The Long Islands Gulls are the 2023 Beast League U13 Champions after a 6-1 win over the East Coast Militia in Sunday's title game.
The Militia actually took a 1-0 lead early on, scoring just nine seconds into the game on a goal by Bruce Ghostlaw, but it was all Gulls from there.
The Gulls tied it up at 1-1 at the 4:36 juncture on the first of Matthew Ferrante's two goals, assisted by Christian Lopiano.
Later in the first half, a power play strike for Jake Conroy turned out to be the game-winning tally. Maveric Thisdelle had the assist.
It stayed a 2-1 game until the midway point of the second half, when the Gulls scored twice in a 1:02 span. Both of the goals came off the stick of Thisdelle, and both were assisted by James Fox.
Conroy and Ferrante each added their second goals of day to account for the 6-1 final score.
Here is Jake Conroy's game-winning goal:
* In a tight battle, the East Coast Militia held on for 4-3 win over the Yale Jr. Bulldogs. With the score 1-0 in favor of EC Militia heading into the second half, the Bulldogs tied it early in the third. Ronan Foley put EC Militia on top with a power play goal and they ran from there.
* The Long Island Gulls won their second matchup of the weekend beating the New Hampshire Mountain Kings 4-2. With the score 2-1 in favor of the Gulls heading into the second, Jake Conroy and James Fox extended the lead with two early goals.
* Seacoast Performance Academy blanked the CT Jr. Rangers 2-0. Michael Shook and Nicholas Cabana both scored while Camden Leighton got the victory in goal.
* The Long Island Gulls won their third of the weekend this time beating the Yale Jr. Bulldogs 5-2. Christian LoPiano led the way with two goals while Michael Kandrach, Miles Siegel and Nicholas DiMarco also scored.
* East Coast Militia won another one taking down the CT Jr. Rangers 7-2. It was a full offensive effort from the Militia who got two goals from Bruce Ghostlaw to lead the way.
* For the second game in a row, the Seacoast Performance Academy blanked an opponent 2-0 and this time it was the NH Mountain Kings. Michael Shook and Liam O’Neill each scored and Camden Leighton was outstanding in net once again earning another shutout.
* The Yale Jr. Bulldogs took down Seacoast Performance Academy 4-1 in their first game of the weekend. The Bulldogs got goals from Conlan Albert, Kellan Fenstad, Aidan Loomis and Owen Hannah.
* In other 13U action, the East Coast Militia beat the New Hampshire Mountain Kings 8-2. Finn Guenther and John Brown led the way with two goals apiece.
* The Long Island Gulls blanked the Connecticut Jr. Rangers 6-0 in their first tilt of the playoffs. Matthew Ferrante led the offense with two goals and Hugh Rooney earned the shutout in net.
In exciting fashion, Seacoast Performance Academy are the 2023 Beast League U14 Champions beating the Yale Jr. Bulldogs 2-1.
SPA forward Luca Desjardins broke a 1-1 tie at the 7:22 mark of the second half, driving down the left wing side and burying a hard wrister on the near side for the eventual game-winning goal. Tomas Kubis and Declan Wotton drew assists on the goal.
"Honestly, I am mostly a playmaker," Desjardins said after the game. "But I saw an opportunity to put it in top cheese so I took it."
Here is Desjardins game-winning goal:
The Bulldogs got on the board first, taking a 1-0 lead on an unassisted goal by Nathan Cook. Minutes later, SPA tied it on a goal by Hunter Henderson. The score remained 1-1 until Desjardins' game-winning tally.
* The Yale Jr. Bulldogs advanced to the 14U Championship with a 2-0 shutout over Boston Advantage. Zachary Zusman got the Bulldogs on the board with a goal in the first half. The game remained that score into the second when Peter Royer put the exclamation mark on the win. Christian Capone earned the win in net.
* In the second semifinal game, Seacoast Performance Academy blanked the Red Bank Generals 5-0 to advance to the 14U Championship. The game was 1-0 heading into the second half when Seacoast exploded for four goals. Luca Desjardins led the way with two while Declan Wotton and Sean Sweeney also scored. Nicko Zakk Hazel earned another shutout in net.
* The Yale Jr. Bulldogs improved to 2-0 on the weekend with a 4-1 win over EC Militia. R. Ethan Russo scored twice for the Bulldogs and Zachary Zusman and Alex Marottolo each added a goal as well.
* Seacoast Performance Academy continued its dominant showing with a 6-1 win over the Long Island Gulls. Noah Mazzola led the charge with two goals and Declan Wotton, Landon Brawn, Matys St. Gelais and AJ Smith also scored.
* The Boston Advantage beat the North Shore Wings 5-2 behind five different goal scorers in Isaac Davis, Tommy Zine, Shane Ryan, Ryan Kisiel and Tommy Moore.
* In a tight battle, the Springfield Thunderbirds beat the Neponset River Rats 2-1. With the score tied at one late in the second half, Gavin Power scored the game winning goal for the Thunderbirds.
* The Red Bank Generals improved to 2-0 with a 4-1 win over the CT Chiefs. Gio Gemellaro continued to shine with two more goals. Christain Valent and Robbie Stanislaro also scored.
* Seacoast Performance Academy won its third game of the weekend with a 2-0 blanking of the East Coast Militia. Luca Desjardins and Tomas Kubis both scored and Kamden Jackson shined in net.
* The Yale Jr. Bulldogs also won their third game of the weekend with a 3-1 win over the NS Wings. Ryan Holmes powered the offense with two goals and Peter Royer sealed the deal with an insurance goal in the third.
* The Neponset River Rats handed the Red Bank Generals their first loss of the weekend, 4-3. With the score tied at two after one half, Aidan Simmons and Liao Zhu put the River Rats up 4-2. Gio Gemellaro scored his fourth of the weekend with nine seconds left, but the River Rats held on.
* The Springfield Thunderbirds came back to beat the Connecticut Chiefs 3-2. With the Chiefs leading 2-0 after one half, Gabe Kolodjay took matters into his own hands scoring a hat trick to give the Thunderbirds the 3-2 win.
* The Red Bank Generals beat the Springfield Thunderbirds 4-1 on Friday night. They scored three goals in the first half from Gio Gemellaro, Liam Greenhall and Michael Gemallaro and never looked back after that.
* Seacoast Performance Academy doubled up the North Shore Wings 6-3. After getting down 1-0, Seacoast scored five consecutive goals including two by Luca Desjardins to take a commanding lead.
* East Coast Militia beat the Boston Advantage 3-1 in a close battle. With the Militia leading 2-0, the Advantage got one back on a goal by Tommy Zine to make it 2-1. Later in the half, Martin Monahan gave the Militia a key insurance run to seal the win.
* The Neponset River Rats won 6-2 over the CT Chiefs. Aidan Simmons scored twice and Ben Pernicano, Jackson Burns, Connor Hines and Charles Ness also scored.
* The Yale Jr. Bulldogs got off to a fast start against the Long Island Gulls winning 4-1. The Bulldogs got goals from Alex Marottolo, Zachary Zusman, Dante Garea and Ryan Holmes.
The Beast League Fall season comes to a close this weekend with the playoff rounds at the U14 and U13 levels. All games will be held at the Lovell Arena in Rockland (MA) from Friday, November 10 - Sunday, November 12.
At both levels, each team will play three round-robin games, one on Friday and two on Saturday.
Here is a look at each level:
The 14U Beast League playoffs will feature 10 teams vying for the title this fall. The top three teams will advance to the semifinals on Sunday in the National Division which includes Seacoast Performance Academy, Yale Jr. Bulldogs, Boston Advantage, East Coast Militia, Long Island Gulls and North Shore Wings.
The winner of the American Division (Neponset River Rats, Red Bank Generals, Springfield Thunderbirds and Connecticut Chiefs) will move to Sunday's semi-finals.
A team to watch will be the EC Militia coached by Nick Messina and he is a big component that success starts with the goaltenders and he will turn to them to come up big this weekend.
“It’s playoffs so it starts with the goaltenders,” said Messina. “Ryan Walsh and JuJu Herrera are the backbone of the team, it's all going to start with them. If they can shut down some of these high powered offenses, I like our chances against anyone.
"Ayden Giardina and Thomas Mattera bring a level of compete that sets the tone for the team offensively but I believe all of our lines are ready for the challenge and know what it takes to win as a team.”
Messina hopes his team shows up and battles every single shift in order to win the U14 title.
“We need to play strong defense, and execute on special teams,” said Messina. “I know our boys will bring everything they have and leave it all on the ice. The rankings and the records, none of that matters in the playoffs. You have to show up, bring a ton of heart and be ready to battle every shift until the final whistle.”
Another team to keep your eye on in the U14 division are the Neponset River Rats coached by Greg Chamberlain, who is looking for everyone on his team to play a part this weekend.
“We are going to need secondary scoring and good goaltending,” said Chamberlain. We have a decent amount of good players. Don’t want to point out anyone in particular as we are going to need everyone. Everyone is going to be a key player. We will need a complete effort, plain and simple.”
Sam Graceffa and Kyle Mann have been solid in goal all fall for the River Rats. Leo Zhu, Joe Galvin, Jackson Burns and Connor Hines have had big seasons offensively.
The 14U Yale Jr. Bulldogs should be fun to watch and have forwards Zachary Zusman, Ryan Holes and Peter Royer leading the way. On the blue line look for Logan Melillo and Rocco Ciaburro. Seacoast Performance Academy will also be a strong group with forwards Luca Desjardins, Declan Wotton and Matys St. Gelais up front. Kamden Jackson has been solid in goal.
The Long Island Gulls are also a team to keep your eye on this weekend with players like Matthew Koch, Richard Janniello and Dominic Slevin powering the offense. Look for Maddox Franks in net to be strong as well. Along with them the North Shore Wings will also be in the mix. They will have Ryan Mogielnicki and Luke Salah up front and Warren Dubois and James Lyman in net.
Gio Gemellaro and Michael Gemellaro could key the chances of the Red Bank Generals. The Springfield Thunderbirds will look for production from Troy Hamelin and Quinn Woytowicz.
The Boston Advantage will be in the mix with Isaac Davis up front and a defense paced by Cole Ryan and Landon Nickulas.
Here is the U14 Schedule. All Games at Lovell Arena:
Friday November 10
Seacoast Performance Academy vs. NS Wings (4:30 pm)
River Rats vs. CT Chiefs (7:10 pm)
Boston Advantage vs. EC Militia (7:00 pm)
Yale Jr. Bulldogs vs. Long Island Gulls (8:00 pm)
Red Bank Generals vs. Springfield Thunderbirds (8:30 pm)
Saturday November 11
Yale Jr. Bulldogs vs. EC Militia (9:50 am)
Seacoast Performance Academy vs. Long Island Gulls (11:20 am)
Boston Advantage vs. NS Wings (12:50 pm)
River Rats vs. Springfield Thunderbirds (1:40 pm)
CT Chiefs vs. Red Bank Generals (2:20 pm)
Seacoast Performance Academy vs. EC Militia (5:20 pm)
Boston Advantage vs. Long Island Gulls (6:50 pm)
Yale Jr. Bulldogs vs. NS Wings (6:50 pm)
River Rats vs. Red Bank Generals (7:30 pm)
Springfield Thunderbirds vs. CT Chiefs (8:20 pm)
Sunday November 12
Semi-Final #1 (7:50 am)
Semi-Final #2 (8:00 am)
U14 Championship (1:30 pm)
The 13U Beast League playoffs will have six organizations battling for the championship. The six teams will each play three games and the two highest seeds in the round robin will play for the Championship on Sunday November 12 at 9:20 am at Lovell Arena.
One team to keep your eye on in the playoffs is the Long Island Gulls. Coach Jeff Conroy is ready to watch his team compete.
“Our team trains hard,” said Conroy. “As coaches, we are always looking for that training to translate into big games. We have seen some bright spots recently but we will need consistency throughout the lineup this weekend to win the title. Expectations are high, and we won't be happy with anything less.”
Some key players to watch will be Andrew Randazzo, Jake Conroy, James Fox, Ian Hearle, Traian Regos, Christian LoPiano and Hugh Rooney in goal.
Another team that has their eye on the prize is the EC Militia coached by Anthony Chighisola. Though he says they have struggled a bit with consistency this season, he knows what they are capable of.
“When we play to our capabilities we are a very good team, however we tend to be our own worst enemies,” said Chighisola. “The U13 Militia team is led by our top two lines of forwards as they all play a 200-foot game. Our defense has been improving all year long and both Nico Testa and Ryan McArdle in net have given us a chance to win each game this season.”
John Brown, Reese Ewell, Luke Giovanello, Ronan Foley and Tom McGuiggin could be factors up front for the Militia.
In order to win the U13 title, Chighisola needs his team to keep it simple and play their brand of hockey that they have worked on all season long.
“In order for us to win the U13 title we must first not lose it,” said Chighisola. “We need to play our brand of hockey, move the puck, keep it simple, find the open player and get shots on net with players going to the dirty areas. In our own zone everyone must remain confident without the puck and buy into doing your own job and nothing else. It should be an amazing weekend and hopefully we can string some games together and come out on top.”
The Yale Jr. Bulldogs will have forwards Owen Hannah and Andrew Allred leading the way. The Bulldogs will play their three games against Seacoast Performance Academy, Long Island Gulls and EC Militia.
Here is the U13 schedule for the weekend at Lovell Arena:
Friday November 10
Seacoast Performance Academy vs. Yale Jr. Bulldogs (4:00 pm)
EC Militia vs. NH Mountain Kings (4:30 pm)
Long Island Gulls vs. CT Jr. Rangers (5:30 pm)
Saturday November 11:
Yale Jr. Bulldogs vs. EC Militia (8:20 am)
Long Island Gulls vs. NH Mountain Kings (9:20 am)
Seacoast Performance Academy vs. CT Jr. Rangers (10:50 am)
Long Island Gulls vs. Yale Jr. Bulldogs (3:10 PM)
EC Militia vs. CT Jr Rangers (3:50 pm)
Seacoast Performance Academy vs. NH Mountain Kings (5:20 pm)
Sunday November 12:
U13 FINAL: (9:20 am)