New Jersey Rockets win two titles at USPHL Summer Showcase
The United States Premier Hockey League’s 2018 Summer Showcase wrapped up on Sunday, July 15, with champions crowned in five divisions. A big scouting and evaluation camp for teams in all of these divisions, the Summer Showcase also serves as a parity tournament for the three full-season Midget divisions.
The P.A.L. Junior Islanders won the NCDC Division championship at the Showcase, defeating the Little Bruins by a 4-1 score. Returning Islander Michael Perrone (’98, Mount Sinai, N.Y.) scored a hat trick for the champions.
The New Jersey Rockets won the Battle of the Garden State in the 16U Futures Division game over the New Jersey Hitmen, 3-2. Peter Korn (’03) scored the game-winner with 2:47 remaining. Jared Kordonsky (’03) added two assists in the win.
The next two games on the ice were the Premier/Elite and U18 finals. The Connecticut Nighthawks won the former in overtime, courtesy of Eli Hernandez (’99, Anchorage, Alaska), his second goal of that game and fourth for championship Sunday.
The 18U title was taken by the New Jersey Hitmen with a 2-0 shutout over the P.A.L. Jr. Islanders.
Four different goal-scorers got on the board for the New Jersey Rockets in the 16U title game, the last of the tournament, as they won 4-1 over the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs.
The semifinals that morning saw NCDC action between the Little Bruins and Junior Bruins Gold. The Little Bruins posted a 4-1 win, thanks in part to a goal and assist from Worcester Academy player Jake Hughes (’01, Webster, Mass.)
The other semifinal was between the P.A.L. Jr. Islanders and New Jersey Hitmen Navy, with Jon Olson (’99, Merrick, N.Y.) scoring the only goal. A top offensive contributor for last year’s 18U Jr. Islanders, Olson is among those pushing for a NCDC 30-man roster spot here in 2018-19.
The U16 Futures semifinals saw one matchup between the Jersey Hitmen Blue and Northern Cyclones. The Hitmen secured their finals spot with a 5-1 win. John Dunphey (’03, Ridgewood, N.J.) led the Hitmen with a goal and two assists. Dunphey was with the Hitmen’s Bantam AAA team last year.
The New Jersey Rockets made it a 4-0 final win over the P.A.L. Jr. Islanders.
In U18 semifinal action, it was the P.A.L. advancing over the Rockets in a 1-0 contest. Matthew Schoer (’01, Long Valley, N.J.) got the shutout win, and T.J. Pratt (’00, Oyster Bay, N.Y.) scored the only goal 12 seconds into overtime. Schoer was on the 16U
The Hitmen defeated the Springfield Pics U18’s by a 4-1 score, getting goals from four different skaters.
The Premier/Elite semifinals included the Connecticut Nighthawks and Jersey Shore Whalers. The Nighthawks captured the 4-1 win, with two goals coming from Hernandez. The Syracuse Stars White team beat the Twin City Thunder, 2-0, in the other semi.
The U16 semifinals featured the highest-scoring games of that portion of the tournament. The New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs won 4-3 in a shootout over Palmyra.
The New Jersey Rockets 16U team won 8-1 over the Islanders Hockey Club Navy team in the other U16 semifinal.