BREWSTER, NY - After sitting at the top of the South Conference standings for the majority of the season, the Philadelphia Revolution cranked things up in the playoffs on their way to winning the 19U Elite Division Championship. The Revolution were a perfect 5-0-0 in the postseason.
Last weekend, Philadelphia knocked off the Philadelphia Jr. Flyers, Hartford Jr. Wolfpack, and the Brewster Bulldogs, earning themselves a spot in the Elite Finals. For their opponent, the Boston Jr. Rangers, their path wasn't as clear, but their history in the playoffs made them an opponent to keep an eye on. Last season it was the Rangers sweeping their way through the Round Robin stage, and then the Elite Finals against the Boston Bandits. This time around, it was Philadelphia's turn.
While the word 'sweep' gives the series a feeling of dominance, that wasn't the case in this year's Elite Finals. Each game was a one-goal contest with Game 1 needing overtime to determine a winner.
In Game 1, the two teams exchanged a pair of goals in the opening frame, heading into the break tied up 2-2. From there Philadelphia got a pair in the 2nd period, and Boston got a pair in the 3rd period, sending the game to overtime. With hockey, it seems like overtime in the playoffs either ends very quickly or it takes a long time to determine a winner. Friday night's extra frame was a quick one, as Luke Aquaro ended things just 3:26 into overtime.
A quick turnaround brought the teams back to Brewster Ice Arena for Game 2 on Saturday night. The scoring patterns showed up again in Game 2, as Philadelphia jumped out to a 3-0 lead, and then the Rangers began mounting their comeback. Boston got to within a goal, but Anthony Bench's tally early in the 3rd period proved to be the difference as the Revolution held on for a 4-3 victory.
A number of players shined brightly in the Elite Finals, but Blake Hallman stood out with his 2 goals and 6 assists. Hallman's eight-point weekend earned him TSR Hockey Top Performer honors for the series.
Congratulations to the Philadelphia Revolution on winning the 19U Elite Division Championship, and to the Boston Jr. Rangers on a phenomenal season.