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16U looks to build on last seasons success

By Bill Thompson, 09/03/14, 12:15AM EDT


Wayne, NJ - After a tremendous season where last year's Hitmen 16U team finished 67-18-5 and reached the USPHL Championship Finals, Head Coach Bill Thompson knew he had his work cut out for him to duplicate another successful season at the 16U level. After a long Spring of recruiting and a rigorous five months of training, Thompson has his 16U team firing on all cylinders as they head into the start of the 2014-2015 season. The 16U team went 13-5-1 over the summer winning the Blue Chip Selects College Showcase Championship over Memorial Day weekend going 6-0. The Hitmen 16U team's next trip was to Ottawa where they faced an older Nepean Raider team winning the first contest 4-1 before falling short in game two 3-2 and game three 2-0. Thompson's 16U team's next trip was to Marlborough, MA for the USPHL Summer Showcase where they went 2-0-1 in round robin play advancing to the quarterfinals where they won in a shootout and eventually falling short in the semi-final game in another shootout. The 16U team closed out the summer at the Mass Tier 1 Invitational winning it's first three games before finishing up 3-2 in round robin play.

Although the team lost their powerhouse first line of Alex Whalen, Hunter Garlasco and Danny Reidel, along with their top two defenseman in Kyle Halbauer and Brendan O'Callahan, all five moving up to the Hitmen 18U team, Thompson feels he has a defensive core that is as deep and strong as he has ever seen. That, along with a highly skilled core of young new forwards to support returning forwards Kristian Acosta, Dakota Concannon, Emerson Emery, Nick Cassera and Thomas Foschini, and the return of goaltender Alexei Masanko,
Thompson feels his squad is right on pace to compete with the success his team had last season.

Recently the Hitmen 16U team announced their captains for the upcoming 2014-2015 season as defenseman Ryan Bogan will wear the 'C' and defensemen Anthony Firriolo and Eric Manoukian will wear the 'A' as alternate Captains.