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USPHL Premier Playoffs: Several first round series wrap up on Sunday

By Jim Den Hollander/, 02/25/19, 1:45PM EST


New England Division

Islanders Hockey Club 4, New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs 2

The Islanders came through in a must-win game Sunday and forced a deciding contest in their Premier New England Division best-of-three Series at Tri-Town Arena in Hooksett, N.H., Sunday.

Teams were even at 2-2 after a period before Jonathan Courchesne (‘99/Springfield, Vt.) took over, firing the game winner in the middle period and adding the insurance marker down the stretch.

Anthony Ceolin (‘98/Simsbury, Conn.) helped out with three assists and Ryan Kenny (‘99/Toronto, Ont.) stopped 42 shots to backstop a win in a game the Islanders were outshot 44-29.

Game 3 in this series will be played Monday at 12:30 p.m.


South Shore Kings 7, Twin City Thunder 3

The Twin City Thunder trailed 2-0 after a period but rallied in the middle period with three goals, still trailing 4-3 with a period to go. That was as close as the Thunder would get as the Kings fired three unanswered third period goals to clinch the win.

Kade Kaminski (‘98/New Bedford, Mass.) fired two goals and set up a pair for the Kings, with Artem Mateychenko (‘00/New York, N.Y.) and Huck Sorock (‘00/Minneapolis, Minn.) adding a goal and two assists apiece.

The Kings clinched the series in two straight and will move on to play the Boston Bandits starting on Thursday.


Florida Division

Tampa Bay Juniors 11, Florida Jr. Blades 1

After dropping the opening game in this series on Friday, the Juniors made no mistake on Sunday, carrying a 4-0 lead out of the opening period and up 8-1 heading to the third at Hertz Arena in Estero, Fla.

Several players enjoyed big offensive games for the Juniors, led by Matej Dejdar (‘99/Prague, Czech Republic) who collected three goals and an assist.

The deciding game in this series will be played Monday starting at 11:30 a.m.


Midwest West Division

Rum River Mallards 11, Minnesota Blue Ox 5

The Mallards didn’t just bounce back with a season saving win on Sunday, they put a huge exclamation point on it at the Coon Rapids Ice Center.

The Mallards carried a 3-1 lead into the second and both teams piled on another three in the middle stanza before the Mallards pulled away with four unanswered third period goals.

Several players enjoyed big offensive games, CJ Hoyt (‘00/Forest Lake, Minn.) and Akhmed Malsagov (‘00/Moscow, Russia) both firing a pair of goals, Hoyt adding two assists.

Riley Enderle (‘00/Plymouth, Minn.) countered with two goals for the Blue Ox.

The third and deciding game in this series will be played Monday at Coon Rapids Ice Center starting at 3 p.m.


Dells Ducks 1, Hudson Havoc 0

A 52-save effort from Emil Norrman (‘98/Kungsbacka, Sweden) led the visiting Dells Ducks to its second one-goal win and an upset win over the Hudson Havoc at John Gornick Memorial Arena Sunday afternoon.

Teams played through two scoreless periods with the series clinching goal coming from Connor Aguilar (‘99/Milwaukee, Wis.)

After successfully getting by the second ranked Havoc, the Ducks move on to face number one Minnesota Moose next week while the Mallards/Blue Ox winner will play the Wisconsin Rapids Riverkings.


Southeast Division

Charlotte Rush 4, Richmond Generals 2

This one wasn’t settled until Jimmy O’Kane (‘99/Chicago, Ill.) sank the clincher with 12-seconds to go that the Charlotte Rush could celebrate a return to the Premier National Championship where it has played in the championship game in each of the previous two seasons.

The Rush never trailed, building a 2-0 first period cushion and carrying a 3-1 lead into the third as Chris Dunne (‘98/Fort Myers, Fla.) fired the game winner with under four minutes to play in the second. A third period goal for the Generals made things interesting and set the stage for O’Kane.


Hampton Roads Whalers 5, Carolina Eagles 1

The road to the Premier National Championship will once again go through Hampton Roads as the defending national champs punched their return ticket, finishing a two-game sweep of the Carolina Eagles with a 5-1 win at Chilled Ponds in Chesapeake, Va.

Matthew Hanchon (‘98/Bemidji, Minn.) fired three goals for the Whalers and Brandon Osmundson (‘98/Chesapeake, Va.) added a goal and two assists.

The Whalers and Rush will get an extra week to prepare for the National Championship tournament that begins on March 9 in the Boston area.


Northeast Division

Connecticut Jr. Rangers 4, Niagara Falls Thunder 3

The Jr. Rangers held off the Thunder to move on to the next round in the Northeast Division playoffs with a 4-3 win at Chelsea Piers.

The Rangers owned a 2-1 lead after a period and it was 3-2 heading to the third including a goal by Nick Cozzi (‘00/Greenlawn, N.Y.) that stood up as the game and series winner.

Matthew Milone (‘00/West Harrison, N.Y.) scored twice for the Rangers who move into the second round to take on the Connecticut Nighthawks.