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.
The National Hockey League was held October 6-7, 2020, with teams selecting players for their future via conference call. Across the world, players heard their names called and celebrated being selected to be part of 31 NHL teams' future plans.
Among these players were five direct USPHL alumni, as well as others who have played for USPHL organizations.
Sam Colangelo - Anaheim Ducks, 2nd round, 36th overall
Colangelo, an '01 from Stoneham, Mass., played in 2015-16 for the Boston Junior Bruins in the USPHL 16U Division. He posted eight goals and 12 assists for 20 points in 29 USPHL contests. Colangelo is set to begin his Northeastern University career in this 2020-21 season.
Ian Moore - Anaheim Ducks, 3rd round, 67th overall
Moore ('02/Concord, Mass.) skated briefly during the 2019-20 season with the National Collegiate Development Conference with the Boston Junior Bruins. He also played for the Little Bruins in the USPHL's former split season EHF Selects Division last season. He will join Harvard University in 2021-22.
Alex Jefferies - New York Islanders, 4th round, 121st overall
Jefferies ('01/Lunenburg, Mass.) skated two seasons with the Islanders Hockey Club teams in the USPHL 16U Division. He was the 2017-18 goals leader for the USPHL 16U, scoring 33 goals in 53 points in 25 games.
Overall, Jefferies - a Merrimack College freshman this season - totaled 47 goals, 40 assists and 87 points over 53 games.
Sean Farrell - Montreal Canadiens, 4th round, 124th overall
Farrell ('01/Hopkinton, Mass.) was a dynamic player for the Boston Junior Bruins' 16U team during the 2015-16 USPHL season, teaming up that year with fellow 2020 draftee Sam Colangelo.
His line was very even, posting 17 goals, 18 assists and 35 points in 30 games. He is set to join fellow former Junior Bruin Ian Moore at Harvard University.
Gunnarwolfe Fontaine - Nashville Predators, 7th round, 202nd overall
Another standout from the USPHL 16U season of 2015-16, this 2000-born native of East Greenwich, R.I., played for the former Providence Capitals team.
Like Farrell, his scoring line showed he could dish the puck and score with it, posting a 14-15-29 line in 30 games. Fontaine, who has also played in the Bridgewater Jr. Bandits and Junior Bruins organizations, is slated to join Colangelo at Northeastern University this season.
Additional draft notes:
Former South Shore Kings youth hockey players Brett Berard, Drew Commesso and Ben Meehan were also selected.
Commesso, a Boston University goalie, was taken 46th overall by the Chicago Blackhawks.
Berard was picked by the New York Rangers with the 134th overall pick in the fifth round.
Meehan was selected by the Los Angeles Kings with the 140th overall pick.
Colangelo, Fontaine and Moore are also former Kings youth players.