WALPOLE – It was a worthwhile trip to the 2014 Chowder Cup for Wildcats Elite. After posting a perfect 3-0 record in the tournament’s opening round, the team navigated their way through a difficult playoff bracket to capture the Jr. A Elite Division title with a 3-2, come-from-behind victory over the Orleans Express on Sunday at the Rodman Arena in Walpole.
As soon as the puck dropped, Sunday had the makings of being Orleans’ day. After wins over Metro East, Boston Generals Jr. A, CD Raiders 1 and Quebec Prospects to advance to the finals, they had amassed a 2-0 lead over the Wildcats all of 1:54 in, goals coming from Derek Sheppard and Zach Pease. That, however, is where the noted highlights ended as the Express ran out of steam.
The rally was on for the Wildcats at 11:48 when Adam Tracey notched a shorthanded goal to get his side on the board at 2-1. Shortly thereafter, in the blink of an eye, the game was tied, Jake Ahlgren scoring just 31-seconds later to make it 2-2 at 12:19.
From there, the teams battled scoreless until Mike Coyne broke the deadlock with a goal at 20:12 to give the Wildcats their first lead of the game, but the last one they needed in the tournament. The Wenatchee Wild (NAHL) product’s goal stood as the final one to be scored in the 2014 Chowder Cup and as the game-winner in the Jr. A Elite Division championship game.
Ahlgren (1G, 2A) and Wildcats defensemen Chris Jones (3A) led the championship game in scoring, each accumulating three points.