In an exciting championship game, the Avon Regals took home the 2023 Beast League U18 title, edging the top-seeded Yale Jr. Bulldogs, 5-4, in a shootout for the win.
The Regals trailed 4-2 late in regulation before scoring two goals to send the game to extra time.
"We never gave up on our bench and just continued to work hard when we were down two," said Avon Regals coach Kyle Quick. "It was something this group learned last year as we have a ton that made the run to the national title game and know how to win big games that matter. It's always a team effort with this group."
Down 4-2, the Regals got a goal from Patrick Walsh with 3:12 to play to cut the margin to one, and in the waning moments, on a power play, Jake Johner notched the equalizer.
After a scoreless five-minute overtime, the Regals won it in the shootout, getting key goals from Tom Molson and Jakob Kohn to secure the title.
Check out an interview with Molson and Kohn here:
With the game tied 2-2, The Jr. Bulldogs scored a pair of power play goals, both by Charles Blanchard, in a 42-second stretch to forge ahead 4-2.
Gio DiGiulian and Ryan Flaherty also had goals for Yale, while Hayden Hastings and Brendan Tighe scored for the Regals.
"We know we can push the pace on teams with our depth and we just stuck with it all weekend," Quick said. "It was not a single guy, just a team mentality which this group has bought into this fall."
Brendan Tighe - Avon Regals
* The Regals also needed extra time to win their semifinal contest, A Tighe goal during the overtime period clinched a 3-2 win over the Long Island Gulls. Conrado Calderini and Jared Rothman also had goals for the Regals, while James Cohen and Thomas Zocco countered for the Gulls.
* Yale advanced to the title game with a 4-0 shutout win over the Neponset River Rats. Charles Blanchard and defenseman Blake Jones each notched a pair of goals in the win.
* In a quarterfinal tussle, the Avon Regals broke a scoreless tie with four second half goals to be the Buffalo Regals, 4-0. Tom Molson had a goal and an assist, and did Jakub Kohn. Zach Walsh chipped in with a pair of assists, while Seamus Latta and Zachary Chehade also had goals.
* The Yale Jr Bulldogs won their quarterfinal, a 7-0 shutout over the East Coast Militia. Defenseman Drew Pitts scored twice. Ben Carfora had a goal and assist and Blake Jones three assists in the win.
LI Gulls defenseman Owen Quick battles Mid-Fairfield Nationals forward Mark Pizzo in Gulls' 4-3 quarterfinal win.
* Ethan Ramonetti pitched the shutout, and Ethan Skowronek and Duncan Stewart both put home two goals to lead the River Rats to a 5-0 win over the New Jersey Rockets in a quartefinal matchup.
* The Long Island Gulls jumped to a 4-0 first half lead and hung on to down Mid Fairfield National 4-3 in their quarterfinal matchup. Ryan Wachtel scored twice and Owen Quick and Rich Rucireto added single goals for the Gulls. Sean Gibbons netted two second-half power play goals for Mid-Fairfield.
The second-seeded New Jersey Titans National won the U18 Gold title, blanking Boston Hockey Academy, 2-0, in the final.
Jackson Chicola's first half goal was all the Titans would need in this one. Lachlan Haeger added an insurance marker in the second half and Luc Beauparlant notched the shutout between the pipes.
Beauparlant speaks with us after the game here:
* In their semifinal matchup, NJ Titans National scored five first half goals en route to a 6-1 win over Atlantic Hockey Academy. Braylen Tuff netted his team's first two goals of the game, and Nikolas Doumas also scored twice. The Titans also beat Connecticut Chiefs National in a quarterfinal matchup.
* Boston Hockey Academy advanced with a 2-1 win over the top-seeded Springfield Thunderbirds. Sheldon Alexander notched the game-winner in the second half for the Dukes. Gabriel Francois also had a goal, while Antoine Gauthier had the lone Springfield tally.
* Down 2-1 at the half, Boston Hockey Academy scored four second half goals to oust West Haven, 5-2 in the quarterfinal round. Hunter Belisle, Maxim Qi, Artem Chepil, Cayden Coronel and Gabriel Francois all had goals for BHA.
* Nathan Barsley scored two goals and added an assist as the Atlantic Hockey Academy took a 5-2 decision over the Neponset River Rats Showcase in the quarterfinals. John Micallef, Brady Hawkins and Marcel Tabert added goals in the win.
The U18 championship went to the Neponset River Rats Tier 2 National, as they downed the Connecticut Chiefs Split 4-1 in the finale.
After Hayden Postles gave the Chiefs an early 1-0 lead, Neponset stormed back with goals by Connor Jamieson and Sonny Christian to grab a 2-1 halftime lead. James Greer, who also had two assists, made it 3-1 early in the second half, and defensman Brendan McCarthy added the clincher on a power play to account for the 4-1 final.
Check out Greer's huge goal that made it 3-1 for the Rats:
* Second half goals from John Marilley, Mathison Hole, Tyler Fantry and Blake Postles powered the Connecticut Chiefs Split to a 4-1 win over the Springfield Thunderbirds U19 in a semfinal matchup.
* In the other semifinal, the River Rats advanced with a 3-2 win over the New Jersey Bears. James Greer