WALPOLE – New England Pro-Am Hockey’s 2017 Sr. Chowder Cup has come to a close. Hockey Essentials left as the last team standing.
Essentials White claimed the tourney’s top prize on Sunday evening, thwarting a repeat bid in the process. They were victorious in the Jr, A Championship game, defeating Top Shelf Gold, 6-0, at Rodman Arena.
For those into hyperbole, Top Shelf all but walked their way into the tournament’s final game. They started Sunday’s playoffs with back-to-back shutouts, starting with a 5-0 clean sheet against NJ United Broderick and then a 4-0 banking of Foxboro Stars White. They finally gave up a goal in the semifinals, but still had breathing room in their victory, 3-1 against NJ United Cromarty.
Top shelf seemed to be in complete sync, ready for a repeat of their 2016 Jr. A Division Championship.
Essentials, however, had a much different idea.
They were a team that just seemed to get better as Sunday’s playoffs went along. They defeated Team Pop Tops 2-1 in their first game of the day. That margin of victory was extended in the quarterfinals with a 3-1 victory over Team Doritos, and then even further in the semifinals with a 7-1 route of JDM Sports Elite.
Hockey Essentials came out and made a statement early in the championship match, grabbing the 1-0 lead just 3:45 into the contest on a shorthanded, unassisted goal by Joseph Masonius. Tyler Antonucci doubled the advantage at 5:15 and then Essential’s other special teams unit got in on things to make it 3-0 on a power play goal by Nick Abruzzese at 8:14.
The early offensive outburst would have been enough, but accounted for just half of what Hockey Essentials was to produce in the contest. Khristian Acosta (15:12), Jordan Kaplan (16:40) and Christopher Garbe (17:46) put forth another burst near the middle of the contest to seal the championship.
Masonius and Abruzzese were the lone multipoint scorers in the contest, credited with a goal and an assist apiece. Every goal coming from a different player. Tyler Harmon was the goaltender of note in the contest, credited with the win and the shutout for Hockey Essentials.
After winning New England Pro-Am Hockey’s Pre-Draft Showcase back in May, the program is now 2-for-2 on the year in Pro-Am tournaments in 2017.
2017 Jr. A All-Tournament Team:
Marcus Dickerson (Hockey Essentials), Joe Cipollone and Erik Esposito (Top Shelf)
Kyle Halibauer (Hockey Essentials) and Carter Dwyer (Top Shelf)
Josh Sarlo (Hockey Essentials)
Most Valuable Player
Nick Abruzzese (Hockey Essentials)