2018-19 ECEL Playoffs 16U Recap
GUILFORD, Conn., – The East Coast Elite League (ECEL) capped its 2018-19 season with a thrilling playoff weekend February 8-10, 2019, at Pilgrim Skating Arena in Hingham, MA. The players and fans were treated to outstanding preliminary-round and consolation game action throughout the weekend with the champions being crowned for the advancing clubs in the 18U, 16U, and 15U divisions.
Congratulations to the 2018-19 champion 16U Hill Academy!
Hill Academy 6, New Jersey Titans 2 – Forward Mitchell Lafay scored twice and forward James Johnston posted a goal and two assists as top-seeded Hill overpowered New Jersey with three second-half tallies. Forward Brad Ditillio and defenseman Joseph Messina notched a goal and assist for Hill, while Aleksandr Gamzatov and Jared Seick each posted two assists.
Forward Anthony Galante powered New Jersey with a short-handed goal and assist. Hill goaltender Hayden Dunford made 27 saves in the victory.
Seacoast Spartans 3, Elite Hockey Program 1 – Forward Kevin McGuire scored the game-winning goal in the opening minute of the second half, snapping a 1-1 tie for the third-seeded Spartans. McGuire also set up a Brendan Kimball goal, which came just 51 seconds after forward Gary Claps had given Elite the initial lead midway through the opening half.
Forward Tanner Freed, who assisted on McGuire’s tally, gave the Spartans a two-goal lead with 18:05 left that held up thanks to the 21-save performance from goaltender Ethan Kavanaugh.
Hill Academy 4, Seacoast Spartans 3 (OT) – Hill stormed back to erase a 2-0 halftime deficit with three straight goals, including two on the same shift from forward Gino Colangelo, to take the lead during the first 13 minutes of the second half. However, that advantage was short-lived as Seacoast forward Kevin McGuire scored the equalizer just 48 seconds later that eventually forced overtime.
It took only 39 seconds of the extra stanza for Colangelo to complete his natural hat trick and claim the ECEL 16U title for Hill, as Cameron Snow forced a defensive zone turnover by Seacoast to set up the Hill captain for his second assist of the game. Goaltender Hayden Dunford turned aside 25 shots for the champions.