Both Teams Capture League’s Attention
Biggest movers and shakers at the Islanders Hockey Club Showcase: Premier/Elite
By Joshua Boyd, 11/20/18, 12:30PM EST
Some teams came into the Islanders Hockey Club Showcase already and extended very healthy streaks into Thanksgiving, while others might have gotten the jumpstart spark that they needed heading into the rest of the season.
Here is our look at some of the biggest winners from the five-day showcase, part of the unparalleled USPHL Showcase Series. We continue here with the Premier and Elite Divisions.
In the Premier Division, it was definitely a case of the haves having the most fun. In winning percentage terms, the lowest-ranked team to enjoy points in every game at the Islanders Hockey Club showcase were (drum roll, please) the Islanders Hockey Club!
Islanders Hockey Club (3-0-0-1)
The Islanders are currently ranked 19th with a .625 save percentage, and were at the bottom of the New England Division heading into the weekend. Their three wins and a shootout loss to the monstrous Metro Jets (currently on an 11-0 run) helped them leapfrog the Junior Bruins and Twin City Thunder and climb to a tie for fourth.
Metro Jets (4-0)
Two shutouts, one shootout and one offensive field day helped the Metro Jets climb to second overall in the entire Premier Division with an .881 winning percentage (18-2-1-0), and as aforementioned, have not tasted defeat of any kind in 11 games.
New York Aviators (4-0)
Not the Midwest West Division. It wasn’t the Great Lakes Division either. The Northeast Division’s leader couldn’t really come close. No one from any division took any points away from the nation’s No. 1 team in Tier-3 junior hockey (according to MYHockeyrankings.com). Like the Jets, their sweep gives them a current 11-0 run, and a tie for first overall with the Hampton Roads Whalers.
Boston Bandits (4-0)
Three of the Bandits’ games went into either extra time or was won in regulation by one goal.
The other game was a scant two-goal decision. The Bandits extended their winning streak to nine after the Islanders Showcase. They won in a shootout over the Dells Ducks, then beat the Metro Jets Development Program (MJDP) team 4-3 in regulation. After a 2-0 win over Wooster on Sunday evening, the Bandits wrapped up their extended run with a 3-2 overtime win against DME.
Northern Cyclones (4-0)
The Cyclones are now on a 6-0 run thanks to ramming their way through the Islanders Showcase, winning all four of their games by a minimum of three goals.
Skipjacks Hockey Club (4-0)
The Skipjacks are up there with the hottest teams in the entire Premier Division, going 9-0-1 in their last 10 games. With the exception of one game, they won their showcase games by three.
Florida Eels (4-0)
The Eels survived two shootouts against New England Division teams (5-4 over the Junior Bruins; 3-2 over the South Shore Kings) and then a nip-and-tuck one-goal 3-2 win over the Connecticut Jr. Rangers on Friday before having a relatively easier time with a 5-2 victory against Syracuse to wrap up their completely victorious showcase.
Those four victories, in addition to a pair of wins in their rivalry series with the Florida Jr. Blades, has the Eels on a six-game winning streak heading into the Thanksgiving break. They are one point out of first place in the Florida Division, behind the DME Swamp Rabbits – whom they play in the first two games back next Friday and Sunday.
Minnesota Blue Ox (3-1)
The Blue Ox extended their winning streak to eight in a row before falling to the Springfield Pics in their third game of the weekend. They rebounded Sunday and put up eight on the Hartford Jr. Wolfpack to finish a 3-1 stand and remain at 9-1 in their last 10 games.
Minnesota Moose (3-1)
Another team from the lake state that gave itself a nice boost, the Moose won three straight before falling to the host Islanders on Sunday. They are 5-2 for the month of November, and unlike many of the teams on this list, they’re right back in action after Thanksgiving Day, with a Saturday night tilt against the Minnesota Mullets.
Twin City Thunder (3-1)
Coming into the showcase, the Thunder were 1-5-1-0 in their last seven. However, they preceded the showcase with their announcement of joining the NCDC next season, which spurred on the players to a 3-1 weekend. They jumped out with back-to-back wins against the Dells Ducks and Minnesota Mullets before falling in a close game to the DME Swamp Rabbits, before ending on a winning note Monday against the Pittsburgh Vengeance in OT, 2-1.
The Thunder moved out of the New England Division last place spot with the 3-1 run, and are only three points south of a playoff position.
New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs (4-0)
The Monarchs played the final game of the entire showcase on Monday afternoon, and defeated the New York Aviators, 4-0. That not only gave them a perfect 4-0 showcase, but they only let in four goals the entire run. Along with a pre-showcase win, they’re on a 5-0 run at the break, and they are 8-2 in their last 10 games.
Islanders Hockey Club (4-0)
This was the Islanders Hockey Club’s showcase, on their turf at Skate 3 in Tyngsboro, Mass. Their closest game was Game 2, a 2-1 overtime win against the Tampa Bay Juniors. Otherwise, from Friday to Sunday, it was mostly smooth sailing for the hosts. They helped solidify their hold on a playoff spot as the second half of the season nears, now holding a 12-point lead on the fifth-place team in the North Division.
Florida Eels (3-1)
The Eels started way back on Thursday with a 4-3 shootout win against the Junior Bruins. After a tough game against the host Islanders, they rebounded with two more regulation wins and are now just two spots out of first in the Florida Division of the USPHL Elite.
Northern Cyclones (3-1)
Outside of a one-goal loss to the Eels, it was a romping, stomping weekend for the Cyclones. They had two wins by three goals against two other Florida Division teams, and earned a 6-0 shutout for the showcase capper. That, and the Boston Bandits (2-2) opponents, helped the Cyclones to climb to three points out of second place in the North Division.
Check back a little later on Tuesday to see which teams fared best in the Midget Divisions at the Islanders Hockey Club Showcase.