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Beast League/USA Nationals

By Gary Demopoulos, 04/10/24, 9:15AM EDT



No less than five Beast Tournament Series teams took part in the recently-concluded USA Hockey Tier 1 15 Nationals, and they performed well.

Four of the five programs qualified for the playoff rounds, and one, the Long Island Gulls, reached the championship game.

Here’s a recap on how Beast Tournament Series teams did out in Fargo, ND.

The Long Island Gulls had a great week, advancing all the way to the final game, where they fell to the top-seeded Chicago Mission, 4-1. In that game, the Gulls held a 1-0 lead and it was still a one-goal game until late, when the Mission scored twice to seal it.

A quarterfinal win over Little Caesars and a semifinal victory over Pittsburgh Penguins Elite propelled the Gulls to the final.

In the round-robin, LI posted wins over fellow Beast member Neponset River Rats (4-2) and Okanagan Academy (6-3), and lost to Shattuck St. Mary’s (4-2).

Maxim Dube led the Gulls with eight points, while Cody Sokol, Dylan Dean and Owen DeGraff each contributed five points.

Seacoast Performance Academy finished a perfect 3-0 in divisional play, including shutout wins over Team North Dakota (6-0) and eventual national champion Chicago Mission.

SPA’s run was halted in the quarterfinals, however, as the team was nipped 2-1 by the Pittsburgh Penguins Elite.

Goalie Filip Vavro and Parker Stockseth were solid as they split the duties, combining to allow just four goals in the the four games.

Tim Kazda had a line of 4-4-8, including a hat trick in the win over North Dakota. Daniel Trucka finished with two goals and two assists.

The New Jersey Rockets also swept three games in their round-robin division, picking up wins over Pittsburgh Penguins Elite (3-2), the Rhode Island Saints (3-0) and the LA Jr. Kings (10-1).

In their quarterfinal, the Rockets lost a tough 5-4 game to the Chicago Mission.

Leaders during the week included Nicholas Desiderio, who had an impressive 10 points in four games, Ryan Tserlin (4-2-6), defenseman Mark Konstantinov (2-3-5) and Vladimir Provorov (2-3-5).

Also reaching the quarterfinal round was the Mid-Fairfield Rangers, where they lost to Shattuck St. Mary’s by a 4-2 margin.

Mid-Fairfield went 2-1 in round robin play, with victories over Saints Hockey (3-2) and the Carolina Jr. Hurricanes (7-0). The Rangers also lost to Little Caesars (5-3).

Joey Salandra (4-3-7) and Ben Lombardi (3-3-6) had solid Nationals for the Rangers.

The Neponset River Rats did not qualify for the playoff rounds, but closed out round-robin play with a big 8-2 triumph over Okanagan Hockey Academy.

Both Ethan Travis and Chase Field finished with four points.