BOSTON, Mass. – The Eastern Hockey League is excited to announce the formation of the EHL Elite Division for 2015-16.
While the EHL Elite Division will consist of eight members during its inaugural campaign – Northern Cyclones, New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs, New England Wolves, Vermont Lumberjacks, Boston Bandits, Boston Jr. Rangers, Valley Jr Warriors and Walpole Express – the concept is set up for steady and cost-effective growth in future years.
The Elite Division will play a 40-46 game schedule and is comprised of Junior franchises that will play USA Hockey Junior rules. The primary purpose of the division is to develop players for EHL teams while keeping cost containment in the forefront. All Elite Division teams will be members of the EHL which brings the number of EHL teams to 26.
The Elite Division teams will see reduced travel costs and a reduced travel time commitment for the players compared to their current set-ups.
More 2015-16 information regarding the EHL Elite Division and the Eastern Hockey League will be announced as plans are finalized.
The Eastern Hockey League’s Christmas Showcase took place this past weekend at the International Skating Center of Connecticut in Simsbury, CT. The showcase was the fourth so far this season, with the fifth and final event scheduled for mid-January. All 19 EHL teams participated this past weekend, including the Boston Jr. Rangers.
It was an up and down weekend for the Rangers. The positives came in the form of a 6-1 over the New Jersey Titans on Saturday, but the negatives could be found in a 4-2 loss to the Philadelphia Revolution (Friday) and a 2-1 defeat at the hands of the Connecticut Oilers (Sunday). Jeff Pierson (2 goals, 1 assist) and Mason Nichols (3 assists) each had three points over the weekend.
"Coming into the showcase weekend, we really wanted to end the first half working hard and competing a little harder than we had the previous weekend", said coach Mario Martiniello. "It was nice to see that kind of effort this weekend. It really is what we need to do after break to be successful."
Friday 12/19/14 - Simsbury, CT
The action started quickly on Friday night as the Philadelphia Revolution got two early goals from Nick Bohatiuk, and jumped out to an early lead over the Boston Jr. Rangers. Just past the halfway point of the period, the newly acquired Rudy Carson, got his 1st goal with the Rangers to cut the lead in half.
Just over ten minutes after Carson’s tally, Philadelphia’s leading scorer, Zach England, gave the Revolution a two-goal lead once again. Following England’s goal, it was Connor Fenton this time who cut the lead back down to one with his 3rd goal of the season.
The Rangers were unable to breakthrough again though, and England iced the game with an empty net goal with 22 seconds to go.
Daniil Gerasimov made 42 saves for Philadelphia in the 4-2 victory, while Evan Morrelli stopped 23 shots in the loss for Boston.
Saturday 12/20/14 - Simsbury, CT
The frustration from recent weeks all washed away on Saturday for the Boston Jr. Rangers, as they knocked off the New Jersey Titans by the score of 6-1. During showcase events, the period lengths are modified from three 20-minute periods to two 25-minute periods. The first 25 minutes of hockey game on Saturday morning went perfectly for the Rangers. Boston scored five times in the period, with Jeff Pierson, Stefan Horgas, Andrew Amick, Davis Algra, and Joe Berardi all finding the back of the net. Kade McCartin scored the lone goal in the 1st for New Jersey.
In the 2nd and final frame of the game, there was a lot less scoring, as Amick got his 2nd of the game and the only tally go the period. The two goals for Amick were his first two since being acquired from the Walpole Express.
Phillip Kuznetov picked up the win in net for the Rangers, while Trever Ralph received the loss for the Titans.
Sunday - 12/21/14 - Simsbury, CT
A satisfying victory on Saturday morning, was followed up with another frustrating loss Sunday afternoon, as the Boston Jr. Rangers lost 2-1 to the Connecticut Oilers. All three goals were scored in the first period, with Jeff Pierson giving the Rangers the early lead eight and a half minutes into the game.
Connecticut’s leading scorer, Lucas Bombardier, tied the game with his 15th goal of the season just four minutes later. Then with three and half minutes to go in the period, AJ Peckich scored his 9th of the season, which would prove to be the game winning goal.
Chris Bastone made 17 saves to collect his 10th win of the season, while Morelli stopped 26 shots in the defeat.
Boston Jr. Rangers Next Game
The Boston Jr. Rangers will now enjoy a couple weeks off for the holidays, and return to action January 8th when they take on the Boston Bandits. Follow all the action at easternhockeyleague.pointstreaksites.com.
The weekend began in frustrating fashion for the Boston Jr. Rangers, but then gradually got better, and finally ended in victorious fashion. The action started Wednesday afternoon when the Rangers fell to the Boston Bandits 3-0. Things got a little bit better Saturday in a 4-3 defeat at the hands of the New Jersey Rockets, and then the Rangers salvaged the weekend with a 5-4 shootout victory over the New Jersey Titans on Sunday. The Mecrones brothers, Derek and Brett, each recorded 4 points over the weekend.
Wednesday 12/3/14 - Tewksbury, MA
It was a very tough afternoon for the Boston Jr. Rangers on Wednesday as they fell to the Boston Bandits by the score of 3-0. The Bandits got goals from Clay Berger, Connor Court, and Paul Filippone, and Calvin Shelly made 22 saves for his first shutout of the season.
Evan Morelli made 28 saves in the loss for the Rangers, and a bright spot could be found in the team killing off all 5 penalties they were assessed.
The Bandits finished the weekend tied with the Walpole Express for the lead in the Boston Division.
Saturday 12/6/14 - Newark, NJ
The frustration from Wednesday got a little better Saturday night, as the Boston Jr. Rangers fell to the New Jersey Rockets 4-3. New Jersey got on the board first, just 1:22 into the game, as Joseph Napoli got his 5th of the season. The Rangers responded just over 8 minutes later when Davis Algra got his 8th of the season, with the assist going to Derek Mecrones. It took just over 2 minutes from that point for Mason Nichols to give the Rangers the lead with a power-play tally, assisted by both Derek and his brother Brett Mecrones.
The Rockets would score the next 3 goals of the game though, twice before the end of the 1st period, and a third time 30 seconds into the 2nd period. The goals came from the team’s leading scorer Christopher Gambardella, Joseph Napoli (2nd of the game), and Derek Caruso. Down 4-2, the Rangers switched goalies and brought in Phillip Kuznetsov who stopped all 24 shots that came his way.
The Mecrones brothers combined to score the final goal of the night for the Rangers, Derek assisting Brett, but the goal came with just 1 second left in the game, not enough time to change the outcome. Stephen East made 43 saves in the victory for New Jersey.
Sunday 12/7/14 - Middletown, NJ
The Boston Jr. Rangers salvaged a victory in the final game of the weekend, knocking off the New Jersey Titans 5-4 in a shootout. It was crazy night for the Rangers, as they found themselves down by a goal four separate times, with scores of 1-0, 2-1, 3-2, and 4-3.
The Titans struck first just 4 minutes into the game when Adam Morton got his 2nd of the season. Ben Piecz tied things up 8 minutes later, and the score would remain tied at 1-1 heading into the 1st intermission.
New Jersey would net the only goal of the 2nd period, just over halfway through the frame, when Max Weber found the back of the net. The scoring cranked up in a big way during the 3rd period.
Brett Mecrones tied the score at 2-2 just 23 seconds into the period, only to see Ryan Price regain the lead for the Titans just over 4 minutes later. It was a minute after that tally that Tommy Royer tied things up with an unassisted goal, only to see the Titans regain the lead once again when Brian Miller scored. The frantic 3rd period wrapped up when Andrew Etheridge tied things up once again for the Rangers, with just over six and a half minutes to go in the game.
Neither team could break the 4-4 tie in the overtime period, and then Davis Algra and Brett Mecrones each scored in the shootout to lead the Rangers to the victory.
Phillip Kuznetsov made 32 saves for the Rangers in the win, his 3rd of the season, and Trever Ralph stopped 38 shots in the losing effort.
Boston Jr. Rangers Next Game
The Boston Jr. Rangers return home next weekend to take on the New York Applecore and the New England Wolves. The Rangers beat the Applecore 10-2 in their only meeting this season, and also beat the Wolves in their only meeting this year, that one by the score of 3-2. Follow all the action at easternhockeyleague.pointstreaksites.com.