Nick Luce of the AJHL’s Portland Jr. Pirates stepped to the forefront this weekend to post seven points (5G, 2A) in three games to be named this week’s Maine Hockey Journal’s No. 1 star of the week.
Luce took part in the Thanksgiving Showcase put on by the Boston Bulldogs which took place at the Cyclones Arena in Hudson, NH.
The Jr. Pirates are in a midst of some growing pains this season, sitting with a record 7-15-1, but showed significant promise this weekend to go 2-1-0 at the showcase. Luce started the weekend off with a goal and an assist in a 4-3 OT loss to the New Jersey Rockets.
The Jr. Pirates held a 2-1 lead after the first half of play – showcases are played in two 50 minutes halves – on goal by Luce. The 18-year old forward from Portland assisted on the Jared Melman’s goal that gave the Jr. Pirates a 3-2 lead before New Jersey came back to tie and get the eventual game winner in overtime.
Luce out did himself on Saturday when he record a hat trick as Jr. Pirates had little trouble of dispatching the Washington Jr. Nationals by a 6-1 score.
The Jr. Pirates jumped out to a 2-0 lead on a pair of power play goals by Luce in the first half, and it was 4-1 at the half as Luce assisted on Jr. Pirates’ third PP goal of the game. They’d go 3-for-6 in the first half on the power play.
With about 10 minutes to play in the game, Luce completed the hat trick on a nifty goal, beating Nationals’ netminder Zach Lary.
The 5-10, 185-pound forward scored the lone goal in regulation for the Jr. Pirates as they finished the weekend by defeating one of the top teams in the AHJL with a 2-1 shootout win over the Philadelphia Little Flyers.Forward Mark Mancari had been in a bit of scoring slump, but busted out in a big way this weekend as he tallied four goals, including a hat trick against Atlantic Division rivals, the Providence Bruins, and two assists to earn this week’s No. 2 star of the week.
Entering the game on Sunday, the Pirates has lost three straight for first time all season, but after a player’s only meeting led by Pirates captain Matt Ellis, Assistant Tim Conboy and Mancari, they would get back to their winning ways with Mancari leading by example with four points on the night.
With the game tied at 1-1, Mancari found the back of the net on a blister shot with just six seconds left in the opening period.
The London, ON native made it 3-1 with his second goal of the game early in the middle frame and finished off the hat trick with a wrist shot with less than a minute remaining in the contest.
Mancari began the weekend on an eight game goal-scoring slump before breaking through for his eighth of the season on the power play midway into the third period to tie the game at 2-2 against Springfield. A game the Pirates would lose 4-2.
Mancari added an assist in the Pirates lone goal on Saturday in Manchester, NH as the Monarchs rolled to a 6-1 win.
It was a very good weekend for University of New England freshman forward Sean Sullivan. In two games, he recorded a goal and four assists to help lead the Nor’easters to their first win of the season, which earns him recognition as the No. 3 star of the week.
Sullivan began the weekend with three assists against NCAA D-II host, Southern New Hampshire University, in the PAL Stovepipe Tournament in Hooksett, NH.
Down 3-0, UNE would storm back, taking a 4-3 lead as Sullivan assisted on the both game-tying, and go ahead goal by Tyler Fleurent. It was a short-lived lead as SNHU would score less than 30 seconds later to tie the game at 4-4, and eventually would go on to win 5-4, the Nor’easter took some valuable lessons out of the game and applied them to their match up against Salve Regina.
The Worcester, MA native scored his first goal of the season midway into the first period, giving UNE a 2-1 lead over Salve Regina.
The Sea Hawks would build a 4-2 lead, but as in the previous game, UNE found a way to come back as Sullivan assisted on Ted Fabian’s goal that tied the game at 4-, and took to the next step, finding the win for their first of the season.
PJP – A. Antipov – 4GP 3G 2A 5pts
PJP – Jared Melman – 3GP 3G 1A 4pts
POR – Matt Ellis – 3GP 4A 4pts
LEW – E. Brodeur – 2GP 1G 3A 4pts
LEW – Z. Renaud – 2GP 4A 4pts
USM – Paul Conter – 3GP 1G 3A 4pts
BOW – Colin Downey – 2GP 2G 1A 3pts
COL – Cody McKinney – 2GP 56Sv/58Sh (2-0-0)