Although the 2020-21 season didn’t feature every NCAA college hockey team hitting the ice, those that did featured many former USPHL players and alumni of USPHL organizations who earned some of the highest marks available in NCAA Division I and Division III college hockey.
The NCAA success, of course, was led by four players who will soon bear championship rings after helping the University of Massachusetts win its first-ever NCAA Championship on April 10.
George Mika, F (Boston Junior Bruins)
Played on the Boston Junior Bruins’ first USPHL Premier team (which would be the equivalent to their current NCDC team) in 2013-14, scoring 25 points in 52 regular season and playoff games … Helped the Junior Bruins win the first Dineen Cup awarded in the USPHL … Also played seven USPHL 18U games in that division’s inaugural season of 2013-14 … Played for the Junior Bruins on their final Eastern Junior Hockey League team as well … Has played in 102 NCAA games, scoring 19 career points … Played in 17 games in 2020-21, including all four NCAA tournament contests.
Aaron Bohlinger, D (Jersey Hitmen)
Played in 19 games at the USPHL 16U level for the Jersey Hitmen in 2015-16, including two playoff games … Appeared in 29 games for the Minutemen, including all four NCAA tournament games … Scored a goal in the 5-1 National Championship victory on April 10.
Linden Alger, D (Bridgewater Jr. Bandits)
Played in the Bandits organization from youth upwards to the NCDC, where he spent two years (2017-19), scoring 29 points in 92 regular season and playoff games … Played in the NCDC All-Star Game in 2019 ... Also played 16 USPHL 18U games in 2017-18, scoring seven points in 16 league contests … Has appeared in seven NCAA games for Minutemen.
Henry Graham, G (P.A.L. Jr. Islanders)
Played full 2019-20 season for Jr. Islanders in the NCDC, earning a spot in the 2020 NCDC All-Star Game … In 22 games last year, he posted a .924 save percentage and a 2.85 GAA, along with an 11-6-2 record … Has dressed for, but not yet appeared in, NCAA play, including the April 10 championship game.
Zac Jones, D (USPHL 16U/18U)
Played from 2015-18 with the South Kent Selects Academy squad, totaling 46 games in his three-year stint … Helped SKSA to the USPHL 16U championship in 2015-16 … Helped SKSA win the USPHL 18U title in 2017-18 … Played youth hockey for the Richmond Generals organization in the EJEPL … Was a member of the NCAA All-Rookie Team In 2019-20 … Has been named East Second All-American, Hockey East Second Team, All-USCHO.com First Team and was named to the NCAA All-Tournament Team for 2020-21 … Completed two-year NCAA career with 12-35-47 totals in 61 games, including a goal and three assists in the NCAA tournament … Was drafted by the New York Rangers in 2019 (3rd round, 68th overall) … Signed with the Rangers on April 13, and has appeared in four NHL games … Earned first NHL point (assist) vs. April 25 vs. Buffalo.
Ryan Sullivan, F (USPHL 18U)
Was a teammate of Zac Jones on the South Kent Selects Academy 2017-18 USPHL 18U team that won the championship … scored 15 points in 11 career USPHL 16U games … Appeared in 25 games, registering four assists, in his first year with the Minutemen … One of his four assists came in the April 10 National Championship game.
Marc Del Gaizo, F (Rockets Hockey Club)
Played for the Rockets’ 16U, 18U and top Junior teams prior to their entry into the USPHL, as well as during his youth hockey years … Appeared in 90 NCAA games, scoring 58 points … Registered two assists in the NCAA Tournament … Was named to the Hockey East All-Rookie and Third Team All-Hockey East in 2018-19 … Was named to the NCAA All-Tournament Team in 2018-19 … Selected to Third Team All-Hockey East in 2020-21 … Was drafted by the Nashville Predators in 2019 (4th round, 109th overall) … Signed with the Nashville Predators on April 21.
Anthony Del Gaizo, F (Rockets Hockey Club)
Played at the 16U and multiple Junior levels for the Rockets prior to their entry into the USPHL … Has appeared in 96 NCAA games, registering 23 points … This includes two goals scored during the NCAA Tournament.
Regular Season Awards
NCAA Division I
Atlantic Hockey Association
East Second Team All-American
Colin Bilek, F, U.S. Military Academy (USPHL Premier, 18U)
Bilek captained the former Rochester Jr. Americans in the USPHL Premier in 2015-16, scoring 20 points in 29 combined regular season and playoff games … Also appeared in one USPHL 18U game for the Jr. Amerks’ 18U squad … Has appeared in 62 NCAA games, scoring a 32-30-62 line in 93 games … This includes 25 points scored in 22 games in 2020-21 … Was named an Atlantic Hockey East Pod First Team All-Star … Was named Third Team All-USCHO.com.
Big Ten Conference
Alex Steeves, F, University of Notre Dame (New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs)
Named Big Ten Second Team All-Conference … Played for Jr. Monarchs’ USPHL 16U team in 2014-15, registering a 19-24-43 line in 32 games … Also appeared in one USPHL 18U game, registering one assist in 2014-15 … Played 18U and Junior hockey for Monarchs in 2015-16 outside of the USPHL … Has registered a 33-36-69 scoring line in 102 career NCAA games … Helped Notre Dame win the 2019 Big Ten Conference Championship … Signed as a free agent with the Toronto Maple Leafs on March 28.
Strauss Mann, G, University of Michigan (Connecticut Jr. Rangers)
Named Big Ten Second Team All-Conference … Played for the Jr. Rangers (then Connecticut Jr. Yankees) in the USPHL 16U Division in 2013-14, appearing in seven games … Played 14 games for the Connecticut Jr. Rangers’ USPHL 18U team in 2014-15, registering a .910 save percentage … Was Named the Big Ten Best Goaltender in 2019-20 … Was named to the Big Ten First Team All Conference in 2019-20.
Alex Limoges, F, Penn State University (USPHL 16U/18U)
Named Big Ten Honorable Mention All-Conference … Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award Finalist … Played for South Kent Selects Academy at the USPHL 16U level (2013-14) and USPHL 18U level (2014-15) … Registered 121 points in a combined 55 games over his two Midget seasons … Helped the Selects win the inaugural 16U championship in 2013-14 … Was named the USPHL 18U Forward Of The Year in 2014-15 … Was the NCAA’s nationwide points leader in 2018-19 (50) … Named to the Big Ten All-Tournament Team in 2018-19 … Was also a Big Ten Honorable Mention All-Conference selection in 2019-20 … Was Captain for Penn State in 2020-21 … Named to Lowe’s Senior CLASS All-American Second Team in 2020-21 … Signed with the AHL’s San Diego Gulls on March 25 … Has registered 11 points in first 15 AHL games.
Matty Beniers, F, University of Michigan (Boston Junior Bruins, South Shore Kings)
Named To Big Ten All-Rookie Team … Named Big Ten Honorable Mention All-Conference … Has appeared in 24 NCAA games, registering a 10-14-24 line … Played youth hockey in the Junior Bruins and South Shore Kings organizations, including appearing at the 2015 Quebec International Pee-Wee Tournament with the Kings … Helped Team USA win the Gold Medal at the 2021 World Junior (Under-20) Championships … Is considered a top prospect for the 2021 NHL Entry Draft.
Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference
ECAC Goaltender Of The Year
Keith Petruzzelli, G, Quinnipiac University (Boston Junior Bruins)
Named Hobey Baker Award Finalist … Named ECAC First Team All-Conference … Played 11 games for Boston Junior Bruins USPHL 16U team, registering a 1.31 GAA and .924 save percentage … Also played in 22 regular season games for the South Kent Selects Academy in 2017-18, registering a 1.13 GAA and .936 save percentage … Helped SKSA win the USPHL 18U Championship … Was named USPHL 18U MVP and Goaltender Of The Year for 2017-18 ... In 94 career NCAA games with Quinnipiac, he posted a .915 save percentage, a 2.17 GAA, 10 shutouts and a 51-27-8 record … Was drafted by the Detroit Red Wings in 2017 (3rd round, 88th overall).
Hockey East Association
East First Team All-American
David Farrance, D, Boston University (Syracuse Jr. Stars, now Utica Jr. Comets)
Also named First Team All-Hockey East … Named To All-USCHO.com Second Team … Was a Hobey Baker Finalist … Was the only repeat First Team All-American in the nation … Played for former Syracuse Jr. Stars’ USPHL 16U team from 2013 to 2015 … With 84 points in 57 career regular season games, Farrance is the USPHL 16U Division’s all-time highest scoring defenseman … Was named USPHL 16U Defenseman Of The Year in both 2013-14 and 2014-15 … Was also named USPHL 16U MVP in 2014-15 … In 2019-20, was named First Team All-American, First Team All-Hockey East, and was a Hobey Baker Award Finalist … Was drafted by the Nashville Predators in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft (92nd overall) … Signed with the Predators on March 28, 2021 … Made his NHL debut on April 8, earning a +1 in a 7-1 Predators victory.
Jordan Harris, D, Northeastern University (Islanders Hockey Club)
Named a Second Team All-Hockey East Selection … Played for the Islanders Hockey Club USPHL 16U team in 2014-15, appearing in 13 combined regular season and playoff games, registering one assist … Has appeared in 91 NCAA games for the Huskies, registering a 10-43-53 line … Has been named Captain of the Huskies for the 2021-22 season … Represented Team USA at the 2020 World Junior Championships … Was drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft (3rd round, 71st overall).
Alex Jefferies, F, Merrimack College (Islanders Hockey Club)
Named to Hockey East All-Rookie Team … Played for the Islanders Hockey Club USPHL 16U team between 2016-18 … Recorded 93 points in 55 combined regular season and playoff games for the Islanders … His 87 regular season points are eighth all-time in the USPHL 16U Division, and is No. 1 all-time for the Islanders … Scored four goals and six assists for 10 points in 12 games this season for Merrimack … Was drafted by the New York Islanders in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft (fourth round, 121st overall).
Gunnarwolfe Fontaine, F, Northeastern University (USPHL 16U)
Named to Hockey East All-Rookie Team … Played 30 games for the former Providence Capitals in the USPHL 16U Division in 2015-16, scoring 31 points in 32 combined regular season and playoff games … Has also played in the Bridgewater Jr. Bandits and Boston Junior Bruins organizations, outside of the USPHL … Registered a 6-9-15 line in 21 games for the Huskies this year … Was drafted by the Nashville Predators in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft (7th round, 202nd overall).
Spencer Knight, G, Boston College (Connecticut Jr. Rangers)
East First Team All-American … First Team All-Hockey East … Hockey East Goaltender Of The Year … Hockey East Player Of The Year … Hobey Baker Award Finalist … Made NHL debut with Florida Panthers on April 20, and has 3-0 record … Played Youth and Midget hockey for former Connecticut Yankees (now Connecticut Jr. Rangers) and Mid-Fairfield Jr. Rangers, affiliate of the Connecticut Jr. Rangers.
Matt Boldy, F, Boston College (Junior Bruins, South Shore Kings)
East First Team Alll-American … First Team All-Hockey East … Hobey Baker Award Finalist … Helped Team USA to 2021 World Junior (Under-20) Championships Gold Medal … Signed with Minnesota Wild on March 31, and has appeared in seven AHL games for the Iowa Wild, registering nine points … Played Youth hockey in Boston Junior Bruins and South Shore Kings organizations.
Drew Commesso, G, Boston University (Junior Bruins, South Shore Kings)
Hockey East All-Rookie Team … Drafted by Chicago Blackhawks in 2020 (2nd round, 46th overall) … Played Youth hockey in Boston Junior Bruins and South Shore Kings organizations.
Aidan McDonough, F, Northeastern University (South Shore Kings)
Hockey East Three Stars Award … Was drafted by Vancouver Canucks in 2019 (7th round, 195th overall) … Played Youth hockey in South Shore Kings organization.
Tyce Thompson, F, Providence College (P.A.L. Jr. Islanders)
Second Team All-Hockey East … Signed with New Jersey Devils on March 24 … Made his NHL debut on April 6, registering first career NHL point (assist) in loss to the Buffalo Sabres … Has played in six NHL games … Assigned to Binghamton Devils (AHL) on April 24 and has registered one assist in five AHL games … Played Youth hockey in P.A.L. Jr. Islanders organization.
National Collegiate Hockey Conference
West First Team All-American, NCHC Player Of The Year, NCHC Forward Of The Year, NCHC Best Defensive Forward
Shane Pinto, F, University of North Dakota (USPHL 16U, USPHL 18U)
Also named to NCHC First Team All-Conference … Named To Hobey Baker Award “Hat Trick” (Top Three Finalists) … Played for South Kent Selects Academy in USPHL 16U Division (2016-17) and USPHL 18U Division (2017-18) … Registered 13 points in 10 combined regular season and playoff games in the USPHL 16U Division in 2016-17, helping SKSA to the championship … Registered 15 points in 11 combined regular season and playoff games in 2017-18 in the USPHL 18U Division, helping SKSA win the USPHL 18U championship … Is also an Organizational Alum of the New York Aviators, having played Youth hockey for the Aviators … Named NCHC Rookie of the Year and to All-Rookie Team in 2019-20 … Was drafted by Ottawa Senators in 2019 NHL Entry Draft (2nd round, 32nd overall) … Signed with Ottawa on April 1 … Made his NHL debut on April 17 vs. Montreal, registering his first NHL point (assist) … Currently has two assists in six NHL games.
Western Collegiate Hockey Association
Rico DeMatteo, G, Northern Michigan University (Northwood School)
Named to WCHA All-Rookie Team … Played in two USPHL 18U games for the Northwood School in 2017-18, registering a 1.92 GAA and .913 save percentage.
Tyrone Bronte, F, University of Alabama-Huntsville (Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights)
Named to WCHA All-Rookie Team … Played three years for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights (2017-20), including spending the 2019-20 season as captain, prior to their entry into the USPHL.
NCAA DIVISION III
Middle Atlantic Conference
Offensive Player Of The Year
Tyler Barrow, F, Wilkes University (Charlotte Rush)
Named First Team All-MAC … Played for the Charlotte Rush at the USPHL Elite (2016-17) and USPHL Premier (2017-18) levels … Scored a combined 87 points in 57 regular season and playoff games in 2016-17, helping the Rush to the USPHL Elite National Championship … His 49 regular season assists remain a Charlotte Rush Elite record … Scored a combined 63 points in 43 regular season and playoff games in the USPHL Premier with the Rush in 2017-18 … Has scored a 37-55-92 line in just 64 career NCAA games … Was named MAC Rookie of the Year and to All-Rookie Team in 2019-20 … Was named to United Collegiate Hockey Conference All-Rookie Team … Named USCHO.com NCAA Division III Rookie of the Year, and to USCHO.com Division III All-Rookie Team.
First Team All-MAC
Blake Colman, D, Stevenson University (Islanders Hockey Club, Junior Bruins, South Shore Kings)
Michael Gurska, D, Wilkes University (Connecticut Jr. Rangers)
Ryan Kenny, G, Stevenson University (Islanders Hockey Club
Tyler Barrow, F, Wilkes University (Charlotte Rush)
Charlie Spetz, D, Wilkes University (Rockets Hockey Club Organizational Alum)
Second Team All-MAC
Alex Borowiec, F, Lebanon Valley College (South Shore Kings, Jersey Hitmen)
Tyler Dill, F, Wilkes University (Charlotte Rush)
Nick Fea, F, Wilkes University (Connecticut Jr. Rangers, Rockets Hockey Club)
Tyler Romel, D, Lebanon Valley College (Carolina Jr. Hurricanes, Springfield Pics, South Shore Kings)
Aidan Richardson, G, Lebanon Valley College (Richmond Generals)
Donny Flynn, F, Wilkes University (Rockets Hockey Club Organizational Alum)
Honorable Mention All-MAC
Michael Paterson-Jones, G, Wilkes University (Charlotte Rush, Utica Jr. Comets)
Northern Collegiate Hockey Association
Co-Freshman Of The Year
Arkhip Ledenkov, F, College of St. Scholastica (New York Aviators)
Named To NCHA All-Conference Team … Named to NCHA All-Freshman Team … Played for New York Aviators (USPHL Premier) between 2018-20, registering 81 goals, 73 assists and 154 points in 77 games career games … His 81 goals are third all-time in the USPHL Premier, and 154 points stands ninth all-time … He and his twin brother Filimon Ledenkov, also an Aviators alum and current St. Scholastica player, are the only two players in the USPHL All-Time Top 10 to have played just two seasons … Arkhip stands second all-time in scoring to Filimon (180 points) in Aviators history … Has registered 12 goals and six assists for 18 points in 11 NCAA games.
NCHA All-Conference Team
Garrett Gintoli, F, Milwaukee School of Engineering (South Shore Kings)
Jack Nickels, D, Milwaukee School of Engineering (Boston Junior Bruins)
Arkhip Ledenkov, F, College of St. Scholastica (New York Aviators)
NCHA All-Freshman Team
Filimon Ledenkov, F, College of St. Scholastica (New York Aviators)
Arkhip Ledenkov, F, College of St. Scholastica (New York Aviators)
Kyle Gierman, D, Lawrence University (Metro Jets Organizational Alum)
Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference
Newcomer Of The Year
Vilho Saariluoma, F, University of Wisconsin-River Falls (Jersey Hitmen)
Also named to WIAC All-Conference Team … Played for Jersey Hitmen during the 2019-20 NCDC season, registering a 7-11-18 line in 18 games … Registered a 5-8-13 line in his first 10 NCAA games this season.
Scholar-Athlete Of The Year
Christian Hausinger, D, University of Wisconsin-River Falls (Skipjacks Hockey Club)
Also named to WIAC All-Conference Team … Played for Skipjacks Hockey Club USPHL 18U team in 2013-14 … Led all USPHL 18U defensemen in scoring with 33 points in 27 games … Has registered a career line of 16-55-71 in 96 NCAA games … Was named a First Team All-American in 2019-20 … Was named WIAC Player Of The Year and also named to WIAC All-Conference Team in 2019-20 … Listed on All-USCHO.com NCAA Division III team in 2019-20.
WIAC All-Conference Team
Vilho Saariluoma, F, University of Wisconsin-River Falls (Jersey Hitmen)
Christian Hausinger, D, University of Wisconsin-River Falls (Skipjacks Hockey Club)
Dean Buchholz, G, University of Wisconsin-River Falls (Detroit Fighting Irish)
Chad Lopez, F, University of Wisconsin-Stout (Richmond Generals/P.A.L. Jr. Islanders)
This past weekend the EJEPL and USPHL hosted the youth playoff weekend at the Ice Vault in Wayne, NJ. Congratulations go out to all teams that participated, especially the five champions that were crowned Saturday. The Ice Vault is the premier hockey facility in NJ and lived up to it's reputation providing an environment for a flawless event. The staff, led by Bobby Reiss, was hands on all weekend making sure even the smallest details were attended to.
"It was unfortunate that all the clubs could not participate due to COVID mandates, but in this crazy year at least there was some finality to the season,” stated Division Administrator Henry Lazar.
"Most of the games were very good and the skill level, player thinking process and coaching were all excellent, this was a top-notch event both on and off the ice,” stated event Supervisor Jon Sandos.
In the 9U division, the Champions were the Woodbridge Wolfpack, coached by Dan Kennedy. This team dominated the division and the playoffs. There are many future stars on this team. The other Finalist was the NJ Hitmen. The championship game ended 10-1.
In the 10 U division, the Champions were the Rockets Hockey Club coached by Wes Dorey & Tim Halewicz. In an extremely exciting game, the Rockets scored a late 3rd period goal to defeat the Woodbridge Wolfpack 6-5.
In the 12 U division, the Championship game was easily the best game of the weekend. The NJ Hitmen and Philadelphia Hockey Club traded goals for 3 periods and with the score 7-7 at the end of regulation the game went into overtime. Philly scored a great deflection goal on the power play in overtime to win the game 8-7. Both teams were extremely well coached, and both teams have some great prospects for the future. The game was a pleasure to watch. PHC's Coach Mike Gooch & NJ Hitmen Coach Matt Skarkas obviously have done a great job with their teams.
In the 13 U division, the Champions were the NJ Hitmen coached by Anthony Yelovich. The Hitmen defeated the Woodbridge Wolfpack 5-1 with a dominating 2nd period. The game was back and forth but the Wolfpack could not overcome the Hitmen's 3 goal second period.
In the 14 U division, the Woodbridge Wolfpack coached by Mike Bronzo, defeated the NJ Hitmen 3-0 in a dominating team win. The Wolfpack played smart hockey and didn't make very many mistakes at all. It is always a pleasure to watch a team play as together as the Wolfpack 14 U did on Saturday.
The USPHL Elite division wants to congratulate GM Kevin Angert & Program Coordinator Paul Losik for the Woodbridge Wolfpack's two Championships and four teams reaching the Championship games. Congratulations also goes to the NJ Hitmen, and GM Jim Hunt for winning a Championship and getting to four other finals.
The United States Premier Hockey League saw five 2020-21 champions skate away victorious at the York City Ice Arena in York, Pa., on Sunday, March 7. One team, the Springfield Pics, repeated as the champion in their USPHL 16U American Division. The USPHL congratulates all of its 2020-21 Midget Champions.
18U National: Boston Junior Bruins
The Boston Junior Bruins were the only 18U National team to skate through the Round Robin (March 4-6) completely undefeated at 3-0.
They picked up victories against the P.A.L. Jr. Islanders (4-0), the Rockets Hockey Club (3-1) and CP Dynamo (3-1) to earn the top spot in the four-team semifinal round late Saturday night.
That evening, they faced the Skipacks Hockey Club (a 2020 finalist) and skated away with a 7-2 win - one that came with a major cost to the Junior Bruins, however. The team exceeded the 15-penalty limit for a game set by USA Hockey, meaning they’d have to move forward to the finals without Head Coach Blake Bellefeuille.
The team was able to overcome this potential obstacle with flying colors, as they posted a 4-0 win against the Philadelphia Hockey Club (3-1 to that point) for the championship. Matt Bogdanski made 13 saves, and goals came from Jack Felicio, Michael Stevens, Mike Santonelli and Bob Lockwood, who also had two assists to lead his team in points.
18U American: Maine Moose
With seven players who had won the 2019 Tier-2 16U National Championship for the Moose, the 2020-21 18U Moose prospered despite facing some intense challenges en route to glory.
With no semifinal in this eight-team tournament, each finalist had to win their pool to move forward. They started with wins against Connecticut Jr. Rangers (3-1) and the Philadelphia Hockey Club 18U Elite team (5-0) before their toughest challenge.
On Saturday night, they were up against the other 2-0 team in their pool, the Northern Cyclones 18U Premier team. The Moose faced a 3-2 deficit going into the third period, before goals by Cam Knowles and the GWG by Brendan Manning sent them onward to Sunday’s final.
There, they met the Palmyra Black Knights, who’d gone 3-0 against the Islanders Hockey Club (5-1), Northern Cyclones 18U Elite (6-2) and South Shore Kings (2-1).
Owen Arend scored a pair of goals, and Gabe Poirier and Cam Rizzo each scored one apiece as they held off a comeback attempt by Palmyra to win 4-3. Josh Girard had 25 saves on 28 shots.
16U National: Islanders Hockey Club
After round robin wins against Palmyra (4-0) and the Connecticut Jr. Rangers (6-3), the Islanders needed just a tie against the Boston Junior Bruins on Saturday to advance.
The Islanders - coached by Islanders HC NCDC Head Coach Tim Kyrkostas - set the tone early with a first period goal by Jake Murphy, but the Junior Bruins’ goal 17 seconds into the third said that Coach Topher Bevis’ team had every intention of getting the W and advancing. The Islanders defense and goaltender Alex Lafreniere shut the Junior Bruin offense down the rest of the way, but also couldn’t get any more past Junior Bruins goalie Aidan Bickford (24 saves). Nonetheless, they got the point needed to advance, going up against the CP Dynamo.
The Dynamo had gone 2-0-1 in their round robin to make it to the finals and Head Coach Dennis Kravchenko was intent on his team being crowned with its first USPHL Midget title.
That tight Islanders defense, plus Lafreniere, however stymied those plans. The Dynamo had held off the Islanders for two periods, and most of three themselves, but Jackson Kyrkostas scored a shorthanded goal at 12:16. The Islanders sealed their second title in three years with an empty-netter with 13 seconds remaining by Aaron Schwartz. Lafreniere stopped all 15 shots he faced.
16U American: Springfield Pics
Yes, the Pics repeated as 16U American Champs, but this was actually an entirely new team put together by Coaches (and brothers) John and Anthony Sarno. That certainly speaks to the organization’s dedication to putting forth a first-class Midget program every year.
The Pics came right out and asserted themselves in their first three round robin games, with wins over the P.A.L. Jr. Islanders Premier (7-2), Philadelphia Hockey Club Elite (6-1) and Potomac Patriots (6-0). Their final game of the round robin was a 2-2 tie with Skipjacks Hockey Club, which set them as the No. 2 seed in the semifinals on Sunday morning - against the same Skipjacks.
Two goals by Ryan Shaw were a huge help in a tight game that saw the Skipjacks’ Trevor Risser score a late goal, but there wasn’t enough time for a full comeback.
In the final, against the 4-0 Northern Cyclones Premier team, the Pics got back to the busy offense of their first three games in a 6-1 win. Goals came from Ryan Shaw (2-2-4 line), Matthew Hanscom (two goals) and each of Brigham Dubey and Nick DiSanti. John Hanscom stopped 24 of 25 shots for the win.
15U: Jersey Hitmen
Teams needed to win their pool to get into the final and the Hitmen were all business through their first three games.
The opener was certainly a challenge, as the Philadelphia Hockey Club - on the back of a 39-save effort by Ian Schmitt - got the tie. The Hitmen came out of that knowing they’d have to win the rest of the way. They did just that against the Springfield Pics (9-0) and the Utica Jr. Comets, who gave them a tough go of it in a 2-1 match. Massimo Monteleone scored to break what would have been a devastating tie.
On Championship Sunday, the Hitmen took to the ice against the P.A.L. Jr. Islanders, who’d gone 3-0 in tight games to reach the final.
Joshua Shpungin scored two goals to lead the way, while Jake Rosolanko, Braedan Guiterman and Monteleone also scored for the title. Kyle Ozgun made 23 saves on 24 shots.
The United States Premier Hockey League wishes the best of luck to all six of its alumni playing in the IIHF World Junior Championships’ top-level tournament. The WJC got underway on Christmas Day and will wrap up with the Gold Medal Game on Jan. 5. Defending Gold Medalist Canada is the host country, with all games taking place in Edmonton and Red Deer, Alberta.
The USPHL is excited for all of its alumni, hailing from the National Collegiate Development Conference, the USPHL 18U and USPHL 16U Divisions.
Sam Colangelo (Boston Junior Bruins)
Colangelo (‘01/Stoneham, Mass.) just turned 19 on Dec. 26. The former Boston Junior Bruin played 31 combined regular season and playoff games in 2015-16 with the USPHL 16U Junior Bruins. Three seasons later, he played NCDC games with the Junior Bruins as well as games with their split-season Midget program known as the Little Bruins. Colangelo is on the roster for Northeastern University, but has not yet played his first NCAA game.
The 2021 World Junior Championship tournament marks Colangelo’s debut with Team USA.
Luis Lindner (Boston Junior Bruins)
Lindner, a 2001-born native of Spittel an der Drau, Austria, joined the Junior Bruins in 2019-20 at the NCDC level for what was so far his only North American season. Lindner was selected to the 2020 USPHL All-Star Game, immediately recognized after joining the Junior Bruins in the middle of the fall of their first season after winning the 2019 Dineen Cup. Lindner scored 42 points in 39 NCDC games last season. Lindner helped Austria capture the WJC Division 1A Gold Medal last year, earning promotion to the top 10 championship group for this winter. Lindner was also twice a World Under-18 Division 1 Group B Silver Medalist with Austria in 2018 and 2019.
Senna Peeters (South Kent Selects Academy)
Peeters (‘02/Deurne, Belgium) joined South Kent Selects Academy for the 2018-19 season, which included their involvement in the USPHL 16U and 18U playoffs that year. Peters played in all four USPHL playoff games with the 16U South Kent squad, posting a goal and two assists for three points in four games. Peeters was with Lindner on the Gold Medal-winning Team Austria at last year’s World Junior Championships Division 1A tournament. Prior to the WJC, he was playing in Sweden’s Top Under-20 League with Rogle BK.
Ruben Rafkin (South Kent Selects Academy)
Rafkin (‘02/Turku, Finland) helped SKSA win back-to-back USPHL 16U Championships in 2017 and 2018. Overall, in 19 combined USPHL regular season and playoff games, Rafkin scored 11 points. He has represented Finland at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge (in 2018-19) and was with Finland’s U18 team in 2020. The WJC marks his debut in an IIHF championship tournament for Finland. During the regular season, he plays for Turku in Finland’s top pro league, the Liiga.
Artur Turansky (South Kent Selects Academy)
Turansky (‘01/Bratislava, Slovakia) joined Rafkin on the 2018 USPHL 16U championship team out of South Kent School. He was also a key member of the SKSA team that won the USPHL 18U title in 2019. Turansky scored 17 points in 10 combined regular season and playoff games in 2018-19, and he had three points in six games with the USPHL 16U team one year earlier. In 2019, Turansky was also a member of Team Slovakia at the World Under-18 Championships, marking this year’s WJC his second time representing his country.
Ray Fust (Northwood School)
Fust (‘01/Reverolle, Switzerland) was a member of the Northwood School’s entry in the USPHL 18U Division in 2019-20, where he posted 12 goals and 18 points in 12 regular season games. He also added four points in three USPHL 18U playoff games last February. Committed to the University of Nebraska-Omaha for 2021-22, Fust is in his fifth appearance representing his home country and first IIHF championship tournament appearance.
Four former South Shore Kings youth players on Team USA
The South Shore Kings, a founding member of the USPHL, are also represented with four former youth hockey players on Team USA - this includes Sam Colangelo, Brett Berard, Matty Beniers and Matthew Boldy. Best of luck to all of these four as they chase down a Gold Medal for the United States!
Six former Junior Bruins Youth tournament players on Team USA
Six alumni of the Boston Junior Bruins' Brick youth tournament teams are on team USA - Sam Colangelo, Brett Berard, Matty Beniers, Matthew Body, Patrick Moynihan and Henry Thrun.
The United States Premier Hockey League is proud to announce its plans to bring teams from across its coast-to-coast footprint - the largest in all of North American Junior Hockey - to Tampa, Florida, for a Hub City concept with the health and wellness of players and staff as a top priority. The USPHL is partnering with Saddlebrook Resort (“Saddlebrook”), a multi-dimensional Tampa Resort and Conference Center, and AdventHealth Center Ice, a state-of-the-art 4-sheet, full-service ice hockey facility, to provide our teams a dedicated environment to execute our high-performance training and competition model and provide our players a tremendous opportunity to showcase their talents to all the professional and collegiate programs in the country.
When the Metro Hockey Club (MHC) - part of the Metro Jets organization - takes on the Columbus Mavericks on Friday and Saturday, Jets’ coach Tina Ciraulo will make history when she steps behind the bench as the first female head coach in the league’s eight-season history.
“I don’t think of it as being any different. You prepare the same way and make sure the guys are focused and ready to go,” said Ciraulo, who played four years with St. Cloud State University, three of those seasons with either an “A” or “C” on her jersey. “This [Metro Jets] program is great.
“I’ve known General Manager/Head Coach Justin Quenneville for a long time now. We all want to help these guys get to the next level,” Ciraulo added. “That is my passion: developing players to achieve their goals and helping them get to the highest level they can play. I’ve coached males and females my whole life. Being in this program, it’s just about developing players.”
Quenneville, who is GM of the Jets’ junior program and Head Coach of the Metro Jets entry in the USPHL Premier, was honored to bring Ciraulo onto the staff and excited that she gets a chance to be Head Coach for one of the Jets organization squads.
“Tina comes from a strong hockey background and we are excited about her being added full time to the Jets,” said Quenneville. “She brings energy, passion, and experience working with players at every level. Being a former NCAA D1 hockey player as well, she fits right in with our model in helping produce opportunities for our players. I’ve personally known Tina for several years and not only is she dedicated, but she’s committed to continuing our program’s focus on player development and advancement.”
Ciraulo is going out to the OhioHealth Chiller North with the plan to get a couple W’s for her team, which is in its first USPHL Premier season.
“I hope the boys show up and take it to them early. It’ll be a good game both nights,” said Ciraulo. “We can’t take them lightly.”
The United States Premier Hockey League and its Tier-2 National Collegiate Development Conference (NCDC) is proud to announce that four of its players have been listed on NHL Central Scouting’s Preliminary Players To Watch List, which was issued on Tuesday, Oct. 27.
The dates and location of the 2021 NHL Entry Draft are to be determined, and the event will be held either in person or by conference call following the conclusion of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Players born between January 1, 2001, and September 15, 2003, are eligible for selection in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft.
The USPHL had more players listed for 2021 than the North American Hockey League, the Central Canada Hockey League, the Ontario Junior Hockey League, or the Alberta Junior Hockey League. Nearly every other Canadian Jr. A league had no players listed.
The USPHL Players listed in no particular order include:
Billy Norcross, Islanders Hockey Club. Forward, Lynn, Mass., 6’2/180 lbs.
Norcross is a Boston College commit and a “hard-working forward who creates havoc on the forecheck,” said Islanders Head Coach Tim Kyrkostas.
Johan Rosenquist, Islanders Hockey Club. Forward, Naples, Fla., 6’2/190 lbs.
“A late ‘02 birth year forward who has come up in the IHC program, making stops on the U16 and Premier teams before cementing himself in the NCDC lineup.”
Logan Morrell, Islanders Hockey Club. Forward, Mesa, Ariz. 6’2/190 lbs.
“Logan is an ‘03 forward who’s a big smooth-skating power forward who has great vision and skill,” said Kyrkostas. “We are super excited as a team and league to have these players make the first Central Scouting draft list. This just shows just how high our league quality has become.”
Evan Orloff, Rockets Hockey Club. Defense, Kensington, Md, 6’3/195 lbs.
Orloff has come up through the USPHL from the 16U Division, where he was an All-Star last year, to the NCDC.
Additional alumni of USPHL Organizations listed include:
Gleb Veremyev, Lincoln Stars. Forward
Veremyev played two full seasons for the Rockets Hockey Club in the USPHL 15U and 16U Divisions, registering more than 70 points in league play and committing to Penn State University while with the Rockets.
Nate Benoit, Mount St. Charles Academy. Defense
Benoit played two seasons of USPHL Midget Hockey (15U and 16U) for the Northern Cyclones. He racked up more than 50 regular season and playoff points for these teams, and also saw a three-game NCDC call-up in 2018-19.
Jack Pascucci, Governor's Academy. Defense
Pascucci played for the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs' USPHL 16U team in 2018-19, posting 2-9-11 in 29 league games.
Arseni Sergeyev, Omaha Lancers. Goaltender
Sergeyev appeared in four games for the Rockets Hockey Club NCDC team in 2019-20, registering a .926 save percentage.
Cameron MacDonald, Saint John Sea Dogs. Forward
MacDonald played one game for the Connecticut Jr. Rangers' NCDC team in 2018-19, after being drafted in the 2018 NCDC Futures Draft by Connecticut. MacDonald scored a sharp-angle goal in his only NCDC action.
Cooper Flinton, St. Paul's School. Forward
Flinton played for the Northern Cyclones' 16U Prep (non-league) squad.
Peter Reynolds, Saint John Sea Dogs. Forward
Reynolds played youth hockey for the Islanders Hockey Club.
The United States Premier Hockey League is pleased to announce the hiring of Bob Turow as its next Commissioner. Turow is highly accomplished and well-respected in hockey circles. His founding of Prospects Tournaments (“Prospects”) and his work to establish the United States Hockey League’s (USHL) Combines and Central Scouting Department are a couple examples of Turow’s hockey successes. Current Commissioner Richard Gallant will remain on as USPHL Commissioner through January 1, 2021 to ensure a smooth transition of the Commissioner’s duties to Bob Turow.
Turow can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
”Having watched the growth of the USPHL, the decision to join the organization as Commissioner was easy,” said Turow. “My goal will be to continue to provide unmatched value to all in the USPHL family, whether player, parent, coach or owner.”
In 1995, Turow created the Prospects platform to provide young aspiring hockey players an avenue to showcase their talents to NHL, Canadian Hockey League (“CHL”) and NCAA coaches and scouts. Under Bob’s stewardship, Prospects became North America’s Top Showcase event for nearly two decades seeing more than 500 NHL draft picks, 1,000 NCAA Division 1 and Canadian Hockey League players and 100 NCAA Division 1 Women Hockey players excel in the tournaments. Eight alumni of the Prospects were selected first overall in their respective NHL Entry Draft years: Joe Thornton, Rick DiPietro, Sidney Crosby, Erik Johnson, Patrick Kane, Steven Stamkos, John Tavares and Taylor Hall.
Turow was also instrumental in the formation of the current USHL Central Scouting (now known as USHL Player Development). Turow created the Central Scouting Showcases (now the USHL Combines) and ran both the Central Scouting and the Showcases for five years for the USHL.
Outside of hockey, Bob Turow and his wife Lynda have found business success in running several Fantastic Sams Salon franchises. Bob is a dual citizen of the United States and Canada, and Bob and Lynda split their residence between Palm Harbor, Fla., and Kitchener, Ont. They have four adult children - MacKenzie, a social worker; Corey, a police officer; Allie, an advertising executive; and Kelsey, a school teacher. They also have two grandchildren, Ava and Jamieson.
The USPHL is proud to welcome Bob Turow as he leads the league into a bright future.
About The USPHL
The United States Premier Hockey League of 2020/2021 will be the nation’s largest amateur ice hockey league and the only league to span the continental United States and parts of Canada. The USPHL will field approximately 550 teams representing over 100 organizations comprised of 11,000 players spanning the ages of 6 through 20.
Overall, across all its divisions, the USPHL had more than 1,200 alumni playing college hockey in 2019-20 and more than 250 playing pro hockey, including in the NHL.