Boston Bandits 6 @ NH Monarchs 1; September 28th, 2016
Neutral Zone drove to Bridgewater, MA to watch the NH Monarchs at the Boston Bandits in an EHL matchup of first place teams on Wednesday. The Bandits entered the game at 4-1 and the Monarchs at 4-0. Despite the hype, the game was never really in doubt as the Bandits rolled to a 6-1 win at home.
Vinny Evans (1997; Pittsburgh, PA; Bandits #33-G) played very well in the goal for the Bandits, making 33 saves. He had to battle hard even to the end as the Monarchs pulled their goalie twice in the third period on the power play to give them a 6-4 advantage. There were lots of bodies in front of Evans in the third. He was active, strong and confident.
We will have the EHL covered all season and will see each team many times over the next several months. Almost every player listed below is a new addition to Neutral Zone. They are listed in no particular order.
Players that we noted in this game:
Scott Donahue (1996; Commack, NY; Bandits #15-F)-Scott has a three point afternoon but that isn’t what drew our attention. He played hard in all situations and showed a good ability to get in productive spots without the puck. He helped on PP and PK. The 6’ 180lbs forward can catch and shoot quickly and protected the puck with his body. He is not an elite skater and got himself in trouble when he tried to dangle or go east/west. When Scott played in straight lines, he was effective. On his goal, he started the forecheck, took a good angle and created chaos. He immediately found a good, quiet spot and buried the rebound. That is his game.
Tyson Araujo (1996; Oak Bluffs, MA; Bandits #28-F)-The 1996 is mature and played with poise. He won battles all over the ice and has a good stick. He scored a rebound goal on the power play and had a good net front presence. He got a lot of pucks to the net and has a long reach. Tyson sees the ice well and although he isn’t a “fast” skater; he showed good balance and an ability to leverage opponents. He is 6’ and 190lbs. College: Nazareth
Billy Grant (1998; Mansfield, MA; Bandits #11-F)-The 1998 has an excellent frame at 6’3” with room to add weight. Here he showed some skill and awareness but he is being added here more on his upside ability. He played the left wing as a right shot and at times seemed to struggle a bit on the wall in his end. There were times he finished his checks with authority and others where he used his stick to create turnovers. He never seemed to be able to do both (finish a hit and come out with the puck.) He didn’t have any points but was a factor and I suspect that he will start to figure it out. He played for the U18 team last year.
Anthony Scarcella (1997; Providence, RI; Bandits #13-F)-Anthony leads the team in scoring but he wasn’t overwhelming in this game. The former Winchendon forward showed spurts where he scooted into seams with the puck. He didn’t make any glaring mistakes but he was just OK. He is quick but not fast and seemed to struggle finding continuity in his game this afternoon. That being said, he did have two assists and was a factor. We will be watching him as he is off to a great start and still adjusting to the EHL schedule.
Adam Bedford (1997; Hawthorne, CA; Bandits #18-F)-Adam played a game that I would classify as unheralded or unsung. He had no points and no real chances to score but the 1997 forward blocked three shots (by my count) and was physical. He was intense especially early in the game. He added energy when energy was needed. He is the type of player that helps teams win games. He had a great PK at a key time and deserves to be noticed for his efforts.
Cole Crawford (1996; Jones Creek, GA; Bandits #14-D)-Cole used both his backhand and forehand to make good passes with the appropriate pace. He moved well with the puck on his stick and seldom skated himself into bad spots. He gets to the corner quickly in his end to defend. The Georgia native isn’t big but played tough and stuck up for his teammates. He was solid this afternoon.
Dan Bates (1997; Jefferson, MA; Bandits #4-D)-Dan might be the most well rounded player on his team. The 1997 skated well, has an excellent stick and a good IQ. He made a nice play to create a rebound goal on the power play. He anticipated well and broke up plays all over the ice. He had a couple of assists and wasn’t dominant but he looks like a solid player with some upside still. He played in the CCHL last season and is interesting.
Alex Hopkins (1997; N. Hampton, NH; Monarchs #22-F)-Alex was the Monarchs’ best forward and one of their two best players. He had a tough time getting a lot going but he worked at it. He is gritty and scored a goal on a broken play on the PP. He wheeled around the offensive zone a few times and created some chaos but it was not enough. He should have a great year and we will keep tabs on him.
Ryan Romeo (1997; Fairport, NY; Monarchs #44-D)- Ryan did an OK job running the power play and was OK with the puck on his stick. He has good vision and passed well. He got some shots blocked and wandered away from his net in his end at times. Those are things he will have to correct as he looks like a player the Monarchs will rely on to play important minutes this year. He has a good skill set.
Others to watch:
Kevin Stoya (1997; Lake George, NY; Bandits #10-D)
Gordy Harwood (1996; Lakewood, OH; Bandits #84-F)
Sylas Kalyan (1997; Lions, CO; Monarchs #27-D)
Ryan Ng (1997; Manhattan Beach, CA; Monarchs #51-F)
Derek Neal (1997; York Beach, ME; Monarchs #4-F)