Love will be in the air all around the United States this Thursday, February 14.
Valentine’s Day is, of course, the celebration of love, but there’ll probably be no love lost inside the boards at Foxboro Sports Center as teams in the NCDC, USPHL Premier and USPHL Elite jockey for playoff positioning.
In the latter two leagues, the playoffs for each of the divisions that will be represented at the showcase (Northeast, New England, Mid-Atlantic) will begin the next weekend. The top six teams in each of those divisions make the playoffs, with the top two in each division earning a bye to the semifinals in each.
The Northeast Division goes into the weekend with one playoff spot still up for grabs between Rochester and Hartford. There are also battles for seeds No. 2 and 4 ongoing in that division.
The Mid-Atlantic (with six teams) and New England Divisions have all of their playoff berths set, but there is a lot of drama set to unfold at the showcase.
The battle for No. 1 in New England continues between the Boston Bandits and Northern Cyclones. Also in the New England Division, seeds 3-5 are all fluid.
Also, the top two seeds in the Mid-Atlantic are held by the New York Aviators and Skipjacks Hockey Club, but neither team has been able to solidify No. 1 yet. These playoff races will be played out on the ice at Foxboro Sports Center.
Also in the showcase, with games being played from Thursday to Saturday, the NCDC will potentially see more teams clinch playoff berths as only the league-leading New Jersey Hitmen have done so heading into the showcase. All 12 teams will be in action each of the three days that the NCDC will be present.
The USPHL Premier action begins with limited action Thursday night, and picks up the pace on Friday. There will be two USPHL Elite games Friday, before the rest of that league’s North and Mid-Atlantic Divisions get into full-scale action with six games on Saturday. The showcase ends on Monday with five Elite games and three Premier contests.
The USPHL Elite’s North Division is seeing a three-team race for the No. 1 seed between the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs, Northern Cyclones and Boston Bandits.
Watch USPHL.com for regular updates and the league’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts for photos and video interviews throughout the showcase.