WNY Hockey Prospects

Four WNY Players Lead CT Wolfpack to 18U National Title

For the better part of the last week teams from all across the United States stepped on to the ice at The Pepsi Center in Amherst, NY to decide who would be crowned Tier I National Champions for the 14U, 16U & 18U age groups. After the Buffalo Jr. Sabres 18U lost a hard fought battle to national powerhouse Shattuck-St. Mary’s in the Quarterfinals, the only Western New York Hockey Prospects remaining were four players from the Connecticut Wolfpack 18U team. This morning at 10:30 A.M. those players and their teammates took the ice to face the New Jersey Avalanche for the Tier I 18U National Championship.

The Wolfpack roster has four players with local connections in Max Kaufman (Pittsford, NY) Eric Benshadle (Buffalo, NY) Jake Smith (East Amherst, NY) and Ben Sharf (Williamsville, NY). The Connecticut Wolfpack roster is composed of New England Prep School players with Kaufman (Kent School), Smith (Choate-Rosemary Hall) and Benshadle and Sharf (Loomis-Chaffee) all playing prep hockey this season.

The Wolfpack was led by Kaufamn (1G & 5A) and Sharf (3G & 3A) who are committed to Vermont and Colgate respectively.  The team largely led by center Vimal Sukumaran, a Providence College commit who’s 3 goals and 4 assists were good for 7 points in 5 games, leading the Wolfpack in scoring.  Sukumaran had two goals and one assist in the final game including the game winner in overtime.  Also scoring big goals over the tournament, Benshadle finished with 3 goals and 1 assist for 4 points and Smith with two goals in five games.

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