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 growth and player development for 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 by creating a direct path to the Premier Teams. All Elite Division teams will be members of the EHL which brings the number of EHL teams to 26.
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.