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Youth Tier I 18U Notebook: Semifinals in Full Swing on Sunday

By Chris Krenn, 04/07/19, 5:30PM MDT


Central CT Selects set to meet North Jersey Avalanche on Monday

Semifinal 1: Central CT Selects 6, Yale 2

After scoring eight goals against Shattuck-St. Mary's in Saturday's quarterfinal matchup, the Central Connecticut Selects found the back of the net again on Sunday to earn a spot in Monday's title game.

Will Margel led the way for Central Connecticut with two goals and an assist, while Ryan Coughlin (1G, 1A), Nick Dineen (1G, 1A) and Matt Crasa (0G, 2A) all recorded multi-point games.

"We're getting goals pretty steady throughout the lineup," said Central Connecticut Selects head coach Chris Uber. "It's been nice to have a balanced attack. Everything was willing to do the little things right for us today. I'm really proud of the team effort."

Robert Cronin scored the first goal of the game and gave the Yale Jr. Bulldogs the lead at the 17:09 mark of the opening stanza. Cronin's goal was unassisted and the only goal scored during the first period.

Central Connecticut came out with urgency in the second period, scoring 5:20 into the second frame. After a holding penalty was assessed to Yale, Self put the Selects up with a power play goal assisted by Will Margel and Matt Crasa. 

Following the Self goal, Yale was once again penalized for holding, sending Central Connecticut back to the power play. The Selects struck again, this time off the stick of Margel, whose power play goal was assisted by Crasa and Coughlin.

Yale was penalized again at the 14:49 mark, this time for cross-checking, but rather than giving up a goal on special teams, the Jr. Bulldogs found a way to tie the game with an unassisted, shorthanded goal from Cronin, his second of the game.

Eager to regain the lead, Central Connecticut got a crucial goal from Dineen at the 18:02 mark of the second period. Dineen's goal was assisted by Killian Rowlee and Joe Santoro and gave his team a 3-2 lead entering the second intermission.

Both teams spent the first five minutes of the third period trading chances before Coughlin gave Central Connecticut a two-goal advantage at the 7:46 mark, scoring an unassisted goal.

Primo Self controlling the puck for the Central CT Selects.

With a two-goal lead in its back pocket, the Selects got an insurance goal from Tatsunori Yuzuki at the 11:23 mark of the third period. 

"That was huge," said Uber. "The fourth goal was big, but the fifth was the one where we really had some confidence as a group."

Margel put the icing on the cake for Central Connecticut with a goal at the 16:52 to expand the lead to 6-2 before the final horn sounded.

"Our message is the exact same as yesterday," said Uber. "Take a couple of hours and enjoy yourselves celebrating the victory, but be ready to be back at the hotel for meetings tonight as we prepare for tomorrow."

Semifinal 2: North Jersey Avalanche 4, Northwood Prep 1

After scoring three goals in the first period on Sunday, the North Jersey Avalanche walked away with a 4-1 victory over Northwood Prep and a spot in Monday's title game.

Carroll opened the scoring for North Jersey in the first period at the 7:47 mark to give his team a 1-0 lead. After taking a pass from William Kormanik, Carroll fired a shot past Ryan Wilson for the game's first goal. 

After the two teams exchanged chances, North Jersey struck again at the 16:05 mark, this time off the stick of Jason Ahearn. Northwood Prep was whistled for a hooking penalty at 15:51 and the Avalanche struck just 14 seconds into the power play with Tyler Sedlak and Liam Ovington collecting assists.

Just 1:01 after going up 2-0, the Avalanche scored again to take the 3-0 lead. After Brandon Cimino found Tyler Sedlak open, Sedlak fired a shot home past Wilson to give his team the 3-0 lead heading into the first intermission.

After neither team converted in the second period, Northwood Prep broke through 16:25 into the third when Daniel Colabufo threw a shot on net that made its way through Franchi. 

After Northwood Prep pulled its goaltender to gain a sixth attacker, North Jersey buried an empty-net goal of the stick of Carroll to cap off the 4-1 win.

"We played Selects well earlier this year," said Lotito. "I can't give away our game plan, but I'm proud of our guys for today and we'll be ready to go tomorrow."

Christopher Carroll scored twice for North Jersey and Tyler Franchi stood tall in net, making 30 saves on 31 shots in the victory.

"We have some very smart players on this team," said North Jersey Avalanche head coach Mark Lotito. "I thought we played a great two-way game. I'm a very defensive-oriented coach and we defended extremely well today."

Tyler Sedlak celebrates after scoring a goal in the first period.

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