WALPOLE – The first piece of championship hardware handed out at the 2014 Chowder Cup went to the Boston Generals Midwest, who defeated Team Big Red, 3-1, on Sunday afternoon at the Rodman Arena in Walpole to capture the College Open Division Championship.
After a bye in Sunday morning’s preliminary round, the Generals completed their near perfect run to the championship game with wins over CD Raiders 2 in the quarters, 1-0, and then AHS Hockey Navy in the semifinals, 3-0. The lone blemish on their record all week an opening round tie with the NE Thrashers.
Big Red had a little longer journey through the playoff bracket, needing three wins to reach the title match. A 4-1 victory over the Boston Bulldogs in the preliminary round, 1-0 over Empire Selects in the quarterfinals and then a 2-1 win over the CD Chargers punched Big Red’s ticket.
In the championship, the outcome of the final match was a long awaited one, not decided until the final minutes of the game. Stas Khokhlov’s power play goal at 8:12 to give the Generals a 1-0 lead was the only offense seen for a while. It was not until Vermont Academy product Cam Wright upped the lead to 2-0 at with just under five minutes to play that the goals started coming in.
JP Rafferty’s shorthanded tally sparked faint glimmer of hope as Big Red cut their deficit to 2-1 at 29:47, but any comeback hopes were dashed just seconds later as an empty net goal by Max Ginsberg restored the two-goal cushion and brought the score to its 3-1 final.