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Whalers USPHL Championships Preview

03/04/2018, 10:30pm EST
By Whaler Nation

Whalers Elite (#3 Seed)

The Whalers Elite team returns to the Championship round for the 2nd time in 3 years. They come into the USPHL Championship weekend with a record of 32-8-4, good for 68 points which is 2nd in the Southeast division and 3rd overall of the 25 teams in the Elite league.  The Whalers have tallied 187 goals for on the season and surrendered 113 goals against.  Hampton Roads advances to the Championships after a 2 games to 1 series victory over the Richmond Generals in round 1.

The Whalers are paced up front by a trio of USPHL all-stars, as Gary Eastlack (28-33-61), Ryan Lorenz (19-28-47), and Caelan Bolanowski (18-24-42) lead the Whalers high powered offense.  On the back end, the Whalers lean on a strong veteran core to anchor the unit.  James Rowe (7-18-25) leads the way offensively while Charles DuBose (0-15-15) and Adam Campbell (8-6-14) anchor the team’s top unit.  In net, veteran Everett Yasinski leads the USPHL in wins with a 20-4-3 record with a 2.58GAA, .908 save%, and 5 shutouts while 2000 Jason Horn posted a 9-4-0 record and leads the team with a 2.35GAA and .930 save%.

Game 1 vs. Jersey Hitmen (#6 Seed)

Hampton Roads vs. Jersey Hitmen- Wednesday March 7th, 10:40am, NESC Rink 1

The Hitmen Elite team comes into the weekend with a 28-12-4 record on the season, good for 60 points and 1st place in the Mid-Atlantic division and 8th of the 25 teams in the Elite league.  The Hitmen have posted 175 goals for while surrendering 107 goals against on the campaign.  They reached the Championship round with a 2 game sweep of the Hartford Jr. Wolfpack in round 1.

Chris Conway (34-20-54) paces the Hitmen offense while Eddie Dahdah (17-34-51) and Eddie Corvelli (15-33-48) aren’t far behind.  Rocco Maniaci (3-13-16) and Brendan Crimmins (1-13-14) pace the Hitmen from the back-end.  In goal, Trevor Stenberg leads all Hitmen goalies in minutes played with just under 1100 while posting a 12-8-1 record with a 2.58 GAA and .915 save%.

The Whalers won the only meeting between these two teams this season back in October in Chicago by a score of 6-3.

Game 2 vs. Florida Jr. Blades (#7 Seed)

Hampton Roads vs. Florida Jr. Blades- Wednesday March 7th, 8:10pm, NESC Rink 6

The Jr. Blades Elite team rebounded from a tough start to the 2017-18 season to put together a nice campaign for the defending champions.  With a 29-14-1 record on the season, the Jr. Blades posted 59 points, good for 2nd place in the Florida division and 9th overall of the 25 teams in the Elite league.  The Jr. Blades posted 154 goals for while surrendering 125 goals against on the campaign.  They reached the Championship round with a 2 games to 1 series win over the Florida Eels in round 1.

Gage Dill (19-26-45) paces the Florida offense while Holden Hertog (21-22-43) and Alex Brown (20-16-36) aren’t far behind.  Jack Trethan (9-21-30) and Jirka Kalis (10-20-30) pace the Jr. Blades from the back-end.  In goal, Luke Eslinger leads a quartet of Jr. Blades goalies in minutes played with 870 while posting a 8-7-0 record with a 3.17 GAA and .909 save%.

The Whalers won the only meeting between these two teams this season back in October in Chicago by a score of 5-3.

Game 3 vs. Islanders Hockey Club (#2 Seed )

Hampton Roads vs. Islanders Hockey Club- Thursday March 8th, Noon, NESC Rink 5

The Islanders Hockey Club Elite team put forth an impressive season with a 36-4-4 record, good for 76 points.  The Islanders placed 1st in the North division and 2nd overall of the 25 teams in the Elite league.  The Islanders posted 245 goals for, highest in the league, while surrendering 109 goals against on the campaign.  They reached the Championship round with a 2 sweep over the Northern Cyclones in round 1.

Max Cole (25-40-65) paced the high octane Islanders offense while Jared Lamothe (22-33-55) and Anthony Ceolin (35-17-52) aren’t far behind.  Andrew Roderigue (18-19-37) and Galen Arnold (0-14-14) pace the Islanders from the back-end.  In goal, Matt Goulian leads all Islanders goalies in minutes played with just under 1100 while posting a 15-2-1 record with a 2.41 GAA and .913 save%.

These two teams have not met this season.

Whalers Premier (#7 Seed)

The Whalers Premier team returns to the Championship round once again this season. Since the inception of the USPHL in 2012, the Whalers have made the Championship tournament every season. They come into the USPHL Championship weekend with a record of 30-13-1, good for 61 points which is 2nd in the Southeast division and 10th overall of the 44 teams in the Premier league.  The Whalers have tallied 166 goals for on the season and surrendered 102 goals against.  Hampton Roads advances to the Championships after a 2 game series sweep over the Carolina Eagles in round 1.

The Whalers are paced up front by a trio of veterans, as Brandon Osmundson (17-35-52), John Moncovich (20-17-37), and Conner Hunt (11-25-36) lead the Whalers offense.  On the back end, the Whalers lean on the veteran duo of Adam Toor (7-28-35) and Trent Wydrowski (5-17-22).  In net, veteran all-star Sean Dickson continues to anchor the team, with a 18-10-0 record with a stellar 1.90 GAA, .922 save%, and 4 shutouts.

Game 1 vs. Tampa Bay Juniors (#8 Seed)

Hampton Roads vs. Tampa Bay Juniors- Wednesday March 7th, 2pm, NESC Rink 4.

The Tampa Bay Premier team comes into the USPHL Championship weekend with a record of 30-13-1, good for 61 points which is 1st in the Florida division and 11th overall of the 44 teams in the Premier league.  The Juniors have tallied 231 goals for on the season and surrendered 168 goals against.  Tampa Bay advances to the Championships after a 2 game series sweep over the Florida Jr. Blades in round 1.

Tampa Bay touts the USPHL’s top 2 scorers, as Jory McWilliams (47-49-96) and David Tmej (39-49-88) pace the potent Juniors offensive attack.  On the back end, Tampa Bay leans on Christian Louria (8-21-29) and Ryan Vlaisavljevich (8-13-21) provide a formidable duo.  In net, Tampa Bay touts 4 goalies who have split time this season.  In round 1, the Juniors split time with Tyler Roy (8-6-0, 3.50 GAA, .908 save%) and Nic Redmond (7-3-0, 4.14 GAA, .897 save%).

Game 2 vs. Chicago Cougars (#6 Seed)

Hampton Roads vs. Chicago Cougars- Thursday March 8th, 9:30am, NESC Rink 4.

The Chicago Cougars Premier team comes into the USPHL Championship weekend with a record of 30-11-2, good for 62 points which is 1st in the Mid-West East division and 8th overall of the 44 teams in the Premier league.  The Cougars have tallied 176 goals for on the season and surrendered 104 goals against.  Chicago advances to the Championships after a 2 game series sweep over the Decatur Blaze in round 1.

Chicago is led up front by Michael Helf (32-19-51), TJ Dougan (21-16-37), and Gleb Bandurkin (21-15-36).  On the back end, the Cougars lean on Zachary Bishop (6-16-22) and Joe Bresingham (3-18-21).  In net, Chicago leans on the 1-2 punch of Alex Jones (10-6-0, 2.19, .902 save%) and Luke Martinovich (12-5-1, 2.40 GAA, .922 save%).

Game 3 vs. New Jersey Rockets (#3 Seed)

Hampton Roads vs. New Jersey Rockets- Thursday March 8th, 8:00pm, NESC Rink 7.

The New Jersey Rockets Premier team comes into the USPHL Championship weekend with a record of 35-5-4, good for 74 points which is 1st in the Mid-Atlantic division and 3rd overall of the 44 teams in the Premier league.  The Rockets have tallied 221 goals for on the season and surrendered 114 goals against.  New Jersey advances to the Championships after a 2 games to 1 round 1 victory over the Hartford Jr. Wolfpack and a 2 game series sweep over the Connecticut Junior Rangers in round 2.

New Jersey is led up front by Tyler Glennon (18-35-53), Travis Quigley (26-19-45), and Spencer DeRidder (20-18-38).  On the back end, the Rockets lean on Cole Sanderson (11-16-27) and Robert DiStefano (9-18-27).  In net, New Jersey has leaned on John Massara in the playoff’s, he boosts an overall record of 9-0-1 with a 2.25 GAA, .923 save%, and 2 shutouts.

Elite Brackets

Bracket A

#1 Charlotte Rush

#4 Tampa Bay Juniors

#5 Boston Bandits

#8 Beijing Shougang Eagles

Bracket B

#2 Islanders HC

#3 Hampton Roads Whalers

#6 Jersey Hitmen

#7 Florida Jr. Blades

Premier Brackets

Black Bracket A

#1 Charlotte Rush

#10 Jersey Hitmen

#12 Motor City Hawks

Black Bracket B

#4 Wisconsin Rapids Riverkings

#5 Islanders HC

#9 Florida Eels

Gold Bracket A

#7 Hampton Roads Whalers

#6 Chicago Cougars

#3 New Jersey Rockets

Gold Bracket B

#2 Minnesota Moose

#8 Tampa Bay Juniors

#11 Northern Cyclones

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