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NCDC This Week: Four-Way Tie For First In South Division Ahead Of Final November Weekend

By Joshua Boyd / USPHL.com, 11/16/21, 6:00PM EST

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The NCDC will get into its final games of the month of November this weekend. Eight teams will play at the Islanders Hockey Club Showcase, and others will have traditional home ice games against local opponents. In any event, the NCDC is already fast approaching the halfway mark of the regular season, which will occur on Dec. 10, the second weekend back after the Thanksgiving break. The good thing for those who love watching the NCDC is every game is competitive, players are putting up outstanding individual performances and there’s oh so much more still to come! 

 

Jersey Hitmen Win Three In A Row, Sweep Rockets

A sweep of the Interstate 287 rival Rockets Hockey Club over the Nov. 12-13 weekend helped the Hitmen jump into a tie for first place in the South Division, not just with the Rockets, but also with the P.A.L. Jr. Islanders and the Utica Jr. Comets. 

• The Hitmen have the league’s best offense (4.11 goals per game) and second best defense (2.78 goals against per game). That lines up well with putting the most shots on net (41.33) and giving up the second fewest shots per game (31.56). 

• Jersey blueline duo Sean Melso and Bentley recruit Brandon Cimino continue to lead the NCDC in defenseman scoring with 21 and 20 points, respectively. Cimino enters the Islanders Hockey Club Showcase on a three-game, four-assist streak. 

• On Nov. 12, Hitmen newcomer Dominiks Marcinkevics  had a goal and four assists for a league season-high five points, in just his second game since returning to the NCDC after originally playing for the Islanders Hockey Club in 2019-20. In three games, Marcinkevics - twin brother of the team’s leading scorer Patriks Marcinkevics (28 points) - already has 10 points. 

• Since joining the Hitmen just before Halloween, goalie J.J. Cataldo is 3-0.  

• Rockets Hockey Club forward Evan Brown has the most points in a currently active point streak, at 15 (6-9-15) in his last eight games. He is also on a five-game multi-point streak, scoring three in a pair and then two points in his last three. 

 

South Shore Kings Pushing Junior Bruins Atop North Division With Two Straight W’s

Just as great as the four-way battle for first in the South is the four-way fight for first in the North, with four teams separated by four points. The South Shore Kings’ two-game sweep of their Nov. 12 and 14 games included a 4-1 win over the leading Boston Junior Bruins. The Kings are now just two points out of first in the North, held by the same Junior Bruins. 

• The Kings give up the third-fewest shots against per game (32.56).

Daniel Cavanaugh is heating up for the Kings. After posting four points in his first 12 games, Cavanaugh has an active six-game scoring streak with a line of 4-3-7. 

Jakub Teply, who now has 5-2-7 in his last three games, had the game-winning goals against each of the Monarchs and Junior Bruins. He became the second King this season to register back-to-back GWG’s, after Chikara Hanzawa did so on Oct. 22 and Oct. 28, the latter being the goal that broke the Kings’ all-time NCDC scoring record. 

• The South Shore Kings’ USPHL Premier goalie Max Macchioni, one of the leaders in wins in the Tier III league, is already 2-0 in the start of his NCDC career. He defeated the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs 5-1, stopping 29 of 30, and then came back this past Sunday against the Junior Bruins and stopped 28 of 31 in the 4-3 victory. 

• The Junior Bruins’ leading scorer and Holy Cross recruit Joe Solimine made his league-leading 11th power play assist on Easton Ryan’s third period goal that made it 3-3, prior to Teply’s GWG. 

 

Philadelphia Hockey Club Picks Up Points In Three Straight

Fourteen of the PHC’s 18 total games have been decided by one goal, including overtimes and shootouts, and the most recent three came against the Connecticut Jr. Rangers and in a home-and-home against the P.A.L. Jr. Islanders (2-0-1). 

• With four assists on Nov. 7, Chip Hamlett moved into second place on the PHC scoring leaderboard since their 2020-21 inaugural season. He is tied at 27 points with teammate Frank Konopasek, who had two goals during the recent 2-0-1 stretch. Last year’s leading scorer Jaxon Mase is the all-time leader with 30 points in 38 games in 2020-21. 

• Hamlett’s four assists on Nov. 7 put him in a three-way tie with Dominiks Marcinkevics and Jersey’s Will Traeger for the league season-high in that category. It also gave Hamlett the all-time lead for PHC assists in the NCDC with 27. He entered this season already as the PHC’s all-time top-scoring defenseman after last year’s inaugural season and remains in the lead by a healthy amount. 

• Swedish import goaltender Jacob Torgner is tied for second in minutes played in the NCDC with 854, and he is fourth overall in save percentage at .921. 

 

Connecticut Jr. Rangers Jump Back Above .500 With Points In Three Straight

The last thing the four teams tied for first in the South need right now is for the Connecticut Jr. Rangers to get hot. They’re not 100 percent on fire, with just a 1-0-1-1 record in their last trio of games against Utica, but that three-game point streak has them certainly within striking distance of the top group. 

• After 19 games played, the Jr. Rangers remain the only NCDC team to have not allowed a single shorthanded goal against them this season.

• Second-year Jr. Rangers goalie Derek Manzella stopped a league season-high 50 shots (of 54 total) before falling 5-4 in a shootout to Utica on Nov. 13. 

Andrei Levushkin earlier this season set the Jr. Rangers NCDC mark for goals and now leads with 40. He is on a current eight-game point streak, with a 6-5-11 line. That was capped off by a season-best two goals and one assist in a Nov. 14 6-4 win against Utica. 

Bobby Barrasso had an impressive weekend in Utica, scoring four goals - one in two of the games, and two in the middle game on Saturday, and one shorthanded. Barrasso, who has 10 goals and 14 points this season, scored four goals in 26 games in his first year with the Rangers in 2020-21. 

• Utica’s Walter Baumann is on a six-game scoring streak having put up 3-5-8 over that stretch. Teammate John Gutt, second in NCDC assists with 19, posted five helpers and one goal over the weekend against Connecticut. 

 

Around The Boards In The NCDC

Prior to their loss to Philly, the P.A.L. had defeated the PHC by a score of 3-2 on Saturday. 

• For the P.A.L., the most recent goal scored by Tyler Crist was both the league leader as his 15th, and also his league-leading fourth game-winning goal of the season. It was the sixth for his career, one back of the Islanders’ all-time leader Ryan Willett, who had seven. 

• Crist’s P.A.L. teammate Spencer Korona shares the distinction of being both the league’s leading scorer with 30 points in 19 games, and also having broken the Jr. Islanders’ all-time scoring record, currently at 116 points in 152 career games. 

After falling to the Boston Junior Bruins 1-0 on Nov. 12, the Twin City Thunder came back Saturday to beat the Monarchs in New Hampshire, 6-4. 

Devon Mastay, a defenseman for the USPHL Premier’s top team, the 17-0 Metro Jets out of Detroit made his NCDC debut with Twin City against the Monarchs and earned his first point, assisting on Sam Stitz’ game-winning goal. #USPHLAdvancement In Action! 

• New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs forward Tanner Hartman has picked up five goals and eight assists for 13 points in  a league-leading nine straight games. His teammate Aidan Curran - the Monarchs’ all-time-leading scorer - hit his 100th point with his most recent, his third of three assists against Twin City on Nov. 13. Curran has 12 points in his last seven straight games. 

After falling to the Advantage, 4-3, on Friday, the Northern Cyclones rebounded with a 6-3 win over the Islanders Hockey Club on Saturday. 

Michael Felsing, a 2003-born Pittsburgh native, made a great debut by posting three points in his first two Cyclones games last weekend. 

• Charlie Ross, picked up in trade with the Monarchs in late October, earned his fourth straight assist on Graham Broadfoot’s Saturday game-winner. 

Bouncing back from the 6-3 defeat against the Northern Cyclones, the Islanders scored their second 4-3 win against the Boston Advantage in the month of November on Tuesday. They had earlier won 4-3 against their North Division foes in OT on November 4. 

• The Islanders’ Andrew Carmody leads the NCDC in game-winning goals by a defenseman with three and he added a game-winning assist on Johan Rosenquist’s goal on Tuesday. He had scored the OT GWG in the Nov. 4 win against the Advantage.  

Dylan Kruss made 28 saves on 31 shots for his first IHC win after being acquired recently from the Jersey Hitmen, with whom he started the season. 

• The Islanders snapped what had been a tie for the Advantage’s longest points streak in their first season and almost a half in the NCDC. They had gone 3-0-2-0 heading into the game against the Isles. 

• The Advantage’s Manny Sanchez registered two straight three-point games with a goal and two assists in back-to-back games on Nov. 9 and 12. With three 3-point games on the season, Sanchez’ 19 points in his first 17 games equaled his total 2020-21 output of 19 points in 41 games.  

Cade Helmer is enjoying a league-leading active five-game goal and point streak, posting seven goals and four assists for 11 points. 

 

Upcoming Action 

Rockets Hockey Club at P.A.L. Jr. Islanders, Nov. 18 and 20 - The first meeting of the season between these South Division foes sees the Rockets hold a slim lead of 12-7-1-0 in the all-time series. 

• New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs vs. Jersey Hitmen, Nov. 18 - The first NCDC game at the Islanders Hockey Club Showcase, beginning at 3:45 p.m. Hitmen defeated the Monarchs 5-2 on Oct. 4 in the BJB Shootout. 

Twin City Thunder vs. Philadelphia Hockey Club, Nov. 18 - Meeting at the IHC Showcase, these two teams split their two Hub City Tampa games in 2020-21, their only prior meetings so far.

New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs vs. Connecticut Jr. Rangers, Nov. 19 - The Monarchs won 5-2 on Halloween Day to put the all-time series in their favor at 6-4-0-1.  

• Philadelphia Hockey Club vs. Islanders Hockey Club, Nov. 19 - The Islanders went 2-1 in their three 2020-21 meetings, including PHC’s first-ever NCDC game on Oct. 8, 2020, a 6-3 Islanders win. 

Boston Advantage at South Shore Kings, Nov. 19 - Outside of the IHC Showcase, these two teams hit the ice for the second time after a 4-3 Advantage victory on Nov. 9. Kings lead the all-time series 4-2-0-0.

• Twin City Thunder vs. Utica Jr. Comets, Nov. 19 - The first meeting between these two teams for the 2021-22 season sees a current Thunder 5-1-0-0 lead in the all-time series. 

Jersey Hitmen vs. Northern Cyclones, Nov. 19 - The Hitmen are undefeated in 15 meetings all-time against the Cyclones (with two overtime wins), including their two Hub City Tampa matchups last year. 

Jersey Hitmen vs. Twin City Thunder, Nov. 20 - The Thunder won the first meeting of the season, 5-3, at the BJB Shootout. The Hitmen narrowly lead the all-time series 4-3-0-0 with a shootout victory. 

• Philadelphia Hockey Club vs. New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs, Nov. 20 - The Monarchs have a slight 2-1 all-time series lead, as they won earlier this season 4-1 at the Hitmen Classic. 

• Northern Cyclones vs. Connecticut Jr. Rangers, Nov. 20 - Although the Cyclones have more overall wins in the all-time series at 9-8-0-0, the Rangers’ record of 8-6-2-1 gives them one more point overall in this insanely close matchup. 

Boston Advantage vs. Boston Junior Bruins, Nov. 20 - Operating outside the Islanders Showcase, these two teams have split their season series so far, both winning one in regulation. 

Utica Jr. Comets vs. Islanders Hockey Club, Nov. 20 - The first meeting between these foes sees the IHC holding the all-time series lead at 9-5-0-1, going back to the Jr. Comets’ days as the Syracuse Stars. 

• Northern Cyclones vs. Utica Jr. Comets, Nov. 21 - Utica (and their Stars predecessors) have a one-point edge in the all-time series at 8-7-0-0 all-time. 

Islanders Hockey Club vs. Connecticut Jr. Rangers, Nov. 21 - The final game of the IHC Showcase is also the final game of November in the NCDC ahead of a two-week Thanksgiving break. 

 

Reader Notice: The next NCDC This Week will be published on Tuesday, Nov. 30, previewing the return to play after the Thanksgiving break, and will at that time recap action from the Islanders Hockey Club showcase and other games this weekend. The next NCDC Players Of The Week will be published as normal on Tuesday, Nov. 23.