Premier Mid Season Review
Springfield, Ma: Pics Premier currently stand at 15 wins-10 losses as well as a couple wins via shootout and a thriller of an OT win within league play. Prior to the annual holiday break the squad was able to pick up nine (9) crucial points with a nice three (3) game winning streak. This has the squad sitting 4th overall in the highly competitive New England Conference of the USPHL.
Heading into the back half of the season seedings for playoff’s start to come into play. GM and Head Coach Rob Bonneau stated with a good run “they’d like to secure home ice for the first round of the playoffs' “. The Pics have 5 of their next 6 games in January on home ice Vs. South Shore Kings, Bandits, IHC and the Cyclones before heading north to face New Hampshire Monarchs.
In order to achieve home ice, the squad will continue to rely on veteran Dom Balboni of West Springfield, MA who has been leading the charge with 19 goals and 19 assists while Jake Trowt of Wilmington VT sits at 14 goals and 18 assists. The defensive side has pinched in too; returning players Luc Fricchione (4G-18A) also of West Springfield and Josh Tisdell (1G-15A) of Chicopee, MA have been called on to shut down opponents' top lines, while contributing on the offensive side as well.
Returning Veteran Ben Zaranck of Deerfield, MA has an impressive record at 10-1-1 with a .941 save percentage and a 2.26GAA placing him in the top 20 of all goalies at number 14 overall in the league (70 teams). One goalie can’t do it all and so when called upon Landry Laird of Gunter, TX at 1-5-1 has an impressive .925 save percentage and equally as impressive is his 2.68GAA.
The Pics take the greatest pride in accomplishing the goal of Junior hockey: college placement. The Premier placed 50% of their roster to college hockey last year. The success the boys are having on the ice is generating a good deal of attention. The tradition of the Pics is well known throughout the region and GM Rob Bonneau had this to say; “we are hoping to announce a few college commitments soon”.
You can follow all the action and results on our social media platforms or catch games on LiveBarn when available. All Springfield Pics home games are played at the Olympia Ice Center in West Springfield, Mass. You can find all the club information at www.springfieldjrpics.com as well as the league's web page at www.usphl.com
Stay up to date by following Springfield Pics’ on Twitter, “Liking” the Official Springfield Pics’ Facebook page
Alexei Filimonov skated away with a 5 point night, and the Pics power play unit contributed with 4 goals on Saturday night as the Pics defeated the Advantage 6 - 4.
The Advantage struck first early just under a minute into the game as Holden Beckett snuck one past Jacob Brown to make it 1 - 0.
Filimonov returned the favor just 7 minutes when the Pics went on their first Power Play when he was able to get the rebound in off an Advantage player trying to bat the puck out of the zone. Matthew Tullo dished off the initial pass to Sean Donoghue who made the initial shot.
Cameron Martin put the Advantage in the lead just ten minutes later in the period, as the Advantage closed out the 1st period in the lead 2 - 1.
Tyler Wilson tied the game up for the Pics at the 7:49 mark into the 2nd period when he got a feed from Donoghue as they were breaking down the ice on the power play. Wilson shot it at Nowicki and it rebounded back to him. He dragged to the glove side of Nowicki away from the net and put the puck in behind Nowicki near to far side to tie the game up. Nick Foster was credited with the secondary assist.
The Advantage struck back at the 11:02 mark of the 2nd period to take the lead, but it was brief as Filimonov was able to tie the game up again, and start a four goal run, when he got the outlet pass from Coleson Hanrahan from the corner, and was able to skate down the ice with two Advantage players hot on his skates. He was able to put the puck between the pads of Nowicki to tie the game back up at 3 a piece. Aaron Cholewa was credited with the secondary assist.
Tullo potted a goal just 30 seconds later to make it 4 - 3 when he was able to put the puck in the back of the net down low after a flurry of shots. Connor O'Brien and Filimonov were credited with the assists.
In the waning minutes of the 2nd period, the Advantage had a golden opportunity to make it tied up at 4 when they were presented with a breakaway 2 on 0 opportunity, but Brown was able to make a flurry of saves to keep the Pics up by one.
O'Brien netted what would be game winning goal just over a minute later when he was able to capitalize on a 5 on 3 power play and set himself up on the blue line with a straight up shot on the net. Filimonov and Tullo were credited with the assists.
Nick Foster got the insurance goal just over a minute later while on the 5 on 4 power play when he was able to make a toe dragging shot and put the puck in the back of the net on the opposite side. Donoghue and Filmonov were credited with the assists.
The Advantage were able to put one more in the back of the net late in the 3rd period, but it was not enough as the Pics skated away victorious 6 - 4.
Brown stopped 32 out of 36 shots for the win, while the tandem of Jack Nowicki stopped 23 out of 29 shots in the two periods he played., and Jordan Behnen stopped all 10 shots he faced in the 3rd period.
Premier defeat Thunder in shootout
It took 65 minutes, plus a shootout, but the Pics defeated the Thunder on Saturday night 3 - 2.
The Thunder struck twice in the 1st period, but the Pics struck back in the 2nd period when Sean Roach netted his first junior hockey goal as he redirected the shot from Felix Appelt. Coleson Hanrahan was credited with the secondary assist.
Alexei Filimonov was able to even it up as he was able to get free and broke down the middle of the offensive end. He tossed a shot at Thunder goaltender Garrison Schilling which worked it's way between the pads of Schilling and went into the back of the net. Matthew Tullo and Andrii Levtukhov were credited with the secondary assists.
Filimonov was able to get the decision maker as the game went to a shootout, but was able to put on a forehand, backhand, forehand shot and was able to deposit the puck into the back of the net.
Ben Zaranek stopped 27 out of 29 shots in the win.
Premier squad falls at IHC 3 - 1
The Premier squad fell to the Islanders 3 - 1 Monday afternoon after a back and forth battle.
The Islanders got on the board first just over a minute into the game with a goal from Jack Kresl.
Joe Bouchard was able to even up the score when he took the shot from near the blue line through traffic. It bounced off an Islander player and was able to slip past Dean Hahn. Timofey Basarab and Max Moriarty were both credited with assists.
The Islanders were able to put one more in the 2nd period, plus an empty netter to solidify the win.
Matthew Jonas stopped 30 out of 32 shots in the loss.
The Pics struck first, but the Islanders had two unanswered goals in the 3rd to skate away with the victory on Saturday night 2 - 1.
Oliver Cookson got the loan goal for the Pics just past the half way point in the 1st period when he set up just outside the near faceoff circle in front of the net and he got a pass from Connor O'Brien who wrapped around the Islanders goal to attempt a goal, but passed the puck through traffic to Cookson who deposited it in the back of the net. Nick Foster was credited with the secondary assist.
The Islanders deposited two unanswered goals in the 3rd period. The Pics did pull Friedlander for the extra attacker, but could not convert on the numerous attempted and fell 2 - 1. Friedlander stopped 30 out of 32 shots for the loss.
The Pics and the B's battled back and forth Saturday night, but it was three unanswered goals that threw momentum in the favor of the B's, and the Pics fell 6 - 4.
Dominick Balboni, and Paud O'Brien each had multi-point nights.
Sam Zavelson stopped 21 out of 27 shots for the loss.
The Pics defeated the Boston Advantage Wednesday afternoon in a fight filled game, that would envy HBO Saturday Night Fights.
The Pics opened up the scoring when Brock Baumann was able to capitalize after a series of misplays down in the Advantage defensive end when he was able to tip the shot from Kyle Nelson in. Owen Stacey was credited with the secondary assist.
Oliver Cookson was able to tap the 2nd goal in for the Pics when he received the pass from Matthew Tullo. Connor O'Brien broke down the wing all alone and it deflected off the Advantage goaltender. Tullo was able to pick it up and tossed it to a crashing Cookson who deposited it into the back of the net.
Xavier Erickson was able to get the 3rd goal of the game, and his third goal of the season (at the time) when he was able to get the pass from Timofey Basarab who was on his knees. Nicholas Lopes originally brought the puck down down the near wing but missed his first shot.
The Advantage were able to put two on the board to spoil the shutout, but Xavier Erickson was able to start the avenging when he picked up the errant pass from an Advantage player and was able to one time it into the back of the net. Nicholas Lopes and Brock Baumann were the last two Pics players who played it.
Matthew Kowal was able to tip in the next goal off a deflection off an Advantage player and deposited it lightly bar down into the back of the net. Ryan Moorhouse and Chase Reynolds both got the assists.
The Advantage were able to tap one more in to make it 5 - 3, but Owen Stacey was able to make it 6 - 4 when he was able to tip in a shot from the point from Joe Bouchard and deflect it in. Chase Reynolds got the secondary assist.
Oliver Cookson was able to get the final goal of the matchup when he deposited the puck in after a few rebounds and was able to get the puck in past behind the goaltender from the post. Ryan Moorhouse and Brock Baumann are both credited with the assists.
Wyatt Friedlander was credited with the win, stopping 24 out of 26 shots, playing two periods. Cameron Schnopp stopped 6 out of 7 shots in the final period. Andrew Engel stopped 53 out of 60 shots for the loss.
Pics come back victory against Kings
The Kings might have struck first, but in the end it was the Pics who reigned supreme Saturday night after the Pics scored four unanswered goals, two of them being special teams goals, as the Pics defeated the Kings 4 - 2 in a penalty filled game.
The Kings stuck first just under 10 minutes into the 1st period when Jack Garland put one in between the pipes and into the net. The Kings then scored again when one of the Kings top forwards Drew Arpin scored against Pics goaltender Matthew Jonas.
Jonas then settled down and the forwards went to work.
Oliver Cookson was able to get the Pics on the board first while on the power play at the 9:12 mark of the 2nd period when Oliver Cookson was able to deflect a shot from Andrii Levtuhkov from the point to make it 2 - 1. Matthew Tullo got the secondary assist.
Chase Reynolds was able to make it 2 - 2 while the Pics were on the penalty kill as Brock Baumann was in the penalty box for a high-sticking call. Reynolds and Matthew Kowal came crashing down on an odd man rush. Kowal was able to dish it off to Reynolds who did a cross goal shot and was able to beat the Kings goaltender. It was Reynolds second shorthanded goal this season. Kyle Nelson got the secondary assist.
Matt Pelletier got his first goal of the season, which happened to be the game winning goal when he was able to put in the puck on the 3rd attempt in a quick flurry of shots as the Kings goaltender was down across the mouth of the goal and he was able to put it top shelf. Chase Reynolds got the last shot in before Pelletier was able to convert and Xavier Erickson also contributed to the flurry as the initial shooter.
Oliver Cookson got his second of the game when he was able to deflect the puck slightly enough for it to squeak between the legs of the Kings goaltender to make the game 4 - 2. Connor O'Brien had the initial shot and Timofey Basarab got the secondary assist.
Matthew Jonas stopped 32 out of 34 shots for the win, while Kings goaltender Scott Barnikow stopped 32 out of 36 shots for the loss.
Premier falls to South Shore 3 - 1
The Premier squad fell to the Kings 3 - 1 Friday afternoon after a tough matchup.
After a scoreless period, the Kings were able to put two goals in during the 2nd period, and one in the 3rd period.
Owen Stacey was able to spoil the shutout for the Kings in the waining minutes of regulation when he was able to tip in the rebound from Julian Perino while on the power play.
Wyatt Friedlander stopped 30 out of 33 shots in the loss for the Pics.
Pics weekend review
The U16, Elite and Premier Pics teams faced opponents this past weekend. Below is a recap of what happened:
The U16 squad continued their 4 game unbeaten streak with a tie on Saturday against a tough South Shore Kings team 3 - 3, and then slamming the door on them on Sunday 2 - 0 in a penalty filled game.
On Saturday, Zack Fox scored all three goals against the Kings, with scoring the tying goal with just 30 seconds to spare in regulation with the extra attacker on the ice. Coleson Hanrhan had two assists, and Chris Foster and Ilya Zhuravlev each had an assist in Saturday's game. Pics goaltender John Hanscom stopped 40 shots.
On Sunday, it was a different story as Nick Disanti scored what would be game winning goal at the 8 minute mark into the 2nd period, with assists from Brigham Dubey and Coleson Hanrahan.
Dubey put in the insurance goal two minutes later with assists from Fox and Disanti. Ray Picard recorded his first career shutout as he stopped all 36 shots he faced.
Dom Balboni notched his 100 career point in this weekend's series of games as the Elite squad went 1 - 2. He also extended his point streak to 6 games.
On Friday, it was three unanswered goals in the 3rd period that brought the visiting Bruins' to victory as they defeated the Pics 5 - 2. Pics goaltender Garret Woodruff stopped 41 out of 46 shots in the loss. Dom Balboni and Nick Disanti both scored for the Pics, with Matt Kennedy and Bryce St. Martin each with an assist.
On Saturday, it was two goals from the Islanders that swung momentum the wrong way as the Pics fell to the Islanders 3 - 1. Dylan Taylor scored with just over 10 minutes remaining in regulation. Dom Balboni got the lone assist. Elijah Rapaport stopped 46 out of 49 shots in the loss.
Sunday was a different story as the Pics stole one on back from the Bandits 5 - 4 in overtime.
The first period was all Bruins, and it looked like the Bruins were going to run away with the game with three unanswered goals, but the Pics said no, and answered with 4 unanswered goals, three of them in a period of 2 minutes (one being a penalty shot, as Timofey Basarab was brought down on his way to scoring a goal).
Zach Shupe got the ball rolling when he was able to put back in his own rebound after receiving a pass from Mike Penna. Matt Kennedy got the secondary assist.
Dom Balboni potted his first goal of the night when he received a tape-to-tape pass from Simon Banas, and broke down the length of the ice, getting a close in shot on Bandits goaltender Josh Chausse. It rebounded off him and sneaked in the back of the net to make it 3 - 2.
Basarab then converted on his penalty shot attempt when he was able to put it between the legs of the goaltender.
Dom Balboni then made it 4 goals in the period when he was able to get the rebound attempt from Sean Ferus after Balboni passed it to Ferus who initially didn't get it into the net.
The Bruins then pressed hard and tied the game up with just under 2 minutes remaining when Dean Mason was able to get the puck past Schnoop
Paud O'Brien then returned the favor in OT when he was able to put in a rebound goal from Balbont. Mike Penna got the secondary assist.
Schnoop stopped 23 out of 27 shots for the win.
The Premier squad also went 1 - 2 on the weekend, defeating the South Shore Kings 8 - 3 on Thursday, then falling to the Jr Bandits 2 - 1 on Friday, and to the Junior Bruins 4 - 1 on Saturday.
Friday's game, it was the Pics scoring two goals in the 1st period, that started to swing the momentum the Pics' way as Matthew Tullo and Matthew Kowal each got goals in the first period. Oliver Cookson, Cam Gaylor, Matt Pelletier and Timofey Basarab each got assists in the 1st period.
The Kings then spoiled the shutout towards the end of the 1st period with a goal from Drew Arpin.
Nico Rodrigues, Connor Matthews, and Connor O'Brien each got goals in the 2nd period, with Cookson (2), Tullo, Basarab, Nicholas Lopes, and Chase Reynolds each getting assists.
CJ Smith for the Kings got their final goal of the game with just 3 minutes remaining in the 2nd.
Levtuhkov, Kowal, and Stacey all did their part in slamming the door on the Kings in the 3rd period, each scoring a goal. Bouchard, Tullo, Balboni, Perino, Rodrigues, and Moorhouse each scored assists in the 3rd period.
Matthew Jonas stopped 20 out of 23 shots in the win.
On Friday, the Pics fell to the Bandits, who stole one in OT 2 - 1.
Brian Scnindler from the Bandits scored just 4 minutes into the game.
Matthew Kowal scored early into the 2nd period when he received a tape to tape pass from Chase Reynolds. Kyle Nelson got the secondary assist.
Connor O'Brien got send to the bin with just over 10 seconds remaining in regulation, and the Bandits convered on the power play just 18 seconds into the overtime period when Jace Rearic scored. Wyatt Friedlander stopped 28 out of 30 shots in the loss.
On Saturday, The Pics struck first, but it was the Bruins who had the last laugh as they scored 4 unanswered goals to defeat the Pics, 4 - 1.
Felix Appelt scored the Pics only goal just under 3 minutes into the game, with assists from Andrii Levtuhkov and Nicholas Lopes. Pics Goaltender Matthew Jonas stopped 32 out of 36 shots in the loss.