MARLBORO, Mass. — The 2021-22 National Bound Massachusetts Hockey State Championships recently wrapped up at the New England Sports Center. Fifty-three Tier I and Tier II teams from around the state competed for the right to represent the Bay State at the U.S. National Championship events being held in Michigan for the 15, 16, 18-Tier I divisions, 16- Tier II, and California for 18 Tier II in the spring.
In Tier I, the Boston Jr. Eagles defeated the upstart North Suburban Wings in the championship game played Nov. 14, by a 4-1 score. Kent Hughes, Paul Cannata and Neil Paterson’s squad has been ranked near the top of the 16-U national pecking order throughout the fall, and have impressive skill and depth in both 2005 and 2006 birth years.
Todd Langlais’ Wings team (with Dennis Nigro and Frank Vana) was profiled by New England Hockey Journal last week as a club on the rise, and they didn’t disappoint, playing hard and bringing a smart, gritty brand of hockey with contributions throughout the lineup to beat some quality competition for the right to take on the Junior Eagles.
Although the Wings came up short, the mix of prep and public high school players earned a lot of respect for the way they came together for their best shot at one of the best teams in the country.
We put together a group of underrated players representing both '05 and '06 birth years who played well over the weekend competition. The Junior Eagles will travel to Rochester, Mich. (along with their 18-U counterparts) to play for the USA Hockey Tier I National Championships March 30-April 4.