February 6, 2020
Guilford, Conn.- For the first time since 2015, the 16U Premier Elite Hockey Academy Team is going to the dance as they have clinched a playoff spot in the AYHL Playoffs.
To clinch a playoff spot all EHA had to do was make sure it swept the weekend. Head Coach Peter Alden was all smiles after clinching a spot in playoffs on Sunday. “It’s obviously so big for us as a program, because we were down for a while, but now we are back, and it’s only the beginning,” said Alden before being doused in water by his players. “I’m so proud of these kids they have been doing everything that Geoff, David, and I have asked of them all season long. At the beginning of the year, it was rough, but they just kept doing everything that as a coaching staff, we asked them to do, and I knew if they stuck with the process, our luck would turn around and it did."
The team had to win both games this weekend, and that all began on Saturday as Captain Shea "T-Bone" Thibault, picked a good time to get his first three points of the season in the AYHL. Shea put up the first and last goals of the night, and added an assist, as EHA pulled away in the third to win 5-2 over the Philadelphia Jr. Flyers. Peyton Van Buskirk, Brady Schultz, and Cody Spear all had two points on the night to help pace the offense. D’Mar Mccoy was huge down the stretch as he stopped 20 pucks, and most of them came in the second when the game was all tied up.
Then on Sunday, everybody knew what was at stake a win over the New Jersey Devils Youth, and they would be in the AYHL Playoffs. The game was a back and forth affair, as one team would get a one-goal lead, and then the other team would tie it back up a few minutes later. Then late in the third, the Devils took a penalty, and EHA headed to the powerplay that carried on over to Overtime.
After spending most of the power play in the Devils zone, they got one past the Devils goalie. Cody Spear, who also scored earlier to give EHA the lead early in third, got on a loose puck in a net-front battle and found the back of the net for his second of the day. Brady Schultz and Logan Nickerson were huge as they both picked up two points to go along with Spear’s two points. Brooks McLean made the saves he had to make late in the game and stopped 30 pucks overall in the game.
After clinching a playoff spot, EHA knows that it will either be the third seed or be the fourth seed. If they remain the third seed, it will mean that they do not have to go up against the North Jersey Avs in the first round of playoffs. If the New Jersey Titans do not win their next game against the Philadelphia Little Flyers, they will remain the four seed and play the Avs in the first round, but if they win EHA, will become the fourth seed and go against the Avs. To find out more about the AYHL playoffs including rinks and times of all games click here http://atlantichockey.org/ayhl_playoffs.php.
This weekend the U16 Premier squad will be on the road in Boston as it looks to win a ECEL Championship. They on track to win it's first ECEL Cup in history of the program. Follow along on our social media pages, and all games will be available on MyHockeyTV.
For more information on the Elite Hockey Program and player opportunities, please visit www.EliteHockeyProgram.com or email Peter Alden at Palden@EliteHockeyAAA.com.