2015 Boys Showcase Championship Game Recap
Team South Florida found itself at 2-2 after its first four games of the 2015 HNIB Boys Major Showcase, and in Game 5, was trailing North Shore 2-0 midway through the third period. A loss would pretty much have ended South Florida’s playoff hopes, after reaching the title game in both 2013 (that they went on to win) and 2014.
The team somehow came together, though, and pulled out a 3-2 win against North Shore. The victory revitalized South Florida, which proceeded to run the table en route to the 2015 Showcase title.
In the championship game, South Florida used its strong defensive game, and opportunistic offense to blank previously unbeaten Middlesex/Merrimack, 3-0.
The win came on the heels of playoff wins over Philadelphia (3-1 in the quarterfinals) and unbeaten South Shore/RI (6-1 in the semifinals).
Against Middlesex/Merrimack, Paul Paduano (Pembroke Pines, FL), one of the Showcase’s MVPs, gave South Florida a 1-0 lead midway through the first period, assisted by Costa Pizanis (Timonium, MD) and Mason Babbidge (Owens Cross Roads, AL).
In the second period, two goals within a span of 1:15 pushed South Florida‘s lead to 3-0 and put Middlesex/Merrimack in a hole it would be unable to climb out of.
Alex Garcia (Boca Raton, FL) made it 2-0 at 1:20, off assists from Cam Berube (Haverhill, MA) and Stefano Mallardi (Davie, FL). And at 2:35, Chris Melendez (Miami Springs, FL) upped the ante to 3-0. Ryan Kushay (Loxahatchee, FL) and Ben Barton (Kenai, AK) were credited with assists on the goal.
From there, South Florida‘s strong defensive play took over, minimizing scoring attempts on goalies Joey Halstrom (Fort Collins, CO) and Noah Brennen (Wellington, FL), who stopped all the shots that came their way.
South Florida finished the tournament with an overall record of 7-2-0, while Middlesex/Merrimack ended up at 7-1-1.