Brett Bell scored the teams first goal in its history and added a beauty late in the final frame to give the Blackbirds a hard fought victory over Motor City Friday night in Troy Michigan.
The Blackbirds worked hard and it was truly a team effort added assistant coach Matt Duval.
We have work to do but winning the first game is always fun and rewarding.Blake Nerney also added a goal and an assist and a tally from Jack Mueller rounded out the Birds scoring.
U18 Tier 1 Elite NB
Four EHF Selects Played In All American Prospects Game: Boston Junior Eagles defenseman Jayden Struble (Cumberland, R.I.) and forward John Farinacci (Chatam, N.J.), played for Team Langenbrunner (coached by Boston Bruins Player Development Coordinator Jamie Langenbrunner).
Little Bruins defensemen Cade Webber (Meadville, Pa.) and Braden Doyle (Lynnfield, Mass.) suited up for Team Leopold (coached by former NHLer Jordan Leopold) in the 2018 All American Prospects Game in Saint Paul, Minnesota Wednesday.
None of the quartet registered a point in the showcase for NHL scouts that Team Langenbrunner won 6-4, but as Little Bruins head coach Peter Masters told USPHL.com prior to the game, simply being invited and playing in this game was a massive moment in these players’ path to the NHL Draft.
“I think this lets them know where they stand in the eyes of the National Hockey League community,” he said. “It reinforces a lot of the things their family advisors and coaches are telling them, and that they’re in kind of rarified air. Their preparation in the summer and fall for their winter seasons is extremely important because all eyes are on them.”
Junior Eagles Stay In First: The Jr. Eagles remain atop the standings at 5-0-0-1 with 11 points as we head into the second full weekend of league play. They’re led by the aforementioned Farinacci up front who enters weekend play with seven goals and three assists for ten points. Struble (goal, six assists), and Jake Flynn (three goals, four assists), have been creating offense from the blue line as well.
Liam Devlin Commits To UNH: Junior Eagles defenseman Liam Devlin has committed to play his collegiate hockey for the University of New Hampshire. Devlin has two goals and two assists in six games this season.
Blue Line Special: Struble and Little Bruins defenseman Mike Kennedy both have a goal and six assists to lead all U18 Tier 1 Elite defensemen.
Between The Pipes: Eagles goalie Derek Mullahy maintained the best goals-against average through two weeks at 2.52. He has a 5-0-0-1 record thius far.
The weekend ahead: The Boston Junior Bruins Shootout is here! The majority of games, played Friday-Monday, will be played at the New England Sports Center in Marlboro, Mass, but other eastern and central Massachusetts venues, including NCAA Division 1 ice sheets at Bentley University and Holy Cross, will be used as well. Click here for the schedule.
This weekend also marks the debut of EHF Selects on Hockey TV with three U18 Tier 1 Elite games on air. Here’s the broadcast schedule:
10:50 am. CC Whalers vs. Mid Fairfield U16
3:10 pm. CC Whalers vs. Mid Fairfield U18
7:40 pm. BC Eagles vs GBL Bruins U18
7:40 pm. Little Bruins vs Boston Bulldogs U18
All of the games will be broadcast on HockeyTV. Parents (and players after the game) can view the game at their convenience or live.
U16 Tier 1 Elite NB
Whalers and Top Gun Tied For First: The Cape Cod Whalers and Top Gun are tied for first in points with four but the Whalers (2-0-0-0) hold the slight edge in wins over Top Gun (1-2-0-2).
Blue Line Special: Whalers rearguard Jeff Lee leads all defenseman with three goals and one assist for four points.
Between The Pipes: Whalers netminder Chris Demers is off to a solid start at 2-0-0-0 with a 3.08 GAA.
The Week Ahead: As mentioned above, the Whalers and Mid-Fairfield Rangers will play live on Hockey TV at 10:50 a.m. (New England Sports Center) and that game holds significance at the top of the standings as with a win, the Rangers could leapfrog both the Whalers and Top Gun into first place.
U15 Tier 1 Elite NB
Logjam Atop The Standings: The Junior Terriers (2-1-0-1) are in first place with five points, but right below them it’s a three-way tie for second with the Breakers (2-0-0-0), Whalers (2-0-0-0) and Eagles (2-1-0-0) all with four points.
Frechette The High Flying Eagle: Eagles forward Mick Frechette has five goals and three helpers in just three games so far. He’s tied for the league lead in goals with teammate Joe Fleming and leads the division in points. Junior Terriers forward Dylan McDonagh and Breakers forward Jack Silva, are right behind them with three goals and three assists a piece.
Blue Line Special: As mentioned above, Fleming is tied for the league lead in goals and he also leads all defenseman in goals and points with six.
Between The Pipes: Whalers goalie Jake Inzirillo has been a wall between the pipes thus far going 2-0-0-0 with a 1.00 GAA.
The Week Ahead: The Northstars will be looking for their first win of the season against Top Gun at the IceCenter at 4:30 p.m. Saturday in the only division game this weekend.
U18 Tier 1 NB
Breaking Out: The Bay State Breakers have broken out to a great start and sit atop the division at 3-1-0-0 with six points. The Breakers have been led by left winger Paul Rorke who also leads the league in points with two goals and four assists.
Blue Line Special: Islanders East defenseman Lucien Joseph leads all blueliners with two goals and three assists in four games.
Between The Pipes: North Suburban Wings goalie Kyle Westfal is atop the goalie rankings with a miniscule 1.50 GAA.
The Week Ahead: The Terriers and Breakers will battle it out for first place in the division at 5:15 Saturday at The Bog.
U16 Tier 1
Breakers In First In Standings And Stats: The Bay State Breakers are atop the division at 2-0-0-2 with six points. They also have the division’s leading goal scorers in Jacob Fleet and Nick Solari, each of whom has three goals.
There were some big highlights over the second weekend (Sept. 14-16) of play for the United States Premier Hockey League (USPHL)’s Elite and Premier Divisions, topped by a 139-shot, 29-goal offensive explosion by the Florida Eels’ Premier team.
Eight Eels players collected five or more points in the set and goalies combined to stop 44 of 45 shots against.
After an opening weekend split with the Tampa Bay Juniors, the Eels sit at 3-0-1 with an impressive 38 goals for.
Despite that solid start, the Eels sit second in the division behind the Swamp Rabbit,s who collected a 4-2 win at home against Tampa Bay on Friday and a 4-1 win at Florida Hospital Center Ice Saturday to run its record to a still perfect 4-0.
The eight points collected in the standings have the squad halfway to last season’s 16-point output.
Leading the way for the Eels offensively was Colton Crabtree, a ’98 forward from Brighton, Mich., in his third season with the organization. Crabtree fired four goals and four assists against the Hawks for his first points of the season.
Hayden Haldane, a ’98 from Clifton Park, N.Y., added four goals and three assists in the two matches, running his season total to 10-points already, just one behind league leading Daniil Avdioukhin, from the Swamp Rabbits. The ’98 from Centerville, VA has one extra assist through four games.
The fast start has the Eels with five players listed among the league’s Top-10 scorers early in the season.
Meanwhile, between the pipes, Zach Kott and Swede Viktor Paulsson have combined to handle 100 of 107 shots against so far.
Meanwhile, in Elite Division matches, the Eels were equally as dominant, outscoring their opponents, 24-3.
As a result, the Eels hold down the top four spots in Elite scoring and six of the top seven.
Gage Dill, a Fort Myers hometowner and ’01 has five goals and eight assists just three games into his second season with the Eels for a three-point margin atop the scoring list, ahead of the three goals and seven assists for Jake Court, ’00 and from Fort Myers.
The Tampa Bay Juniors also picked up a big 14-2 win, led by a five-point game by Jack Mazur, an ’01 from Trinity, Fla.
Havoc knock off division champs
The Midwest West Division showed early signs of parity as six teams kicked off the season and none went 2-0 or 0-2.
The Hudson Havoc served notice they are not about to be abused by the other eight Midwest West entries with an impressive showing against the Minnesota Moose in a pair of home games that matched the defending regular season champs against last season’s ninth-place finisher.
The Moose took Game 1 by a 4-1 score, but led by some stellar work in goal by Hunter Koch, a ’99 from Mountain Lakes, N.J., the Havoc pulled out a 1-0 win the following night.
The Havoc have several returners who appear to have learned well from last season’s baptism of fire.
In other Midwest West Division games, the Wisconsin Rapids RiverKings made the trip to Dodge County Ice Arena to face one of the division’s newest entries Friday night and got a bit of a surprise in a 4-3 defeat against the host Kasson Vipers.
Justin Gibbons, a ’99 from Stoughton, Wis., in his third season of junior hockey, made some history as the Vipers’ first game-winning goal scorer with 2:08 to play.
Nick Barrett, a ’98 from Leonard, Mich., backstopped the historic win, turning aside 36 shots to help the Vipers claim victory despite being outshot 39-20.
The next night, the RiverKings took vengeance with a 5-0 win over Kasson, including a 60-16 shot advantage.
Dom Paciocco, ’99 from Whitby, Ont., kicked off his second season with the RiverKings with a 16-save goose egg.
The Dells Ducks and Minnesota Mullets also turned in a pair of exciting contests, the Ducks rallying back from deficits of 2-1 and 4-3 to capture a 5-4 overtime win in the opener at the Poppy Waterman Ice Arena in Wisconsin Dells. The visiting Mullets moved into the division lead with a 4-1 win in the second game.
Nate Holm, a ’98 from Hastings, Minn., kicked off his third USPHL season and second with the Mullets, with three goals and two assists. That earned him USPHL Premier Midwest Forward Of The Week honors.
Hitmen roll over Rockets
An all-Jersey weekend saw the Jersey Hitmen grabbing four points with a 5-3 edge on the road against the New Jersey Rockets at Bridgewater Sports Arena Friday night and a more impressive 8-1 win at Ice Vault Rink on Sunday.
Other Mid-Atlantic Division play saw the Philadelphia Hockey Club making its league debut a win, taking a 3-2 shootout win against the Skipjacks Hockey Club at York City Ice Arena Friday, before the host Skipjacks rallied to pull back a 4-2 win the following day.
Christian Kazoleas, ’98 from Irvine, CA stopped 39 shots through 65 minutes and two more in the shootout to lift Philadelphia to the win in the first game. It was Stefan Vronsky, a ’99 from Riga, Latvia, with a goal and assist to pace the Skipjacks in the Sunday contest.
New York Aviators opened its second with a 5-1 edge against the Jersey Shore Whalers.
Arkhip Ledenkov, ’99 from Polotsk, Belarus helped the Aviators to the win, scoring twice and setting up another.
Elite Division play from the Mid-Atlantic Division saw the Hitmen pick up two wins over the Rockets, before the Rockets managed to find the win column Sunday with a 3-2 edge at home against the New York Aviators.
The Hitmen held a 57-16 edge in shots in the opening contest. Ryan Andrews, ’01 from Oakland, N.J., led the offensive charge with two goals and two helpers while Chris Malota, ’01, from Warwick, N.Y., scored twice and assisted on one.
Motor City takes two from Cougars
One of the most impressive runs last season belonged to the Motor City Hockey Club. They turned on the afterburners to climb from near the bottom of the Midwest- ast division to a top two position and ultimately, a spot in the league championship tournament.
It seems the momentum is still with the club, as Motor City opened with a pair of home wins against the defending division champion Chicago Cougars.
Junior Bruins, Monarchs start well
A year ago, the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs and Junior Bruins were at opposite ends of the North Division, the Monarchs taking the regular season crown with a 35-8-0-1 campaign and finishing 34-points in front of the last place Bruins.
One weekend into the new season and a new New England Division, the two are neck and neck, both with impressive weekend sweeps.
The Junior Bruins started it off Friday with a 4-1 win at Norway Savings Bank Arena against the expansion Twin City Thunder and held off the same Thunder on home ice at the New England Sports Center a night later, 4-3.
Teams were even at 1-1 after 20 minutes the first night but the Bruins, who dominated the shot clock 38-22 outscored the home team 3-0 the rest of the way.
The defending champs opened on the road against the Syracuse Stars at the Adirondack Bank Center, grabbing a 6-2 win on Saturday night and a 7-0 win the following night.
USPHL Premier North Goaltender of the Wek Raphael Gaughan, a ’00 from Somersworth, N.H., stopped all 21 shots he faced for the shutout win and Christian Heller, ’98 from Pittsburgh had the other win with 25 saves for the Jr. Monarchs.
One other team in the division got off to a winning start as the Boston Bandits picked up a 3-1 edge against the Islanders Hockey Club..
In Elite play, the Bruins and Monarchs went head to head in the lone game of the weekend, capturing by the Monarchs 4-0 at the New England Sports Center on Sunday.
Peter Barry, ’00 from Stoneham, Mass., handled all 16 shots he faced to grab the shutout win in goal and Owen Haas, ’99 from Keene, N.H., scored the first two Monarchs’ goals of the season.
Jets already grabbing control
The Metro Jets dominated the Great Lakes Division in its former league and have already opened a bit of a gap three games in. Devlin Macaulay, ’98 from Clarkson, Mich., scored one and set up a pair. He was named USPHL Premier Midwest Forward Of The Week.
Meanwhile, three other teams saw action with parity in effect among the rest of the pack.
After dropping a pair to the Jets, the previous weekend, the Lansing Wolves hit the win column with a 4-3 overtime edge against the Toledo Cherokee at the Summit Sports and Ice Complex on Friday, but the Cherokee rallied back with a 3-2 win in regulation at Team Toledo Ice House the following night. Both W’s were the clubs’ first-ever in the USPHL.
For the Wolves, Noah Piper ’98, from Okemos, Mich., scored the historic overtime winner from Jacob Deratany, ’98 from Macomb, Mich. Deratany also had all three regulation goals in the win.
One other team – the Pittsburgh Vengeance also picked up three points, crossing over to the Northeast Division to play the Niagara Falls Thunder. Thunder took the opener at the Alpha Ice Complex in Pittsburgh Saturday 4-1 with the hometown Vengeance rolling back for a 5-4 in the other match. Once again, it was a pair of first USPHL W’s.
Nighthawks get by Jr. Rangers
Along with Niagara from the Northeast was a home and home set for the Connecticut Nighthawks and Connecticut Jr. Rangers.
Denis Kuzminov, ’98 from Klaipeda, Lithuania, fired the game winner in the third minute of overtime to lift the Nighthawks to a 4-3 road win Friday afternoon at Chelsea Piers, then broke open a 2-2 draw after two periods with a 4-1 margin in the final 20 for a 6-3 win Saturday night at the International Skating Center of Connecticut.
Kuzminov ended up with two goals and three assists on the weekend. The USPHL Premier North Forward Of The Week Austin Marini, a ’99 from Hyde Park, Mass., enjoyed a big weekend with two goals and six assists, getting a point on all but two Nighthawks’ goals.
Eagles get by Rush
Early reports called for postponement of the scheduled games between the Carolina Eagles and Charlotte Rush with threatened hurricane conditions, but the teams did manage to get the Sunday contests in. Jarret Greene, a ’99 from Ohio, fired a pair of third period goals for the visitors to snap a 1-1 deadlock.
Also, in action in the Southeast Division, the League champion Hampton Roads Whalers stayed perfect with a pair of wins, 5-4 Saturday and 4-1 Sunday against the host Richmond Generals at SkateNation Plus.
The Generals turned in an impressive effort Saturday, storming back from a 4-1 deficit and pulling even early in the final period before Oliver Freden, a ’98 from Helsinki, Finland fired his third of the game, lifting the Whalers in front to stay just 1:45 from the final buzzer. That helped name Freden as the USPHL Premier South Forward Of The Week.
Elite Division play saw the Richmond Generals take two from the defending league champion Hampton Roads Whalers at SkateNation Plus: 5-1 on Saturday and 8-2 the following day. The Charlotte Rush hit the win column in a Sunday home game 2-1 against the Eagles at Xtreme Ice.