February 10, 2020
Guilford, Conn., - The 18U Elite Hockey Academy are the 2020 ECEL Cup Champions! This is the first time the program has won the ECEL Cup as they defeated the Mercer Chiefs 4-3 in Hingham, Mass on Sunday.
When the year began, the U18’s had a list of goals that they wanted to accomplish before the start of the year, and winning the ECEL was one of its goals. Head Coach Peter Alden, couldn’t be happier to see this group accomplish one of the main goals that it set at the start of the year. “Obviously this year, has been up and down for this group, but as a team, we all came together, and we wanted this,” said Alden. “I’m so proud of these guys for accomplishing this goal and making history. We have talked about leaving a legacy with all of our teams this year, and this group has left their jersey in a better place."
The game was back and forth affair all game long. Every time EHA would jump out to a two-goal lead, the Chiefs would pull one back. The first goal of the game started with a net drive by Jiovani Moses, whose shot produced a rebound, and it found the stick of d-men Chase Conlan to give EHA a 1-0 lead.
Then the Chiefs got one back to tie it up, but almost right away, Moses added a goal to get back the lead at 2-1, and they would take that lead into the second half. Nicki Haviar came alive and dominated the second half. Haviar got his first goal of the half, by following his shot and put home a rebound to give EHA a 3-1 lead.
But right away, the Chiefs struck again as they made it a one-goal contest. But Haviar went bardown to get the lead back up to two. Just as quickly as EHA got back the two-goal lead, the Chiefs struck to make it a one-goal game. Ryan Nocierno was huge down the stretch as he produced one of the best glove saves you’ll see very late in the game.
After a few years of being close to capturing a title, EHA finally got over the hump. It’s a step in the right direction to the continuous building of the Academy. “We are heading in the right direction, and I’m excited for the future of Elite Hockey Academy. We are trending in the right direction of developing players and competing for championships in the future,” said Alden.
What's next: The 18U and 16U Academy teams will head up to Toronto to take part in the World Sport School Challenge which will be held February 13-16 in Vaughan, Ontario. The World Sport School Challenge was developed in line with Hockey Canada’s commitment to foster its growing relationship with education-based hockey and give students the chance to compete against like-minded students from all over the world.
For more information on the Elite Hockey Program and player opportunities, please visit www.EliteHockeyProgram.com or email Peter Alden at Palden@EliteHockeyAAA.com.