#USPHLPlayoffs – The Watch List: February 19, 2023

Updating yesterday’s Watch List:
New Teams Clinching Since Yesterday:
Carolina Jr. Hurricanes Elite
The NCDC finished up at Foxboro yesterday and there are no games scheduled until after the All-Star break.
There are 45 games remaining in the season. In the South, the Hitmen have clinched and five teams are contending for three playoff spots.
Utica went 2-1 this weekend and need to avoid a loss to remain in the playoff hunt. Along with a loss, a win by Mercer or Connecticut could also mean bad news for the Jr. Comets.
No teams in the North Division have either clinched or been eliminated.
USPHL Premier

There are 110 games left in the season and 21 of them were scheduled for Sunday, with 12 taking place in Foxboro at the South Shore Kings Presidents Day Showcase.

Southeast Division

Richmond (third) hosts Carolina (fifth). Both teams were in contention for third, but a Richmond shootout win today guaranteed them at least third. That will leave Carolina and Nashville arguing over the fourth and final spot.

Nashville is done playing. They have to hope that Carolina drops two of their last three games next week.

Richmond’s loss yesterday guarantees at least second for idle Potomac.


Pacific Division

Fresno’s win over Seattle guarantees first place for the Monsters.

Ontario (second), San Diego (T-third) and Las Vegas (T-third) are all playoff bound, but only one of them will get the coveted second place home ice.

San Diego hosts Ontario today. Two (maybe three) points will be awarded in that game, so Las Vegas will need a win over Long Beach (sixth) today to keep pace.

A Las Vegas win and an OT loss for Ontario will show three teams tied for 2nd.


Northwest Division

Vernal (first) hosts Rogue Valley (fourth)

Each of Rogue Valley and Bellingham will have three games left after today to determine who clinches the fourth and final playoff spot.


Mountain Division

Provo (fifth) losing to Idaho Falls (sixth) yesterday ensures that both teams will be traveling for Round 1.

Ogden (second) hosts Northern Colorado (third) and Pueblo (fourth) hosts Utah (first).

The Colorado teams will host the first round, but we don’t know who – and we won’t know soon.


Florida Division 

The Eels (first) host Palm Beach (fourth). Palm Beach need points in their battle to hold off the Florida Jr. Blades. Nothing binding will happen with today’s game results, however.


Midwest East Division

Cincinnati hosts Fort Wayne (first) today. A Spacemen win will clinch first for them and a first round bye.

MJDP (second) can create a little distance against the Gamblers and Cougars with a win today at Foxboro over the Islanders Hockey Club. Game begins at 4:10 p.m.


Midwest West Division

A win by the Riverkings (fourth) over the Mullets (ninth) will see them lock in 4th and the final home ice advantage in the first round.


South Shore Kings Presidents Day Showcase

Buffalo (ninth/Mid-Atlantic) was eliminated from playoff contention with their morning loss to the Boston Advantage.

The Cyclones (first/New England) played the Metro Jets and will later Hershey (sixth/Mid-Atlantic)

Islanders HC (second/New England) play the Aviators (first/Mid-Atlantic) and MJDP

The Cyclones hold the tie breaker, so a win by the Cyclones with a loss by IHC will clinch first for the Cyclones. They’ll have to wait until later Sunday, however, after a win by the Metro Jets in their first Sunday outing. The Aviators did defeat the Islanders, so a night win alone will now clinch first for Northern.

The Bruins (third/New England) play Utica (fourth). They can’t catch IHC today, but they do hold the tiebreaker. IHC can relegate them to third with two wins or one win and a Bruins loss.

Bridgewater (fifth/New England) fell earlier today to the Rockets (third/Mid-Atlantic).

Springfield (fourth) play Wilkes-Barre (second/Mid-Atlantic) at 2:10 p.m.

Both New England teams are scrambling for fourth place and home ice. They are a point apart, so obviously, they could flip today if the right events take place for one or the other.


The Aviators (first/Mid-Atlantic) defeated IHC and play the Advantage tonight.

Wilkes-Barre (2) will play the Pics (4)

The Aviators need one more win and a WBS loss to clinch first. The Aviators hold the tie breaker.

The Rockets (third/Mid-Atlantic) play New Hampshire later after defeating Bridgewater.

The RHC can’t catch the Aviators. WBS holds the tie breaker, so a WBS win or the Rockets earning less than 3 points today will guarantee WBS finishing ahead of them.

Utica (fourth/Mid-Atlantic) plays the Bruins and needs two points and a WBS loss to continue their quest for second place.

The four Mid-Atlantic teams just discussed have all clinched home ice, so the drama is only which name goes on the “Welcome” banner.

Hershey (sixth/Mid-Atlantic) play the Northern Cyclones later on Sunday after falling to New Hampshire (ninth/New England). They will travel the first round, but can they bank points today against idle Elmira?

Elite Conference
40 games remaining in the season. Eight games today, five at Foxboro.
Yesterday clarified a lot of situations.
Carolina (first/Southeast) clinched first with a win over Richmond (fourth) and set the stage for the playoffs at Pineville. Potomac (third) and Charlotte (second), both idle today, will be the other combatants.
Today’s Carolina at Richmond game is inconsequential.
The Pics clinched fourth and eliminated the Junior Bruins.
The Pics will visit the Cyclones in playoffs; Islanders will host the Bandits.
Today’s games in Foxboro will not affect the North Division standings.
In Florida, the first place Eels fell to Palm Beach (fourth). Palm Beach and idle Atlanta (third) are going to Fort Myers next month. Their final positioning will likely go down to the wire. One of them will play Tampa and the other one nets the Eels.
The Hitmen (second) defeated Elmira (sixth). The Hitmen have clinched at least fourth based on their tie breaker with P.A.L. (third), but there are still musical chairs in the Mid-Atlantic, with three teams and two seats at the playoff table remaining.
At Foxboro today.
Wilkes-Barre (first/Mid-Atlantic) defeated the Pics. Neither can advance or decline in the standings based on that result.
The Aviators (fifth/Mid-Atlantic) lost to the Cyclones and will later play the Junior Bruins
The Rockets (fourth/Mid-Atlantic) play the Pics and lost to the Bandits.
The Rockets, Aviators and idle P.A.L. (third) are so tightly interwoven. No one will catch the Hitmen today.