The final regular seasonshowcase of the Beast League 2023 Fall gets underway this weekend with the Columbus Day Showcase.
U18, U16 and U15 action will take place at a plethora of rinks, with the bulk of the action at Foxboro Sports Center, Rodman Arena in Walpole (MA) and the Canton Ice House.
Here is a look at what's on the slate at the U18 and U16 levels:
As they ready for the Beast League playoffs in a couple of weeks, the Avon Regals are primed for a strong showing this weekend, when they battle the New Jersey Rockets (Saturday, 3:50pm at Foxboro) and the East Coast Militia (Saturday, 9:20pm at Foxboro).
Overall this Fall, Avon is 13-4-1 and has a balanced scoring attack, paced by 05 Lefty Markonidis (29 pts), 05 Brendan Tighe (22 pts), 05 Tom Molson (22 pts), 06 Oliver Morris (21 pts), and 06 Nicholas Petrut (20 pts) and Connor Davis (20 pts). 05 Jake Johner (13 pts), 05 Zach Walsh (16 pts) and 06 Zachary Chehade have been keys on a solid defensive unit. Both netminders - Aiden Hopewell and Tyler Spokane - have GAAs under two.
The Connecticut Chiefs battled the Valley Forge Minutemen at the Beast League September Showcase
"The U18 team has been well-balanced with a powerful offense," said Avon Regals coach Kyle Quick. "The team has four lines that roll and all contribute on the scoresheet, which makes us hard to match up against."
The U18 Seacoast Performance Academy has been impressive in its three early wins in Beast League play, and they hope to continue the success taking on the Springfield Thunderbirds (Saturday, 4:00pm at Foxboro), and the Buffalo Regals (Sunday, 2:50pm at Rodman Arena).
"The team is playing fairly smart, but we still have some areas to improve," said SPA coach Ed Harding.
A key up front for SPA has been the play of Aidan Burwell.
"Aidan is a hard-nosed grinding type of player," Harding said. "He always plays hard with a smile on his face. He is tough to play against."
A first-year program, New Hampshire Mountain Kings players have been learning to be better defensively without the puck, according to coach Ed Seney.
"You can't give up 5-6 goals a game (and be successful)," he said. "Some of the top teams have some great forwards where how we play without the puck can be an issue. You have to defend well. Any time you don't have the puck, you have to get it back quicker."
The Mountain Kings, who take on the Red Bank Generals (Saturday, 1pm at Lovell Arena) and the Springfield Thunderbirds (Sunday, 4:30pm at NESV), have gotten some solid play from forwards Danila Lapshov, Julien Rogles and Alek Ravikovich, and blue liners Ian Gagnon and Elia Carissimi. In goal, German Kuzmenko has been impressive.
The Neponset River Rats Showcase team is banking on a solid showing taking on the Buffalo Regals (Sunday, 8:10am at Rodman) and Atlantic Coast Academy (Sunday, 2:40pm at Rodman).
Dalton Kane (13 pts) and Ryan Levesque (11 pts) have been offensive leaders for coach Randy McDougall, whose team has gotten solid defensive play from Ben Stavaridis, Sean Gray, Dylan McEvoy, Aiden Barclay, Nick Brandano and Logan Goodman.
"Everyone has played well for us and contributed," McDougall said. "If we continue to play our game we should play well against the Buffalo Regals and Atlantic Coast Academy this weekend."
While there is an abundance of games this weekend involving several non-Beast League programs, here is what's on the slate league-wise at the U18 level.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 7
West Haven vs North Shore Academy, 4pm at New England Sports Village
Jr Huskies Tierney vs Buffalo Regals Showcase, 9pm at Canton Ice House
Connecticut Chiefs vs North Shore Wings Showcase, 12:40pm at Thayer
Long Island Gulls vs Mid-Fairfield National, 2:20pm at Rodman
Mid-Fairfield Showcase vs New Jersey Bears, 2:40pm at Lovell Arena
Mid-Fairfield Showcase vs Red Bank Generals, 9:20pm at Lovell Arena
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 8
New Jersey Rockets vs Mid-Fairfield National, 10:50am at Foxboro
Neponset River Rats Tier 2 vs New Jersey Bears, 10:50am at Thayer
Seacoast Performance Academy vs Buffalo Regals, 2:50pm at Rodman
Neponset River Rats Tier 2 vs Connecticut Chiefs Split, 4:20pm at Rodman
The U16 division will feature a number of good teams in the Columbus Day Showcase that will span across five different rinks in MA. One team that looks to make a splash is the Avon Regals who will play twice in league action this weekend. The Regals will play Valley Forge Saturday at 4:20 pm at the New England Sports Village and on Sunday against North Shore Academy at 2:30 at Foxboro.
Coach Kyle Quick on what he hopes his team will accomplish this weekend:
“The 16s need to play a more simplified game and get pucks deep to find gritty goals in order to be successful,” said Quick. “16U hockey is about which team competes harder that day and we need to understand that every game. Guys who will lead us this weekend will be Owen Knight and what we call the red rocket line of Carter Zakrzewski, Jake Simpson and Dom Marranca."
BOSTON JR. HUSKIES forward Sean Canavan is thwarted on this scoring attempt by Connecticut Chiefs Full netminder Asher Furman is recent Beast League Showcase play.
Another game to watch pits the Long Island Gulls against the East Coast Militia, both among the top teams. These two teams will square off Saturday night at 5:30 pm at Foxboro. The Gulls will also face another top team in Mid-Fairfield National Sunday morning at 9:40 am at Walpole.
Other U16 games:
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 7
Boston Jr. Huskies Selects vs Connecticut Chiefs, 11:00 am at Canton
Red Bank Generals vs. Seacoast (American), 11:50 am at Mount St. Charles
Neponset River Rats vs. New Jersey Rockets, 2:20 pm at Foxboro
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 8
Boston Jr. Huskies (McNiece) vs. Red Bank Generals, 11:00 am at Canton
Yale Jr. Bulldogs vs Boston Hockey Academy, 2:10 pm at Foxboro
Jr. Huskies Selects vs. CT Chiefs (Split), 2:20 pm at Canton
Neponset River Rats vs. Mid-Fairfield National, 4:10 pm at Foxboro
In the U15 division there will be a number of games throughout the weekend at the Columbus Day Showcase. One team to always keep your eye on are the Neponset River Rats, who have two games on Saturday. The first is against the Long Island Gulls at 2:10 pm at Foxboro and the second is against the Yale Jr. Bulldogs at 9:00 pm at Walpole.
The Yale Jr. Bulldogs also take on a tough East Coast Militia team Sunday morning at 11:20 am at the Canton Ice House.
Coach Jack McIntosh on his EC Militia team:
“Our boys have played a pretty good stretch of hockey against some top 10 teams in the country,” said McIntosh. "That will continue on Saturday against the Rockets. In order to be competitive we will need to play with a lot of structure defensively and get bodies to the net on offense. Missing a few bodies this weekend, but the boys are ready to take that next step.”
Christopher Carbone and Nick Stevens have been standouts thus far up front for the Militia, while Drew Karlovits and Stephan Slesar have given the club some solid goaltending.
Other U15 games to keep an eye on:
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 7
East Coast Militia vs. NJ Rockets, 11:00 am at Foxboro
Yale Jr. Bulldogs Showcase vs. Red Bank Generals, 1:00 pm at Canton
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 8
Boston Hockey Academy vs. Long Island Gulls, 7:50 am at Foxboro
Jr. Huskies Selects vs. Red Bank Generals, 8:00 am at Canton
Long Island Gulls vs. Seacoast Performance Academy, 12:30 pm at Foxboro
North Shore Academy vs. Jr. Huskies (McNiece), 4:20 pm at Canton