The United States Premier Hockey League is proud to welcome Lovell Hockey and its Boston Advantage to the League for the 2020-21 season. The Boston Advantage is joining the Tier-II, Tuition-Free National Collegiate Development Conference (NCDC), along with the USPHL Premier, and at the full-season 18U, 16U and 15U levels of the League for the 2020-21 season.
Lovell Hockey was founded in 2002 as a skills development hockey school that - in 2006 - founded the Boston Advantage. What started as one barnstorming Midget team has grown into a hockey powerhouse fielding 92 single teams at all Youth, Midget and Junior levels for the 2020-21 season. Entering the USPHL is just the latest chapter in a success story that is nearing 20 years of history. The Boston Advantage rank as one of the longest-standing East Coast full-season Midget programs. Alumni include NHLers such as Noah Hanifin, Colin White and Adam Gaudette, as well as several top players who played NCAA Division I hockey this past season including UNH’s Anthony Wyse, Dartmouth’s Quin Foreman and Northeastern’s Craig Pantano. The 2020-21 season marks the Advantage’s first foray into Junior Hockey.
“We’ve always had a good relationship with the USPHL, especially through [Boston Junior Bruins co-owner] Peter Masters and his tournaments like the Beantown Classic and the Junior Bruins Shootout,” said Lovell Hockey Co-Founder Tim Lovell.
The NCDC provides the framework for high-level junior hockey with the nation’s - and perhaps the world’s - smallest league footprint, ranging from Philadelphia to Maine and west to Utica, N.Y. Every game is within no more than an 8-hour bus ride - and those are the exception and not the norm. Being based in Hingham, Mass., puts the Advantage near the geographic center of the league.
“The NCDC is a high-end league, the top junior league obviously on the East Coast,” said Tim Lovell. “I just think it’s an avenue to put our kids in a great situation for colleges to watch them play. I’m excited for our guys to compete with and against the likes of the Islanders Hockey Club, Jersey Hitmen and Junior Bruins as well as all the other professionally-run NCDC programs. Our goal in Year 1 is to sneak into that top four-team grouping.”
Preparing for the 2020-21 season is different than any other off-season here and everywhere else on earth, due to the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic and its resultant lack of scouting opportunities. Lovell Hockey is not worried about filling its USPHL teams, however.
“We already have 18U, 16U and 15U team rosters for the new season set. The NCDC and Premier teams will bring new challenges and our goal is to put a very strong program on the ice in Year 1. We will utilize some of the players currently in the Advantage program and will work on bringing back Advantage alumni who may have gone to Tier-I or Tier-II hockey to return and help us build,” said Lovell. “We will use our allotted tenders right away to sign some players before the NCDC Entry Draft, and are already busy working on our draft list to be prepared for June 10.”
The Advantage have a coaching staff already in place to lead most of their USPHL teams:
• Lovell Hockey Co-Founder Joe Lovell will coach the NCDC team. Joe, an alum of the Boston Junior Bruins and a former Bentley University Captain, comes in with three years of coaching experience at the Tier-II level. Joe Lovell is also the Hockey Director for the New England Knights program.
• Kevin Poulin will be the Head Coach of the Advantage 18U team. Poulin has coached with Lovell Hockey since its 2002 founding.
• Former Boston Bruin Eric Healey will be the Head Coach of the Advantage’s 16U program. He is a 10-year coaching veteran of Lovell Hockey.
• Rob Himburg, the Advantage’s 15U coach, is another longtime Lovell Hockey coach with nine years in the organization.
About The USPHL
Founded in 2012, the United States Premier Hockey League (USPHL) of 2020-21 is comprised of more than 550 teams, fielding more than 11,000 players in more than 100 organizations, with player ages ranging from 6 to 21. Our teams are geographically diverse, ranging from North and South to the Midwest and West Coast. The USPHL fields teams in a variety of divisions from Junior to the all-Youth Eastern Junior Elite Prospects League. Learn more at USPHL.com and BestPlayHere.com.