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    Former Elmira Jr. Enforcer Rogers Commits To St. Cloud State

    By Joshua Boyd / USPHL.com 11/26/2021, 3:00pm EST

    The United States Premier Hockey League congratulates former Elmira Jr. Enforcer Jack Rogers, as he has made his NCAA commitment to St. Cloud State University. Rogers played last season with the Jr. Enforcers, scoring 47 points in 39 USPHL Premier regular season games last season. He also added seven goals and 10 points in seven playoff games, including the Jr. Enforcers’ appearance at the USPHL Premier Nationals in their first year of existence. 

    Rogers, who currently plays Tier II hockey in Manitoba, said he started talking to the St. Cloud State Huskies staff in October. 

    “The coaching staff really like my speed and the way I play with pace,” said Rogers, a 2002-born native of East Northport, N.Y. “They also love the edge I play with and compete level I bring to practice and games.” 

    St. Cloud State University has become a powerful player in the NCAA ranks, making it all the way to the Frozen Four final last year, where the Huskies fell to the University of Massachusetts. Overall, the Huskies have reached the National Tournament 14 times in the 22 years from the 1999-2000 season to 2020-21. 

    “St. Cloud is a first class hockey program from top to bottom. In my opinion what really puts them ahead of the pack are the staff members in all areas and what they do for their players,” said Rogers. “I was able to visit the school and see not only the hockey side of things but also life as a student. Everything was top-tier.” 

    Prior to his jump this year to Canadian Tier-II hockey, Rogers was thrilled with his single season in Elmira and paid tribute to all of the coaches and the organization overall. 

    “Last season was definitely a strange one because of all the different leagues shutting down and all of the restrictions. However we definitely made the most of it in Elmira,” said Rogers. “We had a great group of guys with a great coaching staff and turned it into a pretty successful year for a first year organization.”

    The Jr. Enforcers’ entry into the National Championships kicked off with a win over the No. 1 overall seed, the Metro Jets, illustrating just how powerful the inaugural Elmira squad was, and how much Rogers benefited from being part of the team - and the team benefited from Rogers’ contributions as well.  

    “I don’t think there was a part of my game that didn’t improve last year. Coaches Cody Murphy, Jamie Hill and Glen Patterson ran amazing practices throughout the entire year,” Rogers added. “They put together a perfect mix of player development and team structure into each practice. They definitely helped prepare me to have a successful season this year and in the future.”

    To help craft that future, Rogers expects to continue working towards his ultimate goal of being a regular in Huskies lineups for four years. 

    “I am excited to continue to get stronger and improve my game as I move forward in my junior career,” said Rogers. “Nothing changes for me. I will continue to take it day by day and stay on my development path.” 

     

    Charlotte Rush National Champion Goaltender Battisti Commits To SUNY-Canton

    By Joshua Boyd / USPHL.com 11/26/2021, 12:15pm EST

    David Battisti takes what his friends and former teammates say very seriously. So, when former Charlotte Rush teammate Sam Martin, now playing for the State University of New York at Canton, began talking with Battisti about potentially joining the Canton Roos in 2022, Battisti listened closely to the sales pitch. 

    “I stayed with Sam when I went on my visit,” said Battisti. “He’s been trying to convince me for a while, and he did a good job of it.”

    Of course, the SUNY-Canton coaching staff also had something to do with this whole process. They began talking with the 2001-born Victor, N.Y., resident last year just before the USPHL Premier Nationals in Chesapeake, Va. The talks continued and on Wednesday, Nov. 24, it was announced that Battisti had committed to SUNY-Canton. 

    The Canton staff then watched as Battisti and his Rush teammates pushed their way past nearly every team they faced (taking just one round robin tie along the way) to win the Championship. 

    “I began talking with them last year just before Nationals, and then just a little bit throughout the summer, and it started back up again before I went back to Charlotte this year,” said Battisti, who currently stands at 5-4-1 on the season for the Rush. His fourth win was a 4-3 victory against the Metro Jets, which came into the Islanders Hockey Club Showcase at 20-0. 

    “They said they like how quick I am on my feet,” said Battisti. “I’m a smaller guy, so I have to be a quick goalie, and they like how I play the puck a lot and I’m aggressive.”

    Battisti said there was a lot that he liked about SUNY-Canton as well, so the interest remained strong on both sides. 

    “I love the great hockey facilities they have, and it’s a very good culture there that I’m excited about to be a part of,” said Battisti. “Everything’s clean and modern on campus, the way it looks. That played a big part in where I wanted.” 

    Battisti plans to major in Business, in order to help with the family business, Tambe Electric Inc., an electrician services company based in Victor. 

    “Going into business will help in getting into the family company, which my Grandpa owns, and everyone in my family works there,” he added. 

    Battisti started out playing locally in the Rochester area, skating in the USPHL 16U Division for two seasons with the former Rochester Jr. Monarchs, and then he continued with the Jr. Monarchs into his 18U year, while splitting with McQuaid Jesuit High School. From McQuaid, he joined the Rush last year and put together an outstanding 25-6-1 record during the regular season, along with sparkling a 1.84 goals against average and .938 save percentage. 

    “I can’t say enough good things about Charlotte, not even just the hockey aspect of it, but Charlotte prepares you for the real world,and  becoming a man,” said Battisti. “There’s a lot of success and a lot of pressure there. A loss on a weekend is not acceptable, but no one really gets nervous when we lose a couple because we know we’ll come right back with wins.”

    Most of the time, Battisti just works with the coaching staff led by Troy Schwab, which also includes General Manager Ryan Cruthers and Trevor Jewell, the former head coach now Director of Hockey Operations and Player Development. New this year, the Rush also brought in NHL alum Jean-Sebastian Aubin as a goaltending coach. 

    “I’ve met with him a couple times, and he comes down from Pittsburgh once a month to work with the goaltenders,” said Battisti. 

    This year, Battisti is still working to improve to become an even better goaltender for the Roos of the future. 

    “For me, it’s really just the consistency aspect,” said Battisti. “I think I was very good last year, every game, I felt like I gave the same. It’s different a little bit this year, so I just want to make sure I’m giving the team the same guy in net every game that they want. I’m trying to get my shoulders over the puck a little more, just to find any way to make myself bigger.” 

    The Rush are certainly pushing for a repeat National Championship this year, as they certainly enjoyed the experience of winning (along with their Elite brethren) this past March. 

    “Obviously, that was our goal all year. It was a marathon for us. We kept winning and winning and we let that roll into Nationals. We had that feeling that we were going to do it, then after we won, it was the best feeling ever,” said Battisti. “We didn’t do it just for us, but for our alumni. That 2019-20 team felt like they were going to win [before the 2020 Nationals were canceled], and a lot of them came down to watch us. We were really playing to win for two years worth of Rush teams.” 

    The USPHL congratulates David Battisti, his family, the Charlotte Rush and SUNY-Canton for his commitment. 

    The USPHL Wishes Everyone A Safe And Happy Thanksgiving

    By USPHL Staff 11/25/2021, 9:30am EST

    All of us here at the United States Premier Hockey League wish all of our players, families and everyone beyond a safe and Happy Thanksgiving! 

    @usphl

    ##HappyThanksgiving from all of us at the ##USPHL and also on behalf of @thedankshow! Safe travels and best wishes for a great day to all!

    ♬ Thank You - Kehlani

    NCDC Players Of The Week: Nov. 23, 2021

    By Joshua Boyd / USPHL.com 11/23/2021, 4:15pm EST

    Includes Islanders Hockey Club Showcase NCDC Recap

    South Division

    Forward: Alex Dameski, Jersey Hitmen

    Dameski (‘01/Oakville, Ont.) set up both goals that the Hitmen scored in a close loss against the Northern Cyclones, and then posted two goals - one on the power play - and one more assist for five points in two games against the Twin City Thunder to leave New England with a 7-1 victory. 

     

    Defense: Mika Petersen, Connecticut Jr. Rangers

    Local Stamford product Petersen (‘03) racked up a couple of assists - one in each of the Rangers’ wins against the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs and the Northern Cyclones. Petersen, a veteran of the 2020-21 Rangers who rejoined this month, has four assists already in five games. 

     

    Goaltender: Devin Stephens, Connecticut Jr. Rangers

    Stephens (‘03/Trenton, Mich.) is a first-year NCDC player who had an outstanding weekend at the IHC Showcase, going 3-0, with a 1.66 goals against average and a .957 save percentage. All told, he made 113 saves on 118 shots. He started with a 47-save performance in their 3-1 win against the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs. From there, he went up against the Cyclones and helped them get a decisive 7-3 victory with 30 saves on 33 shots. In the end, against the host Islanders on Sunday, he made 36 saves on 37 shots - all but six of those coming in the second and third of an eventual 5-1 victory.


     

    North Division 

    Forward: Jake Bernadet, Islanders Hockey Club 

    Bernadet (‘03/Burlington, Vt.) was burning hot for the IHC as they played four games in six days between Nov. 16 and Nov. 21. He scored six goals 2-1-2-1 in that order of the four games, and added an assist in the Nov. 16 5-3 win against the Boston Advantage. He has an active five-game, eight-point streak going into December. 

     

    Defense: Charlie Killian, Boston Advantage

    Killian (‘02/Mendota Heights, Minn.) helped the Advantage to a big win over the South Shore Kings on Nov. 19, and over the course of three games, he posted three of his eight total assists on the season. He also led the Advantage in ice time with an average of over 30 minutes in each game. 

     

    Goaltender: Mitchell Day, New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs

    Day (‘02/Kirkwood, Mo.) was the big man in net during the IHC Showcase recently, picking up two wins and was outstanding making 52 saves (on 55 shots) in his only loss to the Connecticut Jr. Rangers, who went 3-0 at the event. In the first of three games, he stopped 29 of 31 to defeat the defending Dineen Cup Champion Jersey Hitmen. Then, after the big show against Connecticut, he made 25 stops on 27 shots for the win against the Philadelphia Hockey Club. 

     

    Islanders Hockey Club Showcase Recap

    South Division

    With some teams playing three games, some two (including away from the showcase), the month of November ended just with the same situation in the South as existed a week earlier on Jan. 16 - with four teams tied for first in points, all with 27. 

    The Jersey Hitmen picked up a pair of points in winning their final game of the showcase, 7-1, after earlier losses to the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs and Northern Cyclones..

    The P.A.L. Jr. Islanders and Rockets Hockey Club split their weekend - so there's that. Those two teams also earned just two points apiece to rise to 27 apiece.

    The fourth team in the four-way tie - the Utica Jr. Comets - won their IHC Showcase opener - a 2-1 win against the Twin City Thunder. They were unable to earn any further points in losses to the Islanders Hockey Club and Northern Cyclones. Two points over the 25 they came in with equals, you guessed it, 27. 

    The Connecticut Jr. Rangers - as aforementioned above - are the current hottest team in the South winning three in a row to stand now one point back of the four-way tie. 

    The Philadelphia Hockey Club sandwiched a 5-4 shootout win over the host Islanders Hockey Club between one-goal losses to the Twin City Thunder and New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs. 

     

    North Division

    The Boston Junior Bruins had one chance (i.e., one scheduled game) to prove their ability to hold onto first place, and they did just that with a 6-0 shutout of the Boston Advantage. 

    Meantime, there's a new second place team in the form of the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs, who leapfrogged the South Shore Kings into the second spot. Coming off two losses the prior weekend, the Monarchs only looked forward and defeated the Jersey Hitmen, 4-2, in Game 1 of the entire IHC Showcase on Thursday. They fell in Game 2 to the red-hot Rangers, 3-1, but then rebounded to end November against the Philadelphia Hockey Club with a 3-2 win. 

    The Boston Advantage came back from a 5-3 loss to the Islanders Hockey Club to defeat the South Shore Kings, 7-3, but then came up empty-handed with their loss to the Junior Bruins. With the two points in three games, they were at least able to hold onto third place heading into the break. 

    The loss to the Advantage was the Kings' only action over the last week and for the month of November, in which they played five contests. 

    On the strength of their 3-2 win over the Hitmen and a 4-1 closer against Utica, the Northern Cyclones were able to jump up into fifth place in the North. 

    As the Cyclones jumped up, the Twin City Thunder fell to sixth with just a 4-3 win over Philadelphia on Thursday to take away from their IHC Showcase efforts. 

    The Islanders Hockey Club earned five points in three straight games going back to a 5-3 win over the Advantage on Nov. 16. At their showcase, they took a point from the 5-4 shootout loss to Philadelphia, then earned a 5-4 win over Utica before the Connecticut Jr. Rangers ended their points streak. 

    We'll have a new, full NCDC This Week coming back next Tuesday! Happy Thanksgiving to all. 

    The Florida Eels Premier and Elite teams went out and collected canned goods and other non-perishable food items to help those families not so fortunate in the Fort Myers community with their Thanksgiving dinners.

    The Eels organization also solicited patrons from their Junior games to donate food items in lieu of admission fees to watch games. 

    The Tampa Bay Juniors parents also contributed to the Eels' food drive. 

    "We are very proud of our players who took this endeavor very seriously, recognizing that they are very fortunate in being able to pursue their dreams and goals while there are many in our community not so fortunate," said General Manager Frank Scarpaci. " We estimate the drive accumulated food for approximately 100 families." 

    The NCDC will get into its final games of the month of November this weekend. Eight teams will play at the Islanders Hockey Club Showcase, and others will have traditional home ice games against local opponents. In any event, the NCDC is already fast approaching the halfway mark of the regular season, which will occur on Dec. 10, the second weekend back after the Thanksgiving break. The good thing for those who love watching the NCDC is every game is competitive, players are putting up outstanding individual performances and there’s oh so much more still to come! 

     

    Jersey Hitmen Win Three In A Row, Sweep Rockets

    A sweep of the Interstate 287 rival Rockets Hockey Club over the Nov. 12-13 weekend helped the Hitmen jump into a tie for first place in the South Division, not just with the Rockets, but also with the P.A.L. Jr. Islanders and the Utica Jr. Comets. 

    • The Hitmen have the league’s best offense (4.11 goals per game) and second best defense (2.78 goals against per game). That lines up well with putting the most shots on net (41.33) and giving up the second fewest shots per game (31.56). 

    • Jersey blueline duo Sean Melso and Bentley recruit Brandon Cimino continue to lead the NCDC in defenseman scoring with 21 and 20 points, respectively. Cimino enters the Islanders Hockey Club Showcase on a three-game, four-assist streak. 

    • On Nov. 12, Hitmen newcomer Dominiks Marcinkevics  had a goal and four assists for a league season-high five points, in just his second game since returning to the NCDC after originally playing for the Islanders Hockey Club in 2019-20. In three games, Marcinkevics - twin brother of the team’s leading scorer Patriks Marcinkevics (28 points) - already has 10 points. 

    • Since joining the Hitmen just before Halloween, goalie J.J. Cataldo is 3-0.  

    • Rockets Hockey Club forward Evan Brown has the most points in a currently active point streak, at 15 (6-9-15) in his last eight games. He is also on a five-game multi-point streak, scoring three in a pair and then two points in his last three. 

     

    South Shore Kings Pushing Junior Bruins Atop North Division With Two Straight W’s

    Just as great as the four-way battle for first in the South is the four-way fight for first in the North, with four teams separated by four points. The South Shore Kings’ two-game sweep of their Nov. 12 and 14 games included a 4-1 win over the leading Boston Junior Bruins. The Kings are now just two points out of first in the North, held by the same Junior Bruins. 

    • The Kings give up the third-fewest shots against per game (32.56).

    Daniel Cavanaugh is heating up for the Kings. After posting four points in his first 12 games, Cavanaugh has an active six-game scoring streak with a line of 4-3-7. 

    Jakub Teply, who now has 5-2-7 in his last three games, had the game-winning goals against each of the Monarchs and Junior Bruins. He became the second King this season to register back-to-back GWG’s, after Chikara Hanzawa did so on Oct. 22 and Oct. 28, the latter being the goal that broke the Kings’ all-time NCDC scoring record. 

    • The South Shore Kings’ USPHL Premier goalie Max Macchioni, one of the leaders in wins in the Tier III league, is already 2-0 in the start of his NCDC career. He defeated the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs 5-1, stopping 29 of 30, and then came back this past Sunday against the Junior Bruins and stopped 28 of 31 in the 4-3 victory. 

    • The Junior Bruins’ leading scorer and Holy Cross recruit Joe Solimine made his league-leading 11th power play assist on Easton Ryan’s third period goal that made it 3-3, prior to Teply’s GWG. 

     

    Philadelphia Hockey Club Picks Up Points In Three Straight

    Fourteen of the PHC’s 18 total games have been decided by one goal, including overtimes and shootouts, and the most recent three came against the Connecticut Jr. Rangers and in a home-and-home against the P.A.L. Jr. Islanders (2-0-1). 

    • With four assists on Nov. 7, Chip Hamlett moved into second place on the PHC scoring leaderboard since their 2020-21 inaugural season. He is tied at 27 points with teammate Frank Konopasek, who had two goals during the recent 2-0-1 stretch. Last year’s leading scorer Jaxon Mase is the all-time leader with 30 points in 38 games in 2020-21. 

    • Hamlett’s four assists on Nov. 7 put him in a three-way tie with Dominiks Marcinkevics and Jersey’s Will Traeger for the league season-high in that category. It also gave Hamlett the all-time lead for PHC assists in the NCDC with 27. He entered this season already as the PHC’s all-time top-scoring defenseman after last year’s inaugural season and remains in the lead by a healthy amount. 

    • Swedish import goaltender Jacob Torgner is tied for second in minutes played in the NCDC with 854, and he is fourth overall in save percentage at .921. 

     

    Connecticut Jr. Rangers Jump Back Above .500 With Points In Three Straight

    The last thing the four teams tied for first in the South need right now is for the Connecticut Jr. Rangers to get hot. They’re not 100 percent on fire, with just a 1-0-1-1 record in their last trio of games against Utica, but that three-game point streak has them certainly within striking distance of the top group. 

    • After 19 games played, the Jr. Rangers remain the only NCDC team to have not allowed a single shorthanded goal against them this season.

    • Second-year Jr. Rangers goalie Derek Manzella stopped a league season-high 50 shots (of 54 total) before falling 5-4 in a shootout to Utica on Nov. 13. 

    Andrei Levushkin earlier this season set the Jr. Rangers NCDC mark for goals and now leads with 40. He is on a current eight-game point streak, with a 6-5-11 line. That was capped off by a season-best two goals and one assist in a Nov. 14 6-4 win against Utica. 

    Bobby Barrasso had an impressive weekend in Utica, scoring four goals - one in two of the games, and two in the middle game on Saturday, and one shorthanded. Barrasso, who has 10 goals and 14 points this season, scored four goals in 26 games in his first year with the Rangers in 2020-21. 

    • Utica’s Walter Baumann is on a six-game scoring streak having put up 3-5-8 over that stretch. Teammate John Gutt, second in NCDC assists with 19, posted five helpers and one goal over the weekend against Connecticut. 

     

    Around The Boards In The NCDC

    Prior to their loss to Philly, the P.A.L. had defeated the PHC by a score of 3-2 on Saturday. 

    • For the P.A.L., the most recent goal scored by Tyler Crist was both the league leader as his 15th, and also his league-leading fourth game-winning goal of the season. It was the sixth for his career, one back of the Islanders’ all-time leader Ryan Willett, who had seven. 

    • Crist’s P.A.L. teammate Spencer Korona shares the distinction of being both the league’s leading scorer with 30 points in 19 games, and also having broken the Jr. Islanders’ all-time scoring record, currently at 116 points in 152 career games. 

    After falling to the Boston Junior Bruins 1-0 on Nov. 12, the Twin City Thunder came back Saturday to beat the Monarchs in New Hampshire, 6-4. 

    Devon Mastay, a defenseman for the USPHL Premier’s top team, the 17-0 Metro Jets out of Detroit made his NCDC debut with Twin City against the Monarchs and earned his first point, assisting on Sam Stitz’ game-winning goal. #USPHLAdvancement In Action! 

    • New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs forward Tanner Hartman has picked up five goals and eight assists for 13 points in  a league-leading nine straight games. His teammate Aidan Curran - the Monarchs’ all-time-leading scorer - hit his 100th point with his most recent, his third of three assists against Twin City on Nov. 13. Curran has 12 points in his last seven straight games. 

    After falling to the Advantage, 4-3, on Friday, the Northern Cyclones rebounded with a 6-3 win over the Islanders Hockey Club on Saturday. 

    Michael Felsing, a 2003-born Pittsburgh native, made a great debut by posting three points in his first two Cyclones games last weekend. 

    • Charlie Ross, picked up in trade with the Monarchs in late October, earned his fourth straight assist on Graham Broadfoot’s Saturday game-winner. 

    Bouncing back from the 6-3 defeat against the Northern Cyclones, the Islanders scored their second 4-3 win against the Boston Advantage in the month of November on Tuesday. They had earlier won 4-3 against their North Division foes in OT on November 4. 

    • The Islanders’ Andrew Carmody leads the NCDC in game-winning goals by a defenseman with three and he added a game-winning assist on Johan Rosenquist’s goal on Tuesday. He had scored the OT GWG in the Nov. 4 win against the Advantage.  

    Dylan Kruss made 28 saves on 31 shots for his first IHC win after being acquired recently from the Jersey Hitmen, with whom he started the season. 

    • The Islanders snapped what had been a tie for the Advantage’s longest points streak in their first season and almost a half in the NCDC. They had gone 3-0-2-0 heading into the game against the Isles. 

    • The Advantage’s Manny Sanchez registered two straight three-point games with a goal and two assists in back-to-back games on Nov. 9 and 12. With three 3-point games on the season, Sanchez’ 19 points in his first 17 games equaled his total 2020-21 output of 19 points in 41 games.  

    Cade Helmer is enjoying a league-leading active five-game goal and point streak, posting seven goals and four assists for 11 points. 

     

    Upcoming Action 

    Rockets Hockey Club at P.A.L. Jr. Islanders, Nov. 18 and 20 - The first meeting of the season between these South Division foes sees the Rockets hold a slim lead of 12-7-1-0 in the all-time series. 

    • New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs vs. Jersey Hitmen, Nov. 18 - The first NCDC game at the Islanders Hockey Club Showcase, beginning at 3:45 p.m. Hitmen defeated the Monarchs 5-2 on Oct. 4 in the BJB Shootout. 

    Twin City Thunder vs. Philadelphia Hockey Club, Nov. 18 - Meeting at the IHC Showcase, these two teams split their two Hub City Tampa games in 2020-21, their only prior meetings so far.

    New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs vs. Connecticut Jr. Rangers, Nov. 19 - The Monarchs won 5-2 on Halloween Day to put the all-time series in their favor at 6-4-0-1.  

    • Philadelphia Hockey Club vs. Islanders Hockey Club, Nov. 19 - The Islanders went 2-1 in their three 2020-21 meetings, including PHC’s first-ever NCDC game on Oct. 8, 2020, a 6-3 Islanders win. 

    Boston Advantage at South Shore Kings, Nov. 19 - Outside of the IHC Showcase, these two teams hit the ice for the second time after a 4-3 Advantage victory on Nov. 9. Kings lead the all-time series 4-2-0-0.

    • Twin City Thunder vs. Utica Jr. Comets, Nov. 19 - The first meeting between these two teams for the 2021-22 season sees a current Thunder 5-1-0-0 lead in the all-time series. 

    Jersey Hitmen vs. Northern Cyclones, Nov. 19 - The Hitmen are undefeated in 15 meetings all-time against the Cyclones (with two overtime wins), including their two Hub City Tampa matchups last year. 

    Jersey Hitmen vs. Twin City Thunder, Nov. 20 - The Thunder won the first meeting of the season, 5-3, at the BJB Shootout. The Hitmen narrowly lead the all-time series 4-3-0-0 with a shootout victory. 

    • Philadelphia Hockey Club vs. New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs, Nov. 20 - The Monarchs have a slight 2-1 all-time series lead, as they won earlier this season 4-1 at the Hitmen Classic. 

    • Northern Cyclones vs. Connecticut Jr. Rangers, Nov. 20 - Although the Cyclones have more overall wins in the all-time series at 9-8-0-0, the Rangers’ record of 8-6-2-1 gives them one more point overall in this insanely close matchup. 

    Boston Advantage vs. Boston Junior Bruins, Nov. 20 - Operating outside the Islanders Showcase, these two teams have split their season series so far, both winning one in regulation. 

    Utica Jr. Comets vs. Islanders Hockey Club, Nov. 20 - The first meeting between these foes sees the IHC holding the all-time series lead at 9-5-0-1, going back to the Jr. Comets’ days as the Syracuse Stars. 

    • Northern Cyclones vs. Utica Jr. Comets, Nov. 21 - Utica (and their Stars predecessors) have a one-point edge in the all-time series at 8-7-0-0 all-time. 

    Islanders Hockey Club vs. Connecticut Jr. Rangers, Nov. 21 - The final game of the IHC Showcase is also the final game of November in the NCDC ahead of a two-week Thanksgiving break. 

     

    Reader Notice: The next NCDC This Week will be published on Tuesday, Nov. 30, previewing the return to play after the Thanksgiving break, and will at that time recap action from the Islanders Hockey Club showcase and other games this weekend. The next NCDC Players Of The Week will be published as normal on Tuesday, Nov. 23. 

    The United States Premier Hockey League joins the Wisconsin Rapids Riverkings in congratulating four-year defenseman Jordan Stear, who made USPHL history this past weekend against the Chicago Cougars. Stear recorded his 141st (and 142nd) career assists during the weekend series in Chicago to pass former Cougar Jozef Martancik, who had set the prior record last year at 140 assists. Martancik remains the all-time leading point-scorer with 216 career points. 

    This is not the only record Stear holds, as he entered the season already holding the record for most points by a defenseman in league history - he now has 170 career points and continues to add to that number. 

    He is only 22 games away from the all-time games played record of 171, which is currently held by former Tampa Bay Junior Zack Puterbaugh. He is also just 17 games away from breaking the all-time defenseman games played record of 166 games, held by alumni Francis Young-Menard (Carolina Jr. Hurricanes/Hampton Roads Whalers) and Ben Borreson (Minnesota Mullets). 

    Stear has been one of the top players in the USPHL since joining the league in the 2018-2019 season. He is a strong, skilled defenseman who is willing to put his body on the line for the team. Currently in his fourth season with the Riverkings, he is also a three-year captain.

    “Not only is Jordan a great player, and this is a great accomplishment, but what is just as impressive is that Jordie has never missed a game in his junior career," added Riverkings General Manager/Head Coach Marty Quarters. "His dedication and perseverance is what has helped define the Riverking culture."

    Congratulations and continued best of luck to Jordan Stear as he continues to move up the USPHL Premier leaderboards. 

    The United States Premier Hockey League and the Florida Eels are excited to congratulate former player Demid Podrezov, who is currently playing for Omsk Krylia in the VHL, roughly translating from the Cyrillic as Supreme Hockey League. The VHL is roughly the equivalent of the American Hockey League, as it is the main feeder league for the top Russian pro league, the KHL (Kontinental Hockey League). 

    Currently, Podrezov has played in 18 games for Omsk Krylia and has posted two goals and six assists for eight points to start his professional career. 

    Podrezov arrived in Fort Myers, Florida, in 2018, and he was an immediate impact player for the Florida Eels with 25 goals and 25 assists for 50 points in 43 games. His points per game average improved even in his second season, moving from 1.16 to 1.53, as he produced 46 points in 30 games. And then when you thought he couldn’t be any more productive, he pushed his way to a 71-point season in 41 games, for an average of 1.71 points per game. 

    All told, he finished his final regular season with a career total of 167 points, currently good enough for eighth all-time in the USPHL Premier. His 101 assists are also seventh in Premier history. 

    “He was one of the most dominant players to put on an Eels jersey,” said Eels General Manager Frank Scarpaci. “He was coined ‘Superman’ here by me because he often would literally pick up his team and carry the responsibility on his shoulders to win.”

    Podrezov’s impact on Scarpaci went far beyond the ice, however. 

    “Anyone who knows him knows he will ripen and mature into a major impactful player wherever he is. This kid is a winner and has an insatiable appetite to score. It is in his DNA, he truly loves the game, he wears it in his smile,” said Scarpaci. “We are so proud of him. What a great young man with incredible character. After all, he was and is a Florida Eel.” 

    In terms of his hockey DNA, Deemed is the son of Vadim Podrezov, who played pro hockey in Russia and in the U.S. as well. Vadim has been a European scout for the Florida Panthers since 2000, the same year Demid was born in Muskegon, Mich., while his father was playing his second and final season with the Muskegon Fury before retiring from his playing career. 

    “His role model and mentor was his dad Vadim,” added Scarpaci. 

    In fact, Vadim’s junior career began in 1983 in the same town, Omsk, where Demid is currently playing. Omsk is in southeastern Siberia and is the region’s oil refining and petrochemical center with a population of over 1 million residents. 

    Podrezov originally committed to attend and play for an NCAA Division III team, but elected instead to turn pro in his adopted home country, where he shares dual citizenship between Russia and the U.S. 

    “He had a plethora of NCAA options, but Demid said he had to follow his heart. He felt really strongly about his plans to pursue his KHL goal, and playing in the prestigious Russian Supreme Hockey League [VHL] was his pathway,” added Scarpaci. “He would never take himself out of the lineup. He was a winner and played with a high compete level.”

    The USPHL joins the Florida Eels in congratulating Demid Podrezov on starting his pro hockey career in Russia. 

     

    The United States Premier Hockey League congratulates former New York Aviators player Vladislav Pshenichnikov was able to reach the pinnacle of professional hockey in his homeland of Russia with a call-up to the Kontinental Hockey League, Russia's top pro circuit, on Oct. 13. 

    The 2002-born native of Moscow, Russia, has carved out a fine career for himself early on this season in the MHL (roughly translated to Junior Hockey League), playing for Avto Ekaterinburg, the junior affiliate of the Kontinental Hockey League’s Avtomobilist Ekaterinburg. 

    On Oct. 13, the KHL Avtomobilist team called up Pshenichnikov to the pro team, and he remained on the pro roster between Oct. 13-22. He made his KHL debut on Oct. 13, playing in a 5-4 shootout loss to HK Sochi that day. He returned to the MHL squad with a game on Oct. 26 and has remained there since. So far, Pshenichnikov has played in 17 MHL games with five goals and eight assists for 13 points. 

    Last season, Pshenichnikov played in 22 games for the Aviators, scoring 14 goals and adding 13 assists for 27 points. He had also played in one game last year for the Connecticut Jr. Rangers of the USPHL Premier, scoring two goals and two assists for four points. 

    Pshenichnikov feels deeply indebted to the Aviators and their organization that helped him reach the pinnacle of pro hockey in his native country.

    “I think the Aviator program is really good for players who want to develop and make college leagues. Coach Mike [Stanaway] always tries to help his players grow and play better hockey, he gives good tips on and off the ice,” said Pshenichnikov, in an e-mail to the USPHL. “I personally had a great time while being at the Aviators, met nice people and had a lot of fun. I developed a lot there too because American hockey is much quicker and there is less space to make plays. That made a big difference on my hockey and helped me develop.”

    The start of his involvement with the Ekaterinburg franchise began this past spring. 

    “I started talking to my team at the end of May and I officially signed a deal at the beginning of June,” added Pshenichnikov. “KHL is a top two league in the world and of course the level of hockey here is really high. Teams play quick and systematic hockey. There are some really talented players who could set up plays individually. The most important thing is to do what coach tells you especially for young players.”

    During his call-up to the KHL, Pshenichnikov found himself rubbing shoulders with many NHL alumni like Ryan Spooner, Shane Prince, Nikita Tryamkin and others. It was an education in the dedication to, and love of, the sport that it takes to remain at that level. 

    “Our team has many talented players. We have a lot of forwards who could create plays in the offensive zone. Some of them played in NHL and some had many [years of] experience in KHL,” he added. “Avtomobilist has a lot of foreign players, as well as the head coach [Bill Peters] who had a big career in NHL. I think our team could be really strong this season because we have a lot of potential.”

    In addition to Peters as head coach, Avtomobilist’s KHL team is also coached by assistants and NHL alumni German Titov (658 NHL games) and Igor Ulanov (778 games). 

    With the Avto MHL squad, Pshenichnikov is skating alongside no less than three players who were listed on the NHL Central Scouting Players To Watch List for the 2022 NHL Entry Draft. 

    Best of luck the rest of this season, Vlad! 

    NCDC This Week: Rockets, Monarchs Remain Red Hot

    By Joshua Boyd / USPHL.com 11/09/2021, 7:30pm EST

    November 9, 2021

    Fewer and fewer leaves remain on the trees in the northeastern U.S., and the nights are dipping below freezing - morning frost is becoming commonplace. Welcome to full-on November. As cool as it may be getting from Auburn, Maine, down to Sewell, N.J., there are a few teams who are simply just scorching like it’s mid-August in Florida. 

    The Rockets Hockey Club in the South Division are on a 6-0 run that has their team taking over first place from a P.A.L. Jr. Islanders team that reached an all-time best winning streak of 8-0 before finally taking their first loss in nearly a month on Nov. 4. The Rockets are set to go up against the Jersey Hitmen in a home-and-home series this weekend for the first time since the two teams clashed with the Dineen Cup on the line in the single-elimination Championship Final on March 28, 2021, in Pittston, Pa. That game was won by the Hitmen, 5-2. 

    Up North, it’s the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs making the run for the top, currently held by the Junior Bruins, who have yet to give up their hold on first place. The Monarchs have gone 5-0 to pull up to within two points of the Junior Bruins in second place. The Junior Bruins put up three points on the weekend to give them the slightest edge over the Monarchs. 

    In the South, there are just three points separating first place from fourth place, and only six points separate first from fourth in the North. Every team can beat every team and it is coming up to who brings it every night. Let’s dig in to both the last week of action and what is upcoming over the next seven to eight days. 

     

    Rockets Hockey Club On Season-Best 6-0 Run To Claim South Division Lead

    The Rockets picked up the sweep win over the Utica Jr. Comets with 7-2 and 3-2 victories on Friday and Saturday. They have now won all six of their games going back to Oct. 23, which includes a 3-0 run at the October-ending Beantown Classic. The wins helped them take the points lead in the South, but the P.A.L. Jr. Islanders still lead them by .009 in winning percentage. Their records are very similar, as the Rockets stand with 11-5-1-1 and the Jr. Islanders are at 11-5-0-1. 

    • The Rockets’ 6-0 run is their best since going 7-0 from Jan. 31-Feb. 12 in Hub City Tampa - and that was their second-best streak of last year. They had earlier posted a team record 9-0 run that saw them win all games from their last pre-Hub City game on Jan. 5 through Jan. 22. 

    • Their 10 goals in two games was a season high for tallies against a common opponent in two straight games. 

    • When the Rockets beat Utica in regulation on Saturday, they remained undefeated in regulation in one-goal games at 4-0-1-1. 

    Ryan Schelling, Evan Brown and Evan Pahos each had three-point games in the 7-2 win on Friday, the second time this season that the Rockets had at least three players with three-point nights this season. The other was Oct. 3, when Pahos and Brown (with four points) were joined by Barron Woodring and Johnny Wescoe in hitting the three-point mark. That, coincidentally, was also a 7-2 win for the Rockets, over South Shore at the BJB Shootout. 

    • Brown and Woodring are tied for the third-longest current point streaks in the league. Both have points in each of the last six wins. Brown’s line is 5-5-10, and Woodring is at 4-4-8. 

    • University of Minnesota recruit goalie Geno Pichora is the only goalie in the NCDC with two separate winning streaks of at least three games each. He is currently on a three-game streak and he won four in a row between Oct. 3-9. 

     

    It’s Reigning Wins For New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs 

    The Monarchs defeated the Islanders Hockey Club on Monday for a 5-0 winning streak, one which began with their first Beantown Classic game on Oct. 28 and just kept on keeping on through Nov. 8 and they certainly hope beyond.  

    They’ve already matched their best winning streak of 2020-21, when they won five between Nov. 14 and Dec. 9, 2020. Their all-time best winning streak is eight games, claimed between Oct. 27 and Nov. 15, 2018, when the team was coached by the late, great Ryan Frew, for whom the Monarchs’ home rink was named on Sept. 26. 

    The Monarchs have not sailed through without letting at least two of their opponents off with a point apiece from taking them to a shootout. They won last Friday in the shootout, 3-2, and then they beat the Islanders Hockey Club, 4-1, on Monday. 

    • The Monarchs’ 17 goals in their five-game winning streak is the fewest of any team in the first five games of any winning streak this year. It’s closest to the Junior Bruins’ 18 goals posted on a 5-0 run between Sept. 24 and Oct. 4, but farther behind the Jersey Hitmen’s 25 goals in wins between Oct. 17-30. 

    • When the Monarchs’ Ben Muthersbaugh scored in the shootout on Friday against the Cyclones, that second shootout marker gave him the league lead in that category. 

    • A total of five shootout goals were scored during the Cyclones vs. Monarchs’ four-round one-on-one session - the most of any shootout goals in one game so far this season, beating the three scored by the P.A.L. Jr. Islanders and Monarchs on Oct. 3. That was the scene of Muthersbaugh’s first shootout goal. 

    • In full-on team play, Muthersbaugh’s three goals in three games is tied for the best active goal streak in the NCDC. 

    • The shootout also put the Monarchs in first in that category for this season, with four, ahead of the Cyclones’ three. Four teams in the league still have not had their first shutout of 2021-22. 

    • The Cyclones’ shootout efficiency of 35.3 percent (6 goals on 17 total attempts) also leads the league among teams with at least two outings that go beyond 65 minutes. 

    • The Monarchs are No. 1 in penalty killing with a 90.9 success rate (60-for-66).

    • Monarchs goalie Mitchell Day moved up to second in the league with his eighth win of the season. Not surprisingly, his three shootout victories are also first in the league. He has allowed three shootout goals on 12 shots. 

    Tanner Hartman’s 10 points in seven games is the second longest active scoring streak in the NCDC. The longest belongs to the South Shore Kings' Timothy Heinke, who has 19 points (11-8-19) in his last 12 games. Heinke has only missed the scoresheet once this season. 

     

    Boston Advantage Register Points In Four Straight Games

    The Advantage have put together their second-best points run of the season by going 2-0-2-0 in their last four games. Their best, of course, was a team record 4-0 run assembled between Oct. 15-24. 

    The Advantage played in three games over the last week, starting with a 4-3 OT loss to the Islanders Hockey Club on Nov. 4. They rebounded against the Twin City Thunder, 3-1, on Nov. 6, and then against the South Shore Kings with a 4-3 regulation victory on Nov. 9. 

    • With a goal and an assist against the Kings on Tuesday, Cade Helmer matched Muthersbaugh for best current goal streak at three games (3-2-5 line). 

    Johnny Hammel also has points in three straight (2-1-3). 

     

    Junior Bruins, Northern Cyclones Round Up Three Points Each In Last Pair Of Games

    While the Boston Junior Bruins may be feeling the heat at the top of the North Division, they keep doing what they need to do remain in the pole position. Most recently, they were able to rebound from a 4-1 loss to the Cyclones on Nov. 4 by defeating the Islanders Hockey Club, 4-3, on Nov. 6 in regulation. After that, however, the Twin City Thunder beat them in a shootout 4-3, on Nov. 7. They face the Thunder in their very next game on Friday night in Maine (see “Upcoming Action” below). 

    Meantime, the Northern Cyclones went from the win against the Junior Bruins into the aforementioned 3-2 shootout loss to the Monarchs. 

    • With Holy Cross recruit Joe Solimine’s eighth goal of the season coming on the power play against the Islanders, he pulled into a tie for the league lead in PPG’s with Patriks Marcinkevics. It was Solimine’s first power play marker as he also leads the NCDC in power play assists (10).

    • It should also be noted here that Solimine leads the league in shorthanded points with four (and is tied with Tanner Hartman for shorthanded goals at three apiece). 

    • The Junior Bruins' Connor Wood’s ninth goal of the season broke the 3-3 tie with the Islanders and gave him his third GWG of the season, putting him in a three-way tie with the Islanders HC’s Andrew Carmody and P.A.L.’s Tyler Crist

    Colin Winn, who earned the win in the last 20 minutes of the game against IHC, leads the league by almost 40 minutes at 865 (the Advantage’s Connor Bradford is second at 788). 

    • The shootout goal by the Cyclones’ Austin Rice to kick off that wild five-goal shootout party with the Monarchs was the first shootout goal scored by a defenseman in 2021-22. 

    • The Cyclones are unique in that all three of their games that have gone beyond 60 minutes have ended in a shootout. They have not had an overtime decision yet this year. 

    • The Cyclones' John Goldowski became the fifth player this season to register a hat trick and the only one so far in November to do so. 


     

    Around The Boards In The NCDC 

    Elsewhere around the NCDC, the P.A.L. Jr. Islanders extended their team record winning streak to eight games when they defeated the Jersey Hitmen, 3-1, on Nov. 3. The streak officially began on Oct. 16 with a 1-0 shootout victory over the Philadelphia Hockey Club, their first game coming out of a 2-1 stand at the Hitmen Classic. 

    In the very next game, however, the Jersey Hitmen defeated P.A.L. 4-2 to end the streak. In defeating the P.A.L., they broke a 2-2 tie that lasted through the second period. It was only the Hitmen’s second game all season they won after being tied through two periods. It was also their first W in a game decided by two goals (out of three total). 

    • The Hitmen’s Patriks Marcinkevics likes home cooking - any time the Hitmen have been the home team, he has scored, to the tune of 17 points in nine home games, the best by a lot. 

    • Patriks’ twin brother Dominiks Marcinkevics made his 2021-22 season debut with the Hitmen on Nov. 5, scoring two goals. Dominiks last played for the Islanders Hockey Club in 2019-20, scoring 42 points in 42 regular season games. 

    • P.A.L.’s goalie Cam Smith faced the most shots in any first period this year, 21, making 19 saves in the 4-2 loss on Nov. 5.

    The Islanders Hockey Club earned their second overtime win of the season (tied with four other teams for the lead in that category) on Nov. 4 by beating the Boston Advantage, 4-3. The fun didn’t last long for IHC, as they took losses in their next two - falling to 4-3 in regulation to the Junior Bruins, and 4-1 to the Monarchs. 

    • One-hundred percent of Andrew Carmody’s three goals for IHC this season are game-winners. Those three GWG’s also tie him for the league lead in that category. His third was the deciding factor in the win over the Advantage. He is the outright winner in OT goals with two. 

    The Twin City Thunder had a busy start to November with three games in three days in two states. They started the run with a home 7-6 regulation win over the South Shore Kings, and followed that up with a 3-1 loss on Saturday to the Boston Advantage. On Sunday, they got that 4-3 shootout win against the Junior Bruins for a 2-1 weekend. It was the first and only time so far this year that a team has faced three different opponents over three straight days in a non-showcase situation.  

    • Twin City goalie Brody Haynes stopped all three Junior Bruin shooters to become just the fifth goalie to go clean through a shootout this year. 

    • The Thunder have the best home points vs. away points differential of any team this year. They are 5-1-0-1 when they’re the home team for 11 points and just 2-5-0-0 for four points on the road.

    The Connecticut Jr. Rangers and Philadelphia Hockey Club split their weekend home-and-home series, with CJR winning 3-2 Saturday and Philadelphia winning 6-5 on Sunday, both in regulation. 

    • After at least 14 games played for all teams, Connecticut is the last team to not have allowed a single shorthanded goal against them this year. 

    • Philadelphia’s Chip Hamlett tied a season high of four assists in a game in the Sunday victory, joining Jersey’s Will Traeger who had four helpers on Oct. 30. Hamlett (26 points) is four points away from tying the PHC's all-time career scoring record. 

     

    Upcoming Action 

    • New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs at South Shore Kings, Fri., Nov. 12 - The two teams each have a regulation win against each other - the Kings won 3-1 on Oct. 19 and the Monarchs won 5-2 on Oct. 29, the second of their five straight wins. 

    • Northern Cyclones at Boston Advantage, Fri., Nov. 12 - The Advantage won their first two matches this season by shutout, and hold a 3-1-0-1 all-time series lead. 

    • Connecticut Jr. Rangers at Utica Jr. Comets, Fri.-Sun., Nov. 12-14 - The two teams earlier played in Connecticut Oct. 8-9 and split that weekend. Utica’s 3-2 win on Oct. 9 was their first win over Connecticut since the former Syracuse Stars moved to Utica. 

    Rockets Hockey Club vs. Jersey Hitmen, Fri.-Sat., Nov. 12-13 - The weekend home-and-home begins in Bridgewater, home of the Rockets. This is the first matchup of the 2020-21 Dineen Cup finalists since the Hitmen’s March 28 championship victory. The Hitmen hold the all-time regular season series lead at 19-1-0-1. Both of the Rockets victories, including one in a shootout, came during the 2020-21 season. 

    Boston Junior Bruins at Twin City Thunder, Fri., Nov. 12 - The Junior Bruins took that shootout loss on Sunday, after defeating the Thunder 2-0 in Game 2 of their season on Sept. 25. 

    Islanders Hockey Club at Northern Cyclones, Sat., Nov. 13 - The Cyclones and Islanders have each won one-goal games. The Islanders won a 4-3 shootout on Oct. 6, and the Cyclones won 3-2 four days later. 

    • Twin City Thunder at New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs, Sat., Nov. 13 - On Oct. 16, the Thunder won their only meeting with the Monarchs so far, 4-3, in overtime. The Monarchs lead the all-time series 8-2-1-0. 

    Philadelphia Hockey Club vs. P.A.L. Jr. Islanders, Sat.-Sun., Nov. 13-14 - P.A.L. won two games that went beyond 60 minutes - one in a shootout, one in OT - on Oct. 16-17. P.A.L. holds an all-time 7-1-0-0 series record. 

    • South Shore Kings at Boston Junior Bruins, Nov. 14 - This is the first meeting of the season between these teams. The Junior Bruins lead 15-3-2-0 in the all-time series. 

     

    Drop The Pucks! 

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