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Bears capture 2015 College Open title

WALPOLE – The first piece of championship hardware handed out at the 2015 Chowder Cup went to Bears Hockey. They took the College Open division title with a 3-1 win over Boston Generals Midwest on Sunday’s finale at Rodman Arena in Walpole.

After going 2-0-1 during opening round play, the Bears bettered that mark by going 4-0 throughout Sunday’s playoffs, scoring wins over QJHA Harvard Red, CD Brockville Red and FCA Hockey Red en route to their date with the Generals in the finals. The three playoff wins coming by a combined score of 12-2.

The Generals captured the College Open division title in the 2014 Chowder Cup and were well on their way to repeating that feat. They entered their final set with the Bears a perfect 6-0 on the week, averaging just one goal against and more than six goals scored per contest.

Perfection, however, remained unattainable. The Bears never trailed in the final contest.

Derek Britner put the Bears in front with his third of the day just 3:04 after puck drop. The Generals did come back to tie the game on a Mike Armstrong score at 10:20, but they were also the team to blink next, Zach Giuttari scoring at 15:49 for the 2-1 Bears lead.

This time it was a lead they did not give back, but rather furthered when Matt Creamer recorded the second of his game-high two points, an empty net goal at 29:23 that finalized the 3-1 championship win.

For the their efforts, Creamer along with General forwards Jake Stella and Thomas Tresca were tabbed as All-Tournament forward selections for the College Open division. Armstrong and the Bears’ Jacob Bryson comprised the All-Tournament blue line tandem, while Bears netminder and Phillips Exeter product Joe Lazzaro was chosen as All-Tournament Goaltender.

Jake Pappalardo did not have any points in Sunday’s championship finale, but with five points (3G, 2A) during the three opening round games and an impressive seven goals in Sunday’s earlier games, the Bears forward was award the 2015 Chowder Cup’s College Open Division All-Tournament MVP.