Saturday, October 15, 2016

Weekend Recap: Compuware Honeybaked Invite

HC Dallas 1, Nichols Prep 0 – It was a tough start for the Big Green in Detroit as they fell to a hard-nosed team from Dallas, TX.  Members of the NAPHL, Dallas played a tight checking game and received strong goaltending as the Vikings were unable to find the back of the net.  A second period goal from Dallas proved to be the game  winner as Josh Graziano (00/Clarence) was strong in the loss making 18 saves.

Nichols 4, Chicago Young Americans 1 – No rest for the weary as Nichols turned around six hours later to face a speedy and creative Chicago Young Americans team.  Tom Elia (99/Lewiston) put Nichols on the board in the first shift with a shot that found it’s way through traffic in front.  Cole Donhauser (99/Kenmore) gave the Vikings some breathing room a few minutes later.  However, Chicago would find the net before the end of the first period keeping the game within reach.  A scoreless second period saw both teams trading chances, but neither was able to break through.  Steve Senese (99/Niagara Falls) added two third period goals to put the game away.  Robbie Nuchereno (01/Williamsville)  was strong in net making 21 saves for the win. 

Nichols 2, MDHL Green 2 – Nichols came out on Saturday with a strong effort only to see a lead disappear in the last three minutes.  Once again, the Big Green scored in the first shift with a nice wraparound goal from Cole Donhaiser (99/Kenmore).  Mid way through the first, Donhauser  scored his second of the game to give the Vikings a 2-0 lead.  This lead held up until MDHL was able to spring a player free with three minutes to play and added a goal in the final minute with the extra attacker on the ice.  Josh Graziano (00/Clarence) was strong in nets again making 22 saves. 

Nichols 4, Esmark 2 – Although it was game 4 in 2 days, Nichols needed a win to place first in their bracket and earn a birth in the Gold semifinals, and the boys delivered.  Although it was a scoreless first period, Nichols was establishing their game, and Cole Donhauser (99/Kenmore) broke through in the second period with a power play tally.  The power play came through again when Bryan Bylsma (99/Buffalo) defelected a point shot past the Esmark goaltender for a 2-0 lead after two periods.  Esmark scored early to cut the lead in half, but Nichols continued to play their game.  Brandon Hausler (99/Montgomery, TX) responded quickly to re-establish the 2 goal lead.  Dylan Lugris (01/Buffalo) extended the lead to three goals.  Esmark would score late in the game, but Nichols held on for the win.  Robbie Nuchereno (01/Williamsville) put together another strong performance making 22 saves for the win.

Michigan Hockey Advancement 2, Nichols 1 – The run for the title came to an end as Nichols fell to a very good Michigan Hockey Advancement team in the Gold Semifinals.  Both teams traded opportunities all game long, but Michigan was able to strike first in the second period.  Cole Donhauser (99/Kenmore) would even the score before the second period came to a close.  A bounce off of a skate with five minutes to play would prove to be the game winner for Michigan despite some great opportunities for Nichols down the stretch.  Josh Graziano (00/Clarence) was outstanding making 31 saves in the loss.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Compuware Honeybaked Invitational Schedule Released

The schedule for the Compuware/Honeybaked AAA Invitational has been released and the Vikings are looking forwards to the challenges that lie ahead.  The tournament is held in the Detroit, MI area with the 18U division primarily focused in the Dearborn/Farmington/Plymouth Area.  Nichols will play it's round robin games at the Dearborn Ice Skating Center. The tournament is held from October 7 to October 9.

The weekend kicks off with a game against #54 ranked HC Dallas at 8:00am on Friday.  In game 2, the Vikings take on #59 ranked Chicago Young Americans at 3:40pm.  On Saturday, Game 3 will be against MDHL Green, currently ranked #21.  The round robin concludes with a game against familiar foe Pittsburgh Esmark Stars, currently ranked #71.

A full schedule can be found at the tournament website  by clicking here.

Weekend Recap: Jr. Bruins Shootout

Although it was a disappointing result, the weekend in Marlborough, MA was still a success in many ways.  There were long stritches of quality play from the Big Green, and the team is beginning to find it's identity as a group.  A 2-1 finish in round robin play was not enough to advance, the team battled through adversity and left the weekend in a better place than where they started.

Skipjacks 4, Nichols 1 - Game 1 of the weekend put the Big Green up against a 4-0 York Skipjacks team of teh USPHL.  The skipjacks built a 2-0 lead just before the half despite some quality play from the Vinkings squad.  Penalties in the final third of the game found Nichols falling behind at 4-0 before Tom Elia (Sr/99, Lewiston) would find the back of the net on the power play for his first goal of the season.  Josh Graziano (Jr/00, Clarence) made 18 saves on the day.

Nichols 6, Rochester 1 - Nichols would rebound later in the day with an improved effort against another USPHL team walking away with a 6-1 victory.  Cole Donhauser (Jr/99, Kenmore) opened the scoring with one of his two goals on the evening. Bryan Bylsma (Sr/99, Buffalo) extended the lead to 2-0 shortly after.  The game would open up in the finals third of the game.  Rochester found the net to close the gap to 2-1, but Steve Senese (Sr/99, Niagara Falls) and Dylan Lugris (Fr/01, Buffalo) scored goals 40 seconds apart to take control of the scoreboard.  Donhauser would add his second of the game and Charlie Carlson (Sr/98, Orchard Park) would complete the scoring with a shorthanded tally.  Robbie Nuchereno (So/01, Clarence) made 17 saves on the day.

Nichols 5, Ct. Jr Rangers 4 - Although the play was not indicative of the score, the Vikings pulled out a tight 5-4 victory against their third USPHL opponent of the weekend.  It was all Nichols early as Lucas Herrmann (Jr/00, Lancaster) opened the scoring in the first shift followed by a Steve Senese (Sr/99, Niagara Falls) strike in the third shift.  Cole Donhauser (Jr/99, Kenmore) would quickly extend the lead to 3-0 follwed by another by Dylan Lugris (Fr/01, Buffalo) to make it 4-0.  The Rangers would battle back amd make it a 4-3 game but Senese would add his second of the game to take control once again.  The Rangers would adda late goal to make it interesting but the defense held up and Nichols claimed victory for the third time this season.  Josh Graziano (Jr/00, Clarence) made 8 saves and Robbie Nuchereno (So/01, Clarence) made 9 saves as they split duties
in the win.

The Vikings take the weekend off before heading to the Compuware/Honeybaked Invitational in Detroit, MI over Columbus Day Weekend.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Weekend Off Sets Stage for First Tournament

The Big Green took the weekend off after a hard week of practice as they prepare for the 2016 Junior Bruins Shootout.  This tournament is one of the premier events in New England. The Shootout is a tournament format for the 18U and 16U levels but also has USPHL games played in a showcase format at the Premier, Elite and Empire levels. The Shootout consistently draws well over 100 college, junior, and pro coaches and scouts,  and it is one of best attended tournaments/showcases in New England.  Last season, Nichols went 2-1 in the round robin play ultimately losing out in a three way tie-breaker to advance to the playoffs.  The team is determined to find themselves in a different position in 2016.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

2016 Jr. Bruins Shootout Schedule Released

The schedule is out for the Jr Bruins Shootout held in Marlborough, MA from September 23-25.  Game 1 starts on Friday with the York Skipjacks 18U, followed by a game with in-state rival, the Rochester Monarchs 18U.  Saturday brings a game against the Connecticut Jr Rangers.  All three opponents compete in the US Premier Hockey League 18U Division.  All games will be played at the New England Sports Center in Marlborough, MA

9/23  v York Skipjacks 18U           12:30pm  Rink 4
9/23  v  Rochester Monarchs 18U   8:10pm  Rink 5
9/24  v  Ct. Jr Rangers 18U            11:00am  Rink 3    

Monday, September 12, 2016

Weekend Recap: Boys' Prep Earns Opening Weekend Split

The Boys’ Prep team opened their season with a home and home series against the Buffalo Jr. Sabres 18U.  In game 1, Matt Gasuik (Sr/1999) and Bryan Bylsma (Sr/1999) found the back of the net, but it wasn’t enough in the 5-2 loss to open the season.  Josh Graziano (Jr/2000) played well in his first action of the season stopping 27 of the 32 shots he faced in the game.  It was a different team that took the ice at the Harbor Center in game 2 as Nichols exploded for 3 goals in the first period to propel the Vikings to a 5-2 victory.  Matt Gasuik continued his strong play scoring 2 more and adding an assist.  Linemates Connor Zak (Sr/1998) and Steven Senese (Sr/1999) each added a tally while Jeffrey Kopek (So/2001) scored his first goal of his Nichols career.  Robbie Nuchereno (So/2001) made 24 saves for the win.  Nichols will take some time off as they prepare for the Jr Bruins Shootout in Marlbourough, MA from September 23-25.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Strong Start Gives Boys' Prep Weekend Split

Jeffrey Kopek makes it 2-0.
The Big Green got back to work for game 2 of the weekend series with the Buffalo Jr, Sabres 18U and earned the split with a 5-2 victory.  Nichols found the net 3 times in the first period with goals coming from Matt Gasuik, Jeffrey Kopek, and Steven Senese.  The lead would be cut to 3-1 in the second period, but Matt Gasuik responded with his second of the night to extend the lead to 4-1.  The Jr Sabres would put up a strong fight and cut the lead again to 4-2 midway through the period, but Connor Zak sealed the game with an empty netter in the last minute.  Robbie Nuchereno earned his first career victory making 24 saves in the game.  The Prep team will be back in action when they head to Boston for the Jr. Bruins Shootout on September 23rd.