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    USPHL 16U Division: Players Of The Week

    By Joshua Boyd / USPHL.com 02/20/2019, 12:00am EST

    Congratulations to this week’s 16U Players Of The Week, our final group of the 2018-19 season. 

     

    Forward: Adam Rourke, CP Dynamo. 

    Rourke (‘02/clifton Park, N.Y.) closed out the season with a four-point weekend against the Northern Cyclones. After picking up an assist on Saturday, he earned a goal and two assists on Saturday. 

    That gave him a season of 21 goals and 19 assists for 40 points in 31 games, putting him fourth on the team in scoring and 13th overall in the league. His 21 goals ranked in a tie for 10th overall. 

     

    Defense: Max Famulare, CP Dynamo. 

    CP Dynamo finished the regular season with a win and an overtime loss against the Northern Cyclones, who finished just above them in the standings. 

    Famulare (‘02/Nisyuna, N.Y.) had two goals, including one on the power play on Sunday. His 26 points on the season ranked sixth in scoring by defensemen with 25 points in 32 games. 

     

    Goal: Mason Kucenski, Boston Junior Bruins. 

    The league leader in wins (14), Kucenski finished with two wins, including one shutout. He stopped 33 of 34 shots in his final two games against the Maine Moose (18-save shutout) and New York Aviators (15 of 16 shots). 

    Kucenski (‘02/Boston, Mass.) was also a top 10 goalie in both goals against average, sixth at 1.71, and in save percentage, fifth at .928. 

    FRASER, Mich. – Justin Renzi joined the Metro Jets halfway through the current season and made an immediate impact.

    He began the season playing for a Canadian junior league and was traded, prompting a phone call to a familiar face.

    “The first thing I did was call (Jets forward) Jhuwon Davis,” said Renzi, a 19-year-old Canton native. “I have always been keeping up with the Jets having buddies playing there and when the time came right, I got my chance to try out with the team and was offered a spot.

    “I knew a lot about the Jets program before coming here having friends like Matt Schaumburger and Jhuwon in the program. They filled me in on just about everything they did daily, and I knew right away it was where I wanted to play.”

    Renzi said his time with the Jets has been nothing short of amazing.

    “The season has been going great so far,” Renzi said. “Overall as a team, we’ve been working hard every day in the gym, on the ice and in video to get better each day. You don’t get to say every day that you’re a top team in the country, but with that being said, we don’t take that for granted. We use that as fuel and it makes us want to work harder for the end game, which is another national championship.”

    Jets coach-GM Justin Quenneville has been impressed with Renzi’s versatility and the ability on any forward line and in any situation.

    “Every season, we get calls from players who aren’t satisfied on the other side of the border,” said Quenneville. “Unfortunately, we don’t have room for all of them, but fortunately, the hockey world is small, and ‘Renz’ was well spoken for. Whether it was Jhuwon who helped recommend him or (Jets assistant coach) Randy (Wilson) who worked with his Belle Tire team last year, we knew he would fit right in here.  

    “He’s been a huge piece to the puzzle this year and contributed in many ways. He plays with a little edge, which we needed at the time, and he also brings good skills and a cerebral approach to the game. People have taken notice of him and we can only see that continue for him here.”

    Growing up, Renzi played for his hometown Canton Crush, coached by his father.

    “I wouldn’t be here today without him,” Renzi said. “The first time I can remember being on skates was at three years old. My dad was a high school coach at the time, and I would always go to his games with a plastic hockey stick and ball and my mom says that I would be entertained the whole game. I started with figure skating just so I could learn how to skate. I did that for about half a year and then got into the little hockey players programs.”

    And as the years went by, Renzi’s game developed to be junior hockey-ready.

    “My long-term goals for hockey are to play NCAA hockey,” Renzi said. “Ever since I learned about college hockey, it has been a dream of mine. Just have to continue to work on and off the ice and dreams will come true. I want to go to school to become a nurse. I think being able to help people every day is a great thing and it is something I’ve been really interested in.”

    First things first, and the Jets are in the chase for a USPHL Premier Division regular-season championship.

    “The Jets organization is a class-act program,” said Renzi. “Anything good you hear about it is true. From the coaching staff, to the facility that we have and the players, everything’s ran like an NHL team here. We practice early in the morning, which gives us the rest of the day to either do school work or get a part-time job. The Jets have a winning and hard-working culture, but we also know when to have fun with it. 

    “When you’re on a team that is winning, there is no such thing as not having fun. Coach Q does a great job of bringing in top talent and I’m really happy I came here.”

    2019 Playoffs Preview: USPHL Elite / Southeast 

    By Jim DenHollander/USPHL.com 02/20/2019, 12:00am EST

    A surge to the finish line by the Richmond Generals, winners of nine straight to wrap up the regular season, ensured there will be no rematch of the past two Elite finals.

    The Generals grabbed the Southeast Division title with a win against the sixth place Potomac Patriots in the regular season finale while the Whalers dropped a 2-0 decision to the fourth place Atlanta Jr. Kings, allowing the Generals (33-9-1-1) to snatch the point position by a point 68-67 against the Whalers (33-10-0-1).

    While the Generals move on to take on the Jr. Kings (26-16-2-0) for a berth at Nationals, the Whalers will meet the Charlotte Rush (29-13-1-1), the team it has played for the National title in each of the past two seasons.

     

    Jr. Kings @ Generals 

    Saturday, Feb. 23, 3:30 p.m. 

    Sunday, Feb. 24, 3 p.m. 

    *Monday, Feb. 25, 9 a.m.

    All games to be played at Chilled Ponds, Chesapeake, Va.

    Both Southeast series will be played at Chilled Ponds, home of the Hampton Roads Whalers. The Generals were no doubt thrilled to claim the Southeast Division title, but they have had their troubles with the Jr. Kings this season.

    The teams have met six times this season – the first four at Marietta Ice Center near Atlanta and the final two, at SkateNation in Richmond. The home teams won all six games. After dropping the first four on the road (Oct. 20-21 and Dec. 8-9), the Generals finally solved the Jr. Kings on home ice Feb. 2-3 with 3-1 and 5-4 wins.

    The Generals rallied down the stretch to claim the division title. There is one more road block to the National tournament and it’s going to be a tough one to get past. 

     

    Charlotte Rush @ Hampton Roads Whalers 

    Saturday, Feb. 23, 3:30 p.m.

    Sunday, Feb. 24, 3:30 p.m.

    *Monday, Feb. 25, 10 a.m.

    All games to be played at Chilled Ponds, Chesapeake, Va. 

    Chilled Ponds is the place to be this weekend with a pair of thrilling series that are simply too close to call.

    The Whalers and Rush faced off six times this season, including the opening weekend Sept. 8-9 where the Whalers swept the pair on home ice.

    Since then, the pair have split two more series, Nov. 17-18 at Xtreme Ice near Charlotte and the final two back at Chesapeake Jan. 19-20. One of these teams will be packing their bags much earlier than expected this season and that will be the incentive for an amazing best-of-three set.

    It would not be surprising to see all four teams in action Monday morning in do-or-die contests.

    * = If necessary

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