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USPHL Elite Playoffs: Four more teams earn Nationals berths after Sunday action

By Jim den Hollander/USPHL.com, 02/25/19, 5:15PM EST

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Mid-Atlantic Division

New York Aviators 3, New Jersey Rockets 2 (OT)

After battling back to force the third and deciding game, the Aviators completed their comeback Sunday morning with a 3-2 overtime win against the New Jersey Rockets.

Teams were even at 1-1 after a period, Rockets holding a 2-1 edge heading to the third.

Alexander Reyes (‘00/New York, N.Y.) pulled the Aviators even just before the seven minute mark of the third and the series came to a sudden end following the overtime game and series winner scored by Alvon Barard (‘99/Demantha, Md.)

The Aviators will join the Jersey Hitmen as the two Mid-Atlantic Division representatives at the Elite National Championship tournament starting March 9 in the Boston area.

 

Southeast Division

Richmond Generals 4, Atlanta Jr. Kings 0

The Generals advanced to the National Championships without surrendering a goal this past weekend, adding a 4-0 win against the Jr. Kings to its 3-0 shutout for the previous day at Chilled Ponds in Chesapeake, Va.

Ryan Creenan (‘99/Colonia, N.J.) added a 17-save shutout to his 18-save effort from the previous day and Caden Buttke (‘99/Kenmore, Wash.) was one of four goal scorers for the Generals, firing the game winner 6:12 into the game.

 

Hampton Roads Whalers 3, Charlotte Rush 2 (OT)

Tanner Davis (’99) Leonardtown, Md.) sent the Whalers back to the Elite National Championship tournament with his game winner 8:38 into overtime. The 3-2 win was the second straight single-goal margin in the series.

The teams were even at 1-1 after the first and second periods. Sky Swavely (‘99/Wilkes-Barre, Penn.) putting the Rush in front early in the third before DJ Randle (‘00/Boca Raton, Fla.) evening it up 13-seconds before the final buzzer to push it to overtime.


 

Florida Division

Florida Eels 5, Jr. Blades 1

Three middle period goals turned a narrow 1-0 lead into a more comfortable 4-0 lead for the Eels who finished it off to sweep its Best-of-Three series and punch its ticket to the Elite National Championship tournament.

The Eels got goals from five different goal scorers including Georgy Samodelkin (‘99/Moskva, Russia) who notched the game winner 8:38 into the second period.

The Eels will join the Tampa Bay Juniors as the Florida Division representatives at Nationals.

 

North Division

Islanders Hockey Club 3, Junior Bruins 1

Justin Pitari (‘00/Matheun, Mass.) scored twice, including the game winner in a 3-1 win for the Islanders in a weird series that saw teams combine for nearly 30 goals through the first two games before engaging in a defensive battle through the third.

Nathan Bourdelais (‘99/Lunenburg, Mass.) stopped everything in goal for the Islanders until Devyn Barrett (‘98/Lancaster, Mass.) finally found an opening for the Bruins 12 seconds from the final buzzer.

With the series win, the Islanders advance to the next round where they will take on the New Hampshire Monarchs.