The New England Stars faced off against the Cape Cod Islanders in Round 1 of the North American 3 Hockey League Playoffs in a best of 3 series which started Friday night. It would take all 3 games to decide a victory between these two teams.
The first game was set for Friday, March 17th, at 6:30 PM at Skate 3. A scoreless first would lead to Brandon Hammner scoring just 2:36 into the 2nd. His goal was assisted by Michael Lempiainen and Aidan Conlon. Cape Cod would respond with a power play goal just over a minute later. Ryan Paul would regain the lead for the Stars with a follow up goal just 0:30 after Cape Cod’s. His goals as assisted by Brandon Hammner and Zach Cormier. The Stars would extend their lead to 2 with a goal 10:44 into the 2nd by Michael Lempiainen, assisted by Nolan Arbuckle and Ryan Paul. The Stars would strike again 13:07 into the 3rd period on the power play. Tim Paige registered the goal with assists going to Michael Lempiainen and Nolan Arbuckle. Cape Cod would respond with a power play goal of their own 17:26 into the 3rd. Brandon Hammner would secure the game 1 win with an empty netter en route to a 5-2 victory. Sage Broda got the win in net stopping 18 of 20 shots faced.
Game 2 was scheduled for 12:30 PM on Saturday, March 18th, in Falmouth. Michael Lempiainen would keep his scoring touch going getting the Stars on the board first, 11:26 into the first period. His goal was assisted by Derek Flynn and Ryan Paul. Cape Cod would tie the game at 1 a piece just seconds before the end of the 1st. Cole Archambeault would regain the lead for New England with a late 2nd period goal, assisted by Ian Gately and Aidan Conlon. Cape Cod would score early in the 3rd which would be enough to force overtime. Cape Cod would eventually pull out the victory with a goal 6:47 into the overtime period. Dom Lamanno turned away 34 of 37 shots faced for New England.
A forced game 3 would have the two teams returning to Skate 3 Arena on Sunday, March 19th, at 1:50 PM. The Stars would once again open up the scoring with a goal 3:15 into the 1st by Ryan Paul, coming on the powerplay. His goal was assisted by Tim Paige and Ian Gately. The Stars would extend their lead to 2 with another power play goal just under a minute late. This time it would be Ian Gately finding the back of the next, with assists going to Brandon Hammner and Ryan Paul. Tyson Gudaitis would stretch the lead to 3 with a goal 17:54 into the first period, assisted by Cole Archambeault and Nolan Arbuckle. The Stars would go up 4-0 with a goal 1:29 into the 2nd by Ryan Paul, assisted by Alex Pilatsky and Brandon Hammner. Cape Cod would gain some momentum with 2 goals before the end of the period. The 3rd period would be all New England with a goal 13:48 into the period by Nick Johnson, assisted by Tyson Gudaitis and Nolan Arbuckle. Ryan Gauvin would wrap up the scoring with a goal 15:18 into the 3rd, assisted by Michael Lempiainen en route to a 6-2 victory. Sage Broda got the win in net stopping 33 of 35 shots.
“It was a great weekend. We are very proud of the way we played and we earned the series win. It was not easy and the adversity we faced will serve us well in the next round. Playoffs are the best time to play and we will be hungry for more this upcoming weekend” – Head Coach Darryl Green
A tremendous game and series played by both teams. A congratulations goes out to the Cape Cod Islanders on a very successful and hard fought season! The Stars advance to Round 2 of the North American 3 Hockey League Playoffs. They will take on the Long Beach Sharks in a best of 3 series starting on Friday, March, 24th at 8:30 PM at Long Beach Municipal Arena. Game 2 will also be away at 7:30 PM. If a game 3 is necessary, the two teams will return to Skate 3 on Sunday, March 26th for a 4:30 PM start. All Stars games can be watched live on Hockey TV!