#USPHLCommitments Profile: Cyclones’ Dougherty Excited For Future At Salem State University

By Joshua Boyd / USPHLPremier.com 


After five seasons with the Northern Cyclones organization, Billy Dougherty will be pulling on a different jersey this coming fall. He served well with the Cyclones’ Premier team over two seasons, following three years in their Northern Cyclones Academy Midget program. He also lifted the Premier Championship trophy with the Cyclones in 2023. 

Now he’s moving on to Salem State University in the Massachusetts State College Athletic Conference. 

“I first started talking to Salem State about a couple days after our season ended, and the coach [Chris MacInnis] asked me to come down and see the campus. He likes my scoring ability, as well as my ability to defend the middle of the ice,” said Dougherty. “He also mentioned that he likes that I can play in any scenario of the game.” 

Dougherty, an ‘03 native of Levittown, Pa., was immediately impressed by the Salem State campus, located in one of the most historic towns not just in Massachusetts, but in all of American history. The Salem Witch Trials of 1692 forever made the city famous. Salem has adopted its association with witches and Halloween to the point of drawing nearly 1 million visitors every October, especially packing the streets on Halloween Night for its haunted houses, wax museums and other macabre attractions.

“I was able to visit the school, and the atmosphere as soon as you enter the city of Salem is just  ‘Wow!’ There is a huge amount of history in the city and it really shows,” said Dougherty. “On campus, you really get a feeling that is indescribable, it feels like your second home when you are brought to campus, and that’s really what made me commit there aside from the hockey aspect of it. 

“Salem State’s facilities are top notch, everything is well put-together,” added Dougherty. “For hockey, I like that there is a new coach in Coach MacInnis, the conference they play in [MASCAC], and the compete level up and down the lineup,” said Dougherty, who plans to major in Sports Medicine or Entrepreneurship. “As for Academics, I love the amount of opportunities for internships, the class to teacher ratio is great, and all the teachers care about you as a person.”

While he’s excited about starting this new chapter, it hasn’t been easy knowing that his time with the Cyclones has reached its end. 

“Originally, I was brought into the Northern Cyclones by [2024] Elite National Champion Head Coach Tim Plummer. He told me that if I wanted to play college hockey and to train at the collegiate level, that this was the place to be. I kept coming back because of the bonds I made throughout the organization, with staff, and with fellow players,” he added. “They treat you like they are your own family, and that’s something you look for in an organization. The level of competition you play at this organization is at such a high level it forces you to get better.”

And better he got, especially during the 2022-23 season when he helped the Cyclones win the National Championship. Dougherty finished with 100 points in 83 combined regular season games, and eight points in 11 games during the 2023 postseason.  

“Winning the National Championship last year was the best feeling in the world. All the hard work with your teammates that are lifelong brothers, you all get to celebrate what you’ve been working for since September, and you can’t replace memories like that,” he said. “The Northern Cyclones are a top of the line organization run by the best group of people. They always do the right thing by you no matter what. I re-signed here for 2023-24 because the compete and the energy Coach Bill [Weiand] brings every single day is unmatched, and he will do anything to get you to school.”

He was also excited to play in the USPHL Premier, as the teams in that conference play in the unparalleled USPHL Showcase Series, in which the Cyclones competed against teams from up and down the East Coast and from the Midwest over two years. 

“Playing in the Premier Conference for two years really puts you in front of college scouts. The level of competition throughout the league is so tight that you have to prove to college coaches that you are the player for them,” he added. “With all the showcases held by the USPHL, you get multiple sets of eyes from different schools watching you play.”

Dougherty has been getting ready for the next level since his final game for the Cyclones, and he hopes to become a lineup regular right from the start with the Salem State Vikings. 

“I am going to work on strengthening my shot and working on release angles,” he said. “I am also going to work on strengthening my stride through the middle.”

The USPHL congratulates Billy Dougherty, his family, the Northern Cyclones and Salem State University for his commitment.