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2019 USPHL Elite Playoffs: Aviators, Islanders force Game 3's for Sunday

By Jim DenHollander/USPHL.com, 02/24/19, 9:45AM EST

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2019 USPHL Elite Playoffs: 

 

Elite Playoffs – Saturday February 23

 

Southeast Division

Richmond Generals 3, Atlanta Jr. Kings 0

A goal in the opening period from Justin Smith (‘01/Winter Garden, Fla.) and two more in the third from Zachary Boulet (‘01/St-Catharine, Que.) led the Richmond Generals to a 3-0 win in the opening game of their best-of-three Elite Southeast Division playoff series Saturday at Chilled Ponds in Chesapeake, Va.

The goals stood up thanks to an 18-save shutout for Ryan Creenan (‘99/Colonia, N.J.) for the Generals. 

Game 2 will be played on Sunday (Feb. 24) at 3 p.m. and if needed, a third game will start at 9 a.m. Monday.

 

Hampton Roads Whalers 2, Charlotte Rush 1 

The host Hampton Roads Whalers drew first blood in what might be Premier Elite series with the highest expectation for excitement with a 2-1 win against the Charlotte Rush. 

The same two teams that squared off for the National Championship last season are squaring off this weekend for the right to advance to this season’s championship series.

Both scored in the first period, Cody Wilson (‘98/Virginia Beach, Va.) notching the Whalers goal and Luke Dobles (‘00/Rochester, N.Y.) countering for the Rush. That set the stage for Jorai Bart (‘98/Rotterdam, Netherlands) who notched the game winner with 7:11 to play in the contest.

Greg Moon (‘99/Franklin, Mass.) turned aside 34 shots to pick up the win in goal for the Whalers.

Game 2 will be played Sunday at 3:30 p.m. and if needed, a third game will go Monday at 10 a.m. Winner of these series will advance as the Southeast reps to the Elite National Championship Tournament beginning March 9.  

 

Mid-Atlantic Division

New York Aviators 7, New Jersey Rockets 2

The New York Aviators forced a third and deciding game in their best-of-three Elite Mid-Atlantic Division series, bouncing just hours after a close loss with a 7-2 win against the New Jersey Rockets at the Bridgewater Sports Arena Saturday (Feb. 23) afternoon.

The Aviators carried a 3-1 lead out of the opening period and both teams doubled their respective scores in the second, Aviators adding one more in the third.

Seth Payson (‘01/Albuquerque, N.M.) paced the Aviators attack and Rob Werner (‘99/New York, N.Y.) connected for the game winning goal 5:43 from the end of the first period.

Teams will line up one last time Sunday morning at 10:10 a.m., both teams battling to stay alive and join the Jersey Hitmen at the Elite National Championship tournament. Beginning March 8.

 

New England Division

Islanders Hockey Club 9, Junior Bruins 5

For the second time in 24 hours, the Islanders and Junior Bruins engaged in an Elite Division slugfest, putting another 13 goals on the board.

The series will go the limit, as the Islanders bounced back from its 8-7 overtime defeat the previous night, grabbing a 4-3 first period lead, adding one in the second and then firing four more to put it away in the final period.

Tomas Montoya (‘’01/Brighton, Colo.) fired three goals for the Isles and Kory Fortier (‘98/Oxford, Mass.) added three assists, Justin Pitari (Methuen, Mass.) adding a goal and two assists.

Patrick McCarthy (‘99/Marlborough, Mass.) scored twice for the Bruins.

The deciding game in this series will be played Sunday at 7:30 p.m. with the winning team moving on to play the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs in one of the New England Division semifinals next weekend.