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EHL Champs: Boston Jr Rangers

By Kyle McKenna - EHL Beat Writer, 03/28/21, 6:00PM EDT


Rangers Defeat Defending Champs in Dramatic OT Finish

West Chester, PA – The New Hampshire Avalanche and the Boston Jr. Rangers faced-off in the Eastern Hockey League Frozen final, and both teams did not disappoint. Boston officially won the 2020-21 EHL Frozen Final after defeating the New Hampshire Avalanche by a score of 3-2 in overtime.

How We Got There

After the Avs established an offensive presence and applied pressure in Boston’s end during the first period, a shot from the point was deflected in by Avalanche forward Andrew Clifford at the 11:29 mark. While New Hampshire goaltender George McMichael was stellar between the pipes, team captain Chris Aarons helped the Avs earn another tally.

The Clifton Park, NY native skated into the Jr. Rangers zone on the near-side boards and threw a puck towards the direction of Boston’s net which was then deflected in by Sami Hakkarainen. For Hakkarainen, it marked his 10th point of the postseason (4g-6a).

The Comeback

Yet, the Jr. Rangers’ non-stop pressure on the offensive of the puck was just too much for New Hampshire to handle. The Jr. Rangers not only outshot New Hampshire (11-6) in the third period but netted two goals.

Boston’s Nathan Young scored on the power play after he took a shot from the point while the Jr. Rangers screened McMichael at the 12:00 mark of the period. Less than eight minutes later, team captain Connor Bizal also netted a power-play goal after receiving a cross-ice pass just in side the left hash mark.

The Winner

At first, it seemed that the Avs might take home a third consecutive championship – but Boston goaltender Nathan Mueller had other ideas. The masked man recorded a few key saves after New Hampshire controlled most of the play for the first half of the 20:00 overtime frame.

With 7:00 left in overtime, Jr. Rangers forward Johnny Malandruccolo beat McMichael five-hole on a breakaway. Malandruccolo received a stretch pass at the opposing blue line and the rest was history.

The title marks the Jr. Rangers first-ever EHL championship, and second occasion that the final was decided in overtime. Additionally, Bizal was awarded the Frozen Finals Most Valuable Player.

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The EHL's Joe Bertagna presents Jr Rangers Captain Connor Bizal with the MVP award.