The USPHL 18U All-Star game was a big draw for scouts and fans alike.
This was despite weekend when there was a wonder if anyone - players, coaches or fans - could make it through a massive storm followed by single-digit temperatures. But the railing above the rink at Gallant Arena at Merrimack College was full, and several onlookers stood at the glass as the league’s top 18U players squared off.
In the end, the National All-Stars in red jerseys picked up the victory. The National team was selected by Skipjacks Hockey Club head coach Jason Kersner and Islanders Hockey Club head coach Tim Pelletier, and coached by Kersner to a 7-5 victory.
The Boston Junior Bruins’ Salvatore Caterina sent a hard shot from almost exactly at the American blue line that found its way through for the first goal just 5:31 in. The Islanders Hockey Club’s Zach Diamont assisted.
A turnover by Team National at the blue line was picked up by the P.A.L. Jr. Islanders’ Anthony Bernardo and sent across to Islanders teammate Jake Lanyi for the first American goal 9:43 into the period.
A flurry of first period goals followed from there. The first of three came off a pretty passing play completed by the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs’ Emanuel Sanchez, assisted by the Junior Bruins’ Ian Carpentier and Merrimack commit Nolan Barrett (Skipjacks Hockey Club).
Roughly four minutes later, it was Carpentier from Sanchez, on a 2-on-1 with 1:41 remaing.
But the All-Stars weren’t done. This first period was way too much fun to just walk away from. The New Jersey Hitmen’s T.J. Schweighardt, the leading scorer among defensemen and overall for his team, surgically inserted the puck in a space about the size of maybe three pucks over the shoulder of UMass-Lowell commit Aidan Harper (Skipjacks) with 8.8 seconds remaining. When the snow had settled, the score was 3-2 heading into the second. Coincidentally, it was also 3-2 when the third period began, thanks to Team National goalie Oliver Quinn (N.H. Jr. Monarchs), with 16 saves on 16 shots, and Team American goalie David Battisti (Rochester Jr. Monarchs), who stopped all seven shots he faced.
The third period put the scorekeeper back to work on the goals and assists front, with one apiece from each team.
Ben Peterson (Northern Cyclones) worked his way in with a majestic individual effort to put home the eventual GWG for Team National in the 4-3 win.
Team American did not give up, though, working hard to build off their third goal and Lanyi’s second at the 8:55 mark, but Team National and its goalie Jake Perrin (Islanders Hockey Club, 14 saves) held on for the win.
NOTE: A major winter snowstorm is slated to come through the Northeastern U.S. this weekend, so some of these games may end up being postponed. Check the schedules at usphl.com/18U, usphl.com/16U and usphl.com/15U for the most up-to-date info.
National - The top two teams in the National, Jersey Hitmen (17-4-2-1, 37 pts) and the Skipjacks (15-5-0-2, 30 pts) will be idle this week, but the third place PAL Junior Islanders (12-7-1-1, 26 pts) will take on the Junior Bruins (7-10-3-1, 17 pts) Saturday.
Keep an eye on the P.A.L.’s All-Star forward Jake Lanyi who has 16 goals and 10 assists and is sixth in points with 26.
Northeast - The logjam at the top of the Northeast remains with the New Hampshire Monarchs (14-2-1-2, 31 pts) in first, the Springfield Pics (14-7-1-1, 30 pts) in second and CP Dynamo (13-4-1-0, 27 pts) in third.
Out of those three teams, only CP Dynamo will be in action as they take on Northwood (12-1-1-2, 25 pts) Saturday and Sunday. This could be a goalies’ duel as Dynamo All-Star goalie Ronan Mobley is 7-0-1-0 with a 1.03 GAA, .957 save percentage and three shutouts. On the other end will be Ryan Wilson for Northwood and he’s 8-0-1-0 with a .091 GAA and .964 save percentage. Wilson has also posted three shutouts.
Mid-American - The first place Jersey Shore Whalers (13-2-0-0, 26 points) will host the Connecticut Jr. Rangers (6-7-2-0, 14 pts) Saturday and Monday. Whalers All-Star forward Mike Franzoni will be a player to watch as he has 16 goals and 14 assists so far. Between the pipes, Whalers goalie Lane Skon has not lost yet and is 6-0-0 with a 1.33 GAA and .909 save percentage.
National: The National Division teams are idle this weekend.
Northeast: The Northeast is also jammed up at the top. CP Dynamo (17-3-2-0, 36 pts), still leads the division with the Northern Cyclones (16-4-1-2, 33 pts) and the Springfield Pics (15-9-1-1, 31 pts) in striking distance. Not far behind are the Rochester Monarchs (13-2-0-1, 27 pts) and the Junior Bruins (13-5-0-1, 27 pts).
The Pics and Junior Bruins will be busy this weekend. The Pics are on the road against the Junior Bruins Friday and then at CP Dynamo Saturday and Sunday. Meanwhile after their tilt with the Pics Friday, the B’s host the Boston Bandits Saturday and Sunday.
Pics All-Star forward Daniel Murnieks is having a great season with 19 goals and 22 assists and Ilya Spirin has been sensational between the pipes for the B’s as he is 10-4-0 with a 1.86 GAA and .940 save percentage.
For the Dynamo, All-Star goalie Chris Swanson is 6-0-1 with a 1.28 GAA and .922 save percentage and the Flansburg brothers are lighting it up as Spencer has 20 goals and 34 points and Schuyler is machine with 25 helpers and 34 points as well!
Mid-American: The Mid-American is idle this week.
The Hitmen (15-6-0, 30 pts) remain in first place with the still undefeated New Jersey Rockets (14-0-0, 28 pts) on their heels in second place and the Philadelphia HC (12-5-0, 24 pts) not far behind. All teams will be down in Bridgewater, NJ for a MLK weekend tournament, the 2018 New Jersey Rockets 15U Showcase. Here’s a rundown of the games:
The Hitmen will play the Florida Junior Everblades (3-9-0-1, 6 pts) and the Pics (2-9-0-2, 26 pts) on Saturday and then the Islanders (8-13-1, 17 pts) and the Palm Beach Hawks (7-9-01, 15 pts) on Sunday, and the Jersey Shore Whalers (8-13-0, 16 pts) on Monday.
Keep an eye on Hitmen forward Matt Imbriano who has 17 goals and 22 points in 17 games played. In net, David Lee is getting the job done at 6-3-0 with a 2.67 GAA and .915 save percentage.
The Rockets play the Hawks and the Northern Cyclones (9-7-0-1, 19 pts) on Saturday; Philly and P.A.L. Islanders (8-13-1, 17 pts) on Sunday, and then the Islanders on Monday.
For the Rockets, Jared Kordonsky has 16 goals and 24 points, and Gleb Veremyev (9g, 14a) and William Lawrence (14g, 9a,) each have 23 points. Between the pipes, Matt Bridger is unbeaten at 6-0-0 with a .087 GAA and .952 save percentage. He has two shutouts.
In addition to the Rockets on Saturday, Philadelphia will play Palm Beach and on Sunday, as mentioned above, they will also play the Rockets again and then the Northern Cyclones. On Monday, Philly finishes their weekend playing the P.A.L. Jr. Islanders.
Congratulations to this week’s group of 18U Players Of The Week.
Forward: Steven Townley, CP Dynamo.
Townley, named to the 18U All-Star Game on Monday, headed into that announcement off a five-point weekend against the Junior Bruins and South Shore Kings. Townley (‘00/Woodstock, Vt.) had two points against each of the Junior Bruins and Kings, and scored a shorthanded goal in the third game of the weekend, and second against the Kings.
Defense: Brady Fitzpatrick, Rochester Jr. Monarchs.
Fitzpatrick (‘01/Rochester, N.Y.) rang up four helpers in a decisive shutout victory against the rival Syracuse Stars. One such assist came on a shorthanded goal, and he helped teammates Jack Schlifke (four goals) and Ryan Eccles (three goals) to big performances. He has registered five of his seven total points in his last two games.
Goal: Oliver Quinn, New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs.
Another All-Star, Quinn (‘00/Loudon, N.H.) stopped all 30 shots he faced against Springfield on Sunday. That was his league-leading fourth shutout of the season, and he is 7-2-0 with a .928 save percentage.
The Guiding Lights: USPHL Coaches Pass On Love, Knowledge Of The Game At All Levels
By Joshua Boyd / USPHL.com
Some have been doing it almost their entire professional lives, while others joined later.
The one thing USPHL coaches have in common, however, is their dedication to the mission of making young men into better hockey players and better people.
That is certainly clear from talking to the coaches we reached out to for this article, who come from each level of the USPHL’s junior ranks and the 18U and 16U Divisions, as well.
Read on, as the coaches at the helm of some of the USPHL’s best teams talk about how they got their start, about their philosophies on coaching, and what they like most about coaching within the USPHL, the nation’s largest amateur hockey organization.
Picking up the whistle
“I don’t think I ever decided to become a coach, it just happened.”
These are the words of one of the most successful junior hockey coaches in the United States, the New Jersey Hitmen’s head coach Toby Harris. He played for the great Jerry York at Boston College, before embarking on a pro career cut short by concussions. It was while he was still a player that he caught the coaching bug, eventually leading to him to becoming a co-founder of the Hitmen in 2004, and their head coach since 2007.
“My first ‘coaching’ job was at Exeter Academy Summer Camps. I began in the summer of 1997, and worked those camps for over a decade. It was an eight-week sleepaway camp with four two-week sessions,” said Harris. “After my playing career was ended prematurely, I could not get the game out of my system. I turned down jobs on Wall Street to work hockey camps, do skills sessions, and coach spring/summer AAA select teams.
“This game was in my blood and I was lucky to get the opportunity to do it full time,” added Harris. “I love my job. I love going to work, and I love competing every day.”
Another player whose injury ended up being serendipitous was Tony Horacek, a former Philadelphia Flyer and Chicago Blackhawk (1989-95), now head coach of the Palmyra Black Knights in the USPHL 16U Division.
An eye injury brought his playing career to a close. That same 1997-98 season, however, he was hired full-time by the Utah Grizzlies of the former International Hockey League, to be an assistant coach under Bob Bourne and former NHL head coach Butch Goring.
“I wanted to stay involved with the team, I still loved the sport and being a part of the success of the whole, and was fortunate enough to have been offered an assistant coaching position,” said Horacek, currently head coach of the Palmyra Black Knights’ USPHL 16U squad.
It was actually two years earlier that he got his first exposure to coaching, as a player-coach for the Indianapolis Ice (also of the IHL).
“I remember it being very challenging, exhilarating and fun when winning - not so much when not winning,” added Horacek.
The decision to turn to coaching was made very suddenly for Metro Jets (USPHL Premier) head coach Justin Quenneville. He was preparing for another playing season with the pro Corpus Christi Ice Rays, when their GM called him and asked him if he wanted to join the Ice Rays’ junior team as a coach.
“I was in my last year of a professional playing contract and knew I only had a few good years left in the tank,” said Quenneville. “I loved it down in Texas and the city was awesome. When [GM Pat Dunn] asked me if I had any interest in getting into coaching with the [junior] team, I was sold. Most people don’t get an opportunity to start at a high level and for a top organization.”
A few coaches started in the high school game before joining the junior ranks, including Garrett Strot, who is head coach of both the Premier and Elite teams for the Tampa Bay Juniors.
“I've always played hockey and started skating at age 4. When I was done playing college hockey, I just got right into coaching at my alma mater Osseo High School in Minnesota,” said Strot. “I started helping the JV team and remembered how much I enjoyed working with the players. I was then JV head coach for three years and then varsity head coach for 14 years.”
Rich Alger is a first-year head coach in the NCDC, running the bench for the Boston Bandits. He also got into coaching through the high school route, and it’s an experience he still draws on today.
“When I was done playing in college [at Boston University], a local high school coach asked me to help him on a volunteer basis,” said Alger. “I told him I’d come once a week to help out and I ended up coming that first day and stayed with him every day for six or seven years.
“Coaching with the Cape Cod Tech/Chatham High co-op team, we had a lot of different types of kids from different social backgrounds, a lot of hard-luck kids. That was a crash course in how to manage personalities. So much of what coaches do on a daily basis is finding what buttons to push with players, what motivates them, what shuts them off, and how to get the most of your guys. Those first coaching years with [head coach] Bill Jacques were hugely formative.”
It also taught him that a coach always need to be the best prepared person on the ice.
“I remember the first practice I ever ran for [Cape Cod Tech], because I ran out of drills inside of 20 minutes,” said Alger. “It was that first humbling moment of knowing that playing and coaching are totally different.”
Thinking the game
The Jersey Shore Whalers have had a great start to the USPHL 18U season, going 11-2 in league play and being ranked among the top half of 18U AAA programs nationwide. Whalers head coach Stan Gutt has been a Midget or high school coach since 2000, and said that he believes the most important aspect of coaching is to continue learning the game.
“My view of the game has not changed much, but my knowledge of the game grows daily. I feel the main change from being a player to a coach is preparation. Coaches need to be prepared for every situation, either on or off the ice,” said Gutt. “As a coach you try and prepare your team as best you can, but you yourself cannot execute what you are teaching. That is what drives us coaches to coach.”
Nic Cota is one of the younger coaches in the USPHL, running the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs’ USPHL Elite team. Born in 1993, he played three years of junior hockey and then at the University of Southern Maine. He coached at Portland High School in Maine before joining the Florida Panthers as a member of their Junior Panthers program.
In Florida, he held the title of “Hockey Coach/Mentor.” He himself had a mentor in Florida in Jack Capuano, current assistant coach for the NHL’s Panthers. This season, Cota has coached the Monarchs’ Elite team to a 20-3 record through the end of 2018.
“My coaching philosophy is a combination of everything I have learned from my past experiences, and the coaches I’ve played for. I coach a fast style of play - moving the
puck North,” said Cota. “Work ethic, commitment, and leadership are an important part of my
coaching style. I want my players to be great young men on and off the ice. I want them
to represent themselves, their families, and the Monarchs to the best of their ability.”
Finding the players who can fulfill a team’s mission statement like the one above is a full-time job in itself. This is especially true for a program that has the stature of the New Jersey Hitmen’s NCDC team.
“My view and knowledge of the game has changed drastically since I started, but my core values in terms of what I look for in a player, that player’s character and the type of person that he is has not changed and never will,” said Harris. “We recruit players that are serious about this game and serious about what it takes to become the better person and best player. My coaching philosophy is simple: come to the rink prepared. For the five or six hours you are here daily, your focus is on development, staying sharp and making gains.”
Horacek always draws on his NHL and pro experience when he thinks about the game of hockey - he was trained by some of the best, including Stanley Cup-winning coaches Ken Hitchcock and Darryl Sutter. His challenge is to translate that knowledge to young 16U players within the Palmyra program.
“Playing the sport builds a first-hand intimacy and understanding of what a successful room feels like,” said Horacek. “As a coach, your are responsible for the success of the whole, not just yourself. [You also understand] that without developing your players on a daily basis in an environment that challenges them consistently, you will not have growth nor wins. The two are indirectly correlated with each other.”
In 2013, Quenneville joined his wife, who got a great job offer in Michigan, in the move north from Texas. He became the head coach of the Metro Jets that year.
“I always was a student of the game. I will never forget my first video session way back when video wasn’t really a thing coaches did. The game has changed so much in the last 10 years, and coaches need to evolve with it,” said Quenneville. “Everything is focused around speed and skill now. We focus 100 percent on development. People would be surprised to know that our philosophy does not preach winning hockey games or championships, whatsoever.
“We are a selfish program and deal in the industry of selfish players. Yes, every player in junior hockey is selfish about their goals and opportunities. Other coaches will be honest and admit that,” Quenneville added. “Instead of preaching coming together as a group, we teach better habits, skills and decision-making on the ice from Day 1. The goal is to see the players progress, learn through repetitions and expose that IQ in games.”
Strot, who joined the Tampa Bay juniors six years ago, said that coaching made him so much more aware of the “why” in terms of what is happening on the ice. He also agrees with Quenneville that coaches at this level shouldn’t be worried about the “W’s” - those typically come with better player development.
“Coaching makes you think of why you are doing things a certain way, whereas a player may just do it because their coach said to, without thinking ‘Why we are doing certain things?’” Strot added. “My philosophy is about developing the players. I always felt that if you make your players better, winning will be the byproduct.”
The best platform
Alger, of the Bandits, remembers very well playing junior hockey in New England with the Boston Junior Bruins, back when they and the Springfield Pics were the only two junior teams in the area.
“I’m a big proponent of junior hockey. I played for the very first Junior Bruins team and it was a great model even back then,” said Alger. “I like the practice time, I like the fact we’re able to train a few times a week off the ice. I feel like that is all a part of what we as a league in the USPHL can offer.
“The level of play in the USPHL is always humbling - regardless of where you happen to be in the standings, whatever week and whomever you’re playing, if you don’t show up, you won’t win,” Alger added.
Gutt agrees about the USPHL as a whole featuring tough draws every weekend, forcing the hand of coaches to be on their toes in terms of preparation and player development.
“I feel, from top to bottom, the USPHL 18U Division is one of the best in the country,” Gutt said. “All the coaches seem to come prepared, and if you don’t bring your A game, any team can beat the other in this league.”
Being part of a multi-tiered organization like the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs, Cota has seen all of the different junior levels of the USPHL this year.
“I have been very impressed with the level of play throughout the USPHL. The NCDC
level has surprised me the most, as I feel it is a very high level of hockey,” Cota said. “The Premier league is a competitive level and I hope to see that league continue to produce NCAA-caliber players. The USPHL Elite is a great entry level league for young players to develop their skills in order to continue moving up the ladder.”
“The coaching in the NCDC is top notch. Every coach in this league cares,” added the Hitmen’s Harris, about the top, tuition-free junior level. “They care about their players. They care about winning. They care about development. It is not easy to win in this league because the coaching staffs come to the rink so well prepared for what’s ahead.”
Hitmen games are just one segment of a fully regimented and diverse schedule of development that Harris and assistant coach Jim Hunt, a former NCAA Division 1 head coach, put them through each week.
“A week in the life of a Hitman is pretty intense,” said Harris. “We skate five days a week - including Monday with our power skating coach and Friday with our skills coach. On top of that, we have three team lifts a week, two yoga sessions as well as boxing and team video. We spend about 22-25 hours per week training our players.”
Horacek gets his Palmyra 16U team together on the ice three times a week, and there’s also a gym session once per week and video session every other week, a demanding schedule for players still in high school eight hours a day. It’s all necessary, because Horacek knows each weekend’s battles will be equally grueling for 51 minutes.
“The USPHL 16U level has some very good teachers, coaches and programs throughout,” he added.
Along with an intense development program, the Metro Jets’ Quenneville also builds in a winning mentality to the weekly schedule.
“We believe in taking one week at a time and the approach of coming to the rink and getting better everyday. This is a better way for them to learn how to win rather than us teach them how,” Quenneville added. “To say it lightly, these kids are treated like pros. We give them the tools, and the ones that use them succeed faster.”
Tampa Bay’s Strot has a similar type of schedule, but it’s times two, as he coaches both the Premier and Elite Division teams. Plyometrics, skill sessions, video - it’s all part of the week working up to the (typically) Saturday and Sunday games.
“Coaching both teams makes for long days, but it is definitely worth it,” added Strot.
Long hours at the rink, time away from their own family and the mental and physical toll of a season are all part of the sacrifices these coaches make. In the end, they don’t do it for themselves - they do it to make young men into better players and better people.
“The biggest thing for me personally,” said the Bandits’ Rich Alger, “is I kind of err on the side of doing the right thing by the kids. We’ve asked our kids to put faith in us in Bridgewater, taking them from their homes and families. We do the best we can with the guys we have recruited. We coach them, train them and put them in the best positions to succeed and be promoted to higher levels of hockey.”
“Maybe it’s me being a father,” he added, “but you think of how you would want your own kid to be treated.”
Joey Duszak, a four-year member of the P.A.L. Jr. Islanders junior organization, was named as a Hobey Baker Memorial Award nominee on Wednesday, Jan. 16.
Duszak was the USPHL Premier Player Of The Year in 2015-16, when he scored 60 points for the Islanders. He is currently leading scorer of the Mercyhurst University NCAA team as a defenseman with 29 points in 22 games.
Duszak joined the Islanders in 2012-13, when they were part of the former Empire Junior Hockey League, forerunner of today’s USPHL Elite Division. He continued to climb the ladder, spitting 2013-14 between the Islanders’ teams in the USPHL 18U and USPHL Premier Divisions. In 2014-15, he spent his first of two years at the top of the Islanders’ scoring leaderboard with 57 points - only a prelude to the greatness to come the next season.
Duszak joins eight other nominees as having ties to the USPHL and its member organizations. You can vote for all of these players at www.hobeybaker.com/vote
Dalton MacAfee was a member of the South Shore Kings’ USPHL Premier squad in 2014-15, after a season at Boston University. From the blue line he scored six goals and 19 points in 42 games, and made a new commitment to the U.S. Military Academy, where he has flourished the last three seasons and is now a senior Captain.
Like Duszak, he is leading his team in points from the blue line, with 20 points in 22 NCAA contests with Army.
Prior to his time at BU, he also was a member of the Cape Cod Whalers 18U team. The Whalers are now members of the EHF Selects split-season Midget Division of the USPHL.
Alex Limoges (Penn State) and Chase Priskie (Quinnipiac) were teammates on the USPHL 16U’s Selects Academy team in 2013-14. Limoges also played for the Selects 18U team in the USPHL 18U Division in 2014-15.
Limoges, a sophomore, is tied for the team lead in points at 30 with another former USPHL Midget player, Evan Barratt.
Priskie, a senior and second-year captain at Quinnipiac, is the second-leading scorer for the Bobcats at 27 points in 22 games.
Evan Barratt scored 63 points in 21 USPHL 16U games in 2013-14, just prior to making the jump the next season to the U.S. National Team Development Program. In addition to playing for Penn State, he was a Silver Medalist at this year’s World Junior Championships. He also won Gold in 2016-17 at the World Under-18 Championships.
Joey Daccord, a goaltender for Arizona State, split the 2014-15 season between the USPHL’s Boston Junior Bruins Premier team and Cushing Academy. He is now a junior for the Sun Devils and holds a .930 save percentage.
David Cotton, of Boston College, played two years for the Little Bruins - the split-season Midget team fielded each year by the Boston Junior Bruins, and members of the EHF Selects. Now a junior for BC, he has scored 12 goals and 20 points in 19 games for the Eagles.
Cameron Donaldson, a sophomore at Cornell, played for the Mid-Fairfield Jr. Rangers 18U team (now part of the EHF Selects Division) during the 2015-16 season. He has nine goals and 13 points through 15 games for the Big Red.
Callahan Burke, a junior at Notre Dame, played part of his 2013-14 season between the Little Bruins 18U team and the parent Boston Junior Bruins’ USPHL Premier squad. He has 21 points in 21 games.
Past Hobey Baker Award winners who have had links to the USPHL and its member organizations include Matt Gilroy (2009, Boston University/South Shore Kings), Jack Eichel (2015, Boston University/Boston Junior Bruins) and Jimmy Vesey (2016, Harvard/South Shore Kings).
The division-leading Jersey Hitmen (17-4-2-1, 37 pts) were idle last weekend, but there was still some action in the National as the PAL Islanders (12-7-1-1, 26 pts), Islanders Hockey Club (6-8-0-1, 13 pts) and the New Jersey Rockets (7-15-2-2, 18 pts) all played with the the Rockets going 1-2, the Islanders going 1-1 and the P.A.L. Jr. Islanders going 1-0 over the last week.
Last Wednesday, the P.A.L. Islanders beat the New Jersey Rockets 6-3. Dominic Settimo led the way for P.A.L. with two goals and three assists, while Bryan Van Ness had four assists, and Jake Lanyi had a hat trick. Harrison Chesney made 31 saves for the win. Anthony Demario had a goal and an assist for the Rockets and Drew Galea and Eric Honold each had a goal.
On Saturday, the Islanders Hockey Club beat the Rockets 5-1. Connor Gatto had a goal and two assists, Frank Fragomeni had a goal and an assist and Nick O’Connell, Tommy Carr and Grant Saiz all had a goal a piece. Nick Niemo also had two helpers. Between the pipes, Jake Perrin made 25 saves. Eric Honold had the lone goal for the Rockets.
On Sunday, the Rockets returned the favor to the Islanders and beat them 3-2. Philip Decresce, Shane Miller and Anthony Demario all scored for the Rockets and Dominick Antala made 35 saves. For the Islanders Nick O’Connell and Zach Diamont scored and Perrin made 22 saves.
Northeast: NH Monarchs Overtake Pics For First Place
There’s a new team atop the Northeast Division as the New Hampshire Monarchs (14-2-2-2, 31 pts) beat the Northern Cyclones (7-9-1-1, 19 pts), 8-2, last Wednesday and then swept a home and home set from the Springfield Pics (14-7-1-1, 30 pts).
On Friday, the Monarchs went to Springfield and beat the Pics 4-2 and on Saturday they returned home to shut the Pics out 3-0.
On Wednesday, Rais Francis had a hat trick for the Monarchs, Jacob Ducharme had a goal and four assists, Mathew Horan had a goal and an assist, Emanuel Sanchez had three helpers, Ryan Cardow had a goal and an assist, Josh Boyd had two assists and Eric Lester had a goal.
On Saturday, the Monarchs got goals from four different players as Lester, Khoi Manchester, Ducharme and Sanchez all lit the lamp. Brogan McDonald was huge between the pipes making 47 saves. Brock Bauman and Julian Perino each had a goal and an assist for the Pics and Martin Altrichter did all he could to help his team, making 45 saves.
On Sunday, Oliver Quinn got the nod between the pipes for the Monarchs and he did not disappoint making 30 saves for the shutout. Chris Mingus scored twice and Sanchez lit the lamp again for New Hampshire.
The CP Dynamo (12-4-1-1, 24 pts) swept a two-game set with the South Shore Kings (5-9-4-1, 15 pts), winning 5-1 on Saturday and on Sunday 4-1. On Saturday, Enrico Bozac had a goal and two assists; Steven Townley and Eagan Schmitt both had a goal and an assist and Caleb Smith and Nick Serafin each had a goal for the Dynamo. George McMichael made 16 saves in the win. Kyle Lindholm had the lone goal for the Kings. On Sunday, Schmitt and Nick Cieszynski each had a goal and an assist and both Smith and Townley scored a goal each for the Dynamo. Gavin Alves had the lone goal for the Kings.
The Northern Cyclones traveled to Pittsburgh and played a rare double-header Saturday with the Vengeance and then played them again on Sunday.
The Vengeance won the first game Saturday 8-6 behind a huge games from Andrew Willbert (2g-3a), Jacob Gyergyo (2g-1a), Noah Yerdon (1g-2 a), Khaliel Laracuente (1g-1a) and Kellen Almady who had two lamplighters. Ben Petersen had two goals and an assist for the Cyclones; Louis Valente had a goal and two assists; Jacob Pellerin and Jacob Howell had a goal and an assist each and Conner Ladabouche had a goal.
In the night half of the doubleheader the Cyclones blew past the Vengeance with an 8-5 win. Travis Marchant had a hat trick and two helpers for the Cyclones while Kurtis Olsen had two goals and two assists and Valente had a goal and an assist. Derrick Brown and Howell also chipped in with a goal a piece. Laracuente and Yerdon had a goal and an assist for the Vengeance; Almady had two goals and Wibert had a goal.
On Sunday, the two teams went to a shootout and Tyler Putnam scored the shootout winner for the Vengeance in a 5-4 win. Yerdon had two goals; Almady a goal and an assist and Nick Bandi scored for the Vengeance as well. For the Cyclones TJ Vitullo, Curtis (assist as well), Howell and Olsen all scored.
18U All-Star Game: Monday, Jan. 21, 2:30 p.m. Gallant Arena, Merrimack College, North Andover.
The American team, who will wear the White jerseys, will be coached by Anthony Yelovich (New Jersey Hitmen) and Bob Thornton (P.A.L. Jr. Islanders), both of whom also selected the team based on their first and third place standing in the 18U National Division as of Dec. 31.
1. G David Battisti - Rochester Jr. Monarchs
‘01/Victor, N.Y. 5-11/155. Third-year USPHL/Monarchs player. Second in USPHL games played (15), .917 save percentage is sixth in the USPHL 18U.
2. D Romeo Torain - P.A.L. Jr. Islanders
‘00/New York, N.Y. 5-9/155. Third-year USPHL/P.A.L. Jr. Islanders player.
3. D Sawyer Tantleff, New Jersey Rockets
‘01/Newton, Mass. 6-1/195. Third-year USPHL/second-year Rockets player. 2018-19: In addition to time with 18U, has seen one-game call-up with Elite Rockets, earning an assist.
4. D Nick Serio, P.A.L. Jr. Islanders
‘01/Bayville, N.Y. 6-1/175. Third-year USPHL/P.A.L. Jr. Islanders player.
5. D Kyle Lindholm, South Shore Kings.
‘00/Windsor, Colo. 6-2/175. Second-year USPHL/South Shore Kings player.
6. D T.J. Pratt, P.A.L. Jr. Islanders.
‘00/Oyster Bay, N.Y. 5-11/175. Repeat All-Star (16U, 2017). Fourth-year USPHL/P.A.L. Jr. Islanders player.
7. D Tristan Frese, New Jersey Hitmen.
‘00/Broomfield, Colo. 5-10/175. Third-year USPHL/N.J. Hitmen player.
2018-19: 12 gp-1g-5a-6pts
8. D T.J. Schweighardt, New Jersey Hitmen.
‘01/Wayne, N.J. 5-9/165. Third-year All-Star (16U 2017 and 2018).
2018-19: Went on 11-game scoring streak from Oct. 5 to Nov. 8, with 16 points. Leading scorer for Hitmen as a defenseman. Leading scorer among all USPHL 18U defensemen. Seventh overall in league scoring. Tied for league lead in GWG (4) with All-Star teammate Bryan Van Ness. Third in league assists (20).
9. D Sean Vlasich, New Jersey Hitmen. D
‘01/Upper Saddle River, N.J. 5-8/160. Repeat All-Star (16U, 2018). Third-year Hitmen/USPHL player.
10. F Steven Townley, CP Dynamo.
‘00/Woodstock, Vt. 6-2/200. First-year USPHL/CP Dynamo player. 2018-19: Tied for second in team scoring.
11. F Brett Schneider, New Jersey Hitmen.
‘00/Toms River, NJ. 6-0/170. First-year USPHL/Hitmen player. 2018-19: Third in Hitmen team scoring behind fellow All-Star T.J. Schweighardt. Tied for ninth in league assists. Seven points scored in last four games.
12. F Oscar Worob, New Jersey Hitmen.
‘01/Montclair, NJ. 5-10/161. Repeat All-Star (16U, 2018). Third-year USPHL/New Jersey Hitmen player.
14. F Mike Carducci, New Jersey Hitmen.
‘00/Larchmont, NY. 6-0/183. Third-year USPHL, first-year Hitmen. 2018-19: Tied for third in Hitmen goals and assists. Tied for fourth in Hitmen points. Tied for 13th in league assists.
15. F Anthony Bernardo, P.A.L. Jr. Islanders
‘00/Hauppauge, N.Y. 5-10/170. LW. Repeat All-Star (16U, 2017). Homegrown, career product of P.A.L. system. 2018-19: 13th in league scoring. NCDC call-up Nov. 11 vs. Rochester.
16. F Bryan Van Ness, P.A.L. Jr. Islanders
‘00/New York City, N.Y. 5-10/165. Third-year USPHL/P.A.L. Jr. Islanders player.
2018-19: Fourth in team scoring. Tied for 18th in league goal-scoring. Tied for league lead in GWG with All-Star T.J. Schweighardt (4).
17. F Anthony DeMario, New Jersey Rockets.
‘01/Montvale, N.J. C. 5-10/160. First-year USPHL/Rockets. 2018-19: Leading scorer of team. Tied for 20th in league scoring. Four-game scoring streak currently with seven points.
18. F Jake Lanyi, P.A.L. Jr. Islanders.
‘00/North Salem, N.Y. C. 6-0/165. Third-year USPHL/second-year P.A.L. Jr. Islanders. 2018-19: NCDC Dec. 1-2 call-up vs. Islanders HC. 2-0-0-0. 18U Team scoring leader. Eighth in league scoring. Tied with fellow All-Star Michael Franzoni for league goal-scoring lead.
19. F Cameron Croteau, South Shore Kings.
‘01/Feeding Hills, Mass. 5-11/175. 2018-19: Has seen three games with NCDC, 12-2/3 vs. Hitmen and 12/14 vs. NHM. Leading scorer of Kings, tied for 14th in league goal-scoring. 2018-19: 17gp-11g-7a-18pts
20. F Jason Atkinson, New Jersey Hitmen.
‘01/Oakland, N.J. C. 5-6/152. Repeat All-Star (16U, 2018). Third-year USPHL/Hitmen player. 2018-19: Fifth in team scoring. Tied for 20th in league scoring. Tied for 14th in league assists. 2018-19: 24gp-7g-13a-20pts.
21. F Tyler Murray, CP Dynamo.
‘01/Barre, Vt. F. 5-10/159. First-year USPHL/CP Dynamo player. 2018-19: Leading scorer for CP Dynamo, Tied for seventh in league goal-scoring (13).
23. F Ryan Eccles, Rochester Jr. Monarchs.
‘01/Syracuse, N.Y. 6-0/214. Second-year USPHL 18U/Jr. Monarchs. 2018-19: Second in team scoring, again behind Jack Schlifke.
30. G Ronan Mobley, CP Dynamo.
‘01/Playa Del Rey, Calif. 5-9/152. First-year USPHL/CPD. 2018-19: Second among “qualified goalies” (more than 300 minutes) with a 0.98 goals against average. Undefeated in regulation at 5-0-1 in USPHL play. Best GAA and save percentage (.955) for a full-time USPHL 18U goalie. Three shutouts, as well, and started season with back-to-back shutouts on Sept. 9 and 16.
31. G Matt Schoer, P.A.L. Jr. Islanders.
‘01/Long Valley, N.J. 6-1/160. Third-year USPHL/second year PAL. 2018-19: Tied for fourth in league wins (7-4 record); .905 save percentage, 3.32 GAA.
The National team, who will wear the White jerseys, will be coached by Jason Kersner (Skipjacks Hockey Club) and Tim Pelletier (Islanders Hockey Club), both of whom selected the team, based on their second and fourth place standing in the 18U National Division as of Dec. 31.
1. G Aidan Harper, Skipjacks Hockey Club.
‘01/Gurnee, Ill. 6-2/170. UMass-Lowell commit. Second-year USPHL/Skipjacks Midget player. 2018-19: Shutouts leader for USPHL 18U (4). Tied for first in Wins (10). Third in goals against avg. (1.56) and save percentage (.938).
2. D Nicholas Chiocca, Skipjacks Hockey Club.
‘00/Wayne, N.J. 6-1/170. Third-year USPHL Midgets player. 2018-19: Has also played with NCDC Boston Bandits, 20gp-0g-3a-3pts.
3. D Brenden Meyer, Springfield Pics.
‘01/Holyoke, Mass. 5-11/170. Played three years with Pics 16U team prior to this season. 2018-19: Tied for third in USPHL 18U assists by defensemen (13).
4. D Kyle Robbins, Islanders Hockey Club.
‘00/Tyngsboro, Mass. 5-7/152. Plays for his hometown organization. Fourth-year Islanders/USPHL Midget player. 2018-19: Second year on 18U team. Four-game call-up to NCDC, with no points scored.
5. D Jack Umina, Boston Junior Bruins.
‘00/Concord, Mass. 5-11/181. Third-year USPHL/Junior Bruins Midget player.
6. D Salvatore Caterina, Boston Junior Bruins.
‘00/Cambridge, Mass. 5-5/143. Third-year USPHL Midget player, first year with Junior Bruins.
7. D Nolan Barrett, Skipjacks Hockey Club.
‘00/Glen Ridge, N.J. 6-1/174. Merrimack College commit. Fourth-year USPHL Midget player, first-year Skipjacks player. 2018-19: Fifth in league scoring among defensemen (15 points). Second in assists for defensemen (10).
8. D Jacob Pellerin, Northern Cyclones.
‘01/Windham, N.H. 5-9/154. Been with Northern Cyclones entire Midget career.
9. D Garett Silverman, Jersey Shore Whalers.
‘01/Ocean Township, N.J. 5-9/161. First-year USPHL player.
10. F Zach Lindewirth, Skipjacks Hockey Club.
‘00/Gillette, NJ. 5-9/174. Third-year USPHL Midgets player, second year with Skipjacks 18U. Played five games this year in 18U Division, and 12 games with NCDC Boston Bandits, posting 12gp-2g-2a-4pts.
11. F Colin Graf, Boston Junior Bruins.
‘02/Lincoln, Mass. 5-4/119. 2018 16U All-Star. Third-year USPHL Midgets player. 2018-19: Currently second-leading scorer on 18U team behind Ian Carpentier. Team assists leader (13) and power play assists leader (4).
2018-19: 18gp-2g-13a-15 pts.
12. F Emmanuel Sanchez, New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs.
‘01/Potsdam, N.Y. 5-7/150. Third-year Monarch, second-year USPHL player. 2018-19: Currently (Jan. 9) on a five-game scoring streak with 13 points in the last five games. Has scored in all but two games this season. Second in league in assists (21) and tied for third in points (30).
14. F Zack Diamont, Islanders Hockey Club.
‘00/Billerica, Mass. LW. 6-0/181. Second-year All-Star Selection. 2018-19: Second year IHC 18U player. Tied with Nicholas Niemo for IHC scoring lead. Leads in PP assists with three.
15. F Christian Blomquist, Skipjacks Hockey Club.
‘01/Milwaukee, Wis. 6-0/214. First-year USPHL/Skipjacks player. 2018-19: Tied for second in team scoring.
16. F Michael Franzoni, Jersey Shore Whalers.
‘01/Brielle, N.J. 5-10/165. Third-year USPHL Midget player. One of a set of twins on the Whalers, as his brother Matteo Franzoni is also a big-time forward for the team. 2018-19: Leading Whalers scorer. Highest points-per-game average of any regular USPHL 18U player (2.00). Leading goal-scorer in USPHL 18U (16). Tied for third in league scoring overall.
18. F Ben Peterson, Northern Cyclones.
‘00/Hudson, N.H. 5-5/150. First-year USPHL player. 2018-19: Leading scorer for Cyclones.
19. F Kyle Sintiris, Islanders Hockey Club.
‘01/Hudson, NH. 5-7/150. Second-year USPHL/Islanders HC player. 2018-19: Current third-leading scorer for IHC 18U, tied with Niemo for goal lead with 7g.
20. F Nicholas Niemo, Islanders Hockey Club.
‘01/Middlebury, VT. 5-9/165. Third-year USPHL/Islanders HC player. 2018-19: Current leading scorer (tie) for IHC. Tied for team goal lead with Kyle Sintris.
21. F Jonathan Wescoe, Skipjacks Hockey Club.
‘01/Mechanicsburg, Pa. 5-8/145. Second-year USPHL/Skipjacks player. 2018-19: Tied for 18U team leading scorer.
22. F Lukas Skvarek, Springfield Pics.
‘01/Czech Republic. 6-1/170. First-year USPHL player. 2018-19: Leading scorer for Pics team. Leading assist-getter for Pics. Leading assist-getter for USPHL 18U.
23. F Ian Carpentier, Boston Junior Bruins.
‘00/Worcester, Mass. F. 6-0/161. Endicott College commit. 2018 18U All-Star. 2018-19: 18U Junior Bruins team leading scorer and leading goal-scorer. Four-game call-up to NCDC, no points. 9-game call-up to Premier, with 3-1-4 totals.
30. G Oliver Quinn, New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs.
‘00/Loudon, N.H. 5-11/175. 2018-19: Fourth in save percentage (.920). Tied for seventh in wins (6). Sixth in goals against average (2.13).
31. G Jake Perrin, Islanders Hockey Club.
‘00/Chelmsford, Mass. 5-10/161. Second-year USPHL/IHC Midget player. 2018-19: Ninth in league goals-against average (2.71), eighth in save percentage (.911) among qualified goalies (min. 7 games).
Follow as The Dan K Show announces the All-Star Game rosters!
NCDC Selection show link (starts at 6 p.m.)
18U Selection Show link (starts at 7 p.m.)
16U Selection Show link (starts at 8 p.m.)