The United States Premier Hockey League is excited to announce its USPHL Premier and USPHL Elite National Championships will be held March 18-22 at Chilled Ponds Ice Sports Complex in Chesapeake, Va.
There will be a total of 16 USPHL Premier teams and eight USPHL Elite teams competing for the championships in each of the USPHL’s two Tier-3 junior leagues. Those championship games will be held on Monday, March 22.
All nine USPHL Premier Divisions and all four USPHL Elite divisions will have representation at the National Championships. Different divisions have different methods of sending representatives to the National Championships, including the Premier and Elite Florida and Southeast Divisions, which hold single-site playoffs for each. Each of those divisions will have two representatives at the National Championships coming out of their playoffs, which will be held March 5-7 in locations to be announced.
Other divisions will have more “traditional” playoff series - best-of-three series at the home rink of the higher seeds - to determine their representatives for Nationals.
Follow on USPHL.com as we cover the USPHL Playoffs and National Championships every step of the way once March begins!
All games at XTreme Ice, Charlotte
Richmond Generals vs. Carolina Jr. Hurricanes
March 5, 2 p.m.
March 6, 4 p.m.
*March 7, 9 a.m.
Charlotte Rush vs. Hampton Roads Whalers
March 5, 2:30 p.m.
March 6, 3:30 p.m.
*March 7, 9:30 a.m.
Rockets Hockey Club vs. New York Aviators
March 5, 8:30 p.m. (Bridgewater Sports Arena)
March 6, 5 p.m. (Bridgewater Sports Arena)
*March 7, 10 a.m. (Bridgewater Sports Arena)
Jersey Hitmen vs. Jersey Shore Whalers
March 6, 8:30 p.m. (Ice Vault Arena)
March 7, 7 p.m. (Ice Vault Arena)
*March 14, 12:30 p.m. (Ice Vault Arena)
All games at Fort Myers Skatium
Florida Eels vs. Charleston Colonials
March 6, 9 a.m.
March 7, 12 p.m.
*March 8, 9 a.m.
Tampa Bay Juniors vs. Atlanta Mad Hatters
March 6, 12 p.m.
March 7, 9 a.m.
*March 8, 12 p.m.
Junior Bruins vs. Springfield Pics
March 5-6 and 7*, Times to be determined
All games at New England Sports Center
Islanders Hockey Club receive first round bye
* = If Necessary
Read the full story by clicking on the photo!
Three players who competed over full seasons in the National Collegiate Development Conference in 2021-22 were selected by National Hockey League teams on Saturday in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft.
Additionally, one former Midget standout who played two full seasons was selected, along with two players who played more briefly with NCDC teams in past years. The USPHL congratulates all of these individuals for their selections in the NHL Draft and wish them the best of luck going forward.
Details on each player:
Chase Clark, G, Jersey Hitmen
Washington Capitals, 6th round, 183rd overall
Clark, a 2002-born native of Williamsville, N.Y., was immense for the Dineen Cup champion Hitmen, playing in 22 regular season games followed by a pair of playoff games - including the Cup-clinching victory.
He posted a regular season save percentage of .935, and followed that up with a .952 mark in his playoff performances.
Shane Lachance, LW, Boston Junior Bruins
Edmonton Oilers, 6th round, 186th overall
A native of Andover, Mass., and a Boston University commit, Lachance played in 25 games for the Junior Bruins this past season, scoring six goals and nine assists for 15 points. He also added a goal and five assists for six points in six playoff games as the Junior Bruins reached the Dineen Cup semifinal round. Lachance is the grandson of college hockey coaching legend Jack Parker and son of former BU and NHL player Scott Lachance.
Sam Lipkin, C, Rockets Hockey Club
Arizona Coyotes, 7th round, 223rd overall
Lipkin, a native of Lafayette Hill, Pa., was with the Rockets for 19 games during the 2021-22 regular season, posting 12 goals and 13 assists for 25 points before moving on to a strong Tier-1 season in the USHL. Lipkin is a Quinnipiac University recruit.
Nate Benoit, D, Northern Cyclones (2017-19)
Minnesota Wild, 6th round, 182nd overall
Benoit, a native of Bow, N.H., played regularly for the Northern Cyclones USPHL 15U (then known as 16U Futures) and USPHL 16U Division teams between 2017-19. In his USPHL Midget career, he posted totals of 61 games played with 10 goals and 42 assists. The University of North Dakota recruit also saw a 3-game NCDC call-up with the Cyclones in 2018-19.
Additional former USPHL players
Arsenii Sergeyev, G, Rockets Hockey Club (2019-20)
Calgary Flames, Round 7, 205th overall
Sergeyev played in four NCDC games during the 2019-20 season, and earned a .926 save percentage. He is a University of Connecticut recruit.
Cameron MacDonald, C/LW, Connecticut Jr. Rangers (2018-19)
Tampa Bay Lightning, Round 5, 160th Overall
MacDonald, a native of Hammonds Plains, N.S., is currently playing major junior hockey. Along the way of cutting his teeth, he played one game with the Connecticut Jr. Rangers in the NCDC in 2018-19, scoring a goal in that debut as well.
Matty Beniers, selected second overall on Friday evening by the expansion Seattle Kraken, played youth hockey within the South Shore Kings organization.
The United States Premier Hockey League saw nine of its players who skated in the 2020-21 season ranked in NHL Central Scouting’s Final Rankings released on Thursday, May 27.
Eight of the players listed skated in the USPHL’s Tier-2, Tuition-Free National Collegiate Development Conference during the season - seven listed as NCDC, one with a different league.
The NCDC was first in North American Tier II Junior Hockey for most 2020-21 season players listed in the Final Rankings.
Additionally, one player (Simon Motew) skated in the USPHL Premier with the Chicago Cougars, giving the USPHL Premier its first listing in the NHL Central Scouting rankings since 2017, prior to the formation of the NCDC.
Four more direct USPHL alumni were also listed in the Final Rankings, along with six players with youth hockey ties to USPHL Member Organizations.
The 2021 NHL Entry Draft will be held virtually July 23 (first round) and July 24 (Rounds 2-7). Thirty-two teams will make draft picks this year, including the new Seattle Kraken, who begin their inaugural season in 2021-22.
Below is a summary for each current season player and alumni listed in the NHL Final Rankings.
North American Skaters
(Final Ranking listed)
110. Shane LaChance, Boston Junior Bruins (NCDC)
LW, 6’4/190, L, 25-6-9-15 (reg. season) / 6-1-5-6 (playoffs)
LaChance was an immediate hit for the Junior Bruins, remaining a consistent scorer from his November arrival right through the Junior Bruins’ run to the Dineen Cup Semifinals. He appeared in the NCDC NHL Prospects All-Star Game on Jan. 18.
129. Simon Motew, Chicago Cougars (USPHL Premier)
D, 6’0/185, R, 21-16-29-45 (reg. season) / 5-8-8-16 (playoffs)
Motew, who played the 2019-20 season with the Kitchener Rangers of the OHL, signed with Chicago where he played alongside his older brother goaltender Asher Motew. Simon shot up the NHL rankings after not being listed in either the October or January Players To Watch Lists.
207. Billy Norcross, Islanders Hockey Club (NCDC)
C, 6’2/185, R, 19-2-6-8 (reg. season)
Norcross made the best of a COVID-limited season, skating from October to December with the Islanders before suffering an injury.
216. Andrew King, Islanders Hockey Club (NCDC)
LW, 5’11/160, L, 1-1-0-1 (reg. season)
It was a brief one-game NCDC appearance for King, but he made the most of his Dec. 4 game with the Islanders, scoring a goal against the Boston Advantage.
220. Evan Orloff, Rockets Hockey Club (NCDC)
D, 6’3/195, L, 39-0-3-3 (reg. season) / 1-0-0-0 (playoffs)
A longtime Rocket going back to the Midget ranks, Orloff was the ultimate defensive defenseman for the biggest comeback team in the NCDC - one which made it from being out of playoff contention in 2020 to the 2021 Dineen Cup Final.
LV. Logan Morrell, Islanders Hockey Club (NCDC)
C, 6’3/194, R, 8-0-7-7 (reg. season)
The Phoenix native also had an injury-shortened season, appearing in just eight contests for the Islanders. During his October run, however, he was another consistent point-producer, actually producing all seven of his points in a six-game scoring streak that started with his first game.
* LV = Limited Viewing.
North American Goaltenders
23. Chase Clark, Jersey Hitmen (NCDC)
6’6/202, R, 18-2-1-1.92-.935 (reg. season) / 2-0-0-2.00-.952 (playoffs)
A 2002-born goalie who would have been eligible for the 2020 Draft, Clark burst onto the scene among a 2003-dominant group by putting together a Dineen Cup Championship season for the ages. Amazingly, he was one of two Hitmen goalies who placed in the top three in all major statistical categories, the other being Damon Beaver.
24. Jed Baliotti, Northern Cyclones (NCDC)
6’3/191, L, 8-2-5-0-0-3.82-.879 (reg. season) / 2-1-1-0-0-2.76-.917 (playoffs)
Baliotti joined the Cyclones towards the end of the Hub City Tampa event, playing all but one of his eight regular season games in Florida. Baliotti is committed to the University of New Hampshire.
30. Cameron Whitehead, Utica Jr. Comets (NCDC)
6’3/165, L, 29-11-12-3-0-3.40-.896 (reg. season) / 2-0-1-1-5.01-.898 (playoffs)
After getting acquainted during the fall with the NCDC, Whitehead was on fire in Tampa, winning six of his first seven starts there, including five in a row from the outset. He added a three-game winning streak in February before departing the Hub City.
USPHL Alumni Listed In Final Rankings
North American Skaters
56. Jacob Guevin, D (Northwood School / USPHL 18U / 2019-20)
The former Northwood player put together a 5-11-16 line in 12 USPHL 18U games in 2019-20, adding another assist in three games at the USPHL 18U playoffs. He is set to play for the University of Nebraska-Omaha in 2021-22.
136. Cameron MacDonald, C (Connecticut Jr. Rangers / NCDC / 2018-19)
A one-time Connecticut Jr. Rangers draft pick, MacDonald joined for a game and scored a highlight-reel odd-angle goal in his single NCDC appearance. He currently plays major junior in the QMJHL.
179. Nate Benoit, D (Northern Cyclones / USPHL 15U, 16U, NCDC / 2017-20)
Benoit was a career Cyclone at essentially every level from youth to U16, plus a three-game stint with the NCDC team during his second of two point-rich USPHL 16U seasons. He scored a total of 49 points in 55 USPHL 15U and 16U regular season games over three years.
North American Goaltenders
8. Arseni Sergeyev, G (Rockets Hockey Club / NCDC / 2019-20)
Sergeyev played in three different leagues in 2019-20, and ended up playing four games for the Rockets’ NCDC team in 2019-20. In those games, he posted a .926 save percentage, a 3.46 goals against average and a 1-2-1 record.
USPHL Organizational Alumni
North American Skaters
6. Matthew Beniers (South Shore Kings Youth / Boston Junior Bruins Youth)
80. Peter Reynolds (Islanders Hockey Club Youth)
125. Ryan St. Louis (Connecticut Jr. Rangers Youth)
184. Nick Roukounakis (Boston Junior Bruins Youth)
185. Paul Davey (Connecticut Jr. Rangers Youth)
196. Tyler Rubin (Boston Junior Bruins Youth)
Congratulations to all of those ranked and best of luck at the 2021 NHL Entry Draft!
The Dan K Show was at the 2021 USPHL Summer Showcase, and they took the time to break down the three-day weekend that took place July 16-18, 2021, in no less than six locations in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
Dan and Lucas talk about some player hopefuls who caught their eye, the hot teams - especially the P.A.L. Jr. Islanders who won at the NCDC and 16U levels - and the good times had by all involved.
The 2021 USPHL Summer Showcase is in the books, with four new champions for the first time since 2019. The P.A.L. Jr. Islanders organization were the big winners, bookending two divisions - the NCDC and 16U - with their championships. The Islanders Hockey Club picked up the 18U title with an amazing late come-from-behind victory and the Springfield Pics Premier squad earned the Premier Division title.
The 2021 Summer Showcase brought back the popular tournament format, which was scrapped for the 2020 Summer Showcase, due to COVID restrictions. Below is a breakdown of the winning teams’ routes to their respective championships, as well as those of runners-up and other semifinalists.
NCDC: P.A.L. Jr. Islanders White
The Islanders White squad was the only NCDC team to go completely without a loss or tie for the entire tournament, finishing a perfect 5-0. They got the ball rolling on Friday with a 3-0 win over the Utica Jr. Comets Black, followed on Saturday by two close wins against the Boston Advantage Blue (6-5) and Boston Junior Bruins (2-1).
On Sunday, morning, they faced first the Connecticut Jr. Rangers (3-0 in round robin) and again had to eke out a close 2-1 win to earn the championship berth to face the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs Purple (3-0).
The Jr. Monarchs road to the final saw them beat the Junior Bruins (3-1), Twin City Thunder Green (5-3) and Utica Jr. Comets Red (3-2). On Sunday morning, they won their semifinal game vs. the Northern Cyclones Black team, 3-2.
The Monarchs started the scoring in the final 5:05 in, and the Jr. Islanders countered at 7:33. The rest of the 30-minute mini-game regulation portion was a knock-down drag-out battle that also encompassed 5 overtime minutes to push it into the shootout. P.A.L. scored the only shootout goal to capture Summer bragging rights.
Premier: Springfield Pics Premier
The Pics’ road to the final saw them actually facing their Elite brethren along the way (in the semifinals), and also two games against the Connecticut Jr. Rangers.
First, it was a pair of Friday wins against the Northern Cyclones Elite (3-1) and Junior Bruins Premier (4-2) and their single Saturday game against the Jr. Rangers Premier (3-2).
On Sunday, the Pics Premier faced the Elite Pics, who had gone 2-1 in the Round Robin. The Premier team defeated the Elites 3-1 in their fourth game played at the Janas Rink, and moved about 10 miles over to Merrimack College for the final against the Jr. Rangers. The Jr. Rangers advanced to semifinals on a 1-1-1 record, and then squeaked by the Hampton Roads Whalers Green with a 1-0 shootout win.
In the final, the Pics had their best offensive show of the tournament, winning 5-1 to claim the Premier title. Ten minutes in, they held a comfortable 3-0 lead. With 7:12 left, the Rangers got on the scoreboard, but the Pics countered with two more at 1:49 and 24 seconds on the board.
18U: Islanders Hockey Club
The Islanders had advanced to the playoffs as the No. 4 seed after going 2-1 in the round robin. However, they ended up making good on a massive come-from-behind effort to turn around a final game in which they almost looked cooked to win the division championship.
It all started well enough with 5-0 and 4-2 wins on Friday against the Northern Cyclones Gold and Junior Bruins, respectively. They lost their only Saturday game 1-0 to South Shore Kings Nickulas, but were still able to remain healthy enough to move on.
In the semifinals, the Islanders defeated the Cyclones Black, overcoming a 2-1 deficit within the first five minutes to eventually score three unanswered goals in the final 12:26, including a shorthanded empty-netter with 50 seconds remaining.
In the finals, they went up against the Jersey Hitmen, who had tied Palmyra Black Knights (3-3) to start before beating the N.H. Jr. Monarchs White 4-3 and the Junior Bruins 8-7 in a back-and-forth battle on Saturday night at the Tri-Town Ice Arena in Hooksett, N.H.
Jersey had to go to the shootout against the P.A.L. Jr. Islanders and earned the 2-1 win to advance to the final.
In the final, the Hitmen got on the board first at 6:33 remaining, but the Islanders never gave up, scoring on a power play with 48 seconds left in regulation. They wasted no time in the OT, scoring 25 seconds in for the “Cinderella story” victory.
16U: P.A.L. Jr. Islanders
The Jr. Islanders were the clear winners of the 16U Division in so many ways. The only team to go 5-0 also gave up just four goals over the three-day weekend - and none on Championship Sunday.
They had just one game Friday, defeating the Islanders Hockey Club 6-2. On Saturday, they shut out the Northern Cyclones 6-0, and closed out Saturday with a decisive win against the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs to make their semifinal spot official as the No. 1 seed.
A 1-0 win over the Connecticut Jr. Rangers earned the Jr. Islanders the right to contend with the Jersey Hitmen in the final, the last game of the Summer Showcase and the only one to reach into Sunday’s p.m. hours.
The Hitmen had also earned a big win against the Monarchs, which started their journey to the finals. They narrowly edged the Junior Bruins 4-3, and then beat the Springfield Pics 6-1 to reach Sunday morning.
A 3-2 win over the Rockets Hockey Club early Sunday in Nashua, N.H., sent them about 10 miles over to Cyclones Arena in Hudson, N.H., to face the Jr. Islanders.
The Jr. Islanders won with goals at 22:55 and 18:42 remaining, and fantastic goaltending kept the Hitmen off the board to help the P.A.L. organization win its second title of the day.
Congratulations to all of our champions and playoff participants, and the USPHL thanks all 62 teams for entering and competing in the 2021 USPHL Summer Showcase.
Next stop: The 2021-22 Regular Season!
If Franklin Pierce University was looking for a goal-scorer, the Ravens certainly struck gold in third-year USPHL player Ryan Bailey.
A 2000-born native of Suwanee, Ga., the local product just completed his second USPHL Premier season with the Atlanta Mad Hatters after also playing two years earlier with the predecessor Atlanta Jr. Kings in the USPHL Elite. Now he takes a game that saw him rack up 43 goals in 79 Premier games since 2019 to the NCAA Division II level at the Rindge-N.H.-based Franklin Pierce, members of the Northeast-10 Conference (the only Division II men's college hockey conference in the nation).
“I already knew about the school from a friend from roller hockey who plays there now,” said Bailey. “[Mad Hatters Premier assistant and Elite head coach] Zach Sabatini got the connections for them to come and look at me. They came and saw me play and offered me a spot.”
In this past 2020-21 season, Bailey built upon an already impressive 2019-20 campaign by scoring 26 goals and adding 18 assists for 44 points in 42 regular season games. A year before he posted a 17-12-29 line. His 43 goals are No. 1 all-time for the second-year Mad Hatters and his 73 points rank No. 2 behind teammate and Arcadia University recruit Dylan Florit (79).
All of these performances - which helped earn him season-ending All-Star honors for 2020-21 - may just be scratching the surface. Franklin Pierce, guided by fifth-year Head Coach Shaun Millerick, are working with Bailey to bring out even more in a burgeoning two-way game.
“The coaching staff was very nice and helpful, they were always there for me and were pushing me to become a better player,” said Bailey. “Franklin Pierce is a good place for me to improve in all aspects. They like the way I play, my offensive abilities and with my playmaking abilities, I’m able to make players around me better.”
He certainly gives a lot of credit to the Mad Hatters, and especially Premier Head Coach Paul Flache, who came into his first year in 2020-21 under less-than-ideal circumstances amid the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the Mad Hatters and the USPHL were able to put together a full season with strict health-first guidelines in place where many other leagues either canceled seasons altogether, played significantly shortened seasons or greatly delayed their starts.
“I loved playing for the Mad Hatters. It was phenomenal, they really push you. What really helped me was the coaching change. Paul Flache took me in and showed me everything about the game, and that’s what helped me,” said Bailey. “They really push you. The program really wants you to go somewhere, so they are all about improvement.
“I definitely improved,” he added. “I worked a lot on my defensive play, and forechecking.”
When Bailey moves on later this summer to New Hampshire, he will be ready to roll and is also excited to finally see the Franklin Pierce campus in the first person.
“I did not do a physical tour, but I did do a virtual tour and it’s a beautiful school, right on a lake in a nice, secluded area,” said Bailey. “I’m going to major in business marketing probably, and I’ve been told they have a very good program for that major.”
The USPHL congratulates Ryan Bailey, his family, the Atlanta Mad Hatters and Franklin Pierce University for his commitment.
Ross Colton took a pass from David Savard in the second period, banging home the soft one-time pass behind NHL great Carey Price. With that goal, the Tampa Bay Lightning held a 1-0 lead in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals on Wednesday, July 7.
That stood up to help the Lightning win their third Stanley Cup championship and become the first team since the 2017 Pittsburgh Penguins to repeat as Champions.
(Coincidentally, another alum of a USPHL organization - former New Hampshire Jr. Monarch Brian Dumoulin - was on both of those Penguins teams).
Colton, a native of Robbinsville, N.J., was a high-scoring member of the Rockets Hockey Club in 2012-13, when they were known as the New Jersey Rockets in the final season before the USPHL's launch in 2013-14.
In 2012-13, Colton scored 22 goals and 41 points in 23 games for the Rockets in the Atlantic Youth Hockey League at the 16U level. The Rockets' 16U AAA team has regularly been one of the top programs in the entire United States, and won the USPHL 16U National Championship in 2020.
From his time in the Rockets, Colton moved up to the NHL through the prep school, USHL, NCAA (with the University of Vermont) and as recently as this 2020-21 season, he was playing in the American Hockey League for the Lightning's top farm team, the Syracuse Crunch.
For the most part, however, he has been a Lightning regular this year. He played in 30 regular season games and scored 12 points. In 23 Stanley Cup Playoff games, he scored four goals and two assists for six points.
Scoring the first goal, Colton helped the Lightning tie the 1990 Edmonton Oilers with an NHL-record 18 first goals in a playoff year.
In addition, he set a new Tampa Bay Lightning franchise record for most goals in a playoff year, with four.
Yet more significance - he became just the seventh rookie in NHL history to score the Stanley Cup-clinching goal, joining Hall of Famers Roy Conacher (1939), Nels Stewart (1926) and Howie Morenz (1924) in that respect.