FOXBORO – Mass Edge 67’s.
That is the team to go down as New England Pro-Am Hockey’s inaugural 2003 Division tournament champion. They defeated New England Nordiques Blue 2-1 on Sunday at the Foxboro Sports Center, closing out the division’s play at the 2105 Mini Chowder Cup.
Tight matches were a theme for the day, but the 67’s still came out storming in the final looking to put the game away early. Cam Cyr scoring the game’s first goal at 3:47 for the 1-0 advantage.
Both teams had averaged better than five goals scored per game in the tournament’s opening round, but goals were at a premium throughout Sunday’s playoffs. The final remained 1-0 until just past its midpoint when Max DaSilvia netted the insurance goal for Mass Edge at 16:27. A goal that proved crucial, as the Nordiques did not go quietly after falling behind.
Defenseman Nick Recuppero put the Nordiques on the board and back to within one, the goal at 26:27 making it 2-1. There was still nearly four minutes left in the game at the time, but that proved not enough for a comeback. Goaltender Zach Richards and the 67’s defense locked down to preserve the lead and the championship.
All three playoff games in the division were decided by the same 2-1 final score.
Stonewalling his opposition down the stretch added to an already strong showing in the tournament that saw Richards yield less than two goals per contest. It was a performance that earned him All-Tournament Most Valuable Player honors, only slightly outdueling Nordiques netminder Alex Mackanin, who was named goaltender of the ’03 division’s All-Tournament team.
Joining Mackanin on the All-Tournament team were Recuppero and fellow defenseman Aiden Rodriguez of Mass Edge, as well as forwards Nathan DelPrete and Matt Nuzzolilo of Mass Edge and Vincent Gould of the Nordiques.