The NCDC kicked off its 2023-24 season on Friday, Sept. 22. Here is a summary of the action.
South Shore Kings 5, Northern Cyclones 1
Xavier Vaillancourt and Culin Wilson each scored two goals, and both were part of a quick three-goal explosion early in the third period. Seventh-year USPHL veteran Anthony Dalessio scored the first goal of the NCDC season at 16:51 of the second before Vaillancourt tied it up. Then, he, Michael Minchello and Wilson scored goals between 8:19 and 8:57 of the third. Wilson tacked on one final goal later in the third. Ryan Keyes stopped 22/23 for South Shore, while Premier National Champion goaltender Jeffrey Fillion stopped 34 of 38 – including all 28 he saw in the first two periods – before Paul Dalessio finished the game with 10/11.
Rockets Hockey Club 3, Jersey Hitmen 0
Chace Hale stopped all 40 shots he faced for the first shutout of the new NCDC season, and the Rockets got goals from Aiden Ryan, Jonas Dobnig and Lachlan Gibson (the last also assisted by Hale).
P.A.L. Jr. Islanders 9, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights 2
The Jr. Islanders, filled with many returning members of their 2023 Dineen Cup team, strung wins together between spring and fall to start the new season 1-0. Newcomer (and NCDC veteran) Nick Bevilacqua stopped 43 of 45 Knights shots, while the Jr. Isles got multi-goal performances from returneeds Carter Hanrahan (2-3-5) and Heikki Virtanen (2-2-4), while fellow Dineen Cup champ Ty Broad posted a 1-3-4 line.
Idaho Falls Spud Kings 5, Rock Springs Grizzlies 1
The Spud Kings’ Prestyn Carter stopped 31 of 32, while Mirko Fernandez-Pisanu made his name known quickly with a 2-1-3 line. Two Spud Kings promoted from their former Premier team also got goals, as George Goodwin had a four-point night (1-3-4) and Matteo Mitrovic posted a 1-1-2 line. Mitrovic scored the Spud Kings’ historic first NCDC goal and Kaleb Pitman had the same for Rock Springs.
Pueblo Bulls 5, Utah Outliers 2
Five different goal-scorers posted G’s for the Pueblo Bulls in their NCDC debut, but it was Utah’s David Mnatsakanyan who got the scoring started in this match-up. Nate Farrell, Eddie Paulissian, Henry Vest, Balasz Hiezl and former Premier Bulls player Thomas Soucy all scored goals for the victors and Ryan Mitchell stopped 21/23 for the win.
Provo Predators 2, Ogden Mustangs 1 (OT)
The first OT game of the season and first-ever in the Mountain Division went to the Predators, as Mathieu Fournier scored the game-winner just 11 seconds into the extra session. Ogden’s Payton Struck scored the first goal with 10 seconds left in the first period. No one scored in the second before Ekam Dhaliwal tied it at 17:03 of the third period. Both goalies were standouts – Provo’s Michael Polston stopped 36/37 and Ogden’s Vladislav Bryzgalov (son of former NHLer Ilya Bryzgalov) stopped 39/41.