Crowned 2007 Empire Champions!
Junior Bruins Top Monarchs, 4-2 to Win Empire Title
TROY, NY-The championship game of the Empire
Junior Hockey League came down to a match between the Junior Bruins
and their rivals to the north-the NH Jr. Monarchs. After beating them
the day before in round robin play, 8-3, they met again with the league
title on the line. The B's beat the purple and gold behind a two goal
game from Steve Morra and a three point game from John Henrion, 4-2.
The Bruins struck first while on a 5-3 man advantage. Evan Gogonis(pictured
right)moved the puck to the left wing flank where Henrion teed up a
one timer. The rebound was kicked out to the right side of the net
and Morra pounced on the rebound to make it 1-0 six minutes into the
game. While the Bruins out shot the Monarchs 19-7 in the first half
they could not extend their lead.
In the second half, only 2:42 into it, Cory Kane outworked a 'Narchs
defender behind the net and then found Henrion in front who one timed
it home to make it 2-0. Ten minutes later Jay Pietrasiak scored a power
play goal to cut the lead in half. The goal was set up by the Monarchs
goalie, Connor Shanno. The Bruins regained their two goal lead five
minutes later when Morra scored another power play goal. Henrion and
Gogonis picked up assists on this power play marker as well. The Monarchs
did not go down without a fight as they brought it to within one when
Pietrasiak scored off a face-off in the Bruins zone with the goalie
pulled for the extra attacker.
With the score 3-2 and the goalie pulled again Joey Dillon skated
the puck out of the Bruins' zone and found an open Paul Cinquegrana
on the right wing side of the ice and scored an empty netter to put
the game out of reach and give the Bruins the Empire League's Playoff
Goalie Connor Knapp went the distance for the win making 26 saves.
Knapp had a strong playoff performance coming off his Best Goalie Award
for his regular season efforts. Knapp was 5-0 in playoffs and had a
1.24 GAA and a .959 save percentage. Forward Steve Morra had a nice
postseason as well leading all scorers with 18 points in just 8 games.
In round robin play the Bruins got off a great start with Knapp recording
a shutout over Applecore, 4-0. Dillon, Gogonis and Henrion scored power
play goals and Cinquegrana scored a breakaway goal to provide the offense.
Saturday the Bruins got a hat trick from Henrion in the 8-3 win over
the Monarchs and goalie Clay Witt made 34 saves for the win. Sunday
morning Witt won again making 45 saves and was spectacular in doing
so. The line of Adam Nugent, Nick Foy and Justin Mansfield each potted
one in the 3-1 win.
"We are so proud of the players and how they played over the
course of the year and the playoffs," coach Chris Masters said.
"To win and be successful over the course of a six month regular
season and then go 8-0 in playoffs when everyone is trying to take
you down is a real credit to the players and their talent, mental toughness
and character. They deserve all the credit."
With the win the Bruins ran their 2006-2007 Empire Jr. League record
to 48-3-1. They won back to back Empire Jr. League Regular season titles
and now have the 2007 Empire Jr. League Playoff title to add to the
mantle. They also qualified for USA Hockey Jr. B Nationals for the
second time in as many years. The NH Jr. Monarchs will also represent
the Empire league at nationals.
See the results by clicking on VIEW 2007 PLAYOFF RESULTS AND STATS on the Playoff page or go directly to http://www.pointstreak.com