skip navigation

Hitmen USP3 Heading to Finals in Beantown

By Hitmen Staff, 03/02/16, 1:00PM EST


After a crippling loss at the hands of the Junior Bruins on Sunday morning, the Hitmen rallied their spirits and defeated the Jersey Shore Whalers 4-2 to advance to the USP3HL Championship round in Marlborough next week.
The Hitmen started round robin play with a 7-5 win over the Frederick Freeze. The Hitmen led the entire game and received goals from Chris Dressler (2), Thomas Foschini, Hunter Kronk, Cole Garabed, Danny Cangelosi and Anthony Steffe.


On Sunday morning, the Hitmen were defeated by the Junior Bruins 7-4 in a penalty-filled affair.  The Hitmen showed signs of life, battling back from three separate one-goal deficits, but they were unable to take the lead at any point during the game. Cole Garabed tied the game at one but the Hitmen trailed 2-1 going into the first intermission.


Only minutes into the second, Danny Cangelosi had his shot deflected into the net by Frank Steffe which tied the game at two. The Bruins and Hitmen continued trading goals, as Boston went up 3-2 9:48 into the second frame. Garabed’s second goal of the game tied the game at 3 with just under six minutes to play in the period.
The Bruins extended their lead to 5-3 in the third but a Braden Ploehn blue-line blast drew the Hitmen within one again. However, the Junior Bruins would add two late goals and would go on to win 7-4.


Facing elimination on Sunday evening, the Hitmen dispatched their in-state rivals Jersey Shore Whalers 4-2 in a tightly contested matchup. Battling uphill the entire game, the Hitmen had to kill off four penalties and did not receive a power-play. Frank Steffe’s shorthanded goal got the Hitmen on the board only 6:40 into the second period. The Whalers tied it up minutes later, but goals by Chris Dressler and Hunter Kronk extended the Hitmen lead to 3-1 after two.


The Whalers would score in the third, but Dressler’s second of the game iced it at 18:54 of the third. The Hitmen would hold on for the 4-2 win. John Pitera was stellar in net and made 28 saves for the win.


When asked how the team was able to regain their composure after the Bruins’ loss head coach Brack Healy responded, “We have a team full of selfless individuals that love playing for each other. Their competitive spirit and will to win are unlike anything I have ever seen before. They can never be counted out.”


Healy continued, “I am very fortunate to coach such a great group of young men. Their work ethic and attention to detail is what has made them successful, and for that they deserve all of the credit.”
The Hitmen hope to use their momentum to catapult them to the USP3HL Cup Championship next week in Marlborough.