WALPOLE – New England Pro-Am Hockey’s 2017 Jr. Chowder Cup was winding down on Sunday afternoon. There were two trophies to be handed out on the day, the first of which went to Selects Hockey Development, who claimed the ’02 Division title with a 2-0 victory over Pro Skills Hockey.
It was an eerily similar road the two sides took to their date in the finals. They posted matching 3-0 shutout victories in the playoffs opening round; Selects defeating the Boston Generals, Pro Skills defeating the Leprechauns. More of the same in the semifinals as it was a pair of 2-1 victories; Selects over Boston Kerns, Pro Skills over All-American Prospects Red.
The scores were different in the semifinals, but each posted a three-goal victory to advance. Selects was up first with a 4-1 win that ended Belle Tire’s first trip to the Jr. Chowder Cup. It was a 5-2 decision for Pro Skills over Coaches Choice Tier 1.
Similar scores throughout the playoff run and then similarly matched in the championship bout. It was a tight one for much of the contest, both sides struggling to put points on the scoreboard. Goaltenders Dalton McBride for Pro Skills and Selects’ Tommy Aitken repelling every attack sent their direction.
The clock started with 30:00, and there was only 7:03 left of those 30 left the first time one side found the back of the net. Stanley Cooley put away a setup from Justin Gordon at 22:57 to break the scoreless deadlock and put Selects Hockey out front 1-0.
And in the end, that lone score is all Selects needed. Aitken finished off his shutout, while Cooley added an unassisted empty netter in the closing seconds to finalize the 2-0 victory and Selects Hockey Development’s coronation as ’02 Division Champion of the 2017 Jr. Chowder Cup.
2017 ’02 Division All-Tournament Team
Eetu Liukas (Selects Hockey Development), Ethan Sims and Spencer Smith (Pro Skills Hockey)
Nico Savoie (Selects Hockey Development) and Michael Craig (Pro Skills Hockey)
TJ Semptimphelter (Selects Hockey Development)
Most Valuable Player
Roni Hirvonen (Selects Hockey Development)