January 16, 2014

Juniors Journal: USPHL All-Stars named

By Shawn Hutcheon

Junior Bruins goalie Sean Lawrence will be among those playing in the inaugural USPHL All-Star Game. (Photo by Dave Arnold/New England Hockey Journal)

The United States Premier Hockey League has announced the schedule and rosters for its 2013-2014 All-Star Game, which will be played at Merrimack College in North Andover, Mass., at noon on Jan. 20.

The format is Team Massachusetts (Boston Jr. Bruins, Islanders Hockey Club, South Shore Kings, and Bay State Breakers) vs. Team USA, which has players from the clubs from outside of the Commonwealth (Jersey Hitmen, Philadelphia Flyers, Portland Jr. Pirates, PAL Jr. Islanders).

The Hitmen lead all USPHL clubs with nine players named to the game. Dominic Trento, John Jackson, Michael Laffin, Patrick Shule, Kenny Gillespie, John Furgele, Trevor Owens, Ori Abramson, and Andrew DeBrincat, will make the trip north for the event.

Joining them on Team USA are Ryan Badger, Brandon Bistodeau, Joseph Young, and Trevor Gooch of the Flyers. Jordan Haskell and James Winkler of the Portland Jr. Pirates have also been named.

Cameron Heath of New York’s PAL Jr. Islanders will also skate for the USA team.

Ironically, Bay State’s Ty Gradwell and goaltender Ben Halford will play for Team USA in order to round out its roster.

Team Massachusetts is led by the Jr. Bruins, which has placed seven players, Brian Bowen, Bryan Lemos, Tim Doherty, Zachary Todd, Kevin McKernan, Connor Doherty, and Sean Lawrence, on the team.

The Islanders Hockey Club have six members named to the game in Ted McCarren, David Hallisey, Mark Dufour, Tommy Muratore, Aaron Titcomb, and Alex Morin.

Kevin Salvucci will be Bay State’s lone representative on the Massachusetts team while South Shore has five members in Nolan Vesey, Beau Starrett, Joe Lappin, Timothy Boyle, Logan Day, and Sean Lawrence.

Nineteen of the thirty-eight all stars have committed to college programs.

Two skaters are ranked in the NHL Central Scouting’s midterm rankings. Starrett, of the Kings, is ranked 83rd overall and Winkler of the Jr. Pirates is rated 110th.

Game of the Week

This week the top teams in the United States Premier Hockey League will face off Friday at 3:10 pm at the Foxboro Sports Center.

The South Shore Kings will host the Boston Jr. Bruins. The two teams have met four times this season with Boston winning three of the contests.  

NE Junior Power Rankings

1) Boston Jr. Bruins (26-3-2-1) - Winning 10 of their last 11 games has propelled Boston to a five point lead over The South Shore Kings in the United States Premier Hockey League.

2) South Shore Kings (23-10-3-1) The Kings have lost their last two contests but remain in second place in the USPHL. 

3) New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs (26-5-1-0) - First place overall appears to be something the Jr. Monarchs have grown accustomed to as that is where they continue to reside in the Eastern Hockey League. The leaders of the circuit’s North Division have won 10 of 11 contests.

4) Northern Cyclones (22-7-0-0) - The second place team in the EHL’s North Division has defeated all comers except the Jr. Monarchs this season and trail NH by nine points.

5) Islanders Hockey Club (18-12-3-0) - Solidly entrenched in fifth place in the USPHL, the Islanders trail fourth place Philadelphia by five points and lead the P.A.L. Jr. Islanders by 10points.

6) Connecticut Oilers (20-8-1-1) - The Oilers continue to lead the EHL’s Central Division. They have won seven of their last ten contests and have a seven-point lead on second place Hartford Jr. Wolfpack.

7) Boston Bandits (17-9-3-2) - Winning seven of their last 10 games has the Bandits five points behind the Cyclones in the EHL’s North Division.

8) Hartford Jr. Wolfpack (15-11-3-2) - After starting the season with one win in their first seven games, Hartford has turned its season around and currently resides in second place in the EHL’s Central Division.

9) Portland Jr. Pirates (10-25-2-1) - Victorious in four of their last 10 tilts, the Jr. Pirates have climbed out of last place in the USPHL and are tied for seventh place with the Bay State Breakers.

10) Bay State Breakers (8-18-4-3) - A disappointing season has seen Bay State drop nine of its last ten games. The Breakers are tied with Portland in the USPHL standings.

11) Connecticut Yankees (8-23-1-0) - One win and nine losses in their last ten contests has seen the Yankees fall into last (ninth) place in the USPHL.

12)  Valley Jr. Warriors (10-14-3-5) - Picking up points in five of their last nine contests has seen the Warriors keep pace with the Boston Jr. Rangers in the North Division of the EHL.

13) Walpole Express (10-14-5-2) - The last place club in the EHL’s Central Division is on a four game undefeated streak. They trail New York Apple Core by only three points in the division.

14) Boston Jr. Rangers (13-15-2-2) - Losing seven of 11 games have kept the Rangers from moving up in the EHL North Division’s standings. They are in fourth place, trying to maintain their two-point lead over Valley.

Twitter: @ShawnHutcheon
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