USPHL Premier Through The Numbers: Midwest Region
(Records Indicate Games Played Nov. 4-11)
Midwest West Region
(Summaries by Jim Den Hollander)
The Isanti Outlaws will put its current winning streak of 10-games to the test after a pair of wins last weekend when they face the Dells Ducks starting Saturday night. After the Minnesota Squatch won its only game of last weekend on the road against the Minnesota Moose and followed that up with a Friday night win against Wisconsin River, they are on a 9-0 run.
Isanti Outlaws (2-0)
The Outlaws headed to Augsburg University Ice Arena for a Nov. 4-5 weekend set and stayed perfect with a pair of identical 5-2 wins against the host Minnesota Mullets.
Easton Parnell (‘03/Cambridge, Minn.) notched a hat trick in the first game and was matched by Tyler Schmitt (‘03/Big Lake, Minn.) the following night. Both wrapped up three goal, six-point weekends, with Trevor Ripley (‘04/St, Francis, Minn.) adding two goals and two assists.
- The Outlaws have not dropped a game since Oct. 7 and have defeated the Mullets four times this season – three of them part of the current streak.
- The six points for Schmitt lift his season total to 20 goals and 35 points in 14 games and making him the fourth player from the Midwest West listed in the top eight in overall USPHL Premier scoring so far.
The Road Ahead: The team faces the Dells Ducks who pulled off one of the biggest wins in their recent history by defeating the Minnesota Blue Ox last weekend. Against the Ducks, the Outlaws (and their previous incarnation as the Rum River Mallards) are 13-1-1-0 all-time.
Minnesota Squatch (2-0)
The high-powered Squatch got a pair of tough tests these last couple Fridays. On Nov. 4, a third period rally extended its winning streak to nine games against the Minnesota Moose. The Squatch battled back from 2-0 and 3-2 deficits before taking control in the final 20 minutes where the Squatch outscored their hosts 4-1. Against the Wisconsin Rapids Riverkings on Veterans Day, there was no comeback needed after the Squatch went up 3-0 after the first period and cruised to a 4-2 win from there.
- Jack Pojar’s season total is now 18 goals and 39 points, sixth best total in the league behind league leader.
- McAlpine (36 goals, 56 points) and third place Daniel Ellingson (18 goals, 47 points) give the Squatch half of the top six in the league scoring race.
The Road Ahead: Saturday follows Friday, and with that, it’s another workday for the Squatch at the South Wood County Recreation Center in Wisconsin Rapids.
Hudson Havoc (2-1)
The Havoc are still red-hot with a 10-1 record and a division-best .909 winning percentage, but they just aren’t among the undefeated ranks any longer after their Nov. 5 3-2 loss to the Riverkings. They bounced back the following Friday with a 4-1 against the Minnesota Moose.
- While the high-flying offense of some teams has been notable this season, the Havoc and Riverkings both have shown more of a penchant for the tight defensive style. They are the two stingiest teams when it comes to surrendering goals, but the 12 given up by the Havoc is the league’s best, an average of just 1.09 per game. Hudson has given up one goal or less in eight of their 11 games so far. The Riverkings are in the top half of the league at 2.94.
- On Nov. 4, the Havoc triggered 53 shots including 13 in the opening period when it opened a 2-0 lead it never relinquished. They also went up 2-0 after one period against the Moose on Nov. 11. As impressive as their first period scoring is (19-5), nothing beats their third periods with a goal differential of +20 (23-3).
- Harvey Dove, a veteran and native of Hudson itself, scored the Nov. 4 game-winner. He is one away from the 10th GWG of his outstanding 96-game career.
- The Riverkings’ Lucas Brine, an ‘02 out of Oxshott, U.K., stopped 50 of 53 shots. One of the busiest men in the Premier Division, he has seen 45 or more shots in each of his last four games, including 79 shots on Oct. 28, also against Hudson. Through it all, he’s maintained a fantastic .945, in a tie for eighth best in the league. His 453 shots against are the most for a goalie on a team with a .500 or better record.
- First-year Riverking Sebastian Potter (‘03) registered the first game-winning goal of the season in anyone’s games against the Havoc.
The Road Ahead: It’s one more Saturday night against the Minnesota Moose, before the Havoc prepare early next week for their stint at the USPHL Detroit Showcase. So get this – both the Havoc and Moose have earned 25 points in their all-time series. The Havoc’s record is 11-9-3-0 and the Moose are at 12-10-1-0. Who takes the all-time points lead tonight?
Dells Ducks (2-1-1-0)
The Steele County Blades opened the Nov. 4-6 weekend at home, rallying with the tying goal 90 seconds from the final buzzer, then getting the game-winner against the Dells Ducks in overtime, a powerplay marker for ‘02 Brady Rossbach. After showing steady improvement, the Ducks finally hit the win column the following night against the Minnesota Blue Ox. Jacob Behnke (‘03/South Elgin, Ill.) broke a 1-1 tie and giving the Ducks its first lead of the game at 2-1 with 2:19 to play. Jadon Mammen (‘04/Grapevine, Texas) stopped 31 of 32 to pick up the win in goal. The Saturday night win ended a string of 11 straight wins for the Blue Ox against the Ducks.
The following afternoon, the Blue Ox blew a 1-1 tie open with two goals in 45 seconds in the middle period. Zach LaMotte (‘02/Burnsville, Minn.) scored the second, his second of the contest and it stood up as the game winner. The Ducks, obviously spirited by their win against the Blue Ox, had a great week in practice and came back to avenge their loss to Steele County exactly one week later, defeating the Blades 4-1 on Nov. 11.
- Mammen, who has stopped 62 of 64 shots in his last two games for consecutive wins, has not given up any more than three goals in any appearance this season. He holds a respectable .916 save percentage on the season.
Looking Ahead: After winning their rematch against the Blades in Owatonna Friday, the Ducks will have to really bring their best game against the red-hot Isanti Outlaws on both Saturday and Sunday in Isanti. The Ducks finish their month of November action with four games at the USPHL Detroit Showcase.
Minnesota Blue Ox (1-1-0-0)
The Blue Ox’s loss to the Ducks aside, they continue to keep their heads above water by winning after a loss, which they’ve done five times this season to remain at 7-6-1-0. Their season-best winning streak is three games. The only time they’ve taken consecutive losses were between Oct. 30 against the Ogden Mustangs and the Nov. 4 loss to the Dells Ducks.
The Road Ahead: They are certainly watching from afar to see how teams move around the Midwest West standings as the Blue Ox are idle from game action and have just a Nov. 18 game against the Squatch remaining for November action.
Midwest East Division
(By Miles Regan)
Metro Jets Development Program (2-0-0-0)
MJDP stayed perfect at 10-0 after last weekend with a 5-3 victory over Motor City and a 1-0 win over Fort Wayne. Centerman Robert Vanderdonck, ‘03, paced MJDP offensively last weekend with two goals and an assist in Friday’s win over Motor City. Bennett Shepperd (‘04) scored the only goal of Sunday’s tilt with just 7:54 remaining and Andrew Parmentier got the 28-save shutout. 10 up, 10 down so far for MJDP.
- It’d be hard to argue that any teams’ goaltenders are playing better than MJDP’s. Four netminders have started at least one game for the Jets, and three of them have at least one of the team’s five total #ShutoutShoutouts. Andrew Parmentier (‘04), Taylor White (‘03), and Austin Muirhead (‘04) have given up a lump sum of just six goals in their eight games played.
- MJDP is one of just 2 remaining undefeated teams in the Premier. The North West division’s Vernal Oilers currently have them by a game with a pristine 11-0-0-0 record. Who will be the last perfectionists standing?
The Road Ahead: MJDP will spend this weekend in Chicago, playing two games against the rival Cougars.
- The MJDP dropped three of four meetings between the perennial powers a year ago. Either Chicago or MJDP has won the Midwest East in each of the last five seasons (Chicago with four of those wins).
Chicago Cougars (2-0)
Chicago spent last weekend in Central Illinois, sweeping a two game series with hosts Decatur Blaze. Six Cougars registered multiple points over their 4-1 and 5-0 victories.
- Forward Kevin Maisells is having a breakout campaign in his second season in green and yellow. The ‘02 centerman has 20 points (7-13–20) in 15 games played, already doubling up his total of 10 in 27 games last year.
The Road Ahead: Chicago will be home this weekend, hosting current division leaders MJDP on Saturday and Sunday. They are 9-4-0-0 all-time against the MJDP.
- Chicago will take a long Thanksgiving break this year. After their Sunday matinee with MJDP, they won’t play again until Dec. 9 when they face Motor City. The Gamblers are currently third in the division, meaning Coach Dallman’s Cougars are in for a true test upon their return to play.
Chicago Crush (2-0-0-0)
The Crush are unbeaten in November so far, winning 7-1 and 7-2 against the Decatur Blaze on back-to-back Fridays in a home-and-home separated by a week. The Crush are 3-0-1-0 in their last four after falling in their previous four through mid-October.
- Leading scorer Johan Karjalainen is on a hot streak of seven goals – with tallies in each of his last five – and three assists for 10 points in five games. He has 21 points through 12 games this year. Nick Zehelein has goals in his last three games and is on a 3-5-8 streak in his last four.
- Jonathan Wood (‘04) has seven assists with helpers in each of his last four games after registering three helpers in his first 10 games.
The Road Ahead: The Crush are off until next weekend’s USPHL Detroit Showcase.
In Other Action
Fort Wayne is looking to find their feet again after taking three straight losses, including a 1-0 loss to MJDP to open the month and a 7-3 loss to the Toledo Cherokee on Nov. 11, the first of a two-night cross-divisional series with the Cherokee.
- Fort Wayne centerman Noah Maine, ‘02, currently leads the Midwest East in points with 25 (10-15–25). His 2.27 points per game are 11th-most among all Premier skaters with 10 or more games played.
- The Cherokee will pay a visit to Fort Wayne after Fort Wayne’s unsuccessful trip to northwestern Ohio on Friday. The Cherokee are on a five-game winning streak against the Spacemen in their all-time series.
- Sunday’s game will be Fort Wayne’s first-ever against Battle Creek. The expansion Kernels will play the Spacemen four times this season.
The Motor City Gamblers, coming off a decisive shutout victory over Battle Creek on Nov. 6 to salvage a 1-2-0-0 weekend, will be heading to Decatur this weekend.
- Robert Allport (‘03) registered his second shutout of the season, and has as many now as the Motor City franchise had earned in their prior three seasons.
- The Blazers are 18-7-1-1 all-time against Motor City, and have won all their match-ups the last three seasons – only after Motor City dominated the 2017-18 and 2018-19 season series.
Great Lakes Division
(By Lexi Obrycki)
Toledo Cherokee (2-0)
The Metro Jets traveled to the Team Toledo Ice House on Friday night for the 4 th matchup this season between Metro and Toledo. Toledo won the last two between the two of them with Metro winning the first one. The game was a very competitive one as it always is when these two teams play each other.
The first two periods were pretty even with the scoring between Metro and Toledo with the teams going into the third period with the game tied. Late in the third period, Nicklas Millhorn ended up getting the game winning goal and his third of the night. Cameron Reel and Jason Crossland would also score to help lock in Toledo’s 6-3 win. Alex Schaumburger, Steven Miller, and Yarne Vaerewyck would score for the Jets and Dylan Eliason was in net making 42 saves.
Toledo then brought in Fort Wayne on Friday, Nov. 11 and scored the 7-3 victory. Toledo have won their last 11 straight to stand as one of the hottest teams in the Premier. Only the undefeated Vernal Oilers (12-0) have a better run going on than Toledo right now.
- Millhorn’s 12-game point streak is tied for second longest in the league, and it is the fifth-most productive at 19 goals and 30 points in 12 games.
- Frank Murphy is on a five-game winning streak and is 6-1-0-0 overall on the season. Jake Hitchner and Sam Schifflett are undefeated in their three and two games, respectively.
The Road Ahead: It’s another match-up for Toledo against Fort Wayne ahead of next weekend’s USPHL Detroit Showcase.
Metro Jets (2-1-0-0)
On Nov. 5, Metro hosted Columbus for the fourth game between the two this season. Metro had won the previous 3 between them and also won this latest, by a decisive shutout. Chad Noetzel got a hat trick and Andreas Fleutot a goal and two assists. Rocco Stolz was in net for the Jets earning the #ShutoutShoutout with 21 saves. The Jets also picked up a decisive win against the Battle Creek Kernels on Nov. 11 in their second matchup.
- Third-year Jet Alex Schaumburger is the only Jet enjoying a relatively long scoring streak, even picking up an assist in the Oct. 28 2-1 loss to Toledo. He has missed the scoresheet only once this season and is on a 6-8-14 run in his last eight games. With 123 points in 88 games, he remains the second-highest scorer in the Jets’ USPHL history, just behind former Jet Nick Ceccarini with his 131 points.
The Road Ahead: The Jets will face the Cincinnati Jr. Cyclones, against whom the Jets have won all three matches by a decisive goal differential.
Columbus Mavericks (1-1-0-0)
The Mavericks came back from their loss to the Jets to defeat the Buffalo Stampede by a 7-4 score on Friday, Nov. 11. Earlier this season, Columbus and Buffalo split their series 1-1-0-0 apiece, and Columbus defeated Buffalo in all four of their 2021-22 meetings.
- Goaltender Kyle Diehr is 3-1-0-0 in his last four decisions.
The Road Ahead: Columbus and Buffalo wrap up their second weekend series on Saturday, and then it’s on to the USPHL Detroit Showcase next weekend for the Mavericks.
Drop The Pucks!