The Northern Cyclones Showcase was an exciting time for some of the top USPHL Premier and Elite teams from the Northeast, who in some cases were able to assert their dominance by going on long streaks, as well as clinch official playoff berths for later in the winter. We’ll take a look at some of the top performing (.500 or better) teams at the Premier level for what they were able to do in Hudson, N.H.
Rockets Hockey Club (4-0)
The only Premier team to come out clean from New Hampshire, and they go forth into their schedule on an 8-0 winning streak. They are eight points from second place in the Mid-Atlantic and 12 points from first, but they are fully set for the playoffs, qualifying over the showcase weekend. In their first game, they got some tough competition from the Boston Advantage (playing just two games on the weekend). They were able to get the 4-3 win, and then were able to stretch out a bit when they came out with a 7-2 victory against the Twin City Thunder. Goaltending from Coulter Taylor was a boon towards the end, as the Rockets shut out the Islanders Hockey Club, 1-0, and on Sunday, they beat the hosts by a 4-0 score with Carson Frye in net.
Top Scorers (by position): Spencer Hecklinger F (4-4-8 in 4 games); Daniel Hodowanec D (0-2-2 in 4 games)
Top Goaltenders: Carson Frye, 2-0, 120 minutes, 56 saves on 58 shots, .966 SV%, 1.00 GAA, 1 shutout; Coulter Taylor, 2-0, 120 minutes, 55 saves on 58 shots, .948 SV%, 1.50 GAA, 1 shutout.
New York Aviators (3-1)
The Aviators came up as one of the hotter teams overall this year. Over the course of the fall, they had won 19 games in a row, matching the Vernal Oilers for longest overall winning streak this season. All eyes were on their opening showdown against a Northern Cyclones team that was, like the Aviators, a top five team in winning percentage league-wide. The Aviators found themselves down early but were able to tie the Cyclones after two periods. The Cyclones, however, found their way to two more third period goals that went unanswered and the Cyclones wound up 3-1 winners. The Aviators turned right around and took their frustrations out on the Twin City Thunder, winning 5-1 Saturday night. On Sunday, they also earned a 5-1 win over the Boston Junior Bruins before closing on Monday with a 6-3 win against the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs.
Top Scorers (by position): Christopher Friberg F (1-5-6 in 4 games); Hunter Scanlon D (1-4-5 in 4 games)
Top Goaltenders: Blake Hazelton, 1-0, 60 minutes, 23 saves on 24 shots, .958 SV%, 1.00 GAA; Michael Marino, 1-1, 120 minutes, 60 saves on 64 shots, .938 SV%, 2.00 GAA
Boston Junior Bruins (3-1)
The Boston Junior Bruins flexed their muscles in their first two games en route to qualifying for the USPHL Premier playoffs during the Cyclones Showcase. They defeated the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs, 5-2, and then the Elmira Jr. Enforcers, 6-2. Their only roadblock to a sweep ended up being the New York Aviators who defeated the Junior Bruins, 5-1. However, the Junior Bruins rallied with a huge 4-0 win against an Islanders Hockey Club team just ahead of them in the standings. They remain third in points but they are second in winning percentage, holding a game in hand on the IHC.
Top Scorers (by position): Jake Terra F (3-4-7 in 4 games); Gavin Connelly D (0-3-3 in 4 games)
Top Goaltenders: Ethan Swanson, 1-0, 60 minutes, 28 saves on 30 shots, .933 SV%, 2.00 GAA
Islanders Hockey Club (2-2)
The Islanders are set for the New England Division playoffs, so that’s a good thing that came out of the weekend. They also claimed a great 4-0 win in their second game against the Cyclones, who remain five points ahead in first place against the Islanders, second with 40 points. That was the second straight win for an Islanders team that started Saturday with an 8-1 win over the Buffalo Stampede. The second half of the showcase was a bit tougher, as it saw the Islanders fall to the Rockets Hockey Club (1-0) and the Boston Junior Bruins (4-1).
Top Scorers (by position): Brady Carpenter F (3-2-5 in 4 games); Colton Levasseur D (2-0-2 in 3 games), James Powers D (0-2-2 in 4 games)
Top Goaltenders: Ean Badgett, 1-2, 180 minutes, 98 saves on 102 shots, .961 SV%, 1.33 GAA, 1 shutout; Jared Treat, 1-0, 60 minutes, 15 saves on 16 shots, .938 SV%, .938 S%, 1.00 GAA
Northern Cyclones (2-2)
The Cyclones’ journey through their own well-hosted showcase began Friday with an 8-2 win against the Buffalo Stampede, which led to the much-awaited Top 5 showdown with the Aviators, which went their way to the tune of a 3-1 victory. The Cyclones, however, were unable to build off that momentum. They took a 4-0 Sunday loss to the Islanders Hockey Club and then fell by the same score on Monday to the red-hot Rockets Hockey Club. The Cyclones remain in the lead of the New England Division, and they have the second-best winning percentage of the league at .865. They remain in the top five of that category – along with the Aviators.
Top Scorers (by position): Billy Dougherty F (3-2-5 in 4 games); Trevor Belak D (0-3-3 in 4 games)
Top Goaltenders: Mason Meyer, 1-1, 120 minutes, 50 saves on 55 shots, .909 SV%, 2.50 GAA
Twin City Thunder (2-2)
The Thunder’s weekend could have been better and it could have been worse. They came out of it with four points and are now just three points out of the fourth and final home playoff spot in the New England Division. However, they’re sandwiched between a fourth-place Springfield Pics team on a 4-0-0-1 points streak and a Bridgewater Bandits team in fifth that has won six straight. A 6-3 win on Friday against the Elmira Jr. Enforcers was a good start, but they fell on Day 2 against the New York Aviators, 5-1. Sunday was little better, as the Rockets Hockey Club handed them a 7-2 defeat. The Thunder was on the winning end of that same score on Monday when they closed with a 7-2 win over the Buffalo Stampede.
Top Scorers (by position): Wesly Brunello, D (3-3-6 in 4 games); Filip Tjarnhell F (4-0-4 in 4 games)
Top Goaltenders: Leo Tykoski, 1-0, 60 minutes, 21 saves on 23 shots, .913 SV%, 2.00 GAA
Boston Advantage (1-1)
The Advantage just came in for a pair of Saturday games to round out and mix up the schedule a bit. Splitting the schedule that day saw the Advantage remain where they were – in seventh place of a crowded New England Division stretch drive. They are four points behind sixth and five ahead of eighth. The Advantage began Saturday with a 6-4 defeat of the Elmira Jr. Enforcers, but ended with a hard-fought 4-3 defeat to the Rockets Hockey Club.
Top Scorers (by position): Kade Maddock, F (2-2-4 in 2 games); Yahor Ramanau D (2-1-3 in 2 games)