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    World Junior Championships Division 1 tournaments loaded with USPHL talent

    By Joshua Boyd / 12/09/2018, 2:45pm EST

    (Pictured: Rene Troethan, South Shore Kings. Photo by Joshua Boyd /


    Active USPHL players

    Rene Troethan (South Shore Kings/NCDC), Team Austria 
    Troethan, a ‘99 from Villach, Austria, is playing in the Division 1 Group A tournament with Austria. The Austrian team played its first game on Dec. 9 and lost 3-2 to Germany in a shootout. With the Kings this year, he played in 23 games and registered 11 points prior to his appointment to the Austrian National Junior Team in Fussen, Germany. 
    “Rene's leadership and compete level are off the charts,” said Kings head coach John Gurskis.
    Austria next faces Latvia on Tuesday afternoon at 1 p.m. EST (7 p.m. local time) 

    Janis Vizbelis (Connecticut Jr. Rangers/NCDC), Team Latvia
    Vizbelis, a ‘99 from Riga, has been in the USPHL since 2014, skating three seasons with the Connecticut Jr. Rangers in the 16U Division (2014-15), Premier Division (2017-18) and NCDC (2018-19). He also skated a season in the USPHL 18U Division with the Springfield Jr. Pics in 2016-17. 
    Latvia opened the Division 1 Group A tournament with a 3-1 loss to France, and will look to rebound on Tuesday against Austria. 
    Through 23 NCDC games this year, Vizbelis has six goals and 12 points. 
    “The Connecticut Jr. Rangers are extremely excited for Janis to participate with Latvia at the U20 World Junior Championships,” said Rangers NCDC coach Jim Henkel. “Janis has put in a lot of work in the last 18 months to put himself in a position to take advantage of this opportunity. His participation in the tournament will make him a better player and in turn will make the Connecticut Jr. Rangers team better.”

    Sasha Peresunko (Boston Junior Bruins/NCDC), Team Ukraine
    Peresunko (‘00/Kharkov) has been one of the most productive players in the NCDC this year, earning the NCDC’s Forward Of The Month award for October. He picked up 33 points in his first 23 games this season. Last season, he played in 14 games for the Junior Bruins’ NCDC team and earned 15 points. 
    He is also an alum of the Springfield Jr. Pics organization, with whom he torched the Premier Division last year for 27 goals and 42 points in 26 games. He also played two 18U games for the Pics last season. 
    Peresunko scored Team Ukraine’s second goal on Dec. 9 against Team Hungary, his second career World Junior Under-20 Championships goal, after also representing his country last season in the tournament. He has played for Team Ukraine’s 18U squad in two World Under-18 Championships as well. 
    “Sasha is a very talented offensive player and has been a big part of our hockey team,” said Mike Anderson, head coach of the NCDC Junior Bruins. “We certainly miss his presence in the lineup during this stretch but are excited for him to have the opportunity to represent his country and compete on a world stage.”

    Artyom Mateychenko (South Shore Kings/NCDC), Team Ukraine
    Mateychenko (‘00/Kharkov) scored Team Ukraine’s second goal of the 2018 World Junior Championship Division 1 Group B tournament, a beautiful wristshot off a breakaway. Mateychenko is Team Ukraine’s captain, having held the same position last spring when he captained Ukraine’s U18 World Championships squad. 
    With the Kings’ Premier squad, Mateychenko has 11 points in 16 games, and he has added three assists through five NCDC contests as well. 
    “Only a 2000, Arty has the potential to put up some numbers in the second half of the season,” said the Kings’ NCDC coach John Gurskis.
    “Artyom is a speedy forward with a great attitude for the game and his teammates,” added Kings Premier coach Dan Panciocco. “His vision and hockey IQ is off the chart for such a young player. Due to his commitment and positive attitude, it was no surprise he was selected for the WJC tournament. Being a young and skilled player we expect him to continue making an impact within the Kings organization. We are very proud of him!”

    Danylo Sukhonos (New York Aviators/Premier), Team Ukraine
    From the powerful New York Aviators, who spent many weeks as the nation’s top-ranked Tier-3 junior team, comes this ‘99 from Odessa, Ukraine. He has racked up 31 points in 22 games on the blue line for the Aviators, and is in his second year with the organization. Last year, he split time between the USPHL’s Premier Division, Elite Division and 18U Division with the New York squad. 
    Team Ukraine is playing in the Division 1 Group B tournament in Tychy, Poland. They took a tournament-opening 4-2 loss to the host country on Saturday, and will play again Sunday afternoon against Hungary. 
    “As a team and an organization, we have been fortunate to have a lot of success. Without question, Danylo has contributed to that and helped take our program to a new level this season,” said Aviators head coach Mike Stanaway. “He has put in a lot of work in the two seasons that he has been here. I feel his success is a great example that shows how dedicated our staff is to player development and the determination of our players to improve every day.” 

    Artem Buzoberya (New Jersey Hitmen/Premier), Team Ukraine
    Team Ukraine leads with the most current USPHL players on its WJC roster. Buzoberya joined the Hitmen last season and split time between the 18U squad and Premier, and this year he has split time between the Premier and NCDC teams. 
    With Team Ukraine, Buzoberya (‘99) earned one assist in the squad’s tournament-opening loss to Poland, and added another against Team Hungary. 
    “Artem is a big, skilled forward that had a big summer in the weight room,” said the NCDC Hitmen head coach Toby Harris. “We will be looking for big things out of him the second half of the season.” 

    Andriiy Yevtukhov (Springfield Jr. Pics 16U), Team Ukraine.
    Yevtukhov is an ‘03 playing in a largely 1999-dominated tournament, but he has certainly shown flashes of what he is capable of in the highly competitive USPHL 16U Division. He scored 14 points through his first 13 games with the Pics. He has played in the first two games for Team Ukraine. 

    Dmytro Danylenko (Springfield Jr. Pics 18U/Premier), Team Ukraine.
    The ‘00 from Kiev has split his USPHL time this year between the 18U and Premier Divisions for the Pics, and has produced at both levels. He has 21 points in 15 USPHL Premier games and another 27 points in 15 USPHL 18U contests. 
    He earned his first assist of the tournament on Dec. 9 against Team Hungary. 

    Mark Strazisar (Hampton Roads Whalers/USPHL Premier), Team Slovenia. 
    Strazisar (‘99/Ljubljana) scored the third goal in a 3-0 shutout win for Team Slovenia in the Division 1 Group B tournament in Poland. Strazisar is in his first year with the Whalers and has nine points through seven USPHL Elite games, and he also has an assist in the one USPHL Premier game he played. 
    Slovenia is 2-0 at the D-1 Group B tournament thus far, having also beaten Japan, 5-3. 
    “Mark has been a fantastic addition to the Whalers organization since his arrival in late October,” said Brad Jones, general manager of the Whalers. “He has added size and skill to our lineup and we look forward to seeing him continue to grow the rest of the season. We are excited for him to compete on the international stage and the honor of representing his home country. He becomes the eighth Whaler in franchise history to achieve this honor.”

    USPHL Alumni* On World Junior Championship Rosters

    * = Including alumni of USPHL member organizations prior to joining the USPHL. 

    Team USA (Preliminary Roster)
    Spencer Knight
    - A former member of the EHF Selects’ member organization Mid-Fairfield Jr. Rangers, Knight played for the Jr. Rangers’ U16 team in 2016-17. Knight is the only ‘01 named to the preliminary roster, the youngest of all eligible players. 

    Michael Callahan - Another player on Team USA’s Preliminary Roster, Callahan played for current EHF Selects member organization the Cape Cod Whalers. He was on the Whalers’ U16 team in 2015-16 and on their U18 team in 2016-17. 

    Mattias Samuelsson - The son of former NHLer Kjell Samuelsson, Mattias - named to the Team USA Preliminary Roster - is an alumnus of the Northwood School, current Affiliate Members of the USPHL 18U Division. He played for Northwood from 2014-16. 

    Evan Barratt - Barratt played for Team Comcast in the USPHL 16U Division in 2014-15. 

    Joel Farabee - Farabee played two years for the Selects Academy at South Kent School in the USPHL 16U Division from 2014-16. 

    Jay O’Brien - O’Brien played for the Whalers 16U squad from 2014-16, and with the 18U squad from 2016-18. 

    Other Teams
    Albert Adamsen
    - Named to Team Denmark’s Preliminary Roster for the top WJC division set to play between Dec. 26 and Jan. 5, Adamsen played for the Okanagan European Eagles during the USPHL Premier’s 2016-17 season. 

    Vladimir Saiko - Saiko played for the New Jersey Rockets in the NCDC earlier this season and registered one assist in seven games, before moving overseas to play in the MHL. He was named to Team Kazakhstan’s Preliminary Roster for the top WJC tournament. 

    Moritz Wirth - Wirth played for the Boston Bandits in 2017-18 in the NCDC, and is currently playing for Team Germany in the Division 1 Group A tournament. Germany beat Austria, 3-2, in a shootout on Dec. 9. 

    Niks Krollis - He played for the Islanders Hockey Club’s 18U squad in 2015-16, and is also an alumnus of the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs organization. He is with Latvia’s National Junior Team, which began with a 3-1 loss to France in the Division 1 Group A tournament. 

    Dominik Olszewski - Olszewski is a former Springfield Jr. Pics player, having suited up for their 16U, 18U and Premier teams between 2015 and 2017. The host Team Poland has played in two games in the WJC Division 1 Group B tournament, defeating Ukraine 4-2 and falling to Italy, 3-1. 

    Janis Voris - A former Northern Cyclones NCDC player (2018-19), the goaltender Voris is on the Team Latvia roster but had not yet seen action in the Division 1 Group A tournament. 

    Feliks Morozov - A former Potomac Patriot (2017-18), Morozov scored 30 points in 21 games for the Patriots in the USPHL Premier last season. He also earned a four-game call-up with the NCDC’s Syracuse Stars. He is currently with Team Ukraine and scored their first goal of the Division 1 Group B tournament in their 4-2 loss to Poland, and also scored against Team Hungary on Dec. 9. 

    Aljaz Predan - Predan played for the Florida Jr. Blades in the USPHL Elite Division in 2017-18, racking up seven goals and 12 points in just five games. He is currently tied for second in scoring in the Division 1 Group B tournament for Team Slovenia with two goals and two assists for four points in two games. 

    Please Note: There may be more additions to this list as some countries have not yet announced their rosters for either the top division World Junior Championships in Canada, or the Division 2 and 3 tournaments to be held in January. Check back to for further WJC updates as rosters become official. 

    DIMONDALE, Mich. – The Metro Jets ran their winning streak to 14 games with a resounding 11-0 win over the Lansing Wolves Saturday night at the Summit Sports & Ice Complex.

    The Jets are also 6-0 this season against the Wolves.

    “It was a full team effort from start to finish,” said Jets associate head coach Jamie Lovell. “We had a long week of practice and you never know how the players are going to respond with such a long layoff between games.  

    The players deserve all the credit for buying in to what we worked on this week. We made the simple plays, not overhandling pucks, and did a great job getting traffic in front of their goalie.  Our net-front presence was the best we’ve done all season. It’s good to see them get rewarded on the scoreboard because I think that helps them mentally with the ‘buy in’ as they see it transfers to success.”

    Devlin Macaulay (pictured) led the way with a goal and four assists, while Brodie Thornton and Nick Ceccarini scored two goals each to back Fredrik Meurling’s 18-save shutout.

    Meurling also drew an assist on a goal by Jhuwon Davis.

    “Of course, it’s always great winning on the road, especially when you can send a message like tonight,” said Macaulay. “Even though we’ve accomplished sort of a winning streak, we’re not necessarily counting or keeping track of numbers, but more along the lines of continuing to focus on details to improve our game moving forward. This helps us stay even-keeled as it always gives us something we can be better at.”

    Jets captain Jeremy Schwartz, Rhett Limback, Nick Ceccarini, Brady Hanson and Anthony Cinato added single goals for the Jets.

    Jaylen Dziegelewski notched three assists and Cory Schwartz, Joey Bruce and Christian Rawling added two helpers on the night.

    “Always a plus to get a win on the road, especially when we have a one-game weekend,” said Thornton. “We stay focused on the little things that make a huge impact to the next play, whether it’s just getting a puck deep or forechecking to get that puck back. Throughout the week, we focus on that next game only. As we come out of that game, we focus right on the one after that, hitting the restart button right after the games.”

    Lansing goalies Jeremy Skaife and Brendan Price combined to make 31 saves.

    The Jets are next in action next Saturday and Sunday in Pittsburgh. Game times are 6:30 p.m. Saturday night and 10:30 a.m. Sunday.

    The Metro Jets DP Team hosts the Motor City Hockey Club at Fraser Hockeyland this coming Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.

    All games will be streamed on


    Top 10 upcoming matchups in the USPHL junior divisions

    By Joshua Boyd / 12/07/2018, 2:15pm EST

    Here are some of the most intriguing matchups in the NCDC, USPHL Premier and USPHL Elite between today (Friday, Dec. 7) and next Thursday (Dec. 13).


    10. Premier: Florida Eels at Florida Jr. Blades

    Friday, Dec. 7, 6:30 p.m., Hertz Arena (Blades)

    Although the Eels have almost double the standings points the Blades possess (32 to 17), the numbers get tossed out the window as both teams call this matchup “The Best Rivalry In Junior Hockey.” Hertz Arena is expected to be packed as the visiting Eels look to make the season series in their favor - the Eels won 4-3 in their last meeting on Nov. 9.


    9. Elite: Richmond Generals at Atlanta Jr. Kings

    Sat., Dec. 8, 5:30 p.m. EST; Sun., Dec. 9, 8:30 a.m. EST, both at Marietta Ice Center (Kings)

    The Generals are the higher-ranked team here, at 17-5-1-1, but the Kings (14-10-0-0) won their only two meetings thus far back in October - one decisively, and the other a close 3-2 victory. The Generals are chasing the Charlotte Rush for second in the Southeast Division, while the Kings are trying to fend off the Carolina Eagles to hold on to the fourth and final playoff spot for the division.


    8. Premier: Minnesota Mullets at Hudson Havoc

    Fri., Dec. 7, 7 p.m. CST; Sat., Dec. 8, 7 p.m. CST, both at Hudson Havoc Civic Center

    The Mullets are hoping to extend a two-game winning streak (after beating Kasson in a pair last weekend) to four, and they also are in a push to climb the very tight Midwest West standings. Currently at fifth place, they are only four points out of third place.

    At first in the Midwest West are the Havoc, who have had a great season (14-5-1-2), but have been just 4-3-1-2 in their last 10. They are hoping to rev back up to their September and October form, when they went 10-2-0-0.

    The Mullets defeated the Havoc in an exhibition matchup on the campus of the University of Minnesota in November. 


    7. Premier: Carolina Eagles at Hampton Roads Whalers.

    Sat., Dec. 8, 7:30 p.m. EST; Sun., Dec. 9, 12:30 p.m. EST; both at Chilled Ponds Ice Sports Complex (Whalers)

    The Hampton Roads Whalers are the No. 2-ranked team in all of Tier-3 junior hockey, according to and also remained No. 1 in The Dan K Show Power Rankings for both October and November. They are near perfect, their only loss in a 22-1-0-0 season coming on Nov. 4 to Richmond (6-5).

    The Eagles are expected to be in a knock-down drag-out fight for the fourth and final playoff spot in the USPHL Premier Southeast Division with the Atlanta Jr. Kings. Both teams have 22 points after 24 games.


    6. NCDC: Boston Junior Bruins vs. Islanders Hockey Club

    Wed., Dec. 12, 1:10 p.m. EST, New England Sports Center (Junior Bruins)

    The Islanders have won three in a row and are hoping to make a push for the top four in the league after dominating throughout the 2017-18 season. The Junior Bruins still have a hold on second place in the NCDC with a six-point gap over third, but are .500 (5-5) in their last 10, including a split weekend with the Islanders Nov. 10-11. The Junior Bruins are also without their leading scorer, Sasha Peresunko, who has joined the Ukrainian National Junior Team for the World Junior Championships’ Division 1 Group A tournament this next week.


    5. Elite: Tampa Bay Juniors at Florida Eels

    Sun., Dec. 9, 11 a.m., Fort Myers Skatium (Eels)

    These two teams enter the weekend in a three-way tie for third place, and are tied for first overall in the Florida Division of the USPHL Elite. Both teams have earned points in their last five straight games, the Eels winning five in a row and nine of their last 10, and the Juniors have gone 4-0-0-1 in their last five and 8-1-1-0 in their last 10. Tampa Bay has won four of the first five meetings, three of those wins coming in overtime.


    4. Premier: Skipjacks Hockey Club at Connecticut Nighthawks

    Fri., Dec. 7, 8 p.m. EST; Sat., Dec. 8, 1:30 p.m. EST, both at Intl. Skating Center of Connecticut

    Here’s a great matchup between two teams in the top 10 overall for winning percentage in the USPHL Premier. The Skipjacks Hockey Club is 9-1 in their last 10 and the Skipjacks are 15-5-1-1 overall, while the Nighthawks are 17-4-2-1 and 6-3-1-1 over their last 10. The Nighthawks have a comfortable lead in the Northeast Division, while the Skipjacks Hockey Club are in a tight battle with the New Jersey Hitmen for second in the Mid-Atlantic behind the powerful New York Aviators.


    3. NCDC: Boston Junior Bruins vs. New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs.

    Fri., Dec. 7, 7:10 p.m. EST, Tri-Town Arena (Monarchs).

    It’s the second-place Junior Bruins (17-6-2-0) vs. the third-place Monarchs (14-10-1-1), with the added twist that both teams are coming off tough weekends to begin December where neither team was able to take away a win (the Monarchs eked out a point from an overtime loss to Rochester). Both teams will be starving for the “W” Friday night, so this is a must-see.


    2. Premier: Metro Jets at Lansing Wolves.

    Sat., Dec. 8, 7:30 p.m. EST, The Summit Sports and Ice Complex (Wolves).

    It’s a one night only faceoff between the Great Lakes Division-leading Jets (20-2-1-1), who are second overall in the USPHL Premier in winning percentage at .891, and the Wolves (18-8-1-1), who are in second place in the division.

    The Jets have won all five meetings so far this year, though one went to OT and two more games were decided by just two goals. The Jets enter on a 13-game winning streak, and the Wolves have won their last three in a row.


    1. NCDC: New Jersey Rockets at New Jersey Hitmen.

    Wed,. Dec. 12, 6 p.m. EST, Ice Vault (Hitmen)

    It’ll be tough to wait for this one until next Wednesday, but two of the NCDC’s top five meet in a midweek match-up that pits the steaming hot first place Hitmen (nine-game winning streak) against the USPHL’s comeback team of the year in the fifth-place Rockets.

    The Rockets had eight total points in 2017-18, and are sitting at 28 coming into this weekend. After a big surge through the first half of the schedule, they’ve recently hit some bumps in the road, going 4-5-1-0 in their last 10. That includes last weekend’s 0-2 homestand at the hands of the Northern Cyclones.

    The Rockets will practice through the weekend and early next week for this one, while the Hitmen face the P.A.L. Junior Islanders on Saturday ahead of the Garden State rivalry match.




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