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By Joe Sindoni, 03/13/24, 4:15PM EDT


Round 1 Rematch for Premier

Photo Credit Bri Sotera 


The Showcase in Aston, PA was the end of the regular season for the Eastern Hockey League. The Huntsmen EHL Team trailed Philadelphia Hockey Club by three points heading into the weekend for the #5 seed in the South Division. The Premier Team was looking to lock down the #1 seed in the Mid Atlantic Division.

EHL Team

The Huntsmen faced some of the toughest teams in the league at the showcase. They started against the New England Wolves. The Huntsmen hung with the Wolves with goals from Smits, and Blanchard but then New England pulled away and won 7-2. Next up was the Boston Jr. Rangers. Boston started the game hot and went up 4-0. Damon Warren scored twice but the Rangers went on to win 5-2. That loss ended the playoff hopes for the Huntsmen. The Showcase and season came to a close against the New York Applecore. It was a back-and-forth contest with one of the EHL’s best teams. Damon Warren, Aidan Hellyer, Andrew Blanchard, and Alex Erlain all scored but the season ended with a 6-4 loss.

The Huntsmen finished their Inaugural Season (EHL) 16-27-3 missing the playoffs by four points. It wasn’t the perfect season, but it’s something to build on. Alex Erlain led the team in scoring with 17 goals, 12 assists for 29 points



Entering the Showcase, the Huntsmen had control of their own destiny for the number one seed in the Mid Atlantic Division. The Showcase started with a 5-3 win over the Vermont Lumberjacks. Zander Lunnie had two goals, Tristan Fallon, Leo Vona, and Cooper Ireland also scored for the Huntsmen. The next day the Huntsmen played the Express Hockey Club and the Adirondak Jr. Thunder. They were both thrilling games, but the Huntsmen lost in overtime to the Express 5-4 and 4-3 to Adirondack in regulation. The Huntsmen ended the season against the league’s best Railers Hockey Club. PA held their own but came up short in a 3-1 loss. The New Jersey 87s swept the Showcase and ended the season on a 13-game win streak. In the Standings the Huntsmen finished one point ahead of the 87s but New Jersey (also CT Chiefs) played 41 games due to a cancellation. The division title came down to points percentage. The 87s finished with .756, to the Huntsmen’s .750 so the Huntsmen are the number two seed for the Playoffs.

The 87s and Huntsmen had the first-round bye and waited for their opponents. In the best of three series, the Philadelphia Little Flyers swept the Union Jr. Thunder, and the New Jersey Renegades swept the Connecticut Chiefs. That sets up the Mid-Atlantic Division Semi Finals, and it’s a rematch of last year’s. The 87s will face the Little Flyers, and the Huntsmen will take on the Renegades in a best of three series.

While the Huntsmen had the bye, the Renegades dictated the series against the Chiefs. Game 1, the Renegades won 8-0, and followed up with a 4-1 win in game 2.  Cam Cherry had 4 goals vs the Chiefs, Chominsky, Gargagliano, and Tavares all had 1G 3A in the series. Thomas Mount made 20 saves in the shutout win, and Callahan Schultz made 30 saves in game 2.  

Last year, the Renegades took game 1 but the Huntsmen rebounded and won games 2 and 3 to move on to the next round. The format is the same as last year as the Huntsmen will host game 1 and game 3 (if necessary).  

This season both teams finished with better records than they did last year. The New Jersey Renegades finished 15-21-6 with 36points, 3rd in the Mid Atlantic Division. The Huntsmen ended the year 30-9-3 with 63 points. The head-to-head season series was dominated by the Huntsmen who were 7-0-1 vs NJR and outscored them 32-18. The Renegades won a shootout in October, since then the Huntsmen have won six straight against the Renegades.

Here’s a look at each teams leading scorers throughout the season:

Leading Scorers (Regular Season)


Justin Sergeant 18-26-44pts

Matt Tavares 20-21-41pts

Jake Demacos 12-23-35pts

Zach Knopf 12-23-35pts

Cam Cherry 16-13-29pts

Kale Chominsky 7-19-26pts



Zander Lunnie 26-15-41pts (34points with NHA, 4G 3A with PAH)

Brock Burrell 21-19-40pts

Nick Smith 15-17-32pts

Anthony LoGiurato 17-13-30pts

Luca Palachick 10-17-27pts

Tristan Fallon 11-14-25


Year two certainly was exciting for the Huntsmen as the team continued to improve, but this year they are looking to take another step. “We have a very good team that wants to win,” says Head Coach Blaise Kilroy. “We were pushed around a lot last year and I wanted to add players that were more physical and be a hard team to play against. Our culture is our best quality, the team is very close. Guys joke around about who has more points but at the end of the day these guys care about what the scoreboard says at the end of the game. They come together as a team and are really a tight group. There's a great level of accountability and responsibility within the locker room even when we brought new players in mid-season.”

Coach Kilroy also expressed how he's continued to learn in his second year with the team. “Everything was a learning experience last year, and this year is no different. We added an EHL team this year and we had to manage that relationship between the two teams. I’ve learned what’s successful and what’s not successful. At this level I think its important to be close to the locker room and be a mentor to the players on and off the ice.”


Earlier in the week the EHL/EHL Premier handed out their season awards. Alex Erlain earned Second Team Honors for the South Division. Erlain led the Huntsmen in scoring with 17 goals and 12 assists and also has committed to Nazareth College to continue playing hockey in the NCAA. For the Premier Team, Brock Burrell earned Top Defensive Prospect in the EHLP along with Second Team All EHL Premier. Burrell had a great year with 21 goals and 19 assists and was 4th in scoring among defensemen. Congratulations  Alex and Brock!


Mid Atlantic Division Semi Finals Schedule

Game 1 vs Renegades  Fri. Mar. 15th   8:50pm

Game 2 at Renegades  Sat. Mar. 16th  6:00pm

** Game 3 vs Renegades Sun. Mar. 17th 11:45am  


By Joe Sindoni

Staff Writer

Play by Play Announcer