center in Massachusetts. The players and fans enjoyed highly competitive games as the 18U, 16U, and 15U divisions squared off throughout the weekend with final playoff positioning on the line.
The ECEL Winter Classic showcase featured teams from the following programs: Bishop’s College School, Boston Advantage, Colorado Rampage, East Coast Spartans, Elite Hockey Program, Hill Academy, The Mount Academy, Nashville Junior Predators, Newbridge Academy, New Hampshire Avalanche, New Jersey Devils, New Jersey Titans, Ontario Junior Reign, Seacoast Spartans, Texas Warriors, West Coast Renegades, and 95 Giants.
The New Jersey Titans (9-1-1-0) opened the Winter Classic with their eighth straight victory but needed overtime to defeat Newbridge Academy, 5-4. However, New Jersey’s unbeaten streak did come to an end in their next contest against the 95 Giants, 5-3, which proved the Giants’ lone weekend victory. The Titans managed to remain atop the standings by wrapping up the showcase with back-to-back victories over the East Coast Spartans and Ontario Junior Reign, who couldn’t find their trademark scoring touch, netting just 5 goals in 4 games, and fell out of second place with four consecutive losses.
Hill Academy (7-3-0-2) took advantage of the Junior Reign’s power outage to claim second place behind the Titans with four straight wins and surrendering just a single goal on the weekend. Hill netminders Justin Lee, Kevin Anness, and Tyler Blanzo each posted a shutout.
Despite dropping its Winter Classic opener by a goal to powerful guest Bishop’s College School of Quebec, the Elite Hockey Program (7-2-1-1) strung together three straight victories against league opponents to earn its spot atop the division. Entering the showcase in first place, Hill Academy (7-4-1-0) came up short in a couple of close contests against the New Hampshire Avalanche and Bishop’s and now trail Elite by 2 points.
Boston Advantage posted three victories during the Winter Classic, including handing visiting Bishop’s its lone loss (4-1), to climb into a third-place tie with the Seacoast Spartans with 21 points. Cy LeClerc notched a pair of hat tricks for the Spartans during an overall 11-point showcase that raised his division-leading season total to 33.
First place came down to a Saturday morning showdown between the New Jersey Titans (7-3-0-0) and Elite Hockey Program (8-3-0-0). Madden Powers’ goal proved the difference in a 1-0 Elite victory that avenged a loss to the Titans by the same score during the Fall Classic. Division points leader Logan Nickerson (13) set up the Powers game-winner.
Elite will be top seed in the four-team playoffs followed by New Jersey, the West Coast Renegades, and Boston Advantage.
Up next, is the ECEL Playoffs February 8-10, 2019 in Hingham, MA. Full schedule and rosters to be released soon!