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Beast League Fall Classic: U14 Preview

By Alexis Demopoulos, 09/14/23, 1:45PM EDT



As for the U14 level in this weekend's Beast League Fall Classic, there are a total of 10 league games happening this weekend.

One team to highlight that has been playing well so far are the Connecticut Chiefs. On Friday they will be taking on the Long Island Gulls at 6:30 pm at the New England Sports Center (Rink 7) and will also be playing Saturday morning against the NS Wings at 7:30 am at NESC (Rink 8).  They will close out their busy weekend of play Sunday morning playing the EC Militia at the New England Sports Village (Attleboro, MA) at 8:00 am.

Head coach Dave Peltz is excited to watch his team compete this weekend and know they are up against some good competition.

“We have to get some consistent offensive zone time this weekend, have a chance for some of the new guys to build chemistry against very good competition,” said Peltz. For us we need to utilize our physical game and size, set the tone and pace of the game, stay disciplined in all three zones and have our top guys do their job.”

So far, Peltz has been impressed by the work of his two goalies Mike Rafferty and Cam Packett.

“Both Mike and Cam have been very impressive backstopping us,” said Peltz.

Another team in U14 that has been great to start the season are the East Coast Militia. They have two big games this weekend. The first is Saturday morning against the Yale Jr. Bulldogs at NESC at 7:40 am. They will also play Sunday afternoon against the River Rats at NESV at 4:30 pm.

“We have some strong opponents this weekend so we look to bring a lot of pressure and attack with speed,” said head coach Nick Messina. “We need to stay out of the penalty box and stay focused on the game. If we can stay consistent and focused from start to finish, I think we can have a strong weekend of hockey. Every opponent will have talent so it just comes down to execution and who can play a better game of hockey.”

One player in particular to keep your eye on is Max LaRosa. Coach Messina is impressed with his ability to step up for the team in the early going.

“The coaching staff has been impressed with Max. He was one of our defenseman but due to an injury and a player out with appendicitis he stepped up to play forward for us and currently leads the team in scoring,” said Messina. “He has been able to adapt and help the team in a big way.”

As for the Neponset River Rats, coach Greg Chamberlain has been impressed by the play of Jackson Burns, Leo Zhu, Connor Hines, Zach Noxon, Pat MacNeil and Matt Spalla. "They are all just hard working kids who are mature for their age and have been great leaders," he said.

The River Rats play Friday night against the Yale Jr. Bulldogs at NESC as well as Sunday morning against the Long Island Gulls at 7:40 am.

In order for the River Rats to be successful this weekend coach Chamberlain says, “compete level has to be top priority. We have some good skills but just need to get to work and play to our level.”

Other U14 Games:

-  Boston Jr. Huskies vs Springfield Thunderbirds, 1:50pm, 9/15 at Canton Ice House

-  Yale Jr. Bulldogs vs. Neponset River Rats, 6:50 pm, 9/15 at NESC (Rink 8)

-   Long Island Gulls vs. Springfield Thunderbirds, 2:50 pm, 9/16 at NESC (Rink 8)

-   Red Bank Generals vs. Yale Jr. Bulldogs, 2:40 pm, 9/16 at NESV

-  Long Island Gulls vs. River Rats, 7:40 am, 9/17 at NESV