Toledo OH: The Toledo Cherokee proud members of the USPHL Premier Division of the Great Lakes Conference return to action this weekend when they travel to the Steel city to take on the Pittsburgh Vengeance.
Toledo and Pittsburgh will play a two game series at the Alpha Ice Center in Harmarville PA. Face off for Saturdays game is set for 6:30PM. The two teams will wrap up the weekend series on Sunday ta 11:40AM.
The Cherokee are coming off a weekend split where they defeated the Columbus Mavericks by a score of 12-0 before dropping a road game in Fraser against the Metro Jets 8-2.
"Our weekend didn't end the way we wanted it to, we got kicked around on Sunday so I am curious to see how the guys respond this weekend when we hit the road to play a very good Pittsburgh team." Said head coach Kenny Miller
Toledo currently sits one point ahead of the Vengeance in the division with a record of 12-2-0-0 for 24 points while Pittsburgh has a record of 10-0-1-2 good for 23 points.
Fans unable to attend the games this weekend can catch all the action by visiting www.hockeytv.com<http://www.hockeytv.com>
For more information on the Cherokee please visit our website at www.cherokeehockey.com<http://www.cherokeehockey.com>
The third showcase featuring NCDC teams is coming up this weekend, as the Fall Beantown Classic is upcoming, beginning Thursday and running through Monday.
One theme that continues past the first two showcases - the BJB Shootout and Hitmen Classic - is the fact that the Jersey Hitmen enter undefeated. They have a chance to close a second month with an unblemished record, which they accomplished in November and December of 2018, giving up just one shootout point in their final December game. With that, the Hitmen are the only team to ever go two consecutive months without a loss with at least six games played in each month.
The Islanders Hockey Club of 2017-18 had perfect months of November (9-0) and January (9-0), as well as 4-0 runs in each of October and March of that season. Those 9-0 months remain an NCDC record which will be challenged by the Hitmen (7-0 in October) this weekend, as they have three upcoming contests before October closes.
Hitmen Hit Lucky 13 For Consecutive Wins
The Jersey Hitmen continued to extend their NCDC record streak from the start of a season with their 12th and 13th wins this past weekend against the Islanders Hockey Club. With 3-1 and 3-2 wins this weekend, their three-goal differential was their closest against one opponent in two consecutive games so far this year.
Mickey Burns (University of Vermont recruit) continues to kick off the scoring for the Hitmen. With three first goals in games, he’s tied for the league lead in that category with the Junior Bruins’ Johnny Mulera. Daniel Ebrahim’s goal and assist this weekend extended his scoring streak to five games. He’s scored 10 points in his seven games with the Hitmen since joining early this month. Gavin Abric extended his career-opening win streak to four games, having given up just three goals in four contests, including two shutouts at the Hitmen Classic.
Ahead: The Hitmen face the Junior Bruins on Saturday afternoon, pitting the No. 1 and No. 2 teams against each other in the NCDC standings at the Beantown Classic. The Junior Bruins have been one of the Hitmen’s toughest draws in the three-year history of the NCDC. The Hitmen are 4-6-0-0 all-time against the Black and Gold.
They also face the Bandits and the Islanders Hockey Club, against whom the Hitmen are now 8-5-0-0 all-time.
Junior Bruins Survive Overtime For Fourth Weekend Sweep
The Boston Junior Bruins found themselves going past 60 minutes for the first time this season, winning 4-3 in OT against the Boston Bandits. The Junior Bruins were the second-to-last team in the league to go beyond 60 minutes, as the Rochester Monarchs have not yet forced an opponent to that point.
Will Gilson scored his first goal of the season to earn the Junior Bruins the extra point, and with an assist against Twin City Friday, he had his first multi-point weekend of the season.
Johnny Mulera’s 15th goal of the season gives him a seven-goal lead on his closest contender in that category, and his 22 points are six ahead of anyone else in the NCDC. He is only eclipsed in points per game (1.57), where the Cyclones’ Niklas Bretschneider is slightly ahead at 1.60 through 10 games.
Ahead: The Junior Bruins have the aforementioned marquee matchup against the Hitmen on Saturday, but also their second 2019 Dineen Cup final rematch of the season against the Connecticut Jr. Rangers on Thursday. The Rangers won the first in a shootout at the BJB Shootout.
They close the weekend and the month of October with a 7:10 p.m. Sunday game against the Rockets Hockey Club.
Connecticut Jr. Rangers Extend Point Streak To Nine Games
With a pair of wins over the visiting Utica Jr. Comets, the Rangers have gone 7-0-2 in their last nine games. They have not lost in regulation since Sept. 20 at the BJB Shootout against the South Shore Kings. Earning points in nine straight games is a Jr. Rangers NCDC record. They had two eight-game point runs last season (7-0-0-1 to Jan. 4, 2019; and 8-0-0-0 to March 6, 2019).
The Jr. Rangers’ 10 goals scored this past weekend is a season high for a two-game weekend and matches their three-game output at the BJB Shootout in September.
Jin Lee and Everett Wardle extended current point streaks to five games, with seven points apiece in that stretch. Tate Brandon is on a 4-0 run.
Ahead: The Jr. Rangers face the Boston Bandits on Friday and the Islanders Hockey Club on Saturday after their Dineen Cup rematch on Thursday. They have not yet seen the Bandits this season. They won 5-1 against the Islanders at the BJB Shootout.
Jr. Monarchs, P.A.L. Jr. Islanders Also Earn Weekend Sweeps
The New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs went 2-0 for a second time over a weekend this season, moving into fourth place in the NCDC.
With their Saturday win over Twin City, New Hampshire was involved in a shutout for the third straight time - going 2-1 in that stretch. Three straight shutout games is a first for the Monarchs in their two-year NCDC existence. The two shutouts were the second and third in Matt Pasquale’s career.
With two goals and two assists in New Hampshire’s 5-3 win over South Shore, Colton Friesen had his fifth multi-point game of the season and first since Sept. 28, when he completed a four-game run with multiple points in each.
The resurgent Jr. Islanders moved into fifth on the strength of their first 2-0 weekend and first consecutive shutout wins (over Rochester) in their three-year NCDC history. Three of their five all-time shutouts have come at Rochester’s expense. Anthony Aureliano stopped 31 shots in Game 1 and Henry Graham had 26 stops.
Ahead: P.A.L. hosts the South Shore Kings for two games this weekend, while the Monarchs play a single game against the Rockets Hockey Club at the Beantown Classic.
Northern Cyclones, Rockets Hockey Club Split Weekend Series
The Northern Cyclones won their Friday game against the Rockets by a 3-2 win and then lost 5-4 in a shootout. The Cyclones have played in eight one-goal games in their last nine contests, with more than one goal deciding one of their contests only twice in 11 games this season. On Friday, Roman Ledenev scored what stood up as his third game-winning goal (good for second in the league) before the Rockets’ Logan Valkama scored with 10 seconds remaining.
On Saturday, Javi Ubarri scored the Rockets’ second shootout goal, which was his first shootout-winning goal and his second goal of any category this season. Like the Junior Bruins experienced one day later, this was the Rockets’ first game to go past 60 minutes this season.
Ahead: The Cyclones play host yet again for a weekend, bringing in the Utica Jr. Comets for two games. The Rockets play Saturday, Sunday and Monday at the Beantown Classic against New Hampshire, the Junior Bruins and Boston Bandits, respectively.
Around The Boards
While teams from the USPHL Premier Great Lakes and Midwest-East Division returned from their first Showcase event of the season a couple weeks back, the Midwest-West Division squads have been preparing for their first event to be held at Fogerty Arena (home to the Minnesota Moose) in Blaine, Minn., this weekend.
Midwest-West – Riverkings take two in Hudson
Riverkings 3 @ Havoc 1
Riverkings 5 @ Havoc 3
Jered Stevenson (‘00/Stockton, Calif.) nailed the game-winner in the fourth minute of the second period in Game 1.
The following night both teams scored once in each of the first two periods before Riverkings scored three straight in the third, the host Havoc pulling one back late, but never able to get any closer.
Zack Hartley (‘00/Fort Wayne, Ind.) scored twice and it was Patrick McCoy (‘99/Niantic, Conn.) notching the game-winner.
Ducks 4 @ Vipers 3
Ducks 4 @ Vipers 6
A 4-3 win Friday night pulled the Ducks even in the West Division standings with the Vipers, but it lasted just 24 hours before the Vipers pulled away once again with its second win in three games.
Jason Heard (‘01/Atlanta, Ga.) and defenseman Beckett Patten (‘99/Bozeman, Mont.) scored two apiece to lead the Ducks on Friday night, Patten’s second giving the Ducks a 4-0 lead early in the second period of Friday’s game.
Garrett Sawyer (‘01/Northfield, Minn.) notched his second of the contest in the final minute to secure the Saturday win and Caleb Harris (‘99/Fishers, Ind.) turned aside 57 shots to backstop the victory in goal for the Vipers.
Mullets 5 @ Blades 0
Mullets 5 @ Mallards 4 (OT)
The season-opening road show for the Mullets continued as the squad played its 10thand 11thconsecutive road games and boosted its record to 7-4-0-0 with a shutout win in Owatonna against the host Steele County Blades and following it up with a 5-4 overtime edge against the Rum River Mallards in Isanti.
Cooper Hoheisel (‘00/Chisago City, Minn.) scored twice and Jack Bostedt (‘99/Janesville, Wis.) turned aside 29 shots to grab the shutout win.
The following night, Hoheisel played a big part again, his third goal of the game with 2:48 tying it up for the Mullets and setting the stage for Jake Lindblom (‘99/Pine City, Minn.) who fired the overtime game winner. Mallards got two from Peter Meyer (‘00/Waseca, Minn.).
Blue Ox 8 @ Mallards 4
The Mallards started the weekend with a loss as well as the visiting Minnesota Blue Ox Carried a 2-0 lead out of the first and 4-1 into the third on its way to a big win.
Livari Pihlajaniemi (‘01/Pori, Finland) enjoyed a huge game scoring three and adding three helpers for the Blue Ox, Abay Mangisbayev (‘01/Nur-Sultan Kazakhstan) adding a goal and three assists.
Moose 4 @ Blades 0
The Steele County Blades managed to stay with the visiting Moose into the final period at the Four Seasons Center, but the two-time defending division champs scored twice in the third to pull away before the Blades added one more in the final three minutes.
Lukas Brockman (’99/Elk River, Minn.) scored the game winner for the Moose early in the third.
Upcoming – Midwest-West Showcase: All nine Midwest-West teams will be in Blaine, Minn., this weekend to take part in the Midwest-West Division Showcase at Fogerty Arena.
Action starts on Thursday and every team will play four league games over the weekend in front of a heavy contingent of college scouts.
While the focus is on shining in front of the scouts, the added incentive of a possible eight points will be a plum as well in this division that currently has several front-running contenders.
Among the battles that could draw attention: Riverkings vs. Moose on Thursday at 1 p.m. (CDT); Havoc vs. Blue Ox on Friday at 11:10 a.m.; Riverkings against Mallards on Saturday at 3:40 p.m.; and the tournament finale on Sunday afternoon, the Moose against the Havoc.
A full schedule can be found online at USPHL.com
Midwest-East – Three-game sweep for Spacemen
Spacemen 9 @ Blaze 7
Spacemen 4 @ Blaze 3
Spacemen 10 @ Blaze 5
The Spacemen shook off a six-game losing skid and grabbed six points on the road this past weekend against the Blaze who were playing on home ice for the first time at Decatur Civic Center.
Keven Lapointe (‘01/Trois Rivieres, Que.) and Caden Shwetz (‘00/Smiths Falls, Ont.) both scored three times for the Spacemen Friday with Toms Barens (‘02/Riga Latvia) adding a pair. Caden Neeley (‘00/Centennial, Colo.) scored a pair for the Blaze.
On Saturday, Shwetz fired the game winner. On Sunday, Jared Fisher (‘00/Fort Wayne, Ind.) scored four and Trey Huffman (‘00/Fort Wayne added three for the Spacemen, Austin Floyd (‘01/Centennial, Colo) scoring twice for the Blaze.
Upcoming– The Spacemen have another three-game weekend coming up as they entertain MJDP on Friday, then travel to Columbus for a pair against the Mavericks. The Blaze will be in Detroit for three against the Fighting Irish
MJDP 3 @ Blackbirds 4
MJDP 6 @ Blackbirds 4
A pair of teams scratching for wins this season both managed to grab one at the Midwest Training & Ice Center in Dyer, Ind.
In the first game, Richard Greene (‘99/Crown Point, Ind.) scored three, including the game winner for the Blackbirds and it was Garret Benoit (‘01/Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich.) with two goals, including the game winner to lead the MJDP team.
Upcoming: MJDP has just one game on the weekend, hitting the road to play the Fort Wayne Spacemen on Saturday. The Blackbirds will get a couple weeks off, not scheduled to play until Nov. 8-10 when they play three on the road against the Motor City Hockey Club.
Cougars @ Motor City HC
The Cougars have not lost a game in eight contests inside of its own division this season and these two road games against the division runner up from 2018-19 were not close.
Seven players on the Cougars collected five points or more on the weekend, led by Danny Mannarino (‘02/Huntley, Ill.) with four goals and four assists and Alec Mahoney (‘99/Elgin, Ill.) with eight assists. Alex Shaults (‘02/Villa Park, Ill.) collected a shutout in the first game for the Cougars.
Upcoming: The Cougars will enjoy its first weekend off, preparing for some key matches at Wisconsin Rapids against the Riverkings Nov. 1-2.
The Motor City squad will be off this coming weekend and prepare for a three-game homestand against the Decatur Blaze Nov. 1-3.
Great Lakes – Jets dominate first meeting with Cherokee
Cherokee 2 @ Jets 8
The host Jets settled this one quickly with four unanswered first period tallies. By the time Toledo hit the board with 3:28 to go, the Jets had already piled up eight.
Zachary Rais (‘99/Livonia, Mich.) and Justin Reni (‘99/Canton, Mich.) both scored twice for the Jets.
Upcoming: The Jets pushed its current winning streak to six games and will pay a visit to Lansing for two against the Wolves this weekend. The Cherokee saw an eight-game win streak snapped and will be on the road to face the Pittsburgh Vengeance this weekend.
Bighorns 3 @ Wolves 2 (SO)
Bighorns 4 @ Wolves 3 (OT)
Sixty minutes wasn’t enough time to solve either of these two hard-fought contests and it was the Bighorns coming up big in both, perhaps due to experience – the team has gone to extra time a half dozen times in 14 regular season contests and won four of them.
In the first game, Cameron Strykowski (‘03/Pine City, N.Y.) contributed the lone goal in the shootout for the win and goaltender Elias Lindvall (‘99/Pietarsaari, Finland) stopped all three shootout attempts along with 23 of 25 in the game.
The following day Joona Kokko (‘00/Oulu, Finland) scored with 3:53 to go sending the game to overtime, then added another in the extra session to bring the game to a sudden end.
Upcoming– The Bighorns have just one contest this weekend, heading to a crossover game with the Buffalo Thunder from the Northeast Division on Saturday.
The Wolves will get the tough assignment, playing host to the Metro Jets on both Friday and Saturday nights.
Vengeance 4 @ Buffalo Thunder 3
Buffalo Thunder @ Vengeance
After winning a nailbiter in Buffalo Saturday, the Vengeance returned home for a much more comfortable win against the same team Sunday to remain unbeaten in regulation time now 13-games into the season – the last eight all wins.
Tyson Springer (‘02/East Palestine, Ohio) scored twice to lead the charge in Buffalo and Nicolas Coppola (‘01/Glendale, Ariz.) sank three on home ice Sunday.
Upcoming: The Vengeance will entertain the Toledo Cherokee in a pair of key matches this weekend.
Mavericks @ Cherokee
On Friday night, the Cherokee picked up a lopsided shutout win against the visiting Columbus Mavericks.
Bailey Byrd (‘01/Wyandotte, Mich.) scored three in the win while Paavo Sammalisto (‘01/Virrat, Finland) and Matt Gilbert (‘99/Wyandotte, Mich.) added two each.
Chad Simmerman (‘99/Sinking Spring, Penn.) collected the shutout win in goal.
Upcoming: (See above for Toledo). The Mavericks will look to snap out of its four-game skid when it hosts the Fort Wayne Spacemen for games on Saturday and Sunday.