Dozens of the top NCAA, USHL and NAHL prospects in the game converged in front of coaches and scouts at the sixth annual Northeastern College Showcase for a week-long tournament at the Community Center in Woodbridge, New Jersey.
Team Orange skated past Team Blue, 7-2, in the final of the U-20 tournament while Team Blue doubled up Team Orange, 4-2, in the U-16 championship game before the highly-anticipated tournament All-Star Game, featuring the top 44 players in the tournament, concluded the festivities.
“We had over 30 NCAA Division-I schools in attendance this week,” Paul Losik, Tournament Director and VP of Player Personnel, said. ” It’s a great opportunity for guys to showcase their talent, come out here and work with the coaches in games and practices. It’s pretty unique. You get to see, first-hand, the recruiting process.”
Brendan Darby (Choate Rosemary Hall) turned in a hat trick and Bryan Laureigh (Shattuck St. Mary’s), Dan Kramer (MidFairfield U18), Gray Betts (Phillips Exeter Academy) and Todd Goehring (New Jersey Titans NAHL) also hit for Team Orange which utilized Alex Contey (Springfield 18U National) and Sean Keegans (Ridgefield) in between the pipes to win the U-20 championship bout.
In the U-16 championship bout, Michael Posma’s goal, assisted by John Lundy and Stephen Kyrkostas with 57 seconds left in the first period, proved to be the game-winner. Michael Cameron (Philadelphia Jr. Flyers U16 National) and D.J. Hart (NJ Colonials U16 National) also scored in addition to Posma (NJ Avalanche U16 National) for Team Blue in the triumph.
“I started coming to the showcase three years ago and without a doubt I’ve come back every summer,” Goehring, who netted the game-winning goal 2:19 into the second period for Team White in its 5-2 victory over Team Blue in the U20 All-Star Game, said. “It’s a very unique opportunity and quite honestly — I don’t know if I’m wrong about this — but I don’t anything like this exists anywhere else with the exposure to all these college coaches like this. To play multiple games with these guys is a very special experience and that’s why every roster spot is filled every year. The competition is fast-paced and very high-tempo with guys trying to impress the coaches. Definitely some good hockey.”
Tyler Sedlak (NJ Avalanche U18 National), Matt Brown (Dubuque USHL) and Nick Siffringer (NJ Avalanche U18 National) also scored for the Team White All-Stars.
“This is our sixth year hosting the Northeastern College Showcase here in Woodbridge, New Jersey and kids come back year after year raising the bar. They give back by pushing the younger guys,” Losik said. “My goal is to get kids from non-traditional hockey markets to come out and gain exposure in a great environment for hockey development and recruiting.”
Notable players to come through the showcase include: Jack Badini (Anaheim Ducks), Joe Masonius (Pittsburgh Penguins), Connor Clifton (Arizona Coyotes), Tim Clifton (San Jose Sharks), Brendan van Riemsdyk (New Hampshire), Bobby Hampton (Northeastern), Anthony Del Gaizo (UMass), Marc Del Gaizo (UMass), Evan Wisocky (UConn), Chris Grando (Boston College) and Brendon Tabakin (Yale).
John Riggins’ goal, assisted by Posma 3:57 into overtime, lifted Team Blue to a 3-2 triumph over Team White in the U-16 All-Star Game. Jerry Duckett (Long Island U16 National) and Nicholas Ceccarini (Long Island U16 National) also hit for Team White in addition to Riggins (Long Island U16 National).
“I’ve been coming since the first time they hosted it. It’s been interesting to watch it grow,” Team U-20 All-Star Game MVP on Defense Ryan Bogan said. “Every year it gets better and better and more and more coaches come in — it’s great. Especially having a coach behind the bench giving you tips, it really helps. As far as exposure, it’s one of the best showcases during the summer for sure.”
Special to Hockey Clan
John Christian Hageny
New Jersey Devils One Jersey Grassroots Team Writer