NE Pack Hockey Awards League Champions

Feb 16, 2023 | World Hockey Hub

2006-born U.S. youth hockey team New Jersey Rockets celebrate winning the 16U division at the NE Pack playoffs.
Photo from Instagram | @nepackhockey

Winners crowned in 14U, 15O, 16U divisions

Last weekend, the Northeast Pack Hockey League held its playoffs for teams in the 2006, 2007 and 2008 birth years. There were a fair share of surprises and upsets over the course of three exciting days at the Northford Ice Pavilion. No team that ended the regular season in first place went on to finish as champions.

Let’s take a look at how things shook out when all the dust settled…

NJ Rockets nab 16U division

When the NE Pack regular season wrapped up on Jan. 22, No. 18 New Jersey Rockets were sitting in second among 2006-born teams. An opportunity to make some noise once the playoffs rolled around, but they would have to continue clawing their way through a packed field. This division housed juggernauts such as No. 3 Long Island Gulls, No. 11 Bishop Kearney Selects, No. 21 Pittsburgh Penguins Elite and No. 20 Mount St. Charles.

New Jersey handled business in their first two round-robin matchups, dispatching Mount St. Charles and Pens Elite, 5-3 and 6-4, respectively. After the play-in game, they were tasked once again to take on Pens Elite in the semifinals. Emerging as the victor once more, their lone challenge left was in the form of BK Selects for the championship. A team they had moderate success against in the regular season with a 4-2-0 record. 

It would prove to be their toughest game of the postseason. Goals and chances were traded for the duration of regulation before things would end 4-4. With no winner coming in overtime, the game was settled in a shootout, where the Rockets prevailed 5-4 and secured the division. 

Gulls best Pens Elite in 15O finale

The 2007-born division also had its fair share of Top-10 U.S. teams from the World Rankings. No. 5 Long Island Gulls kicked off their run with a 4-3 win over the New Jersey Rockets. After securing a spot in the semifinals with a 4-2 victory against the No. 6 Mount St. Charles, the two sides were slated for a rematch in the semifinals. Despite Mount’s best efforts, it was a familiar script with the Gulls skating to a 5-3 victory. 

The road for No. 8 Pittsburgh Penguins Elite to get to the championship game was not an easy one. After suffering an opening loss to Mount, they would need to rebound in their next game, or run the risk of having their playoff hopes dashed quite early. 

And rebound they did, taking No. 9 Mid-Fairfield Jr. Rangers to task in a 6-2 win. With confidence restored, they took their next game against No. 2 Bishop Kearney Selects, setting the stage for a meeting against Long Island. It was also a chance at redemption for PPE, who went just 1-2-1 against the Gulls in the season series.

Despite the fireworks both clubs endured in their previous games, it was a rather subdued final. The Gulls clamped things down on defense in a tight 2-1 final. 

Mount St. Charles, BK Selects battle for 14U supremacy

When the regular season ended, the two teams that stood atop the division table were the Bishop Kearney Selects and Mount St. Charles. It was no surprise then to see both squads in the championship game for 2008-born NE Pack teams.

Ranked No. 4 and No. 9 in the U.S. rankings, both BK and Mount had undefeated runs en route to their title tilt. For Bishop Kearney, the likes of No. 3 Pittsburgh Penguins Elite, Mid-Fairfield Jr. Rangers and Long Island Gulls were no match for them. Mount St. Charles had to take care of the New Jersey Rockets and, coincidentally, the Gulls and Penguins as well. 

With a 3-1-1 record against BK in the regular season, Mount knew it had the skill to emerge as champions with a concentrated team effort. Their depth was on full display as they cruised to a 7-2 victory for the title. 

Check out the video below for some of the best goals from this division.

Pens take 18U title

There was also a playoff round held for 18U teams of the Long Island Gulls, Mount St. Charles, Penguins Elite, BK Selects and New Jersey Rockets. The lone club standing at the end of it all was the PPE, who defeated the Rockets 6-1 in the final. 

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