18’s & 16’s Sweep Home Series

November 9, 2021
365, News, Wknd Round Ups


The Westchester Express 16’s and 18s hauled over 6 hours to the Colisee this past weekend. They were greeted by an opposition whose primary focus was to clean up its structure and compete level from a sloppy weekend prior.

16U Saturday Nov. 6th & Sunday Nov. 7th

The 16U Nordiques led by solid goal tending lit the fire for the MNDP home teams. Aleksander Suvorov found the back of the net first, sparked by an incredible shift from 2006 forward, Tyler Kenney. Hunter Sellers, not to long after, would follow suit with a snipe high blocker side in the final minute of the opening frame.

The second period much like the first would start with a Westchester Powerplay goal. Minutes later the unbothered, Jason Bahnik – who has been red hot in his second-year campaign as a Nordique, won his own face off backwards to then turn around and throw a puck into the net to give the Nords a 3-2 lead; while in the late seconds of the power play. This goal proving to be the Game winner, Jason Bahnik, would find the net yet again on the power play for his sixth of the year from a sparkling power play set up from a non-traditional unit.

Right Defenseman, Cooke Evans, would add an assist on the third period tally all while “Brodacious” Sweet Brody Hernandez would chip in his first point of the contest. A late a marker from Hunter Sellers (5th of the year) would be the final blow of the contest. Grabbing assists on the first and last goal would be point leader, Trace Day; as well as, Tyler Kenney, who both finished the game with two helpers also. 2006 Goaltender Vlad Bryzgalov (5-2-1) would turn away 17 of his 19 shots. Final Score: Maine 5 – Westchester – 2.

The 16U Nordiques endured an early Sunday morning contest that would be a much different story, ending with the same result. A Nordique’s win Trace Day would grab the game’s first goal on the power play, giving the Nordiques it’s third Power play goal of the weekend. Day fired it low off a corner feed from top center, Ben Lees. The Express would finally beat Slovakian goaltender, MJ Vrabel, to wrap up the second period. The Nordiques fired home another power play strike from the division 1 prospect, Cam Charron, recently back from injury. The goal was assisted from Hunter Sellers and Lees who was claiming his second point of the contest on the goal. A sure dominant effort yielded a win, but only to see Westchester score a beautiful 3 on 2 goal in the last two minutes of a defensive zone breakout turnover sending the game into overtime.

MJ Vrabel’s morning of work would stop there as he did not see another shot in OT. Bookie Warshaw would prove to be the hero with his beautiful finish, sliding it around the Westchester goalie off a low 2 on 1 feed from Trace Day. Owen Trevino, back from suspension, started the play in the defensive zone and grabbed his first and only of the weekend. MJ Vrabel (5-1) turned away 19 on 21 shot attempts from the Express. Final Score- Maine 3 (OT)- Westchester 2

“It felt great to get back into the win column. We expected two wins going into the weekend, but the really exciting part is the way we played defensively through the neutral zone. We ran a “boring” (The kids would say) practice late in the week adjusting how we defend blue line to blue line. The kids did a spectacular job implementing these skills to get their wins. We were able to break out pucks cleaner due to the defense being spared a few extra seconds on their retrievals. Individual Scoring seems to be expected every game by a few of our players. The biggest issue we face as a team is dealing with those players not scoring and channeling the negative emotion, they bring to themselves which is worn then by their teammates. This weekend some of those guys scored and traditional secondary scorers provided both game winners. The next message we would like to deliver is nobody is going to score on EVERY SHIFT. Our team could score on ANY shift if we play the right way and hit our details. You saw some great chances generated all the way back from our blue line”- Head Coach & Director, Nick Skerlick



18U Saturday Nov.6th & Sunday Nov. 7th

The 18U who played each day’s second contest Saturday PM ripping the twine a season high of eight times. Genaro Fronduto started it off on the power play adding his first goal of the year. Truchan and Panico would add to their impressive point totals with assists on the goal. The second period would start the Zach Herman vs Westchester show. Herman tripled his goal count in less than a full seventeen-minute period, putting together a natural hat trick, for the Nordiques, in the second period!!! His first three would be delayed 2/3’s through; where Westchester would sneak one in short side on our new 2005 Division 1 and NHL caliber prospect goal tender, Thomas Kiesewetter. Miller and Truchan would add to the Nordiques lead; with Panico adding his second and third assists of the game on each of those goals. Ivan Roudakov chipped in on the sixth goal as well. Jacob Como would finish the second period alone +3. Herman; not done yet, would add his FOURTH of the night and sixth of the year early in the third 15:51 after his first goal earlier in the evening. Herman ties a MNDP record for most goals in a game. The Nordiques saw this last February, against #2 Pens Elite, when Anthony Galante (Aberdeen-NAHL) dominated his way to a massive 8-2 win over the National Quarterfinalists. Will Ralsten completed the scoring from Jacob Como and Genaro Fronduto. Como and his defensive partner, Ivan Roudakov, would finish the game +4 each.

Each of the eight Nordique goals had two helpers tallying a total of twelve players with box score stats. Van Buskirk, Belsterling, Waivada, Como, and Fronduto saw an assist a piece; while Panico, Truchan, Miller (3-point nights each), Sedlacek, and Roudakov saw multiple assists as well. Tommy Kiesenwetter picked up his second win in Lewiston in just two starts turning away 14 of his 15 intruding pucks. Final Score Maine 8-Westchester 1.

Sunday, as expected, did not get away from the Westchester team. The well-coached group made their adjustments and found themselves tied after the first. Although the Nordiques played well, their consistent inability to score at will still this season remains even after the explosion the night prior. The Nordiques would show a glimpse of what the team is lacking potting three goals in four minutes about halfway through the second period. Connor Miller would score a very similar goal assisted from the same linemate from the exact same spot as the night before (It’s almost scary how similar the two goals were….). His goal was followed up by a Zach Sedlacek missile during a delayed penalty on the Westchester Express. Owen Grainger was one of the only players to not stop on the strange play and created opportunity for his fellow Virginia native teammate. Jack Wineman would create the final whistle of the first half that paused the game for intermission. A very hard goal with one second remaining on a power play would give the Nords a 3-0 Lead heading into the locker room.

Westchester dominated the first portion of the second half ripping pucks on newcomer Ewan McDevitt. Ewan finally faltered his first youth hockey goal since his time in the USHL, NAHL, and NA3HL the past two seasons. As scheduled, he was pulled after losing the shutout to give 2006 U.S National Camp Goaltender, Vlad Bryzgalov, his first 18 and Under action as a 15-year-old. The Nordiques competed just fine but lacked the intensity to push a few more across the line. Brendan Waivada pulled the final stake from the tracks to fully derail the Express late in the third period; before the Express could pull their goalie.

A great effort from new line mate Kowin Belsterling off a face off would let Waivada stuff the last goal of the weekend home. Will Ralsten grabbed two assists in the contest. Zach Sedlacek is a perfect 3 for 3. As mentioned, Kowin Belsterling, Owen Grainger, and Jackson Truchan picked up assists as well. McDevitt was near perfect turning away 11 of 12 and Bryzgalov was a perfect 7 for 7 in the cage. Final Score Maine 4- Westchester 1.

“We knew two close games would not cut it when discussing making a push for a top 15 rank. We need to start beating teams. It was nice to see all four lines and all three pairs of defense get in on the action one way or the other. I was super impressed with the play of Zach Herman and Genaro Fronduto. Both players who have had several conversations on EARNING more ice time are really pushing now. It’s a lot of fun to see those guys have success. When guys earn each game like this, it’s hard to lose. We need to shake away how we are ranked. The team and the staff look to make this past weekend week 1 of a long climb. Overall, that is up to our player’s.” – Head Coach & Director, Nick Skerlick