Photo by Matt Woolverton/Courtesy of Boston University Athletics
ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Hobey Baker Memorial Award Committee has announced the top 10 candidates for its 2020 award honoring college hockey's top player and Boston University junior David Farrance is among the finalists.
Farrance played for the former Syracuse Jr. Stars (now Utica Jr. Comets) 16U team from 2013 through 2015. In his time with Syracuse, he racked up 47 goals and 84 points in 57 games.
This marks the 14th time in program history that a Boston University player is among the top 10 Hobey Baker finalists and the first since 2015, when former Boston Junior Bruin Jack Eichel became the third Terrier to receive the award, joining former Foxboro Star - now South Shore Kings - Matt Gilroy (2009) and Chris Drury (1998).
The top-scoring defenseman in the country, Farrance led all Division I blueliners in points (43), goals (14) and power-play goals (9). He finished sixth overall in points nationally and his 1.26 points-per-game average is the highest of any Hockey East defenseman in 25 years. He was named a Hockey East First Team All-Star and also earned a spot on the All-USCHO First Team. He becomes just the second BU blueliner to be a Hobey finalist as Gilroy was the first 11 years ago.
The 10 finalists were selected by voting from all 60 Division I college hockey head coaches plus online fan balloting. Next, the 30-member Selection Committee and an additional round of fan balloting through the Hobey website hobeybaker.com March 19-29 will determine this year's Hobey Baker winner. Criteria for the award include: displaying outstanding skills in all phases of the game, strength of character on and off the ice, sportsmanship and scholastic achievements.
The other nine finalists are Morgan Barron (Cornell), Jason Cotton (Sacred Heart), Jack Dugan (Providence), Jordan Kawaguchi (North Dakota), John Leonard (Massachusetts), Dryden McKay (Minnesota State), Marc Michaelis (Minnesota State), Scott Perunovich (Minnesota Duluth) and Jeremy Swayman (Maine). Perunovich is the only other defenseman in the group.
Dugan played for USPHL Affiliate Member the Northwood School during his years prior to joining Providence.
The Hobey Hat Trick (three finalists) will be announced on April 2 and the Hobey Baker Award winner will be announced on April 10. The announcement will be televised live on the NHL Network and streamed on the Hobey Baker website at 6:00 p.m. ET.
Joshua Boyd (USPHL.com) added to this article.
Tryouts are suspended effective immediately and until further notice. The USPHL believes this decision to be in the best interest of the athletes, staff, officials and families.
USPHL teams will hold tryouts at the earliest possible date. Teams are allowed to sign players.
The United States Premier Hockey League (“USPHL”) is pleased to announce the integration of the USPHL High Performance Youth Organizations’ squirt minor to bantam major teams into the Eastern Junior Elite Prospects League (“EJ”) starting in the fall of 2020.
Under the direction of EJ Commissioner Henry Lazar, the EJ will maintain its name and current structure along with its multi-level, multi member divisions and will add a new Platinum Division to accommodate the USPHL High Performance Teams. The mechanics of the EJ are planned to be as follows:
The EJ Platinum Division will play a 20-game league schedule that will include playing each division
member a minimum of two times. The structure includes participation in two EJ Showcases on August and
October Weekends to facilitate a more efficient travel schedule and allow an opportunity to possibly play
other non EJ teams.
Team Placements for competition for all other USPHL youth teams will be based on comparable rankings
and a review by the EJ League Office. These EJ Divisions will maintain the EJ’s current 16-league
schedule mechanics which includes participation in two showcases.
EJ Playoffs will occur on Super Bowl weekend with the EJ Platinum Division having a separate playoff
weekend in late February.
The EJ will continue its tradition of a year-end All-Star Event for the Diamond and Platinum Youth
Divisions. All USPHL players playing in these EJ Divisions are eligible to be selected for the EJ All-Star
The USPHL teams participating in the inaugural USPHL/EJ Season include the following 12 organizations
competing at with various teams at levels from Squirt through Bantam (U14).
Philadelphia Hockey Club
New Jersey Rockets
Jersey Shore Whalers
Palmyra Black Knights
Hartford Jr. Wolfpack
Connecticut Junior Rangers
New York Aviators
Wolverine Hockey Club
Carolina Jr. Hurricanes
Applications to participate in the EJ are still being accepted for the 2020-2021 season. Please contact EJ
Commissioner Henry Lazar or visit the EJ website at EJEPL.net.
Please visit the USPHL website at www.usphl.com or the member organizations for specific information regarding
team registration and tryout process.
The 2020 NCDC Combines, coming to Detroit (April 10-11) and Chicago (May 1-2), have sold out of goaltender slots for both locations.
There is still availability for forwards and defensemen to sign up for this outstanding scouting opportunity that will feature NCDC coaches at both locations.
Forwards and defensemen can still sign up at USPHL.com/Combines.
Goaltenders can reach out to individual NCDC teams about playing in the USPHL Spring Showcase, coming to Marlborough, Mass., from May 8-10; and the USPHL Summer Showcase, coming to Marlborough July 17-19.
Also, visit the USPHL.com/tryouts page for information on individual teams' camps.
The United States Premier Hockey League, and its tuition-free National Collegiate Development Conference, are proud to announce their 2020 NCDC Combines, set to take place in Detroit, Mich. (April 10-11) and Chicago, Ill. (May 1-2).
These Combines will feature guaranteed scouting opportunities by coaches from the USPHL’s Tier-2 tuition-free National Collegiate Development Conference, along with additional scouting opportunities with other USPHL teams.
Players born between Jan. 1, 2000, and Dec. 31, 2004, will be eligible.
Registration costs only $79 for each Combine. The USPHL is dedicated to providing a great value to prospective players to show their skills in front of NCDC coaches and begin new relationships.
Players will be guaranteed a minimum of three scrimmage games, and there will be goaltender-specific training sessions at each event. There will also be an informational seminar about the United States Premier Hockey League and its unparalleled USPHL Development Model.
The NCDC Detroit Combine (April 10-11) will be held at Fraser Hockeyland at 34400 Utica Road, Fraser, Mich., in the northern suburbs of Detroit, Mich. It is just over 30 minutes drive from Detroit Wayne County Airport. Players can stay at the Hampton Inn Detroit/Roseville (33680 Gratiot Ave, Clinton Township, MI 48035) with a special room rate. The Hampton Inn is eight minutes drive from Fraser Hockeyland.
Register for the 2020 NCDC Detroit Combine (Forwards and Defense slots available) :
The NCDC Chicago Combine (May 1-2) will be held at the Fifth Third Arena at 1801 West Jackson Blvd., in Chicago, Ill. Fifth Third Arena is the practice facility for the Chicago Blackhawks. Located in downtown Chicago, it is just over 30 minutes drive from O’Hare International Airport, and under 30 minutes from Chicago Midway International Airport. There are countless lodging options in the Chicagoland area, all within a short drive of Fifth Third Arena.
Register for the 2020 NCDC Chicago Combine (Forwards and Defense slots available):
Invitations to NCDC tryout camps for the 2020-21 season will be offered to select players from each Combine. The NCDC Draft will be held on May 15, and NCDC teams will be scouting players for potential selections in that event to be held less than two weeks after the Chicago Combine.
The cost for each three-day combine is $79, with a three-game guarantee as well as off-ice activities, and player evaluations.
Also included: jersey, accredited on-ice officials, and medical staff on site.
There will also be a Q&A/information seminar during each Combine, where players and their parents, if in attendance, can ask questions directly of NCDC coaches and USPHL league officials.
The USPHL and its tuition-free division, the NCDC, are providing an unparalleled, comprehensive on-and off-ice recruiting opportunity for players from throughout the United States. Sign up today, as registration will be limited.
About the NCDC
The NCDC is the only tuition-free junior hockey league that is fully located in the Northeastern United States, limiting travel to New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia and the New England states. This allows players to spend more time on development, both on-and off-ice, than traveling on a bus.
With the unmatched USPHL Showcase Series, NCDC players have several opportunities each season to play in front of several scouts at well-attended multi-day, multi-tiered events.
There were more than 400 former players from the USPHL’s top division skating with NCAA hockey teams during the 2019-20 season. This included individual season-ending award-winners from multiple NCAA Division 1 conferences.
More than 100 players committed to college hockey out of the 2018-19 NCDC season alone, and more than 30 of those players advanced to NCAA Division 1 institutions from what was then a 12-team league.
USPHL alumni currently skating in the NHL include players such as Jack Eichel, Charlie Coyle, Brian Dumoulin, Jimmy Vesey and Trevor vanRiemsdyk.
On Saturday, the Springfield Pics 16U team became the only USPHL team to beat the New Jersey Rockets Black 16U team - which is actually the Rockets’ 15U team - this season. The Pics won that game, 5-4 in overtime in Round Robin action.
On Sunday, the Pics did it again, but this time with much more at stake. The Pics completed their improbable playoff sweep of the Rockets Black with a convincing 6-2 win to capture the 2019-20 16U USPHL American Championship.
“We’ve been working our behinds off this whole time and we’re bringing it home,” co-captain Mike Penna said.
Dominick Balboni had two goals; Rihards Purgalis had two goals and an assist and Matus Hadusovsky and Carter Hanrahan each had a goal and an assist for the Pics. Andrej Julienk was stellar again between the pipes making 29 saves in the final. John Prue scored both Rockets Black goals.
The Pics set the tone early as Balboni and Purgailis scored 1:17 apart late in the opening frame to send the Pic into the second period up 2-0. Prue cut the lead in half at 10:28 of the middle frame but Purgailis struck again at 13:25 to regain the two-goal lead for the Pics.
Hadusovsky made it 4-1 Pics 5:40 into the third period and Balboni lit the lamp again at 10:16. Prue would make it 5-2 at 14:00 but Hanrahan finished his monster season with an empty-netter with 31 seconds left in regulation.
Congratulations to the Springfield Pics on winning the 2019-20 USPHL 16U American Championship!
The Rockets Hockey Club scored 11 goals on Sunday, Feb. 23. It only took one, however, to win the championship game and become 2019-20 USPHL 16U National Champions.
Gregory Spitznagel scored the game-winning goal on the power play at the 9:26 mark of the third period, wristing one in from the top right circle off a pass from Merrimack College recruit Michael Rubin. The Rockets were 1-0 winners over the Boston Junior Bruins.
Finishing the team’s second game in less than eight hours, the 6-foot-3-inch, 220-pound felt thrilled and exhausted with the championship win in hand.
“We were lucky enough to get a call our way. We have a good power play. Rubin hit me on the side [with the pass], I skated in and got a shot low glove. Lucky it went in,” said Spitznagel. “Everyone’s tired. Both teams are tired, but they played a good game. They’re a good team and they know how to play defense,” Spitznagel added. “Our legs were shot, so it took us a while to get going. In the end, we got the win.”
The Rockets and Junior Bruins consistently looked for open areas to try to get their offense going, but very little turned up as both teams were incredibly stingy on the defensive side. From surgical picks to shot blocking, neither team wanted to give up that first goal. For a team that had scored 10 in a 10-3 semifinal win earlier in the day, there was a chance frustration could creep in for the Rockets.
“You always wonder if you scored too many goals, if you have any left in the tank,” said Rockets Head Coach Noel Rubin. “I knew the Junior Bruins played us close earlier in the year. That was the same type of game, 2-1, we had to scratch and claw. I knew we couldn’t make any mistakes.”
One of the multitude of Rockets who didn’t make any mistakes was goaltender Nicholas von Kaufmann, who earned the shutout in net.
“Awesome, all the work we put in, it’s finally paid off,” said von Kaufmann. “These guys made it really easy for me to not get all that much work. I made the saves when I had to. A great game all around by all the boys.”
The Rockets finished a superb regular season, going 17-3, followed by a 5-0 playoffs run to claim the championship. Their season, however, is by no means over.
“It’s always great to win a championship, but we have [Atlantic] Districts coming up this week and the week after,” added Coach Rubin. “It’s really important for us, we have to keep playing the same way we’ve been playing.”
“We have a long way to go to get to that final goal,” added von Kaufmann.
The USPHL congratulates the Rockets Hockey Club on winning the 2019-20 USPHL 16U National Championship!
Springfield Pics 4, P.A.L. Junior Islanders 1
After handing the Rockets Black their first loss of the season on Saturday, the Pics continued their brilliant playoff run advancing to the Championship game with a 4-1 win over the PAL Islanders Sunday morning. Matus Hadusovsky led the way for the Pics with two goals and Andrej Julinek made 26 saves for the win.
After a scoreless first period, the Pics scored three consecutive goals - two just 1:34 apart - in the second period to bust the game open and lead 3-0 after two periods of play. Rihards Purgailis scored 1:17 into the middle frame and then Jan Hunor made it 2-0 Pics 10:56 into the period. Hadusovsky scored his first of the game at 12:30.
Hadusovsky would light the lamp again at 5:31 of the third period to make it 4-0. The Islanders finally solved Julinek at 10:04 of the final frame when Dylan Bridgewood scored but it was too little, too late and the Pics were on to the Final.
“We did everything that coach said, so we won,” Hadusovsky said following the game.
The Pics will play the New Jersey Rockets Black for the championship.
Video Interview: https://twitter.com/USPHL/status/1231611994505175040
New Jersey Rockets Black 4, CP Dynamo 3 (OT)
Nick Vantassell scored his second goal of the playoffs and the game 9:36 into overtime and the New Jersey Rockets Black advanced to the championship game where they will play the Springfield Pics.
“Feeling good, excited to play in the championship,” Vantassell said. “We lost to them [Pics] last night so we’re looking to get back at them.”
Zachary Wagnon had a goal and an assist and Jonathan Prue also scored for the Rockets. Tyler Muszelik made 25 saves between the pipes for the Rockets.
Alex Girard was amazing for CP Dynamo, stopping a penalty shot in overtime before Vantassel finally beat him. He finished the game with 31 saves but it was not enough as his team could not generate any pressure in overtime.