Eels Showed Really Well At the Showcase
USPHL Chicago Showcase Brings Midwest, South Teams Together
By Jim DenHollander/USPHL.com, 10/11/18, 10:45AM EDT
Another weekend brings another United States Premier Hockey League (USPHL) Showcase Series event.
The Chicago Showcase event, which begins Thursday and runs through Sunday, will bring together 41 teams from five different Premier League Divisions and two Elite Divisions.
The Leafs Center, at Elgin, Ill., and the Canlan Arena in Romeoville, Ill., – both multiple ice surface facilities – will host 82 games over the weekend as each team entered will hit the ice four times.
Showcase events are the only time teams cross over to play teams from other divisions and the matches are generally set up so teams face teams of similar skill levels. Because of that, it seems every match will be a thriller — but here are a few that should stand out:
- Any game involving the Premier Metro Jets. The Jets are one of two league champions entering play this season and the club will face four tough opponents at the Showcase event, beginning on Thursday when the Minnesota Moose, defending Midwest-West Division champs make up the opposition at the Leafs Center at 1:40 p.m. CT.
On Friday the Jets will switch rinks, meeting the Charlotte Rush, defending Southeast Division regular season champs in a 10:10 a.m. tilt. They return to the Leafs Center on Saturday for another tough contest against the Minnesota Blue Ox at 7 p.m.
Their final game will be the much-anticipated battle of defending league champs as the Jets faceoff against the Hampton Roads Whalers back at the Leafs Center Sunday at 12:20 p.m. CT.
- The Whalers and Rush both come into the tournament running long winning streaks. The Whalers have yet to be beaten this season (9-0-0-0) and the Rush have bounced back from dropping its first two with seven straight wins.
Both teams made their presence felt at this event last season and will look to do the same this year. It won’t be easy though as the Whalers face the Blue Ox, Motor City Hockey Club and Wisconsin Rapids RiverKings before squaring off against the Jets. The Rush will face off against all Midwest-West foes – the Moose, Mullets and Kasson Vipers – after opening against the Jets.
- The DME Swamp Rabbits and Florida Eels endured rough rides at the Southern Showcase a few weeks ago. Following that, they went head to head against each other last weekend.
Both will be looking to show they belong with the upper echelon squads this weekend. The Swamp Rabbits will face the Rum River Mallards, Toledo Cherokee, Hudson Havoc and Tri-City Icehawks, while the Eels do battle with the Decatur Blaze, Steele County Blades, Lansing Wolves and Detroit Fighting Irish.
Those are just a few highlights. Every team at the event will be looking to improve on positioning in their respective divisions, while players will be trying to impress the numerous scouts in attendance at the event.
Watch your favorite teams in person at the Leafs Center or the Canlan Rink. If you’re not in Chicagoland, grab some refreshments and take in a bunch of games on Hockey TV over the weekend.
After a brief introduction beginning at 11:30 a.m. CT on Thursday, the tournament will kick off at 8 a.m. CT on each of the next three days, going into the late evening on both Friday and Saturday and wrapping up around dinner time on Sunday.