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NCDC This Week: Junior Bruins Sweep Their Shootout Event, Remain 5-0

By Joshua Boyd / USPHL.com, 10/05/21, 3:15PM EDT

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The Boston Junior Bruins came out of their own event, the BJB Shootout, standing right where they want as a 5-0 team, following a 3-0 run at the Shootout. 

Meantime, in Philadelphia, the Utica Jr. Comets took their first blemish - giving up a point to the hosts in an OT defeat - but the Jr. Comets are still undefeated in 60 minutes at 5-0-1 following two three-game sets to start their season.

Elsewhere around the league, the Rockets Hockey Club earned their first two victories - going back-to-back to finish the shootout, while the Boston Advantage, Twin City Thunder and Philadelphia Hockey Club (as aforementioned) picked up their first wins of the 2021-22 season. 

 

Junior Bruins Off To Best Start In NCDC Tenure

The Junior Bruins’ 5-0 record out of the gate is their best start after five games in their five-year NCDC history. They’ve started 4-1 in their first three seasons, and then were 3-2 after five contests in 2020-21. 

They’ve also outscored their opponents at a 2-1 clip so far, with 18 goals for and nine against. That’s actually a closer differential than a few of their 4-1 starts. They outscored their 2017-18 opponents in their first five games 23-8, almost a 3:1 ratio, and in 2019-20, they were at a 5:2 ratio (25-10).

• Holy Cross recruit Joe Solimine ('02) leads the team in scoring with a 2-7-9 line through five games, and he’s not only well past his 2020-21 points total in 14 games, but he’s one point away from doubling that. He posted a 3-2-5 line last year. Solimine is currently on a five-game point streak, and has two three-point performances to his name, including three assists in Monday’s BJB Shootout win against Connecticut. 

• Not only has Colin Winn ('04) played every minute for the Junior Bruins so far, he’s also the first Junior Bruin goaltender to ever start 5-0, and to win all of his first five starts. 

• U.S. Military Academy recruit Jude Brower ('01) leads all NCDC defensemen with seven points, all assists, in five games. 

 

Utica Jr. Comets Stay Undefeated In Regulation 

The Jr. Comets are still red hot and remain on top of the South Division at 5-0-1. They suffered their first defeat of a type by falling to the Philadelphia Hockey Club 4-3 in OT, but they rebounded with back-to-back one-goal wins. It is their best start in their NCDC tenure, ahead of their 2017-18 start of 4-1-1. 

Oddly enough, this wasn’t the first time the Jr. Comets had three straight one-goal games against the same opponent. It last happened in October 2018, when they had three one-goal outings with the Jersey Hitmen, but those all went the Hitmen’s way. 

• The third-year USPHL veteran Dhillon Wilde (‘02) has surpassed his 2020-21 points total already and currently leads the NCDC with 10 points (7-3) through six games. His career high was 14 points with the 2019-20 Islanders Hockey Club. 

Sebastian Woods (‘01) joins the Junior Bruins’ Winn as the only two goaltenders without a loss through at least three games - and among only five goalies getting the nod thus far for at least three contests. Woods is 3-0-1 with a 2.99 goals against average and a .912 save percentage. 

 

Rockets Hockey Club Earns First Pair Of Wins

After starting out 0-4, the Rockets were able to pull it together for their final two BJB Shootout games to stand at 2-4 through six games. 

The Shootout was the first of three showcases that the Rockets will take part in all during the month of October. Nine showcase games before the month of November is pretty much standard operating procedure for the Rockets, as this will be third time in five seasons they play in the BJB Shootout, Hitmen Classic and Fall Beantown Classic, all of which they also did in 2017-18 and 2018-19. Their all-time best record for the three showcases is 7-2, accomplished in 2018-19. 

• Second-year NCDC veteran Ryan Leonard (‘01) is 100 percent on shootout attempts, registering the shootout winner in his first attempt in the league on Monday. 

• NCDC rookie Cam Bergeman (‘03) is not only the RHC’s leading scorer with seven points, but he also led his team in the Shootout with a 2-3-5 line. He was the only Rocket to score in all three of the showcase games. 

 

South Shore Kings Close Out 2-1 Weekend

The Kings came out of the BJB Shootout with a 2-1 mark at the event and stand at 2-3, earning their first victory for the season with their weekend-opening 6-0 shutout victory against Connecticut. After falling 7-2 to the Rockets in Game 2, they rebounded Monday afternoon, closing the entire event with a 4-3 victory against the P.A.L. Jr. Islanders. 

In the final game, the Kings were lucky to escape with a victory, losing a 4-0 lead that they had built up to the 1:46 mark of the third period, when '01 Timothy Heinke’s second goal stood up as the game-winner. Their four-goal lead is the largest they’ve ever given up in an eventual one-goal win, though they have snatched victory from the jaws of defeat on multiple occasions, being down by three goals and eventually winning. 

• The Kings tied their NCDC record for largest margin of victory in a shutout win with their 6-0 Saturday victory. They also had a 6-0 win in Hub City Tampa against the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs on Jan. 22, 2021. 

 

Hitmen, Monarchs, Rangers Take Single Wins In Marlborough

The Jersey Hitmen came out of the BJB Shootout with a 1-2 record, and currently stand second in the South Division at 3-2-0-0. After defeats against the Twin City Thunder (5-3) and Junior Bruins (2-1), they rebounded in a big way with a 5-2 victory over New Hampshire. The Hitmen are on a 3-0 run going back to 2020-21 against the Monarchs, whom they will face again on Nov. 19 at the Islanders Hockey Club Showcase. 

The Thunder took some revenge on the Hitmen, who had eliminated the Thunder from the 2021 NCDC Championship series in a single-game semifinal on the way to the Hitmen’s Dineen Cup win. The two teams renew acquaintances also at the IHC event on Nov. 21. 

• The New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs defeated the Rockets Hockey Club 4-2 on Saturday, ending what had previously been a 3-0 run for the Rockets against the Monarchs. The two teams get right back at it this Friday at the Hitmen Classic. The Monarchs hold an 8-4 all-time edge in the series, with two being OT victories. 

• Connecticut collected its second win of the 2021-22 season at the Shootout, winning 2-1 over Twin City, in between losses to South Shore and the Junior Bruins. The Thunder currently hold a slim 4-3 lead in the all-time series. Five of their seven all-time meetings have been one-goal games, and the other two were decided by just two goals. They meet again in February at the South Shore Kings Showcase. 

 

Advantage, Philadelphia, Thunder Earn First Victories

• The Thunder’s win over the Hitmen on Saturday was their first victory of the season, and they currently stand at 1-2-0-1.

• The Boston Advantage earned a 4-0 shutout victory against the visiting Northern Cyclones on Friday evening in their only action of the weekend to stand at 1-1. The Advantage, who earned a shutout in their first-ever NCDC game on Oct. 11, 2020 (2-0 against the Twin City Thunder) also matched their best shutout margin of victory, after they had also defeated the Islanders Hockey Club 4-0 on Oct. 21, their second of their three-all-time shutout victories. 

• The Philadelphia Hockey Club picked up their first victory with their 4-3 OT win over Utica on Friday, following two one-goal losses (one in OT) in their first weekend against the Hitmen. PHC is the first team in NCDC history to open their season with five straight one-goal games. 

• The Islanders Hockey Club, idle this past weekend, have played in two one-goal games so far, so they may challenge that record. 

 

Upcoming Action

(Oct. 6-11)

 Islanders Hockey Club vs. Northern Cyclones, Oct. 6 & 10 - The two teams are 5-4 in favor of the Islanders in the last four seasons of their all-time series (which is 9-5 overall after a 4-1 Islanders series win in 2017-18). They’ve split their last eight meetings evenly. 

South Shore Kings vs. Jersey Hitmen, Oct. 7 - The opening game of the 2021 Hitmen Classic. The Kings won the 2020-21 season series with a 2-1 mark, one being in OT (a 6-5 thriller in Tampa).

Junior Bruins vs. Rockets Hockey Club, Oct. 7 - A rematch of their 2021 Dineen Cup semifinals match-up, which was the Rockets’ third win in 2020-21 out of four meetings. 

New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs vs. P.A.L. Jr. Islanders, Oct. 7 - The two teams split their two Tampa meetings, with the Monarchs win being in a shootout.  

Philadelphia Hockey Club vs. Boston Advantage, Oct. 7 - Still the two newest members of the NCDC, both making their debut in 2020-21, the Advantage hold a slim 2-1 all-time series lead.

Philadelphia Hockey Club vs. Junior Bruins, Oct. 8 - Day 2 at the Hitmen Classic opens with this match-up, which is at a 1-1 all-time series split. 

Rockets Hockey Club vs. New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs, Oct. 8 - These two teams just faced each other, as aforementioned, and return to the match-up six days later. 

• P.A.L. Jr. Islanders vs. South Shore Kings, Oct. 8 - Another quick return - four days after their last meeting - and both teams’ fifth of six games in eight days. 

Jersey Hitmen vs. Boston Advantage, Oct. 8 - The Hitmen won both of their first two all-time meetings in 2020-21 in Florida. 

Utica Jr. Comets at Connecticut Rangers, Oct. 8-9 - The Jr. Comets try to keep up their regulation unbeaten streak against the Rangers, who are 6-0 against Utica since their move from Syracuse in 2019.

Islanders Hockey Club vs. Twin City Thunder, Oct. 8 - The Thunder won both their Florida match-ups in overtime, with the Islanders picking up an earlier regulation win in 2020-21. 

New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs vs. Philadelphia Hockey Club, Oct. 9 - These two squads split their two Florida meetings in 2020-21. 

South Shore Kings vs. Rockets Hockey Club, Oct. 9 - The Kings are looking for revenge six days after a 7-2 Rockets victory at the BJB Shootout. 

P.A.L. Jr. Islanders vs. Boston Advantage, Oct. 9 - This series is at a 1-1 deadlock with the Advantage winning their first meeting on Jan. 27 in OT. 

• Junior Bruins vs. Jersey Hitmen, Oct. 9 - The Junior Bruins are now 3-1 in their last four meetings going back to 2020-21, including Boston’s 2-1 victory on Oct. 2. 

Twin City Thunder at Northern Cyclones, Oct. 11 - Although located just one state and a couple hours drive apart, these teams met just once last year, a 4-2 Cyclones win. The Thunder won their first match-up in 2019, with the Cyclones going 4-0 since then.