Week of Nov. 15-22
(Records shown indicate games played between those dates)
It was a very busy past weekend as most all the teams mentioned below competed in the USPHL Detroit Showcase. While some teams closed up shop for Thanksgiving, there is still plenty of holiday weekend hockey coming up for various Midwest Region teams.
Great Lakes Division
Over the previous weekend, all of the teams in the Great Lakes Division took part in the USPHL Detroit Showcase, hosted by the Metro Jets. Each team played in 4 games (Friday through Monday).
Toledo Cherokee (4-0-0-0)
A great weekend for Toledo as they finish off 4-0 at the showcase. They started the showcase off against the MJDP team on Friday where they won 4-1. This game started off on the slower side with no goals until late in the second period. The Cherokee ended up scoring all of their goals in the 3 rd with a big game from defensemen Dominik McNamara with 2 goals and an assist. On Saturday, Toledo played the Hudson Havoc and Minnesota Moose.
They won both of those as well, beating the Havoc 3-1 and the Moose 6-2. McNamara, Multari, and Ammar got the three goals for the Cherokee against the Havoc. Unlike the previous two games that were quiet in the first, Toledo got four of their six goals against the Moose in the first period. The Cherokee finished off their weekend with a 7-0 win against the Chicago Crush on Sunday.
- The Cherokee have gone 4-0 at all four Detroit Showcases in which they have taken part.
- The Cherokee have matched their record of 2021-22 to the same point – they have gone 16-2-0-0 after 18 games for the second year in a row. They have progressively improved in their USPHL tenure, starting at 6-10-1-1 after 18 in 2018-19, up to 13-4-0-1 in 2019-20 and 15-3-0-0 in 2020-21.
- The Cherokee go into the break standing fourth overall in USPHL Premier winning percentage at .889.
- Seven games with assists in each is so amazing, that veteran defenseman Ryan Stanley added a goal to that streak and goes into December on a 1-12-13 run that has his career points per game average now at 1.05 (63 points in 59 games).
- Another veteran, Jason Crossland, remains on fire with points in every November game like Stanley, running into December on a 2-6-8 run. He has 67 points in 59 games with the Cherokee.
.• Dominik McNamara, too, has scored in every November game, and he has goals in his last four at 6-6-12 through seven games.
- Leading scorer Nicklas Millhorn, another in the veterans parade, had 3-4-7 in the four showcase games and is at 85 points in 60 Cherokee games (1.42 points per game).
- Frank Murphy won all three of his appearances at the showcase and is on an 8-0 run. He is a top 10 goalie in all three major categories – wins (9, tied for fourth), goals against average (1.36, second) and save percentage (.939, tied for ninth).
The Road Ahead: The Cherokee will open their December schedule with two games against the Mid-Atlantic Division’s Buffalo Stampede. The Cherokee met them once in 2018-19 when they were the Niagara Falls Thunder (a 2-1 win for Niagara Falls) and then again in 2020-21 when they were the Buffalo Thunder (a 5-1 Cherokee victory).
Columbus Mavericks (3-1-0-0)
The showcase started off a bit rocky for the Mavericks with a loss on Day 1 to the Motor City Gamblers, but they ended up picking up the pace and winning the final three.
Although Columbus lost the first game to the Gamblers 6-2, they never gave up. Bryce Kolpien gave them life in the middle of the second period scoring a goal on the power play to cut the Gamblers lead in half, but they didn’t get another goal until later in the third period.
On Saturday, they played Battle Creek Kernels where they won 3-1 and the Dells Ducks which the Mavericks also won 5-2.
In the first game Columbus saw goals from Alex Varrin and Bryce Kolpien. In the second game, they really picked up speed scoring three of their five in the first and getting the last two in the third, with Piercen Garcia getting a goal and two assists that game. The Mavericks finished off the showcase with a game on Sunday vs Decatur Blaze where they won 2-1. They saw both of their goals in the second period coming from Colin Crowley and Kyle Hauer.
- Though their earlier showcase in Hampton Roads, Va., didn’t work out well, they do have a history of performing well in the USPHL Showcase Series. Last year, the Mavs went 3-1-0-0 at both the USPHL Detroit Showcase and the Islanders Hockey Club Showcase, and they went 2-0-1-1 at the USPHL Chicago Showcase.
- The three wins (and five W’s in their last six games) pulled Columbus within one win of standing at .500. They are 9-10-1-0.
- David MacDonald registered an assist in each of the four showcase games and is on a five-game helper streak and a 2-5-7 point streak in his last six contests, all but one in November.
The Road Ahead: The Mavs have a home-and-home against the Fort Wayne Spacemen on Dec. 2-3 and then the Cincinnati Jr. Cyclones on Dec. 4. The Mavericks are 5-3-0-0 all-time against Fort Wayne, and 6-0 against the Jr. Cyclones, though their last meeting was their closest ever, a 3-2 Mavs shootout win on Oct. 28.
Metro Jets (3-1-0-0)
They Jets, who were hosting the showcase, played a game each day of the showcase where they came out 3-1. Their Friday game vs. the Spacemen was a hard-fought one for the Jets. Andreas Fleutot scored in the start of the second period to tie the game up 1-1 but unfortunately for the Jets, that’s all they could score that game. Goaltender Frederick Soderberg helped them stay in that game-saving 20 of the 23 shots he faced.
On Saturday, the Jets defeated the Steele County Blades 4-1. The game-winning goal came from Alex Schaumburger who had a goal and an assist. It was also a good game for Chad Noetzel who had 2 goals. The Jets played the Minnesota Moose on Sunday which gave them their second win of the showcase with a score of 6-0.
This game had goals from two of the top three goal scorers on the Jets team – Andreas Fleutot and Alex Schaumburger. Monday’s 3-0 win against the Hudson Havoc completed the Jets games in the showcase.
- In four editions of the Detroit Showcase, the Jets’ loss to the Spacemen was their only defeat in 16 contests as showcase hosts since 2019.
- League-wide, the Jets are fourth in goals for (6.00) and second in goals against (1.47).
- The Spacemen led 1-0 after the first and 3-1 after the second, marking only the second time this season that the Jets trailed after either one or two periods. Only the undefeated 15-0 Vernal Oilers have trailed fewer times in both periods (they’ve only trailed once in the first and won that game).
- Alex Schaumburger has the third-longest active point streak at 13 games, in which he’s scored 24 points. He produced 2-4-6 over the four showcase games. He’s only missed a point once, on Oct. 1 against Toledo, and he moved into the Jets’ all-time top five in scoring with 133 points in 93 games.
The Road Ahead: It’s just one game for the first weekend of December against the Jr. Cyclones on Dec. 3. The Jets have won all eight of their matchups since Cincinnati joined the league last year.
Cincinnati Jr. Cyclones (2-2-0-0)
The Cyclones showed what kind of team they can be in the showcase finishing 2-2. They started off with a hard-fought game against the Chicago Crush where they won 4-3 in a shootout.
Cincinnati made sure to not give up this game they scored two late in the first to take the lead but then found themselves trailing late into the third until Jake Lamm scored late in the third to send them into overtime.
Neither team found the back of the net in the OT but goaltender Blake Mitchell stood tall in the shootout and Carson Muglia got the winning goal.
Saturday’s game was also a great win for the Cyclones as they defeated the Blaze 7-1. This was a good game for Hayden Kieltyka who had two goals and an assist as well as Noah Geggie who also had two goals. Sunday’s games are where the Cyclones saw their two losses in a 4-0 defeat against the Isanti Outlaws and a 5-1 loss against the Steele County Blades.
- This run of 2-2 was the Jr. Cyclones’ second best showcase performance in their two-year history, as they went 3-1-0-0 at last year’s Detroit Showcase, including an opening win against Nationals staple the Chicago Cougars.
- Their 12 goals in four games was the most over that many games this season.
The Road Ahead: The Jr. Cyclones are home on Saturday, Dec. 3, against the Jets and on the road Dec. 4 against Columbus.
Midwest West Division
(Jim Den Hollander)
The Premier Midwest-West Division split up on the final weekend before the Thanksgiving Break, five clubs heading to the Detroit Showcase event while four others stayed home and played a few games.
The big winner in Detroit was the Isanti Outlaws who continued its hot play of late and came within a win of their second consecutive 4-0 Showcase performance.
Isanti Outlaws (3-1-0-0)
After sweeping its four games in Minnesota in late October, the Outlaws started out well at the Detroit event, piling up a 7-5 decision against the Battle Creek Kernels Saturday (Nov. 19) then adding a 4-0 shutout win against the Cincinnati Cyclones and another 7-5 decision against the MHC showcase team from the Metro Jets on Sunday. MJDP, another Metro Jets club, spoiled the weekend though, doubling up on the Outlaws Monday morning.
- A group of nine players looked after all the offense for the Outlaws with several enjoying big point weekends. Minnesota products Tyler Schmitt (‘03/Big Lake) and Peyton Andrews (‘04/Cambridge) and North Carolina’s Keanu McClanahan (‘05/Greensboro, N.C.) wrapped up 10 points apiece on the weekend while Tyler Berglund (Princeton, Minn.) and Easton Parnell (‘03/Cambridge, Minn.) both added eight points.
- The loss to the MJDP ended a 15-game point streak that saw Isanti go 14-0-1-0 back to Oct. 8. There was a 10-game winning streak within there that was double the Outlaws’ best streaks of prior seasons as the Rum River Mallards. They had won five in a row in both 2018-19 and 2019-20.
- Isanti stands at first overall in the Midwest West with 31 points, a four point lead on the Minnesota Squatch.
The Road Ahead: The Outlaws take on the Steele County Blades on Wednesday night, just before Thanksgiving Day. The Blades defeated the Outlaws 5-1 on Oct. 7, their last game before the 15-game point streak. The Blades hold a slight lead in the all-time series at 11-8-2-0.
Minnesota Moose (2-2-0-0)
The Moose started and finished with wins but suffered a couple defeats in between.
After a 4-1 win against MJDP early Saturday the Moose returned to the ice later the same day and ran into the Cherokee, falling 6-2 against one of only two of the 17 teams taking part to post a perfect 4-0 weekend record.
On Sunday, the Moose fell 6-0 against the Metro Jets but they bounced back Monday with a 6-5 shootout win against the Motor City Gamblers.
- The Moose boasted a balanced attack on the weekend with 15 players collecting at least a point on the team’s 12 goals and Thomas Dalsin (‘03/Shakopee, Minn.) cashing in with the shootout game-winner against the Gamblers.
- Teodor Benno Vaage (30 points) and Ryan Mulrenin (28 points) remain the two clear leaders in Moose scoring, with Mulrenin standing nine points ahead of his closest teammate. Cooper Knott (‘02/Glenwood Springs, Colo.) scored twice for the Moose and Vaage (‘02/Oslo, Norway) fired a goal and three assists.
The Road Ahead: The Moose get back into action on Dec. 2-3 against the Wisconsin Rapids Riverkings in a home stand. The Riverkings lead their all-time series at 11-6-3-0.
Hudson Havoc (2-2-0-0)
Hudson was also rolling in from a perfect showing at Blaine earlier, but they ran into a tough opponent right away, dropping a 3-1 decision Saturday against the Toledo Cherokee. The Havoc bounced back with a pair of Sunday wins, 7-1 against Decatur Blaze and a 4-0 shutout against MJDP. However, on the final morning, the Metro Jets flipped the table on the Havoc, collecting a 3-0 shutout.
- The team spread out the scoring well – Brad Crook (‘02/Elmhurst, Ill.); Ben Stewart (‘03/Dayton, Ohio) and Adam Brzezicki (‘02/Gurnee, Ill.) pacing the team with two goals apiece.
- Nate Gulsvig (‘02/Fargo, N.D.) enjoyed another stellar weekend in goal, playing the final two games. After recording a 21-save shutout against MJDP Gulsvig went back to the blue paint against the Metro Jets Monday, giving up just two goals on 28 shots before the Jets sank the clincher into an empty cage.
- How’s this for consistency: Since 2018-19, the Havoc have had between 11 and 14 wins after 16 games, and a range between 24 and 30 points. Their 13-3-0-0 record thus far is right in line with many of their past seasons – and their current count of 26 points is their exact point average after 16 games over the last five seasons. Woah.
The Road Ahead: The Havoc come back from the break with three games against three different foes between Dec. 2-4. The Isanti Outlaws (Dec. 2), Steele County Blades (Dec. 3) and Minnesota Blue Ox (Dec. 4) all take their turns at Hudson Sports And Civic Center.
- Hudson enjoys a 16-1-1-1 all-time series record against the Outlaws and their predecessors the Rum River Mallards. They are 19-3-1-2 against the Blades all time, and the Blue Ox hold a very slim 14-13-0-0 all-time lead against Hudson.
Steele County Blades (2-1-1-0)
The Blades rallied in the second half of the weekend to turn a rough start into a five-point pickup. After dropping its first game Saturday 4-1 to the Metro Jets, the Blades ran into the Fort Wayne Spacemen Sunday morning and fell 4-3 in overtime. The Blades returned with a 5-1 win later Sunday against the Cincinnati Jr. Cyclones and wrapped it up Monday with a 5-2 win against the Hershey Cubs, denying the lone Mid-Atlantic club at the event a perfect 4-0 run.
Noah LaFleur led the offensive charge with five goals and seven points for the Blades, Brody Ward adding a goal and four assists. Adam Knebl (‘04/Czech Republic) and Eddie Gustin both scored twice for the Blades.
- Ward carries a 2-4-6 scoring streak over the four games of the showcase into Wednesday night’s match-up.
The Road Ahead: They play the Isanti Outlaws on Thanksgiving Eve, and then come back Dec. 2-4 against the Minnesota Squatch, Hudson Havoc and Minnesota Mullets.
Meanwhile, in Minnesota
Wisconsin Rapids Riverkings (2-0)
The Riverkings swept a Thursday/Friday pair at Augsburg University Ice Arena, capturing a 5-3 win in the first game and a 3-0 shutout in the other. On Thursday, the Riverkings grabbed control with four goals in the first 17 minutes of the contest, but the Mullets struck for a pair of late goals to cut the lead in half before the end of the opening period.
Both teams added one more in the second to wrap up the scoring. William Tricarico (‘02/East Islip, N.Y.) fired the final two Riverkings goals in the contest, including the game-winner. In the second game, Tricarico added two more goals and another game winner, his fourth and five game-winners of the season and perhaps more important his second and third in a row. Lucas Brine (‘02/Oxshortt, Great Britain) picked up the 21-save shutout in goal for the Riverkings.
- Tricarico is enjoying a four-game goal-scoring and point streak of seven goals and one assist for eight points. He also has a string of power play goals in each of the last four games, along with an active streak of three straight game-winners. Tricarico is tied for third in the USPHL Premier – along with Steele County’s Noah LaFleur – in GWG’s with five apiece. The four-game goal streak isn’t even his longest this season – he put up eight goals in seven games from Oct. 1-22.
- The Riverkings’ 3-0 winning streak going back to Nov. 12 against the Squatch is the longest active streak in the Midwest West Division.
The Road Ahead: As mentioned above, the Riverkings have their two-game showdown with the Minnesota Moose on Dec. 2-3. Wisconsin Rapids is 11-6-3-0 all-time against the Moose.
Minnesota Blue Ox (1-0)
After a weekend off, the Blue Ox returned for just one game on Friday, but the team came together for perhaps its biggest win of the season so far, a 6-5 shootout decision against then-division-leading Minnesota Squatch.
The game appeared to be a defensive battle, the Squatch up 1-0 after a period and 2-1 heading to the third, but when it’s the Squatch playing, an offensive explosion is always standing by. This time it was a 4-3 edge for the Blue Ox down the stretch but a goal from the Squatch with 16 seconds to go forced overtime and then a shootout. Five different goal scorers stepped up for the Blue Ox in regulation including Dylan Hender (‘03/New Orleans, La.) who added another to clinch the win in the shootout. Jack Pojar (‘02/Osseo, Minn.) scored three goals for the Squatch.
- Don’t be surprised if the Blue Ox have no more shootouts this year – they had only one in each of 2019-20 and 2020-21, only two in 2021-22 and zero shootouts in 2018-19, giving them an average of one shootout per year between 2018-22.
The Road Ahead: They have just one game the first weekend of December as well, going up against the Havoc, against whom they are 14-13-0-0 all-time.
Midwest East Division
Fort Wayne Spacemen (4-0-0-0)
Fort Wayne was a perfect 4-0 at the USPHL’s Detroit Showcase this weekend. The Spacemen started the Showcase with impressive wins over Metro Jets and MHC before taking down the Steele County Blades 4-3 in an overtime thriller on Sunday morning. Defenseman Sam Tetreault (‘02) scored the golden goal in that one, and averaged a point per game over the weekend.
Fort Wayne also played the Dells Ducks on Sunday afternoon, and won 6-2.
- FWS netminder Ido Steinberg (‘03) recorded his first #ShutoutShoutout over the year on Saturday, stopping all 17 MHC shots in the 3-0 victory
The Road Ahead: The Spacemen have Thanksgiving weekend off. They’ll be back in action on Friday, Dec. 2 and also Saturday, Dec. 3, when they play the Great Lakes’ Columbus Mavericks in a home-and-home. They also face Battle Creek on Dec. 4 at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.
- Columbus checks in at third place in the Great Lakes division. The Mavericks lead the all-time series 5-3.
- Sunday, Dec. 4, will be a special gameday in Northwest Indiana. The Spacemen will host division rival Battle Creek at Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in downtown Fort Wayne. The large arena can hold up to 13,000 fans, and the opportunity to play there is something the Spacemen have been looking forward to all year.
Motor City Gamblers (2-1-1-0)
The third-place Gamblers had a decent Detroit Showcase, finishing the event with a positive record. They picked up a pair of sound victories against the Columbus Mavericks and Dells Ducks before falling to the Hershey Cubs in overtime on Sunday. They lost in regulation by the same score, 6-5, on Monday to the Minnesota Moose.
- Netminder Larkin Dolan (‘02) recorded a 17-save #ShutoutShoutout in MCG’s 5-0 Showcase victory over Dells Ducks. It was the team’s third shutout of the season, and Dolan’s first as a Gambler.
- Forward Nick Lafornara (‘02) performed well at the Detroit Showcase, recording seven points (5-2–7) over four games. Motor City’s leading goal scorer has scored 15 times this season.
- Defenseman Aidan Canady remains a hot hand, and with 34 points in 18 games, he leads all USPHL Premier defensemen in scoring. He scored a goal and eight assists for nine points in the showcase and his scoring streak of 6-15-21 in 11 games.
The Road Ahead: Motor City’s next games will come in the form of a home-and-home with crosstown rivals MJDP on 12/1 and 12/4. They’ll then play a pair of games against the Chicago Cougars before finishing the 2022 calendar year with the USPHL Chicago Showcase beginning Dec. 15.
- Motor City is 0-2 against MJDP this season. The MJDP leads the all-time series 17-1, but the Gamblers are no longer a team to be taken lightly. They’re currently tied with MJDP in standings points with 24.
In Other Action
MJDP served as one of the hosts of the Detroit Showcase in Mount Clemens, but won just one game on home ice this weekend. They dropped matchups with the Toledo Cherokee, Minnesota Moose, and Hudson Havoc before defeating the Isanti Outlaws 4-2 Monday morning.
The Road Ahead: MJDP will return from break to host Motor City on Thursday, Dec. 1. They’ll travel to Battle Creek the following day and finish up the weekend back in the Detroit area, visiting Motor City on Sunday.
- MJDP are undefeated against both Motor City and Battle Creek this season. They’ve dropped just one divisional game on the year, a 3-1 decision at Chicago Cougars on Nov. 13.
- Six Jets found the back of the next during the Detroit Showcase. Lukas Nies (‘04),
and Bennett Sheppard (‘04) who both scored in the victory against Isanti, are tied
for the team lead with six goals. Two other Jets have also scored six, and the four-
way tie at the top is a testament to the depth of the MJDP crew.
- The Jets are 11-1 in Midwest East play, but just 1-3 against teams from other divisions this season. They’ll have ample opportunity to correct that record at the Chicago Showcase in mid-December, where they’ll play four inter-divisional games.
The Chicago Cougars had the weekend off, and haven’t played since their 3-1 defeat of MJDP on Nov. 13 and they are also off the next two weekends. The defending Midwest East champions will play next on Friday, Dec. 9 when they visit Motor City.
- The Cougars are 2-0 against Motor City this season, successfully defending home ice twice on opening weekend.
- Sharing is caring: Four Cougar skaters have recorded double digit assists through 18 games, second most of any MWE roster.
- Chicago’s 11/13 victory over MJDP handed the Jets their first loss of the season, and made the Jets the league’s penultimate undefeated team. The Vernal Oilers of the North West division are the only perfect team left, holding a record of 15-0- 0-0 through 15 games.
Drop The Pucks!