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    Former Elmira Jr. Enforcer Rogers Commits To St. Cloud State

    By Joshua Boyd / USPHL.com 11/26/2021, 3:00pm EST

    The United States Premier Hockey League congratulates former Elmira Jr. Enforcer Jack Rogers, as he has made his NCAA commitment to St. Cloud State University. Rogers played last season with the Jr. Enforcers, scoring 47 points in 39 USPHL Premier regular season games last season. He also added seven goals and 10 points in seven playoff games, including the Jr. Enforcers’ appearance at the USPHL Premier Nationals in their first year of existence. 

    Rogers, who currently plays Tier II hockey in Manitoba, said he started talking to the St. Cloud State Huskies staff in October. 

    “The coaching staff really like my speed and the way I play with pace,” said Rogers, a 2002-born native of East Northport, N.Y. “They also love the edge I play with and compete level I bring to practice and games.” 

    St. Cloud State University has become a powerful player in the NCAA ranks, making it all the way to the Frozen Four final last year, where the Huskies fell to the University of Massachusetts. Overall, the Huskies have reached the National Tournament 14 times in the 22 years from the 1999-2000 season to 2020-21. 

    “St. Cloud is a first class hockey program from top to bottom. In my opinion what really puts them ahead of the pack are the staff members in all areas and what they do for their players,” said Rogers. “I was able to visit the school and see not only the hockey side of things but also life as a student. Everything was top-tier.” 

    Prior to his jump this year to Canadian Tier-II hockey, Rogers was thrilled with his single season in Elmira and paid tribute to all of the coaches and the organization overall. 

    “Last season was definitely a strange one because of all the different leagues shutting down and all of the restrictions. However we definitely made the most of it in Elmira,” said Rogers. “We had a great group of guys with a great coaching staff and turned it into a pretty successful year for a first year organization.”

    The Jr. Enforcers’ entry into the National Championships kicked off with a win over the No. 1 overall seed, the Metro Jets, illustrating just how powerful the inaugural Elmira squad was, and how much Rogers benefited from being part of the team - and the team benefited from Rogers’ contributions as well.  

    “I don’t think there was a part of my game that didn’t improve last year. Coaches Cody Murphy, Jamie Hill and Glen Patterson ran amazing practices throughout the entire year,” Rogers added. “They put together a perfect mix of player development and team structure into each practice. They definitely helped prepare me to have a successful season this year and in the future.”

    To help craft that future, Rogers expects to continue working towards his ultimate goal of being a regular in Huskies lineups for four years. 

    “I am excited to continue to get stronger and improve my game as I move forward in my junior career,” said Rogers. “Nothing changes for me. I will continue to take it day by day and stay on my development path.” 

     

    Charlotte Rush National Champion Goaltender Battisti Commits To SUNY-Canton

    By Joshua Boyd / USPHL.com 11/26/2021, 12:15pm EST

    David Battisti takes what his friends and former teammates say very seriously. So, when former Charlotte Rush teammate Sam Martin, now playing for the State University of New York at Canton, began talking with Battisti about potentially joining the Canton Roos in 2022, Battisti listened closely to the sales pitch. 

    “I stayed with Sam when I went on my visit,” said Battisti. “He’s been trying to convince me for a while, and he did a good job of it.”

    Of course, the SUNY-Canton coaching staff also had something to do with this whole process. They began talking with the 2001-born Victor, N.Y., resident last year just before the USPHL Premier Nationals in Chesapeake, Va. The talks continued and on Wednesday, Nov. 24, it was announced that Battisti had committed to SUNY-Canton. 

    The Canton staff then watched as Battisti and his Rush teammates pushed their way past nearly every team they faced (taking just one round robin tie along the way) to win the Championship. 

    “I began talking with them last year just before Nationals, and then just a little bit throughout the summer, and it started back up again before I went back to Charlotte this year,” said Battisti, who currently stands at 5-4-1 on the season for the Rush. His fourth win was a 4-3 victory against the Metro Jets, which came into the Islanders Hockey Club Showcase at 20-0. 

    “They said they like how quick I am on my feet,” said Battisti. “I’m a smaller guy, so I have to be a quick goalie, and they like how I play the puck a lot and I’m aggressive.”

    Battisti said there was a lot that he liked about SUNY-Canton as well, so the interest remained strong on both sides. 

    “I love the great hockey facilities they have, and it’s a very good culture there that I’m excited about to be a part of,” said Battisti. “Everything’s clean and modern on campus, the way it looks. That played a big part in where I wanted.” 

    Battisti plans to major in Business, in order to help with the family business, Tambe Electric Inc., an electrician services company based in Victor. 

    “Going into business will help in getting into the family company, which my Grandpa owns, and everyone in my family works there,” he added. 

    Battisti started out playing locally in the Rochester area, skating in the USPHL 16U Division for two seasons with the former Rochester Jr. Monarchs, and then he continued with the Jr. Monarchs into his 18U year, while splitting with McQuaid Jesuit High School. From McQuaid, he joined the Rush last year and put together an outstanding 25-6-1 record during the regular season, along with sparkling a 1.84 goals against average and .938 save percentage. 

    “I can’t say enough good things about Charlotte, not even just the hockey aspect of it, but Charlotte prepares you for the real world,and  becoming a man,” said Battisti. “There’s a lot of success and a lot of pressure there. A loss on a weekend is not acceptable, but no one really gets nervous when we lose a couple because we know we’ll come right back with wins.”

    Most of the time, Battisti just works with the coaching staff led by Troy Schwab, which also includes General Manager Ryan Cruthers and Trevor Jewell, the former head coach now Director of Hockey Operations and Player Development. New this year, the Rush also brought in NHL alum Jean-Sebastian Aubin as a goaltending coach. 

    “I’ve met with him a couple times, and he comes down from Pittsburgh once a month to work with the goaltenders,” said Battisti. 

    This year, Battisti is still working to improve to become an even better goaltender for the Roos of the future. 

    “For me, it’s really just the consistency aspect,” said Battisti. “I think I was very good last year, every game, I felt like I gave the same. It’s different a little bit this year, so I just want to make sure I’m giving the team the same guy in net every game that they want. I’m trying to get my shoulders over the puck a little more, just to find any way to make myself bigger.” 

    The Rush are certainly pushing for a repeat National Championship this year, as they certainly enjoyed the experience of winning (along with their Elite brethren) this past March. 

    “Obviously, that was our goal all year. It was a marathon for us. We kept winning and winning and we let that roll into Nationals. We had that feeling that we were going to do it, then after we won, it was the best feeling ever,” said Battisti. “We didn’t do it just for us, but for our alumni. That 2019-20 team felt like they were going to win [before the 2020 Nationals were canceled], and a lot of them came down to watch us. We were really playing to win for two years worth of Rush teams.” 

    The USPHL congratulates David Battisti, his family, the Charlotte Rush and SUNY-Canton for his commitment. 

    The USPHL Wishes Everyone A Safe And Happy Thanksgiving

    By USPHL Staff 11/25/2021, 9:30am EST

    All of us here at the United States Premier Hockey League wish all of our players, families and everyone beyond a safe and Happy Thanksgiving! 

    @usphl

    ##HappyThanksgiving from all of us at the ##USPHL and also on behalf of @thedankshow! Safe travels and best wishes for a great day to all!

    ♬ Thank You - Kehlani

    USPHL Premier Players Of The Week: South Region

    By USPHL Staff 11/24/2021, 8:15pm EST

    Week of Nov. 24, 2021 - Includes Recap

    Southeast Division

    Forward: Carter Jordan, Richmond Generals

    The second-year General, Jordan (‘01/Fort Collins, Colo.) racked up an amazing two goals and four assists in the Gens’ sweep of the Hampton Roads Whalers that helped the team move up into third place out of fourth. This included a 1-3-4 line in the opening 6-3 victory. Jordan has 20 points in 17 games. 

     

    Defense: Jordan Gagnon, Carolina Jr. Hurricanes

    Gagnon (‘01/Leduc, Alberta) made his return to the Jr. Canes after starting the season in Manitoba. The Alvernia University recruit posted a pair of goals and assists in his games at the Islanders Hockey Club Showcase. Last season, Gagnon posted 22 points in 33 games and was also a big presence in the Jr. Canes’ Nationals run last spring. 

     

    Goaltender: David Battisti, Charlotte Rush

    The stopper for the defending National Champions, Battisti is back at it this year with the Rush, already posting a 5-4-1 in this, his second season. Battisti, a newly announced SUNY-Canton commit, faced down the 20-0 Metro Jets and helped his team get a 4-3 win on Saturday, stopping 23 of 26 shots. He also defeated the Islanders Hockey Club with 28 saves, and he made 18 saves on 19 shots in a win against Pueblo for a 3-0 weekend at the Showcase. 

     

    Florida Division

    Forward: Damon Kiyawasew, Florida Eels

    Kiyawasew (‘02/Sherwood Park, Alb.) came up with five goals in a decisive victory on Nov. 21 against the Palm Beach Typhoon. Four days earlier, in Palm Beach, he also scored a goal, giving him six tallies in just two games. Kiyawasew improved his points total to 21 through 18 contests. 

     

    Defense: Jon Heller, Tampa Bay Juniors

    The fourth-year Junior Heller (‘01/Richmond, Va.) posted three assists against the Atlanta MadHatters in two wins to close November. Overall, Heller now has 13 points in 21 games this year, and 64 points in 130 career games, good for second on Tampa’s all-time games played list. 

     

    Goaltender: Blake Mons, Tampa Bay Juniors

    Mons (‘02/Charleston, S.C.) is now in his third Premier season and he continues to show just how strong that experience has made him. He stopped 42 of 43 shots against him by the Atlanta MadHatters, in a 7-1 win on Saturday. He improves to 8-3 on the season with an active four-game winning streak going back to October. 

     

    Weekend Recap 

    Florida Division

    There was no change to the order of the standings, as the leading two teams won against the No. 4 and 5 squads, and the third-place Florida Jr. Blades were idle. 

    The Florida Eels and Tampa Bay Juniors remain four points apart, with the Eels on top, after both teams swept their opponents recently. The Eels drew the Palm Beach Typhoon on Nov. 17 and 21, winning 6-2 in the first game and even more decisively the second time around. 

    Tampa Bay brought the MadHatters to town and sent them away empty-handed, as the Juniors earned 7-1 and 5-2 victories. 

     

    Southeast Division

    Three teams made the trip north for the Islanders Hockey Club Showcase, and the other two (Richmond and Hampton Roads) played each other. 

    The leading Carolina Jr. Hurricanes won two and lost two at the IHC Showcase, starting with a 2-0 loss to the Wisconsin Rapids Riverkings, then bouncing back with a 2-1 win over the Minnesota Moose. They soundly defeated the Pittsburgh Vengeance in a shutout victory, but lost a one-goal game to the Boston Junior Bruins to close out. 

    The Charlotte Rush moved from fourth to second with a six-point showing at the IHC Showcase, starting with a 4-1 win over the Islanders Hockey Club, and continuing with a 4-3 win to break the Metro Jets’ previous 20-0 streak. The Ogden Mustangs, one of three 4-0 teams at the showcase, defeated the Rush by a 4-3 score. Charlotte turned around and then defeated the Pueblo Bulls, 5-1. 

    The Richmond Generals actually remained in third place after sweeping the Hampton Roads Whalers in a pair of games, 6-3 and 3-1. 

    Potomac also made the trip to New England and fared well enough, going 3-1 (one win being a forfeit by the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs). In their first game, they had a decisive shutout victory over the Dells Ducks, which was followed by a 3-1 Sunday loss to the Springfield Pics. They rebounded Monday in the final game of the entire showcase, winning 4-2 over the Jersey Whalers. 

    Check back next week for the return of "The Breakdown: USPHL Premier"!

    USPHL Elite Players Of The Week: South Region

    By USPHL Staff 11/24/2021, 5:30pm EST

    Week of Nov. 24, 2021 - Includes Recap

    Florida Division

    Forward: Carl Ingalls, Florida Eels

    In wins over the Palm Beach Typhoon on Nov. 17 and 21, Ingalls (‘02/St. Andrews, Man.) posted a goal and an assist in the first game and two additional helpers in the back end of the home-and-home in Fort Myers. He now has 11 points in his first 17 junior games. 

     

    Defense: Nash Cobbs, Tampa Bay Juniors

    Cobbs (‘03/Ocala, Fla.) has split this season between the Elite and Premier teams. Most recently, he played in the two wins over the Atlanta MadHatters for the Juniors. He posted a pair of goals and added one assist on the weekend, along with four blocked shots. He has 13 points in 11 Elite games (and three points in 10 Premier contests). 

     

    Goaltender: Matthew Schoer, Florida Eels

    Schoer (‘01/Long Valley, N.J.) registered 35 saves in shutting out the Palm Beach Typhoon, the most stops in any one of his three shutouts this year and his second straight 35-save outing. Schoer improved to 6-0 overall on the season as well. 

     

    Southeast Division 

    Forward: Zeno Sarbu, Potomac Patriots

    A 2004-born native of Romania, Sarbu just signed on with the Patriots prior to the Islanders Hockey Club showcase and more than showed up with an eight-point first weekend, matching the eight points the Pats got by going 4-0 at the event. Sarbu closed with a hat trick against the Junior Bruins, and before that he’d scored two against the Bridgewater Bandits. Along the way, he also registered three assists in the two games against the Rockets Hockey Club and Jersey Whalers. Sarbu comes to the Patriots with plenty of Premier experience. 

     

    Defense: Ben Pearson, Charlotte Rush

    Pearson (‘03/Rochester, N.Y.) has been here before, because he’s always money in the bank for the defending National Champions in his first year. He helped the Rush go 3-0-0-1 in the Islanders Hockey Club Showcase. They started with a decisive victory over the hosts in which Pearson posted a weekend-high four assists. All told, he rang up a goal and six assists for seven points, adding to what is now 24 points in 20 games. 

     

    Goaltender: Camden Priebe, Carolina Jr. Hurricanes

    The second-year Jr. Cane Priebe (‘03/Syracuse, N.Y.) posted wins in both of his games at the IHC Showcase. This included stopping 18 of 19 shots against the New York Aviators, and then getting his first career shutout against the Springfield Pics with a 31-save effort. He is now 6-4-0-1 on the season. 

     

    Weekend Recap

    Southeast Division 

    The top three teams all performed very well and not only improved their distance from the No. 4 and 5 positions, but also made it a tight four-point battle for first between the trio. 

    The leading Charlotte Rush started their IHC Showcase with a decisive win over the Islanders, then fell in a close 2-1 shootout against the Jersey Hitmen, one which saw nine shooters per side. They got back to winning ways against the Bridgewater Bandits in a one-sided shutout win and then defeated the league-leading Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights by a 4-1 score in the finale. 

    Carolina went 3-1 at the showcase, falling only to the Knights in their second game. Otherwise, it was smooth sailing in wins against the New York Aviators (5-1), Springfield Pics (5-0) and Bridgewater (3-2). 

    Richmond, as aforementioned, picked up the non-showcase sweep against fellow Virginians the Hampton Roads Whalers, first in a decisive shutout and then in an only slightly closer 6-2 victory. 

    Potomac also showed up well at the IHC Showcase, getting the 4-0 sweep at the event. They started with the Rockets Hockey Club, winning 3-2. After a clear shutout win over the Jersey Whalers, the Patriots won 6-2 over Bridgewater and 6-3 over the Boston Junior Bruins. 

     

    Florida Division

    The top two teams, the Tampa Bay Juniors and Florida Eels, both got sweeps in their final games before the Thanksgiving break, so there was no change in the divisional order. 

    The Juniors hosted the Atlanta MadHatters and were 3-2 winners in the first game before putting on a much bigger offensive show in the second win. 

    The Eels and Palm Beach Typhoon played a home-and-home four days apart, but both games went to the Fort Myers squad. They won 5-2 on Nov. 17 and 4-0 on Nov. 21. 

    The third-place Florida Jr. Blades had taken their break earlier, but will return with a seven-game December to sharpen their skills as all the teams pass the halfway point. 

     

    Be sure to check back next week as the more in-depth “The Breakdown: USPHL Elite” makes its return to USPHL.com!