Forward: Matt Kramlich, Twin City Thunder
The ‘02 from Portland, Maine, a former star for the Greely High School, had his best weekend since the opening set in September, when he scored a hat trick on Saturday and the OT winner on Sunday, both against the Connecticut Jr. Rangers. He also added one assist in the Saturday shutout victory. Kramlich improved to 20 points in 17 games this season.
Defense: Anthony Khaimov, Northwood Prep
The Northwood Prep team had a productive trip through New England, playing four games between Friday and Sunday and coming out with a 3-1 record. In each of those, you’ll find the ‘04 Long Island product Khaimov in the scoring column.
He started with two goals and two assists in the Prep’s pair of wins against the Northern Cyclones Academy Elite team. He followed that with two more assists in the split against the South Shore Kings, totaling six points for the four-game run. Those represented the majority of his eight points on the season through 17 games.
Brandon Heacock, New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs
Heacock (‘01/Buffalo, N.Y.) stopped 23 shots he faced to defeat the Rockets Hockey Club. The performance gave the Monarchs 18U veteran his second straight win of the season, going back to Nov. 24.
Hunter Thomas, Skipjacks Hockey Club
The most victorious goalie in the 18U Division is that for a reason. The ‘01 from Schwenksville, Pa., picked up two more victories stopping 53 of 54 shots against the CP Dynamo on the weekend. This included a 27-save shutout in the first game (1-0 win) and he made 26 of 27 saves in the second game, a 2-1 victory.
This improved his record to 10-0-1, and he holds a goals against average of 0.84 on the season.
The latest MyHockeyRankingscame out Wednesday and here’s some USPHL midget teams that took some leaps in the rankings.
The Palmyra Black Knights rode their horses 17 spots into the Top 100. The Knights swept a two-game set with the Islanders last weekend and outscored them by a combined 18-2. The Knights are now 16-8-3 overall and 9-5-0-1 in USPHL divisional play.
The South Florida Hockey Academy jumped three spots to 50th overall. South Florida is now 18-14-5-3 overall and 3-3-0-1 in USPHL divisional play.
The New Hampshire Junior Monarchs beat the Rockets 4-2 last Saturday and Sunday and jumped two spots in the rankings to No. 57. The Junior Monarchs are now 21-7-3 overall and 10-5-0 in divisional play.
South Florida Hockey Academy jumped three spots to 51st overall. They are now 22-17-1 overall and 7-1-0 in divisional play.
This is the first installment of our “Big Three,” a roundup that focuses on the top three teams from each weekend in USPHL Midget Hockey.
Note: Due to the number of games on any given weekend, there could be less than three teams featured each week.
Philadelphia Hockey Club
The Philadelphia Hockey Club defeated the Northern Cyclones Academy Elite twice, outscoring them by double digits over two games Saturday and Sunday.
On Saturday, Philadelphia’s Frank Jirak had two goals and two assists; Aidan Carey, Aiden Croce and Corey Owens each had two goals and an assist; Nicholas Falkowski, Conor Milliken and Ubin Weeks each had two assists; and Kalen Draper, Patrick Kelly and Giovanni Torrie all lit the lamp once apiece for Philadelphia. Owen Yancey made 12 saves for the shutout.
On Sunday, Philadelphia blanked the Cyclones Elite again as they put an 8-0 victory. Bailey Guetens had a goal and two assists; Jirak, Milliken, and Croce had a goal and an assist; Kelly, Torrie and Tyson Henson each lit the lamp and Hunter Finley had two helpers.
Northwood went 2-0 this past weekend as they outscored Northern Cyclones Academy Premier 11-1 over two games Saturday and Sunday.
Northwood beat the Cyclones Premier 5-1 on Saturday as Jacob Guevin and Ray Fust each had a goal and an assist, and Will Donato, Zach Ellsworth, and Jack Schlifke each lit the lamp for Northwood. Kannon Flageolle made 13 saves in the win.
On Sunday, Schlifke, Elijah Devereaux and Felix Trudeau each had a goal and an assist and Northwood shut the Cyclones Premier out, 6-0. Ray Fust, Will Rosen and Carson Hall all it the lamp as well, and Johann Tremblay-Kau made 19 saves for the shutout.
Palmyra Black Knights
The Knights went 2-0 on the weekend sweeping a two-game set with the Islanders and outscoring them a combined 18-2.
On Saturday, the Black Knights win 11-1. Jason Rippon had four goals and an assist; Owen Schmidt had two goals and an assist; Gabriel Page and Jake Spina each had a goal and two assists; Gavin Buck had two goals; Colin Nemschick had four assists, and Kyle Ziemba had a goal and an assist. Harrison Peairs made 21 saves for the Knights.
On Sunday, the Knights won 7-1. Austin Dipofi had four assists; Rippon had two goals and an assist; Ziemba lit the lamp twice; Schmidt, Spina and Ian Mason each had a goal and an assist, and Page and Alec Moyer had two helpers each. Jackson Bell made 13 saves.
On Saturday, the Pics beat the Boston Bandits 4-0. Richard Purgalis had a goal and two assists; Carter Hanrahan and Mike Penna had a goal and an assist; Dominick Balboni lit the lamp and Matus Hadusovsky had two helpers. Andrej Julinek made 31 saves for the shutout.
On Sunday, the Pics ran away on the Connecticut Junior Rangers, unloading for 63 shots in a 14-1 rout. Madusovsky had two goals and three assists; Jan Hunor had a goal and four assists; Purgalis, Balboni, and Penna each had a goal and three assists; Jack Benne had a goal and two assists; Landon Kinnear had two goals; Mike French had three helpers and Ryan Tavlien and Simon Banas each had a goal. Tyler Cortis made 28 stops for the Pics.
Northern Cyclones Academy Elite
The Cyclones Academy Elite swept a two-game set over Islanders North with a 6-1 win on Saturday and a 5-4 victory on Sunday.
On Saturday, Mason Green had two goals and an assist; Billy Dougherty had a goal and two assists; Anthony Fowler had a goal and an assist; Austin Larson and Ben Sherman had two helpers and Crawford Tucker and Klarke Doscher each lit the lamp for the Cyclones Elite. Peyton Brendel made 25 saves in the win.
On Sunday, the Cyclones Elite held out for a 5-4 win over the Isles North. Fowler had two goals and two assists; John Demoe had a goal and two assists; Dougherty had a goal and an assist and Austin Larson lit the lamp for the Cyclones in the win. Ben Bernard made 25 saves in the win.
Skipjacks Hockey Club
The Skipjacks swept a two-game set over the Utica Junior Comets. On Friday, the Skipjacks pulled out a 4-3 overtime win on a Cade Baker goal 38 ticks into the extra frame. Frankie Hipp and Josh Tisdell had the helpers on the overtime winner. Baker, along with Grant Ermellini had two goals and an assist. Hip had two helpers in the win. Brandon Heck made 33 saves.
On Sunday, The Skipjacks pulled away in a 5-2 win over the Junior Comets. Hipp had a goal and four assists; Baker lit the lamp four times; Caden Olenczak had four helpers and Ermellini had two. Heck turned away 28 shots.
There were just five 15U games over the weekend. Philadelphia Hockey Club was involved in three of those contests, winning two and falling in one. They defeated the Northern Cyclones Academy 3-2 in a shootout, followed by a 4-3 win over the Islanders Hockey Club.
The Islanders came back and defeated the defending champion Philadelphia squad, 5-1.
Connor Reagan had two goals and an assist over all three of the games for PHC, and Matt Klinewski had two goals and an assist in the two victories.
James Duccilli had the game-winner against the Islanders and Dominic Mascieri scored the only shootout goal for the win against the Cyclones Academy.
Forward Of The Month: Giovanni Perillo, New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs
Perillo doubled up on the Monarchs’ opponents during the month of November, scoring 12 points in just six games played. The ‘01 from Montreal, Que., truly had a breakout month as he now sits with 15 points in 13 games, cracking the top 20 of the USPHL 18U scoring leaderboard. He put on an especially big show at the Islanders Hockey Club Showcase, scoring 10 points (including three multi-point efforts) in the four games there. Perillo carries an active eight-game, 15-point streak into December.
He also helped the Monarchs to a 5-1 record, allowing them to pull above the .500 mark in league play to 8-5 overall.
Andrew Gelman, New York Aviators
Connor Sedlak, Jersey Hitmen
Defenseman Of The Month: Austin DiPofi, Palmyra Black Knights
Dipofi (‘01/Middletown, Pa.) is well-versed in USPHL 18U hockey, currently enjoying a second productive season in the league. Playing with Palmyra’s first-year 18U squad, he has pushed past his 2018-19 point total of 11 points to currently lead all USPHL 18U defensemen in scoring with 16 points in 12 games.
DiPofi scored eight of his 16 points in his seven November games, all in the form of four two-point efforts, including three straight between Nov. 3-15. Defensively, he helps the Black Knights goalies a lot, as they only see an average of 26.4 shots against per game, one of the lowest SOG per game averages in the league.
The Black Knights improved to 7-5-0-1 overall thanks to a 5-2 record in November.
Sean Vlasich, Jersey Hitmen
Domenick Evtimov, New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs
Goaltender Of The Month: John Werber, Jersey Hitmen
It was a tough call between Jersey Hitmen goalies, as both Werber and creasemate Cameron Holbrook (an Honorable Mention selection) went 3-0 for the month.
Werber was simply a wall for the team, stopping 83 of the 88 shots that came his way for a .949 save percentage. His biggest performance was a 35-save effort on 37 shots by the South Florida Hockey Academy on the big stage of the Islanders Hockey Club Showcase. With so much power in net and beyond (as seen by the many Hitmen names on this Players Of The Month list), it’s no wonder the Hitmen are ranked 25th among all Tier 1 18U AAA teams in the country.
Cameron Holbrook, Jersey Hitmen
Hunter Thomas, Skipjacks Hockey Club
Lucas Hrabkovsky, New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs
Matt Horan, New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs
Horan (‘01/Methuen, Mass.) has used his experience of having one 18U season under him already to help propel his Monarchs team to a winning record (8-5), especially after a tough pair of games against the CP Dynamo.
He scored two goals to help lift the Monarchs past the Dynamo 4-3 in overtime in their second meeting, after providing a goal in their earlier 3-1 win. Horan now has 12 points through 12 games this season.
Finnegan Sayers, Skipjacks Hockey Club
The Skipjacks, at 12-2-1-0, continue to be the leaders of the USPHL 18U Division. Sayers posted one goal and five assists over a busy three-game weekend. They had two games against the Northern Cyclones Academy Premier team and one more against the Junior Bruins.
His six-point performance included one goal and one assist in the second Cyclones Academy Premier game, followed by three helpers against the Junior Bruins.
Overall, they came out with a 2-1 record over the three days, and Sayers stands with 17 points in 14 games.
Defense: Liam Fenton, South Shore Kings
Fenton (‘02/Acton, Mass.) has been a huge help to the Kings, pushing them to a 3-1 month in USPHL play. He scored two points, including the game-winning goal, vs. the Cyclones Academy Elite team.
Liam is joined by his twin brother Aidan Fenton on the team, and both have moved up this year to 18U from the 16U.
Goaltender: Hunter Thomas, Skipjacks Hockey Club
We’re nine games in, and Thomas (‘01/Schwenksville, Pa.) has still not been beaten in a 51-minute regulation game. He posted his fifth shutout this season, stopping all 21 against him by the Cyclones Academy Premier team.
Against the Junior Bruins, he gave up two goals but the team got the 6-2 victory and he remains the only undefeated goalie in the 18U Division.
It was another busy weekend of midget hockey in the USPHL and we’ve got the roundup for you here.
The first place team in the National Division, the Skipjacks (12-2-1-0, 25 points) went 2-1-0 on the weekend. On Friday, the Skipjacks beat the Northern Cyclones Premier 5-0, but fell 4-2 to them on Saturday. The Skipjacks bounced back with another win on Sunday beating the Junior Bruins 6-2.
MYHockeyRankingsmoved the Skipjacks up two spots to 29th in the nation among Tier-1 18U AAA teams with the two wins.
The second place team in the National, the Jersey Hitmen (12-3-0-0, 24 points) went 2-0 on the weekend, beating the Rockets Hockey Club 3-1 Saturday and also 3-1 on Sunday. The Hitmen moved down one spot in MYHockeyrankings to 27th nationwide.
The New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs swept a two-game set with CP Dynamo beating them 3-1 Saturday and then 4-3 on Sunday. The Monarchs got a boost in MYHockeyrankings, jumping up three spots.
The Twin City Lightning (11-3-0-0, 22 points) - who are in first place in the American - and the second place Jersey Shore Whalers (10-5-1-3, 21 points) split their two-game set with the Lightning winning on Saturday 4-0 and the Whalers bouncing back with a 3-2 shootout win on Sunday. The Lightning jumped up one spot in the national rankings, while the Whalers dropped by one.
Philadelphia Hockey Club held on to first place in the National Division with a 4-3 win over the No. 14-ranked Rockets Hockey Club Friday and then a two-game sweep of the Utica Jr. Comets, beating them 4-3 on Saturday and 7-2 on Sunday. PHC moved up one spot to 66th nationally.
The second place logjam in the National remained intact. The Junior Bruins (6-1-0), Rockets (6-2-0), Hitmen (6-7-0) and Monarchs (6-2-0) all have 12 points. The only team not in action this past weekend was the Monarchs.
As mentioned above, the Rockets lost to Philly Friday. On Saturday, the Junior Bruins beat the Skipjacks 8-1 and on Sunday, the Hitmen beat Connecticut Jr. Rangers Blue 2-1. On the national stage, jumped one spot to 41st, and the Hitmen jumped one to 71st.
The South Shore Kings (16-1-0-0, 32 points) maintained their comfortable lead in the American North as they beat the Boston Bandits 5-1 Saturday.
In other 16U action, the Northern Cyclones Premier beat the Skipjacks 5-2 Friday.
The Islanders and the Palmyra Black Knights split a two-game set with the Islanders winning 5-4 on Saturday and the Knights bouncing back with a 6-2 win on Sunday.
The Rockets Grey beat the New York Aviators 3-2 on Saturday. The Cyclones Elite beat the Springfield Pics 3-2 and the Bandits 5-1 Sunday.
The first-place Palmyra Black Knights (16-1-1-0, 34 points) beat the Philadelphia Hockey Club 3-1 on Saturday.
The P.A.L. Jr. Islanders were defeated, 8-1, by the Skipjacks on Saturday but then the Jr. Islanders tied them 1-1 on Sunday.
The Northern Cyclones beat the Springfield Pics 6-1 on Saturday.
The Islanders Hockey Club beat the Hitmen 6-0 Saturday but fell 6-1 to the Cyclones on Sunday.
The USPHL 15U Division gets the spotlight in this weekend’s Islanders Hockey Club 15U Futures Showcase.
The Dan K Show announced today that its #HolidayFollowChallenge is back after major success last season. The #HolidayFollowChallenge allows USPHL organizations throughout the country at all levels of play to compete for an exclusive broadcast experience provided by The Dan K Show.
Players, coaches, fans and families of USPHL organizations can vote for their organization by following @The_DanKShow on Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram and commenting, tweeting or messaging each page with the team they want the show to visit and #HolidayFollowChallenge.
Votes can be cast through Jan. 1, 2020, with each individual being able to vote one time per social media. The winning organization will be announced on The Dan K Show’s Power Rankings episode on Thursday, Jan. 2.
Last season’s contest generated over 5,000 votes from 71 different organizations while creating over 2 million impressions via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
The Richmond Generals won the first ever #HolidayFollowChallenge and celebrated the victory with The Dan K Show on their Fan Appreciation Night at their home rink SkateNation Plus in Glen Allen, Va., against the Hampton Roads Whalers.
The Minnesota Mullets finished close behind in second place last year with the Charlotte Rush, New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs and Hudson Havoc rounding out the Top 5.
Follow @The_DanKShow and vote for your favorite team now!
Andrew Gilbert isn’t a big points guy and he doesn’t need to make the flashy play for oohs and aahs. What he does is he plays the game defensively right, strong and smart. He’s all in for his Jersey Hitmen NCDC team and teammates, and not for his own glory.
This is exactly what the U.S. Military Academy at West Point likes to see - someone who serves others above self. So it should come as no surprise that Gilbert committed late this week to the Army hockey team for 2020-21.
“I started talking to them last year while I was with [the USPHL 18U Affiliate] Northwood School. They offered me last year, but it was a big decision for me so I took my time,” said Gilbert, a 2000-born native of Fairfield, Conn.
“West Point is a great school. It really sets you up to be successful in life,” said Gilbert. “It was a tough decision, but I’m really excited for it. The coaches are really easy to talk to and great human beings, for one. They also have a lot of experience and they have built a great program all around.”
He has similar praise for the Jersey Hitmen, the team which stands undefeated in regulation from the start of this 2019-20 season at 20-0-1-2 going into the Thanksgiving break next week.
“I think it will be a jump [to Division 1 hockey] obviously, but it’ll be a smooth jump. The Hitmen are a great organization, and they are setting me up and preparing me for college well,” said Gilbert. “I’m really excited.”
“Andrew is an amazing person and a coach’s dream in the locker room. He comes to work everyday, gives 100 percent and is never looking for accolades or praise,” said Hitmen Head Coach Toby Harris of Gilbert, the Hitmen’s 13th player on the team with an NCAA Division 1 commitment. “His high character and work ethic are two things that Brian Riley and the West Point staff are going to love.”
Gilbert is a true defensive defenseman. He leads the Hitmen in time on ice in the defensive zone, shorthanded time on ice, blocked shots, and he is second overall in defensive takeaways.
“I am a shutdown defenseman and I embrace that,” said Gilbert. “The Hitmen have been helping me complete my game in a sense. I need to work on skating a bunch and just round out my game. But I am comfortable in my role.”
He’s also excited to get uncomfortable real quick - taking on the challenges of being a West Point Cadet and discovering what his passion will be once he’s on the historic campus. He is not sure yet whether he will pursue a military or civilian course of study.
“I’m kind of keeping an open mind about it. Once I get there and go through the process, I will figure out what I want to do,” said Gilbert. “Right now, I’m keeping myself prepared for both.”
While he has one eye on his future with the Army Black Knights, he’s fully dialed in to the rigors of the NCDC - and always ready to put his team before himself.