Even though it’s almost Halloween, good luck ever trying to scare teenagers. They don’t frighten easily, and that certainly applies to teenaged junior hockey players.
It doesn’t matter the record of their opponents, every player in the USPHL gets on to the ice ready to get the job done. Drop the puck and see who comes out on top, so that’s just what we’re going to do across the USPHL Elite this coming weekend.
Who’s Hot: The Florida Eels are on a 4-0 run that they hope to continue building on against a Tampa Bay Juniors team that is A) coming off a 2-0 weekend against Palm Beach; and B) leading the Florida Division by six points.
Bryson Uhrig is third in scoring in the USPHL Premier at 23 points (and the only non-member of the Islanders Hockey Club in the top three). He is also on the league’s fourth-longest scoring streak, with eight goals and seven assists for 15 points in eight games.
Not far behind Uhrig, teammate Tyler Cullen has posted 11 points (6-5-11) in his last eight games.
For the Eels, Landen Engles has a pair of goals and three assists in his last three games. Andrew Ward has five goals and five assists for 10 points in his last four games.
The Eels’ Jacob Mork has gone 4-0 overall, and is one of just four goalies in the league undefeated after at least four games. He also leads in goals against average (1.47) and save percentage (.957).
Tampa goalie Evan Spinella is in a four-way tie for the league lead in wins with six.
Atlanta will try to get their second straight win for the second time this season (they had earlier swept Palm Beach), when they go up against the Florida Jr. Blades for a second straight weekend.
The MadHatters were 6-3 season series winners last year, and they have a 13-6 all-time series record against the Blades since the founding of the MadHatters.
Who’s Hot: The Jersey Hitmen are looking fantastic with points in their last six games (5-0-1) - but they have a huge mountain to climb until they’re in the same league with the 14-1 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights.
The Hitmen take on the Jersey Whalers on Friday. The Whalers are still fighting for their first “W” in the Elite Division. The Hitmen won their only meeting this year, 5-0, on Sept. 24.
The Hitmen won their last game against the New York Aviators, 5-2, on Oct. 16 - the Hitmen and Aviators meet again on Sunday. The Hitmen also won three matches last year - and the two teams tied once.
Goalie Matthew Carter is on a 3-0 run in his last few games.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton has been off since Oct. 10, and now they’re getting back to action in a home-and-home against the Rockets Hockey Club.
Wilkes-Barre’s Liam Wicks has three assists in three straight games, along with one goal for four points.
Who’s Hot: Every one of four teams (out of five total) is on a points streak in the Southeast. Richmond is leading the division and they are on a 3-0-1 run, while the Hampton Roads Whalers also have points in their last four (2-0-2). The Charlotte Rush won their most recent two-game series and the Carolina Jr. Hurricanes got three points on the weekend against the Generals. Conveniently all four teams are playing each other this weekend!
Richmond and Carolina renew acquaintances again this weekend as the scene shifts to Morrisville, N.C.
Richmond and Carolina each getting points on a weekend is fairly common. Neither team got a clean win twice in a row last year in their last five of seven total matchups.
General Garrett Albers has scored five goals on a five-game scoring streak, along with four assists for nine points.
Richmond goaltender A.J. Golden is in a four-way tie for the league lead in goaltender wins with six.
The Whalers are hoping to get some revenge on the Rush, who defeated them twice on the Oct. 2-3 weekend. That rematch series kicks up on Saturday at 5 p.m.
The Rush have an all-time series lead of 20-6-0-1.
The Whalers bring into the weekend the current leader in consecutive points, as Nathan Fisher is on an 11-game point streak in which he’s posted a 7-11-18 line.
Charlotte’s David Hoftiezer is on a seven-game point streak, in which he’s posted three goals and nine assists for 12 points.
Who’s Hot: The Northern Cyclones are on a 3-0 run, including pinning the first loss on the Islanders Hockey Club (9-1). Additionally, the Boston Junior Bruins have won their last couple games and are hoping to push up the standings.
The Cyclones have just one game this weekend, a Saturday tilt against the Bridgewater Bandits.
The Cyclones have split their season series so far this weekend, most recently winning 4-1 on Oct. 20, and falling to the Bandits 5-3 on Sept. 26.
The Cyclones have an all-time series lead of 9-5-0-0 (dating back to the current form of the USPHL Elite in 2017-18).
L’Heureux translates roughly as “the happy one,” and the Cyclones’ Marc L’Heureux is certainly happy to be helping his team with a red hot streak of 6-3-9 in his last four games.
Hayden Kearney leads the Bandits with seven goals and one assist in nine games.
The Junior Bruins are idle until Saturday, Nov. 5. They had wins of 6-1 over the Bandits and 2-1 over the Pics last weekend. Additionally, the 9-1 Islanders are off until a Nov. 7 game against the Cyclones.
Besides the Cyclones/Bandits matchup, the only other North action sees the Pics and Bandits facing each other on Halloween Night at 7 p.m.
Drop the Pucks!