In early June, when Skipjacks U16 forwards Patrick Giles and John Mulera began the 2015 Pinnacle Performance summer long training program, they knew a full commitment in the off-season was critical to their success for the upcoming USPHL season in the U16 division. The hard work and dedication put in during the off season as well as in years past, not only has paid huge dividends in the USPHL, but also within the ranks of NCAA Hockey East. Giles, the 6’4’’ center with an incredible attitude and knack to win loose pucks, has committed to Boston College and is on track to suit up with the Eagles in 2018.
Hockey East enjoys the asset of having the majority of USPHL games played right in their backyard of Massachusetts. John Mulera, the electric U16 Skipjacks forward, has tallied 4 goals and 3 assists in his recent 4 game stretch with the Skipjacks, and has earned himself a commitment with defending NCAA National Champion Providence College. The strong performance of Mulera, as well as Giles, who has put away 5 goals in this young season, has placed the Skipjacks in a strong position in the USPHL South Division.
When we recently spoke with both of these young players about their experience with the Skipjacks and the USPHL, Giles said: “My time with Pinnacle Performance, the Skipjacks, and the USPHL has been transformational, and I’m learning to think and play the game at a completely different level.” Mulera echoed that sentiment and said: “I’m grateful for the opportunity to play in such an awesome environment, from the quality of competition to the level of coaching. I’m very excited to join the Friars and working hard between now and then to make a big impact.”
Like other elite players that have developed within the USPHL, and have moved on to play hockey at the NCAA Division 1 level, both are very grateful for the opportunity they have had, and the friendships made along the way. Giles, Mulera, and the Skipjacks take the ice next weekend at the New England Sports Center in Marlborough, MA, at the Beantown Classic in both U16 and U18 Divisions. The Beantown Classic is the premier hockey event in North America, and will be heavily attended by many of the top hockey programs in the world.