Survilas Sends Jr. Eagles to Nationals

Mar 7, 2023 | World Hockey Hub

2008-born U.S. youth hockey team Boston Jr. Eagles celebrates winning the 14U division at Massachusetts districts.
Photo from Instagram | @bostonjunioreagles

14U team secures trip to Nationals with OT win

With the 15O, 16U and 18U Massachusetts-based youth hockey teams already securing their spots at USA Hockey Nationals, only the 14U division remained undecided. From March 3-5, the Boston Jr. Eagles, Neponset Valley River Rats, South Shore Kings, Assabet Valley Patriots, Valley Jr. Warriors, East Coast Militia, North Suburban Wings and Top Gun all took part in the state tournament. 

Going undefeated, the 2008-born Boston Jr. Eagles earned their spot to represent their state with a thrilling overtime victory in the championship game against Neponset.

The Jr. Eagles kicked the tires off on their pool-play schedule with a big victory over Top Gun. They then went on to collect two more wins against the Jr. Warriors and Patriot Hockey to finish preliminary-round play at 3-0-0. Their incredible ability to score was on display, tallying 29 goals while just allowing two. 

Early tournament success led to a semifinal matchup with South Shore. In the regular season, the two teams had previously met three times, with the Jr. Eagles winning twice. It would be a similar script once again as they downed the Kings, 3-1, to move on to the championship game. 

The River Rats were waiting for the Jr. Eagles in the title match. Skating to a 3-0-0 record themselves, they outscored their opposition 14-2. The two teams only played each other once before, back in August in a 2-0 win for Neponset. In what would be a close-fought game, overtime was needed following a scoreless regulation frame. Draped by a defender, Noah Survilas skated into the zone and whipped a low shot in from the left circle, securing the victory. 

They join the following teams who have also earned automatic bids to USAH Nationals:

14U Nationals

Boston Jr. Eagles (Massachusetts)

Pittsburgh Vengeance (Mid-American)

Shattuck-St. Mary’s (Minnesota)

Los Angeles Jr. Kings (Pacific)

15O Nationals

Neponset Valley River Rats (Massachusetts)

Pittsburgh Penguins Elite (Mid-American)

Shattuck-St. Mary’s (Minnesota)

Los Angeles Jr. Kings (Pacific)

16U Nationals

Boston Little Bruins (Massachusetts)

Cleveland Barons (Mid-American)

Shattuck-St. Mary’s (Minnesota)

Anaheim Jr. Ducks (Pacific)

18U Nationals

Boston Jr. Eagles (Massachusetts)

Culver Academy (Mid-American)

Shattuck-St. Mary’s (Minnesota)

Anaheim Jr. Ducks (Pacific)

The Mid-American districts – consisting of teams from Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia – had bids awarded to two teams from Pittsburgh, one from Ohio and one from Indiana. 

Goaltending backstops Vengeance to 14U Mid-American crown

The Pittsburgh Vengeance went undefeated among fellow ‘08 squads at the Mid-American district playoffs. While they were led by prolific scorers such as Sean Miller (8A), Rhys Medved (4G, 2A) and Caden Harvey (6G), their netminders were the true stars. 

Tyler O’Keefe and Giovanni Scally were virtually unbeatable across four games. Alternating time between the pipes, O’Keefe helped the team get off to a hot start in a 7-0 win against the Cleveland Barons. Over the next two games, Scally collected a shutout and O’Keefe notched his second. Setting up a championship game against fellow Steel City foe, No. 15 Pittsburgh Penguins Elite

Pens Elite took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission before the Vengeance tallied four unanswered goals to take a 4-1 lead after the second. Drew Grasser would score in the third to cut into the lead, but it wasn’t enough to mount a full comeback attempt. 

Pens Elite shut out Esmark for 15O division

The Pittsburgh Penguins Elite 2007-born roster fared better than their ‘08 counterparts in the championship game, besting the Esmark Stars 4-0. After handling the South Hills Panthers, Ohio Blue Jackets and Pittsburgh Vengeance, their final test was Esmark. 

Like the Pens Elite, Esmark had skated to a 3-0-0 record in pool play. However, their skill level was no match for that of the Penguins Elite. Through their four games, the Pens Elite were led by Jacob Cloutier’s seven goals and 12 points. Holding onto a 2-0 lead in the third period, Cloutier cemented his club’s win by adding two more goals for the 4-0 lead. Jake Shingles also stopped all 18 shots he faced for the shutout. 

Ramirez helps Barons down Stars in overtime for 16U title

The Cleveland Barons began their road to the championship game at Mid-Atlantic districts against the Esmark Stars. The Barons secured a 4-2 win, their first of four consecutive victories to win the 16U division. The Stars kept things close, erasing a 2-0 deficit with two quick goals in the third period. The Barons would regain their lead shortly after that before Troy Hunka put away any hope of a comeback with a late goal in regulation for a 4-2 lead. 

After dispatching the South Hills Panthers and Ohio Blue Jackets, a rematch was in the cards against the Stars for the division championship. It would be another close battle, with both goals coming in the second period from Ryan Rucinski and Mykyta Yalovyi. With overtime underway, Dan Ramirez scored at 13:25 to put the Stars away for good. He would finish as the second leading scorer for the Barons behind Landon Watson (1G, 4A), collecting three goals and four points. Hbleb Subach did all he could for the Stars in net, turning aside 47 of 49 shots that came his way. 

18U Culver continues to have Pens Elite’s number

Culver Academy and Pittsburgh Penguins Elite have had numerous tilts this season. Entering district playoffs for the 18U division, they had played each other three previous times with Culver coming out on top each time. Those contests were close, so it was not a surprise that overtime was needed to figure out a winner for this matchup. 

The story of the game was goaltending, as Culver had a 75-41 shot advantage. Eliott Pratt, goaltender for Pens Elite. Despite the loss, Pratt recorded 71 saves on 75 shots, easily the most impressive goaltending performance of the weekend. Vaughan Makar’s 38 saves in the other crease in Culver’s winning effort was also impressive. Zach Zhang recorded the heroics for Culver in the extra frame, where he netted the game-winning goal, which was also his second of the game.

USA Hockey District playoffs will continue this week. Michigan, New England, Rocky Mountain, Southeastern, Central District, New York District and Atlantic playoffs will take place this week. WHH will have continued coverage of each of the 12 USA Hockey District playoffs, as well as Nationals next month!  

Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Discord and YouTube for the latest news, top performers and more.


Recent News

Follow Us

More Headlines

Opening ceremonies at the 2023 World Youth Championships in Prague.
‘11 forward leads tournament in points, goals heading into playoff round
Prospects GTA from the 2022 Ontario All-Star Showcase
More than 300 players from Ontario and USA set to participate in 20-team event
The 2023 World Youth Championships are set to take place in Prague.
Players from ‘09,’10,’11 birth years set to compete at annual tournament