The ongoing race for North Division supremacy has become a three-team event, with the Islanders Hockey Club currently sitting on top points-wise after a two-win weekend. The Islanders are third when looking at winning percentage (.667) as the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs currently stand first with an .813 mark. The Northern Cyclones come in at second with a .750 mark. Even the fourth-place Junior Bruins (.591) are still very much a factor in the division early on.
The Islanders’ recent mini-run began last Wednesday with a 4-2 win against the South Shore Kings, and they followed on Sunday with a 3-1 win against the Junior Bruins. Their win against South Shore was their fifth straight against the Kings going back to last season, when the Islanders and Kings played four in a row against each other at midseason.
With their 3-1 win against the Junior Bruins, they avenged an earlier 6-1 loss to the same team back on Oct. 19. With the win, the Islanders pulled to within one of evening the teams’ all-time series, in which the Islanders have a 7-9 record against the Junior Bruins.
• The two teams are set to meet again soon, on Tuesday, Nov. 24. The Islanders have not won twice in a season against the Junior Bruins since going 4-1 in the inaugural season of 2017-18.
• Goaltender Jake Perrin (‘00/Chelmsford, Mass.) was able to get some personal revenge on the Junior Bruins. After being in net for all six goals against on Oct. 19, he stopped 38 of 39 in the 3-1 win, his third straight in this, his first NCDC season and fourth USPHL campaign.
• Kaleb Nelson (‘03/Keswick, Ont.) scored a power play goal against the Kings in his first NCDC game on Nov. 11, and assisted on the insurance marker in the win against the Junior Bruins for points in both of his first two games thus far. Nelson is a Providence College recruit.
• Not long after being listed on the Players to Watch List by NHL Central Scouting, Johan Rosenquist (‘02/Naples, Fla.) started a still active points streak that has reached five games and seen him post a 3-3-6 line. This is his best NCDC points streak and has given Rosenquist an overall points per game average (12 points in 12 games), blasting past the seven points he scored in 31 NCDC games in 2019-20.
• Five points in his last three games has also given second-year NCDC veteran Kyle Lightfoot (‘00/LaSalle, Que.) a point-per game average and points total to match that of Rosenquist.
Hitmen Win Ninth Straight, Remain Only 1.000 Team
The Jersey Hitmen remain the gold standard in the league, going 9-0 from the start of the season for the second year in a row. Last year, they went 13-0 before experiencing their first defeat of any kind (the first of two shootout losses in a row Oct. 26-27, 2019).
Most recently, their only action over the last week was a 6-0 shutout win in their first-ever game against the new NCDC members the Philadelphia Hockey Club. Chase Clark (‘02/Williamsville, N.Y.) earned his first NCDC shutout in his third game, stopping all 22 shots faced.
• The Hitmen and the Rockets Hockey Club (still undefeated in regulation) are the only two teams to have attained or passed the six-goal mark in three games this year. The Hitmen are alone in having two shutout wins with six or more (nine) goals scored - the Rockets have one 6-0 shutout win to their credit. The teams face off Saturday at 12:30 p.m.
• In getting the scoring started with his second of the season, Jin Lee (‘00/Pearl River, N.Y.) has seen 100 percent of his (two) goals count as game-winners. He’s already equaled his GWG total from last season with Connecticut.
• Quinnipiac University recruit Liam McLinskey (‘01/Pearl River, N.Y.) posted three assists in the win to become the first NCDC player to register at least three points in three games. With 15 points in nine games, his 1.67 points per game average continues to lead the league.
Rockets Extend Season-Opening Points Streak To 13 Games
In their lone action over the last week, the Rockets hosted the P.A.L. Jr. Islanders in a Monday afternoon game, narrowly winning by a 3-2 score. In 13 games, it was only their second one-goal regulation victory. It was the second time in three games all of their offense in a game was confined to a single period, in this case the first.
• Now at nine games and stretching over a month, Clark Kerner (‘00/Kansas City, Mo.) has the league’s longest active scoring streak, dating back to Oct. 16 - he’s posted 5-9-14 in that time, and has only missed the scoresheet once in 13 games this year. The UMass-Lowell recruit is the NCDC’s leading scorer with an 8-12-20 line.
Kings, Advantage Take Split
On Nov. 13, the South Shore Kings picked up their second win of the season, and their first since the 2020-21 NCDC season opener on Sept. 22, a win over the Junior Bruins. This time around, it was the Boston Advantage the Kings were able to defeat, 5-3. The Advantage turned the tables four days later, on Nov. 17, defeating South Shore by a 6-2 score.
In the first of the two meetings, the Kings came back from a 3-1 deficit to score four goals and get the win. They almost came back from a 3-0 deficit in the second game, scoring two goals in the space of 40 seconds, but three in a row from the Advantage dashed their comeback hopes.
• With two goals in a row against the Kings in the Advantage win, Tony Achille (‘02/Hingham, Mass.) tied with the Rockets Hockey Club’s Clark Kerner for the NCDC goals lead with eight. Achille has scored five goals in his last four games, carrying that active goal streak beyond Thanksgiving to the Advantage’s next game on Sunday, Nov. 29.
• The Kings last scored four unanswered goals in a row on March 1 in a 5-3 win over the Connecticut Jr. Rangers, a span of just 11 games.
Junior Bruins Go 1-1 Over Weekend
Prior to their loss to the Islanders Hockey Club, the Junior Bruins defeated the Advantage 5-3 in the second straight meeting of the two Massachusetts-based teams. It was the second time this year that the Junior Bruins have won at least two games in a row, last doing so in three straight in New Jersey between Oct. 8-10. The Islanders, as aforementioned, kept them from matching that early 3-0 run.
• The second win against the Advantage set the scene for the first NCDC goal by former New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs Midget player Jack Pascucci (‘02/North Andover, Mass.) This was the UConn recruit’s first game as well, played a few weeks after he joined Johan Rosenquist and five other NCDC standouts on the NHL Central Scouting Players To Watch List.
• Boston College recruit Jack Dempsey (‘01/Natick, Mass.) assisted on that Pascucci goal for his first NCDC point in what was also his first game.
• Oliver Flynn (‘03/Wolcott, Conn.) also earned an assist in his first game, also against the Advantage on Nov. 14. Flynn, another UConn recruit, joined Pascucci on the NHL Central Scouting Players To Watch List.
• Third-year NCDC Junior Bruins defenseman Bradey Farrell (‘01/Burrillville, R.I.) enjoyed his first career multi-point game, posting two assists against the Advantage.
New Hampshire Comes Back At Thunder With Win
The New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs got back to winning ways just one game after taking their first regulation “L” back on Nov. 7 to regional rival Twin City. They avenged it on Nov. 14 with a 3-1 win over the Thunder.
• Artur Ogandzhanyan (‘00/Kharkov, Ukraine) has seen more shots per game than any other goalie with as many games played (seven), averaging 34.7. He has seen less than 29 only once, and the Thunder put 40 on him - the second time already he’s seen that many. He turned away 39, giving him the third best save percentage early on this season among goalies with at least five games (.942).
• Grant Porter (‘02/Weston, Mass.) is on a four-game scoring streak, posting 1-4-5 in that stretch.
P.A.L. Jr. Islanders Go 1-1 Over Week
Prior to their close loss to the Rockets, the P.A.L. Jr. Islanders unleashed for six goals in a 6-2 win against the Philadelphia Hockey Club on Nov. 14.
• Zach Frisk (‘00/Long Valley, Pa.) has given the Jr. Islanders an offensive shot in the arm, blowing past his five points in 17 games last year to score all eight points over his last six of seven total games - posting a 4-4-8 line as he continues an active point streak. His 2-1-3 performance against Philadelphia was his first multi-point and multi-goal game.
• The loss to New Jersey snapped a career-best five-game scoring streak by veteran Devin Moran (‘00/Leominster, Mass.), during which he posted a 3-6-9 line.
• Third-year Jr. Islander and sixth-year USPHL veteran Spencer Korona (‘01/Enfield, Conn.) saw his career-best six-game streak of 2-6-8 come to an end.