Eastern Hockey League: Showcase Series Continues This Weekend With 2 Locations; Hollydell Ice Arena, Ice Den

Anthony DiPaolo
Anthony DiPaolo
Anthony Di Paolo has been working in various levels of hockey over the last five years, ranging from juniors to the pros. Di Paolo spent four seasons as the Communications Director and play-by-play announcer for the New Jersey Titans of the North American Hockey League (2016-2020), and is entering his fifth season in a similar role with the New Jersey 87’s of the Eastern Hockey League. Graduating from Seton Hall University in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism, the New Jersey native covered Division I athletics for his school’s radio station, WSOU, and spent two years writing for the Fischler Report, a newsletter run by U.S. Hockey Hall-of-Fame inductee Stan Fischler.

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The next leg of the EHL Showcase Series will take two stops this weekend; one in Sewell, New Jersey and the other in Hooksett, New Hampshire.

Between Friday and Saturday, six games will take place in Hollydell Ice Arena, home of the Philadelphia Hockey Club, where all five teams in the South Division will play two games along with one game each for the Connecticut RoughRiders and New York Apple Core. Sunday and Monday will feature 12 games at Ice Den Arena, home of the New Hampshire Avalanche, as the other 12 teams in the league will play two games each.

While things won’t be as hectic as the recent Worcester showcase, which featured 50 total games, there are still some great matchups to look ahead to.

Battle of the South

For a second straight year, the South Division could prove to be the toughest in the EHL. Every team has a winning record except for the Philadelphia Little Flyers, though they are coming off a 2-0 victory against the defending EHL champion New Jersey 87’s, so things could be looking up for them too.

They’ll have an opportunity to climb back up into the standings with a game against the first-place Protec Jr. Ducks on Friday and a rematch against the 87’s on Saturday.

Team Maryland may be in second place, but they have the best winning percentage in the South (.750) with a 4-1-1 record. Coming off an impressive 2-0-1 showing in Worcester, they too will face the 87’s and the Ducks this weekend.

Philadelphia Hockey Club will be the only team facing teams out of the South, as they play host to the Connecticut RoughRiders on Friday and New York Apple Core on Sunday, but will nevertheless have an opportunity to build off their 3-2-1 record as they continue their first season in the league.

Return of the Sparty Party

William Pray – Seacoast
Leads EHL in Scoring

The Seacoast Spartans are the hottest team in the EHL right now, winning six straight after losing the opening game of the season. William Pray leads the league with 18 points (9g, 9a) in seven games, while Drew Olivieri sits third in the league with 11 points (6g, 5a). They will face the Seahawks Hockey Club on Sunday, then go up against a North Division foe in the Vermont Lumberjacks on Monday up at the Ice Den.

Home sweet home

Coming into the Hooksett mini showcase, the host New Hampshire Avalanche has a 3-2-0 record and sits at the bottom of a four-team North Division. The Avs will get an opportunity to climb the standings, but to do so, they will face the top two teams in the Central Division in the Connecticut Chiefs and HC Rhode Island. The Avs also face off with the Valley Jr. Warriors today.

Speaking of the Chiefs, they currently sport a 5-1-1 record for the top spot of the Central Division coming into their matchup against the Avalanche (the Chiefs also will see the Railers on Thursday prior to the Showcase). They had recently swept Apple Core in a home-and-home including a thrilling 7-6 shootout victory in Brewster. Ethan Lim picked up the hat trick in the road win, as five of the Chiefs’ first seven games this season went beyond regulation. Like the Spartans, the Chiefs will be a team to watch out for in this mini showcase.

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