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First-ever PPHL champions crowned

By Kevin Conway, 02/10/23, 1:30PM EST


Defiant 18U Gilmour, 16U Boston Hockey Academy outlast opponents

SIMSBURY, Conn. – The inaugural season of the Power Prep Hockey League, North America’s newest alliance of like-minded Midget hockey institutions, came to a rousing conclusion with a pair of resilient clubs emerging as unexpected champions.

The 18U Gilmour Academy and 16U Boston Hockey Academy squads both captured the first-ever PPHL Cups, surviving a gruelling weekend of intense competition at the International Skating Club of Connecticut.

Entering the playoff preliminary round, Gilmour was seeded fourth at the six- team 18U level after missing December’s third showcase event due to transportation issues. As a result, the Lancers were somewhat of an unknown wildcard entering the PPHL postseason.

Meanwhile, second-seeded Boston Hockey Academy’s potent offense proved too much for the rest of the 16U field, outscoring their six weekend opponents 22-10, including netting half of those during Championship Sunday, on its way to the title.


Gilmour finished the three-game preliminary playoff round with a 2 1-0-0 record, falling only to then-undefeated top-seed Elite Hockey Academy. The Lancers drew Mount Academy in Sunday morning’s semifinals, having already outlasted the Saints in a high-scoring affair, 8-5, during the preliminaries.

The Lancers managed to advance to the final behind another barn burner victory, 7-5, over Mount, erasing a two-goal, second-period deficit with three unanswered goals, including the eventual game-winner by Charles McMahon a mere :01 before the second intermission. Meanwhile, Ontario Hockey Academy, who nearly handed Elite its first loss of the season in the final preliminary round contest of the weekend before falling in an overtime shootout, finally downed EHA in their thrilling double-overtime semifinal the following morning, 5-4.

In the championship contest, OHA was clinging to a 2-1 lead thanks to a pair of second-period tallies from Keviins Petersons and Aidan Brewer. But with Gilmour goaltender Connor Varmecky (33 saves) pulled for an extra attacker, Nickolaos

Sinani netted the equalizer with 1:04 left in regulation to send the title tilt into yet another overtime. That’s where forward Jack Rosensteel scored his fifth goal of the playoffs with 4:28 remaining in the first 10-minute extra session, allowing the Lancers to lift the first 18U PPHL Cup and earning the Greensburg, Pa., native the playoffs 18U Most Valuable Player Award.



Boston Hockey Academy finished the 16U PPHL regular season under .500 but picked the right time of year to be playing its best hockey. 

After posting a 2-1-0-0 preliminaries record, second-seeded BHA faced off against No. 3 Elite Hockey Academy in the semifinals. Behind four unanswered second- period goals, Boston easily skated its way into the championship game with a 7-3 victory, powered by two goals and assist from forward Gryphon Bucci.

Suiting up for its fifth 54-minute game of the weekend and second of the day, a somewhat fatigued BHA managed to muster a second wind in the second period against Mount Academy in the final, snapping a 1-1 tie by relying on special teams to net three straight shorthanded goals. Boston took a tight-checking approach in the third to hold the Saints scoreless thanks to goalie Dalton Seaholtz’s 10 saves to secure the 4-1 victory and raise the 16U PPHL Cup. 

Bucci set up Tyler Kirchner’s shorthanded tally in the second period for his eighth point of the playoffs (4-4—8) to earn the Sudbury, Ont., speedster 16U MVP honors. Meanwhile, Seaholtz posted his fourth victory in as many PPHL playoff starts, finishing the weekend with a .947 save percentage and 1.31 goals-against average.