Week of Nov. 1-8, 2022
By Joshua Boyd and Patrick Ramsdale / USPHL.com
The New England Division is raging with a couple great winning streaks competing for dominance. The Boston Junior Bruins have jumped up the standings in a big way with a 7-0 streak, while the Northern Cyclones are on a 6-0 run. It’s a race to the top with four teams within a point at first and second place, already some great standings excitement at the quarter mark.
(Records Shown Are For Games Between Nov. 1-8)
Boston Junior Bruins (3-0)
With their most recent win on Nov. 6 (4-2 over Springfield), the Junior Bruins attained the division’s best winning streak so far this year. Prior to their win over Springfield and since Nov. 1, they also beat the Boston Advantage 5-1 on Nov. 1 and 4-3 over the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs in OT on Nov. 4. With a record of 8-3-0-1, their .708 save percentage is third best in the division overall, just as their 17 points are tied for third.
- The Junior Bruins are also on their best-ever winning streak, beating their previous mark of six straight wins between Jan. 15-24, 2021, during the Hub City Tampa event.
- The win streak sees them also on their best run of scoring three goals or more since putting three or more up in eight straight in Tampa between Jan. 7-20, 2021.
- The Junior Bruins got their league-best fifth win when tied after two periods when they beat the Monarchs 4-3 in OT (it was 2-2 after two periods).
- Second-year USPHL Premier veteran Devin Oliver’s OT goal was his fourth in a string of goals in five straight games. The ‘02 forward is on a 5-3-8 scoring streak over the last six games.
- Recently named USPHL Premier New England Division Goaltender of the Month, Dominik Bovan extended his personal winning streak to five going back to Oct. 11.
The Road Ahead: The Junior Bruins’ Premier team will join their NCDC brethren in making the trip to Auburn, Maine, for a pair of games against the Twin City Thunder, with whom they are tied for third at 17 points.
On Oct. 20, the Junior Bruins beat the Thunder, win No. 4 out of the seven in a row. The Thunder, however, are 5-2-0-2 in the all-time series.
Upon returning home, they’ll finish the weekend – and the month of November’s games – with a 6:10 p.m. game against the Islanders Hockey Club, which is one point ahead of them in a tie for first. The Junior Bruins won their first meeting, 4-2, on Oct. 15 (win No. 2 of the seven-game streak). The Islanders are up in the all-time series 12-5-3-0.
Northern Cyclones (2-0)
The Cyclones’ winning streak is at six games and that’s only because seven games back they dropped a 3-1 decision to the Junior Bruins (No. 3 for the Junior Bruins’ seven-game winning streak). That remains the Cyclones’ only loss of any kind this season.
Not only are the Cyclones one of the two teams leading the division with 18 points (as of the morning of Nov. 9, tied with the Islanders Hockey Club), but they are also fifth in the league in winning percentage with a .900 mark. That puts them slightly above the Islanders’ .818 mark within the division.
Recently, the Cyclones defeated the South Shore Kings 7-2 and the Springfield Pics 6-1, helping them to their current 9-1-0-0 record.
- The 9-1-0-0 mark is the Cyclones’ best in the six seasons since the current formation of the USPHL Premier in 2017. Twice they’ve racked up 17 points (8-1-0-1 in 2021-22; 8-1-1-0 in 2018-19), and they were at 16 points after 10 games in 2020-21 (8-2-0-0). Their other two records after 10 games were 5-3-1-1 in 2019-20 and 6-3-0-1 in 2017-18.
- At 25.30 shots allowed per game, Northern Cyclones are fourth in that category in the entire USPHL Premier Division.
- After posting four assists in his first eight games this year, veteran defenseman Seth Orozco put up five helpers between his last two games. He is one point from equaling his 2021-22 points total of 10.
- First-year forward Simon Rulc has also had a very good November already, posting a 3-4-7 line in the recent wins against the Kings and Pics.
- The second-year Cyclone Adam Skarda (‘02) joined in October and has scored in every one of his six games so far with a 3-7-10 line.
- The goalies who played the first two November games are also on good streaks. Jeffrey Fillion (‘04) is 5-1 overall, on a 3-0 streak and has a .921 save percentage. Newcomer Mason Meyer, who joined in late October, is 2-0 with a .933 save percentage.
The Road Ahead: The Cyclones face the Bridgewater Bandits on Thursday at home at noon, and then on Monday they face their Granite State rivals the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs at 12:30 p.m.
- The Cyclones are 12-4-1-1 all-time against the Bandits, and they are 16-3-3-0 against the Monarchs. They have not lost in regulation to their in-state rivals since the inaugural Premier season of 2017-18 when the Monarchs won all four meetings, including one in OT.
Islanders Hockey Club (2-0)
Going into Wednesday’s game against the South Shore Kings, the Islanders are enjoying a 2-0 November so far with wins against the Boston Advantage (5-2 on Nov. 2) and Twin City Thunder (3-1 on Nov. 5). That brought the Islanders’ point streak to five games at 3-0-1-1. Their only regulation loss in an 8-1-1-1 season is to the Junior Bruins on Oct. 15 by a 4-2 score, corresponding to win No. 2 in the Junior Bruins’ current seven-game streak.
Their 8-1-1-1 record is impressive and puts them in a tie for first in points at the top of the New England Division. Their best mark after that many games is, of course, 11-0 that was part of theri 18-0 start to the 2019-20 season under current Islanders NCDC Head Coach Tim Kyrkostas.
- The Thunder held a 1-0 lead through 50 minutes on Nov. 5, but the Islanders scored three in the third for the comeback victory. They are an impressive 3-0-1-0 when leading after two periods, giving them one of the league’s best winning percentages in that situation.
- Veteran Trystan Swiger (‘02) carried a 10-game, 6-5-11 point streak into Wednesday’s game against the Kings, tied for seventh-longest active streak in the Premier. He has not missed the scoresheet once this season heading into Wednesday.
- Third-year Islander Brady Carpenter (‘02) has points in all five of the games in which the Islanders have earned points – he’s posted a 4-6-10 line, and was also on an active three-game goal streak going into Wednesday.
- Evan Armit (‘02) has been recently shuttling back and forth between the Islanders’ NCDC and Premier teams, and currently has an active streak of 6-3-9 in his last four Premier games. He also has a 1-1-2 line in three NCDC games since Oct. 30.
- Goaltender Ean Badgett is 2-0-0-1 in his last three starts and 5-1-0-1 overall with a .941 save percentage and 1.99 goals against average. He is tied for 10th in save percentage leaguewide.
The Road Ahead: Along with the road game against the Kings, IHC has two more road games this weekend against the Boston Junior Bruins on Saturday and the Springfield Pics on Sunday.
- The Islanders are 0-1 against the Junior Bruins this season but are up 12-5-3-0 all-time against their Massachusetts I-495 rivals.
- The IHC will be looking for revenge after a 5-4 shootout loss to the Pics on Oct. 19. Heading into their 20th all-time regular season game, the Islanders hold an all-time series lead of 13-3-1-2.
Bridgewater Bandits (1-0)
The Bandits bounced back from a pair of late-October losses to put up their first shutout victory of the season. They defeated the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs by a 4-0 score on Nov. 2, with Luke Merian posting 24 saves for the victory in net. He has a 4-2-0-1 record for the bulk of the Bandits’ six victories as they pulled themselves up to .500 for a 6-6-2-0 record after the win.
In the razor-tight New England Division, their 14 points has them just four points outside of first place.
- The Bandits have earned 13 of their 14 points in games where they’ve scored the first goal. They’re tied for first in the division with Twin City and Springfield with eight first goals of games, but their 6-1-1-0 record after scoring the first goal is tops in New England.
The Road Ahead: The Bandits face the Cyclones on Thursday in their only action over this week prior to the IHC Showcase the following week. The Cyclones hold a 12-4-1-1 all-time series lead on the Bandits.
South Shore Kings (2-1-0-0)
So far, the Kings have been the busiest New England Division team in November. They’re playing their fourth game of the month in the first nine days. Going into their game against the Islanders, they were at 2-1-0-0 on the month and in a three-way tie for fifth place in points with the Pics and Bandits. They are fourth overall in winning percentage, however, as their .583 winning percentage stems from a 7-5-0-0 record so far.
The Kings began the month with a 7-2 loss to the Cyclones, followed by a 4-3 shootout win over the Twin City Thunder and a 2-0 shutout victory against the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs.
- The Kings are surely to some degree happy to at least be above .500 at this stage in the season, but they’re far off where they were after 12 games in 2021-22 (11-1-0-0).
- The Kings lead the New England Division with three shutout wins, after their 2-0 victory against the Monarchs. Two have come against New Hampshire, whom South Shore also defeated 3-0 on Oct. 20.
- Trevor Roy (‘04) earned his first junior shutout with 35 saves against the Monarchs, a win that also put him over .500 personally with a 4-3-0-0 mark this year and a .927 save percentage.
- Easton Stafford (‘03) put up two goals and assists over each of his three November games to bring his division-leading point streak to all 12 games this year. He has a 7-7-14 line stretching back to Game 1 on Sept. 30. Only Ontario’s Ethan McKibbin has a longer active streak from his first game of the season (31 points in all 13 of his games).
The Road Ahead: After the Islanders match-up on Wednesday, they’ll be back in action next Tuesday against the Boston Advantage. Heading into that 10th all-time match-up, they are 6-3-0-0 against the Advantage.
New York Aviators (3-0)
The Aviators had a strong start to the November schedule with a weekend sweep over the P.A.L. Junior Islanders. New York extended their record to 5-2-1 on the season and sit fourth in the division in points percentage (.688).
The Aviators’ roster combined for 47 points and 18 goals over two games. Though several players registered multiple points over the weekend, it was Mathias Rakell (‘02/Stockholm Sweden) who had a standout performance. Rakell recorded nine points on the weekend, including a three-goal, three-assist game on Sunday.
The Aviators went on to defeat the Buffalo Stampede in their first of back-to-back games on Tuesday night, winning by a score of 7-1.
- The Aviators put up a 6-2-1-0 record so far, but it’s their offense that’s blowing everyone out of the water – yet again. Through their first nine games, they were averaging 6.22 goals for per game. This is a team that, even in a loss, scored eight goals. They blasted past the 47 goals they scored in nine games last year for a 5.22 at this point last year.
- Second-year Aviator Oliver Munck may never average less than 1.5 points per game in his time with the Aviators. After a 64-point season in 42 games last year, he’s pushing 16 points in nine games, including a 6-6-12 line in the last five games.
The Road Ahead: After facing Buffalo again on Wednesday night, the Aviators move on to face the Hershey Cubs in two weekend night games – 8:15 on Saturday and 8 p.m. on Sunday, both at the Aviator Sports and Events Center. Over five games so far between last year (Hershey’s first) and their two earlier games this season, the Aviators hold a 5-0 series lead.
Connecticut Jr. Rangers (2-0)
The Jr. Rangers extended their win streak to five with wins over the Rockets Hockey Club and the Hershey Cubs. Connecticut took the Rockets to overtime in a Wednesday night contest in which the Jr. Rangers took 4-3. They wouldn’t play again until Saturday afternoon when they traveled to Hershey and won 8-2.
- Rookie winger Ludwig Tylenius (Halmstad, Sweden) shined for the Jr. Rangers posting a hat trick against the Cubs. Tylenius sits fourth on the team in points with 15 and leads all rookies on his team.
- Ryuto Nakamoto improved to 4-0-1-0 on the season, and his .964 save percentage is now No. 1 in the USPHL Premier. His 1.18 goals against average is second.
The Road Ahead: The Rangers go right back to facing the Jersey Hitmen for two straight, right after two decisive wins against Jersey on Oct. 28 and Oct. 30. On Friday and Sunday, it’s another home-and-home. The Jr. Rangers, off their three wins against the Hitmen so far, improved their series to 10-7-0-1.
Rockets Hockey Club (2-0-1)
The Rockets have played three games so far in the month of November. After falling in overtime to the Jr. Rangers, RHC took both games of a home series against the Jersey Hitmen, winning 6-2 and 7-3 over Friday and Sunday.
The Defending National Champion Rockets are now third in the division in points with 20, and second in winning percentage at .729 off a 9-2-2-0 record. They are enjoying an eight-game point streak, going 6-0-2-0 since Oct. 16, their first game after hosting the Rockets Hockey Club Showcase Oct. 7-10 in Bridgewater, N.J.
- Yakov Yakzhin (‘03) has been all over the scoresheet for the Rockets this month, posting three goals and four assists in three games. Yakzhin leds the team in points with 21 on the season (9g-12a).
- A few other players with hot streaks include Alex Ceselka (6-7-13 in seven games), Spencer Hecklinger (4-3-7 in six games) and Erik Hegyi (4-4-8 in four games).
- Liam Gross, who came back from winning the championship last year, stands at 4-0-1-0 in his last five and already has two shutouts.
The Road Ahead: The Rockets head down to Richmond, Va., this weekend. The defending Premier National Champions face several players from the defending Elite National Champion Generals who moved up after winning their own title last March. It all begins Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and continues with a Sunday 11:30 game. This is the first time the Rockets and Generals face each other. They will do so again in New Jersey Jan. 28-29.
Elmira Jr. Enforcers (1-0)
Elmira found the win column in their only game so far this month as they took on the Buffalo Stampede in a 4-2 victory at home. The reigning Mid-Atlantic Forward of the Month, Nathan Garau (’05/Bolzano, Italy) led the way for the Jr. Enforcers with two goals and an assist on Sunday. Garau sits seventh in the USPHL in goals with 18, and second among rookies in scoring with 28 points. He is on a four-game scoring streak of – and this is real – nine goals and four assists for 13 points.
The Enforcers were still vibing off their 11 goals scored on Oct. 26, which had come two games after they defeated the Rockets for their first win of the season on Oct. 22, when they got that win against Buffalo, their third “W” in their last six games.
- The 11 goals on Oct. 26 set the new record for the Jr. Enforcers, passing a 10-4 win on Feb. 11, 2022.
The Road Ahead: The Jr. Enforcers are off until next weekend’s IHC Showcase in Massachusetts between Nov. 18-20.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights (1-0)
The Knights traveled to Chocolatetown for the second meeting with the Hershey Cubs this season in the Battle of Pennsylvania. Wilkes-Barre showed why they lead the division, beating the Cubs 7-2. Hunter Parker (‘02/Granite City, Ill.) and Aiden Darlington (’04/North Kingstown, R.I.) both found the back of the net twice in the contest.
Darlington has a massive (and very much active) scoring streak of nine goals and 10 assists for 19 points in his last eight games.
• The Knights are in a four-way tie for second in wins in the USPHL Premier at 14 apiece, obviously a fantastic accomplishment but it is still overshadowed by their Year 1 success last year when they went 17-1 after their first 18 games.
• Defenseman Logan Dittenhafer (’03) has a hot hand with a goal and four assists for five points in his last five contests.
The Road Ahead: Lots of practice, some rest time, turkey dinner on Thanksgiving and a little more prep work and then it’s back to games for WBS on Dec. 3. Fret not, Knights fans, your squad will have eight exciting games in the first three weeks of December.
Drop The Pucks!