WALPOLE – With the 2015 Junior Chowder Cup coming to a close on Sunday at Rodman Arena, the tournament’s first trophy was awarded to the North American Gladiators. They captured the ’00 Division championship at the buzzer, edging out Players First Hockey 2-1.
As had been the day’s norm for both sides – each team scoring a pair of one-goal victories earlier on Sunday to advance to the final – the championship bout was another tight one that came down to the wire.
The Gladiators, who won both their earlier games by a score of 1-0, got their offense going early, Christian Taylor scoring just a minute after the opening faceoff for the 1-0 lead. PFH stayed right on, however, and drew the game back to even on Matt MacDougall’s goal at 9:32.
MacDougall’s score knotted the score at 1-1, where it remained for the bulk of the contest. Just then, when overtime seemed all but a certainty, the championship was won.
With just one second remaining in regulation time, Taylor converted for a second time in the contest, winning the title for the Gladiators.
Following the last second victory, the 2015 ’00 Division All-Tournament Team was announced. The Gladiators Cole Brown was joined by MacDougall and his Players First teammate Kobe Desmond as the team’s forward selections. Travis Mailhot of the Gladiators and Justin MacPherson of Players First anchored the division’s All-Tournament blue line, while Alex Lepizzera of the Gladiators took home the top goaltending honors.
The ’00 Division All-Tournament MVP honors went to North American forward CJ Hoyt, who had scored the semifinal game-winner for the Gladiators.