#USPHLNationals Premier Team Preview: Bold City Battalion

By Joshua Boyd / USPHLPremier.com 


The USPHL has a long and glorious history of first-year organizations making the National Championships. 

Aside from the obvious inaugural season class of qualifiers, you can look back over the years at such teams as the Metro Jets and Pittsburgh Vengeance (2019); the Elmira Impact, Utah Outliers and Fresno Monsters (2021); both the Premier and Elite Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights (2022) and the Vernal Oilers (2023). 

This year, the Bold City Battalion are the sole first-year organization to qualify at the Premier level, joining two USPHL Elite Midwest teams in the Metro Jets and Chicago Crush as this year’s Nationals class of brand new teams.

“We are beyond excited to make it to the National stage in our inaugural season!” said Battalion GM/Head Coach Rett Vossler. “Winning the Florida Division, and beating an extremely difficult team in Atlanta in a best-of-3 series are major milestones for our organization. Making it to Nationals is another major feat for us. Now there’s just one more goal to accomplish.”

Indeed, the Battalion are headed to Utica off of an historic Monday, March 11, during which all four Florida Division match-ups – at both the Premier and Elite levels – went to Game 3’s. After a 5-2 Game 1 first-ever playoff victory for Bold City, Atlanta came back to win a tight, defensive Game 2 by a 2-1 score. Bold City bounced back with their second 5-2 victory of the series on Monday. 

“Atlanta gave us a difficult playoff series, which is exactly what we expected out of it. Every inch was earned, not given,” said Vossler. “I thought in Games 1 and 3 we really pushed the pace and didn’t give our opponent any room to breathe. Our special teams were huge throughout the weekend – the power play was 36 percent and the penalty kill was excellent in killing 11 out of 12.”

The Battalion are joining the Florida Eels – who earned their seventh straight Nationals berth – as representing the Florida Division. The Battalion went 3-3-0-0 against the Eels this year, while also earning wins against Nationals teams the Metro Jets Development Program, Nashville Spartans and Fort Wayne Spacemen. They took a regulation loss against each of the Potomac Patriots and Charlotte Rush.

“Potomac is the team to beat. They’ve earned that right from Day 1 of the season, and haven’t looked back since,” said Vossler, when looking over the Nationals field. “There are no easy games once you reach this stage, anyone can beat anyone. It’s an exciting tournament, as you’ll see a lot of different play styles, and you can’t easily predict who will come out on top.”

The Battalion expect to be fully locked in, and they saw fantastic depth during their series against Atlanta. Jacob Duhaime and Emil Grinsvall each led with four points, but 17 different players scored at least one point in the three games against Atlanta. Aiden Winslow stopped 65 of 69 shots in his two wins, while Timothy Miller had a great performance of 44 saves on 46 shots in the loss. 

All these players were right back on the ice throughout this week as they know that every portion of their game has to be razor sharp beginning Thursday. 

“Nothing really changes in our routine the further we go. We stick to what got us here,” said Vossler. “Obviously there are a few areas to clean up, but the major view of things will remain the same. We will continue our pre-scouts and look for tendencies in our opponents, but our approach is to force them to play our game.”