The Brewins Pee Wee B team completed their playoff run with a 4-3 thrilling come from behind victory in the championship game at Rockland Rink on Saturday night April 7th. The team finished out the regular season in 2nd place, one point behind first place WHK, a team we never faced all season. The second place finish gave us a first round bye, so we began our playoff run against a resurgent Barnstable team. Despite having only won 3 games in the regular season, Barnstable had been on a hot streak having tied 2 of the top 3 teams in the division at the end of the regular season, including us, and having just defeated Canton in the first round. Liam Cummings, playing center, opened our scoring with a goal on the first shift of the game, but that would be it for us for a while. Barnstable tied the game midway through the second period before right wing Connor McGrath scored our second goal, followed a couple minutes later by a sniper shot just inside the far post by defenseman Thatcher Kirkpatrick. Our 2 goal lead did not deter a feisty Barnstable team that came back and scored a goal less than a minute later and then scored the tying goal with 1:33 left in the game. Regulation play ended in a tie and we headed to overtime. Fortunately it didn’t take long for our top scoring line to seal the victory with a goal by Liam Cummings on the first shift of overtime! A big key to this win had been the strong defensive play by our defensemen, Owen Hathaway, Anthony Panaggio, and Connor McNaughton….and of course by our stellar goaltender, Katelyn Cardoso. Another key to this win was the relentless pursuit of the puck, one of the team mottos, by our dogged forwards in Jack Corey, Nolan Gemmiti, Cam Giordano, Jack Balutis, and Brendan Vokey. On to the semifinals!
Our next matchup was against a tough Milton squad that tied us and beat us earlier in the season and had just beaten Braintree Blue in their quarterfinal match up that went into 4 overtimes. What seemed to be a matchup problem for our Brewins squad ended not being as tight as our first playoff matchup. The scoring opened less than 3 minutes in with a great goal by right wing Patrick DeLoughery on an assist by center, Jack Balutis with strong support from wing, Brendan Vokey. Not to be outdone, Connor McGrath scored our second with just over 3 minutes left in the first period for a 2-0 advantage. Not a team that will go away quietly, Milton scored their first goal halfway through the second period to tighten things up to 2-1. The high flying duo of Cummings and McGrath did their thing just a few minutes later with Liam hitting the back of the net with an assist from McGrath. We headed into the 3rd period with a 3-1 lead and things held there until Milton scored about 4 minutes into the period to make it a tight game at 3-2. We held our one-goal advantage through the solid work of our defense of Kirkpatrick, Panaggio, Hathaway, and McNaughton to go along with the continued dogged play of Corey, Gemmiti, and Giordano and steady play by our goaltender Katelyn. We knew we could count on that group, but things got tense as Milton pulled their goalie for the extra attacker. That was short-lived before Erik Liebegott stole the puck and was on a breakaway towards an empty net with just over a minute to play. A Milton player threw his stick and momentarily denied Erik of the goal, but the referees awarded him the goal on the interference penalty on the breakaway with an empty net, a play not often seen. The 4-2 all around solid victory earned us the trip to the championship game. Our opponent would be the winner of the Hingham Red vs. WHK game starting right after we finished. That game was a low scoring battle with WHK winning 2-1 in two overtimes.
The championship matchup pitted us against WHK, a team we had battled for the top of the standings all year, but had never battled on the ice. WHK had a gritty and deep squad that battled us hard right from the opening face-off. They came out fast and were relentless in pressuring the puck which put us on our heals all period and held us scoreless in the first period, a feat not many teams were able to do to us all year. While Katelyn made several tremendous saves during the period, they picked up a late goal with only 9 seconds remaining. The 1-0 deficit extended into the second period until the pesky line of Nolan Gemmiti, Cam Giordano, and Jack Corey found the back of the net to tie the game up 1-1. Cam punched in a one-timer off a fantastic pass and great individual effort by Jack Corey to keep the puck in a the blue line after Gemmiti beat the WHK player to the puck at center ice to get the play moving. This was a big momentum swing for the Brewins, but WHK pressure continued and picked up their second goal with 2 minutes left in the 2nd period to pull back ahead. We headed into the 3rd down 2-1, but that didn’t last long as the Cumming-McGrath duo struck again with Connor putting in one of his laser shots in the top corner on an assist from Liam this time to knot things at 2 goals apiece. WHK wasn’t done and snuck in another goal with just over 6 minutes remaining to pull ahead 3-2. Fortunately Cummings connected with McGrath again as Connor tied things up at 3 with 4 ½ minutes to go. Things were tense in the arena as both teams were playing hard. Fortunately we had Katelyn Cardoso in net continuing her rock solid play to keep the puck out of our net. With 2 minutes left, Erik Liebegott was positioned high in the slot and scored the go ahead and ultimate game winner off an assist from McGrath to put us ahead! We were strong off the ensuing face-off and forced the puck into the WHK end. We enlisted the help of the versatile Brendan Vokey to pitch in on defense and our entire squad did a fantastic job keeping up the pressure on WHK and holding the puck in their end for most of the final 2 minutes so well that WHK had to pull their goalie with the puck in their own zone and ultimately hold on for the well-deserved 4-3 victory!
It was an honor and a pleasure to coach this group of players this season. To have it capped with a championship was a fantastic end to the season. The teamwork among the coaching staff made this season successful and it was great working with Scott Vokey, Chris Gemmiti, and Pat Panaggio all season. The team was well supported by all of the parents and families, led by our team rep, Amy Gemmiti! This team worked hard all year to earn their success.
March 18: The Taunton Brewins Bantam B2 Herman squad captured the gold medal on Sunday in a tight, 2-0 victory versus a tough Clifton Park, NY club. The victory was the team’s 3rd overall during the four-day tournament, as they compiled an overall record of 3-1-1, with 14 goals for and only 6 against. The tournament got off to a great start on Thursday evening with Co-Captain Cam Buttafocco lighting the Olympic torch at the pregame ceremonies. Later on that same night, the Brewins were victorious in their first game, a matchup against the other Brewin Bantam B2 squad, 5-0. On Friday, Game 2 saw the Brewins march out to a 2-0 lead, only to see the Eagles of Clifton Park, NY storm back and earn a well-fought point with a 2-2 tie. Immediately following that game, six of the players from the team had to hustle through the Olympic Ice Complex maze to the USA Rink where they were competing in the Skills Competition. The competition included: goalie saves, skater shootout, and lastly a relay race. The B2 Herman’s made it a clean sweep, capturing first place in all the events. Goalie Jake Tatelbaum made the most saves in the shootout competition. After a slow start Evan Pereria (#2) showed off his dazzling array of breakaway moves to capture the shootout title, an lastly, the speedy quartet of Logan Tullos, Cole Shields, Cam Buttafoco, and Andre Ashton ran away with the relay race.
Shifting venues on Saturday to the bitterly cold Saranac Arena, the B2 Herman’s faced another tough, upstate New York squad from Saratoga. The Blue Knights went up 2-0 quickly, the Brewins ran into some penalty problems, and could never quite mount a comeback in a 4-1 win for Saratoga. As a result of their 1-1-1 record, the Brewins were the #2 seed, and later on that day, a rematch with the same Blue Knights squad was the only thing in their way of reaching the gold medal game.
Since the first game of the season way back in September, the Brewins Bantam B2 Herman’s have been a tough, resilient hockey team, led by Co-Captains Cam Buttafocco and Cole Shields. They knew the previous game was not their finest moment, and from the drop of the puck in the rematch, they were out to prove it. The Brewins scored two quick goals in the first period, and added two more while playing their typical lockdown defense and receiving solid goaltending from Jake Tatelbaum to avenge the earlier loss to Saratoga with a solid, 4-0 victory, sending them to the gold medal game in a rematch versus Clifton Park.
All season, the coaches have preached quick starts to games. Quick starts, and play the game on your terms. Evan Pereira (#91) did just that six minutes into the first period of the Championship Game, and the Brewins never looked back. Leading 1-0 going into the 3rd period, Alex Hanna buried a beautiful backhander on a breakaway to get that all important insurance goal. From there, as he has done all season, Jake Tatelbaum shut down the Eagles’ offense, and when the buzzer sounded, his teammates mobbed him as the Brewins had captured the gold medal. With three shutouts in five games, Tatelbaum was named the tournament co-MVP, along with Evan Pereira (#91), the team’s leading scorer in the five games.
The Mite A Brewins (Black Bears) team is crowned bracket Champions at the 2018 Lobster Pot in Hyannis MA. In a round robin tournament, with 3 other teams from the SSC Mites, the Brewins finished with a 3 and 0 record. As per case this year, SIMMONS led the team in scoring, with some great breakaways and precise shooting. This weekend was special for the team, for the coaches got to see everyone on the team score at least 1 goal over the 3 games. The team was led by strong defense from PETTINATO and MONIZ, while GAVIGAN's shot from the blue line was with power, with rebounds available to be put in the back of the net by members of the "Tiny Line" (GENUICH, CAMPANELLA, and NOWLIN). The Brewins played unbelievable two way hockey, and their hard work paid off. MOFFORD and DUNDERDALE's hustle led to both kids have multi goal games, and the back checking and amazing outlet passing of KENNEDY made breakaways possible for his teammates. Newcomer DOHERTY, a first year hockey player, wouldn't take no for an answer. His drive to get the puck in the net never let up, and he finished the tourney strong putting one past the goalie to lock up a win. DUARTE, the Mite A goalie, allowed only 4 goals on the weekend, to include her very first shutout victory. With help from all her teammates stellar defense and 110 percent effort on the ice, she was able to shutdown the competition and lead the team to a 3 and 0 record, which crowned them the tourney champion. It was a tourney that the teams parents and coaches will not soon forget. The tournament was a great chapter to add into the 2017-2018 Brewins organization.
At least once in the life of every U.S. born hockey player, one must make the pilgrimage to Lake Placid and worship at the altar of the Miracle. Earlier this month four (4) Brewins teams, including the Pee Wee A team that I am blessed to coach, realized that dream. In my opinion, it was a journey well worth taking.
Like so many before us, our adventure began with the traditional family skate on Thursday afternoon. An opportunity for parents, siblings and other supporters to venture out on to the 1980 ice and experience some of the magic. As those are the people primarily responsible for our players being involved in our program and being present at the tournament, the family skate is a fitting “thank you,” and one well earned.
On Thursday evening, one and all were treated to an Olympic-style Opening Ceremony that help to highlight the importance of our trip. As I stood with the players on the ice watching the lighting of the tournament flame, the raising of the flags and the playing of the Anthems, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of pride in our team and excitement for the coming games. The faces of our players and the other coaches led me to think they felt it too.
On Thursday night, after a long day, our team was tasked with playing the Rye Rangers out of New York in our first game. We did not know this at the time, but the Rangers would prove to be the toughest team in our bracket. Despite the difficult challenge, our players managed to fight back twice from one goal deficits to gain a hard fought 2-2 tie. Tristan Lauper and Will Harrop lit the lamp for the Brewins, while goalie Julian Horton turned aside 20 shots.
In our next game (on Friday morning), we took on the Bowie Brewins. Our club was firing on all cylinders in that game and came away with a lopsided 8-1 victory. Harrop, Bobby Quill and Jackson Morse each tallied 2 goals, while Lauper and Aden Ashley added solo goals. Morse (3), Ethan DeNormand (2), Riley Perkins, Brandon Borges, Quill, Cory DelGiudice, Jack Dion and Lauper all had assists in the victory.
Later that same day, the team continued its winning ways by sweeping the Skills Competition. Horton grabbed the top spot in the goalie shootout, Harrop took home the hardware in the players’ shootout and the team of Matt Kennedy, Sullivan Kenneally, Morse and Quill were first in the relay race.
The team took a bit of a step back in its late game on Friday, losing to a tough Red Bank Generals club out of New Jersey. The Generals would go on to lose in the gold medal final (3-1) to the Rangers, so certainly no shame in that loss. To their credit though, the team rebounded on Saturday morning with a hard fought 2-1 victory over the Montclair Blues from New Jersey. Quill and Kennedy led the scoring for the Brewins, while Horton stopped 24 shots. Borges, Perkins and Ashley provided assists.
The victory over the Blues landed our team in Sunday’s Bronze medal game against…the Blues. Our Brewins played a much stronger game on Sunday, controlled the match throughout and won 4-2. The game was highlighted by the goal scoring of Matt Martineau (hat trick) and Harrop (1), with Dion (2), Harrop (2), Kenneally, Borges and Perkins adding assists.
In much the same way as those young men in 1980, the Brewins Pee Wee A team trekked to Lake Placid in search of a gold medal. And although we came home with the Bronze, the journey to that medal, the lessons learned, the friendship strengthened and the memories made were no less important. Therefore, a big thank you is owed to Can/Am, our players, their families and Lake Placid itself (even that God-awful hill) for giving us a small taste of the Miracle.