Monday morning marked a rare sight for the Eastern Hockey League (EHL).
There were zero changes for the league’s weekly power rankings in both the EHL and Eastern Hockey League Premier (EHLP) level. While Week #10 entailed fewer games than usual, there were still exciting contests that took to the ice and an EHL-first.
Let’s recap Week #10 around the EHL for the latest edition of Keeping Up with Kyle.
New England Conference
For the first-time ever, the EHL hosted hockey on Thanksgiving Day. The Junior “A” league launched its “Thanksgiving Showdown” which was played between two NEC rivals in the Walpole Express and Seahawks Hockey Club.
The Seahawks hosted Walpole that morning at Tony Kent Ice Arena on Cape Cod, but it was the Express who skated away with the victory. After falling behind early in the contest, Walpole defeated the Seahawks by a score of 3-1.
The Express’ Lorenzo Marcolin netted two goals and also earned honors for the league’s top performing forward.
“Thanksgiving is always an amazing time with family, said Marcolin. “As much as I missed going home and spending time with relatives, I was able to play the game that I love. It’s been a while since I’ve been so pumped up for a hockey game.”
The two squads met again on Sunday, when again it was Walpole that took home two points for the NEC standings. Marcolin found the back of the net in consecutive contests while helping the Express earn a 3-2 victory.
The Saratoga Spring, NY native enters Week #11 with 15 goals and eight assists, which ranks second on Walpole. Additionally, Express netminders Eric Buchholz and Mason Palmer split duties over the holiday weekend series vs. the Seahawks. The Express are riding a four-game winning streak and it appears Walpole won’t surrender its spot in the power rankings any time soon.
There was another memorable weekend series that took place in the NEC. The New England Wolves and New Hampshire Avalanche faced-off, which also marked three consecutive games between the rivals.
While New England is the only team this season that’s defeated the Avs more than once, New Hampshire broke out its broom sticks and completed the weekend sweep. The Avs took down the Wolves by scores of 5-2 in both contests.
In the first matchup, it was Dylan Roebuck (1g-1a) and Parker Sondag (1g-2a) who led the way for the Avs on the scoresheet in addition to goaltender George McMichael who collected his ninth win on the year. McMichael’s nine victories between the pipes also rank first for the EHL.
The second contest witnessed a multi-point effort from New Hampshire’s Andrew Clifford (1a-1a), and top performing defenseman of the week Christian Halbig recorded four assists on the day. Avs masked man Ronan Mobley earned his second win for the 2020-21 campaign, after the Playa Del Ray, CA native turned away 26 New England shots.
The East Coast Wizards and Boston Jr. Rangers were also in action. However, the Jr. Rangers handed East Coast its fourth consecutive loss on Sunday. Boston defeated the Wizards by a score of 4-2, after Jack Moore netted one goal and chipped in two helpers for a three-point outing.
Additionally, Markus Cook (2a) and Ryan Bailey (1g-1a) inked multi-point efforts, which also helped Boston extend its winning-streak to three games.
There were only a pair of contests for the MAC in Week #10, which both took place on Monday. New York Apple Core snapped their three-game losing streak when Apple Core took down Team Maryland, 3-2.
As for Maryland, the team enters Week #11 having dropped its last five games. What’s also interesting is that both teams were 1-7 on the power play. Maryland trailed, 2-0, and tallied back-to-back third-period goals thanks to Erik Stroze and newcomer Justin Gusso.
However, Michael Leva played the role of hero for Apple Core. The five-foot-six forward netted the game-winning goal with less than :30 remaining in regulation – talk about clutch, right? The goal marked Leva’s first game-winner on the year, and forward also factored in on all three goals after he earned assists on Michael Carducci and Colin Callanan’s tallies earlier in the contest.
Let’s not forget that Apple Core netminder Jackson Bernard posted an impressive showing in net. Bernard recorded 42 saves and collected his third win for the 2020-21 campaign.
Heading over to the City of Brotherly Love, the Philadelphia Little Flyers are one of the EHL’s hottest teams entering the new week. The Little Flyers extended their winning-streak to four games after Philadelphia shutout the Protec Jr. Ducks, 5-0.
Little Flyers goaltender Jakub Kubik earned his first shutout for the season and turned away all 33 shots that he faced.
On the offensive side of the puck, Philadelphia’s Scott Megraw and Gavin Fritch led the way after both recorded multi-point outings (1g-1a). Keep in mind that Megraw’s tally was shorthanded and on a breakaway.
The loss marked the first occasion this season that the Jr. Ducks were shut out, and the team has dropped it’s last two contests. The two foes meet again today and a win for Philadelphia would witness the squad leaping over Protec in the standings.
Transitioning to the EHLP, the Valley Jr. Warriors and Railers Jr. Hockey Club were the busiest squads over the last frame. The teams skated against each other in two contests while Valley also faced-off with the Boston Jr. Rangers.
Yes, Valley won the November 20th contest against the Railers, but it was Rory White and the Railers who took the next two meetings. White was also named the league’s top performer at the forward position after he recorded four points overall vs. Valley in the week (2g-2a). The Raillers also defeated Valley by scores of 9-4 and 7-2. The Railers also enter the new week ranked second in the Central Division with a 7-5-0 record.
Keep An Eye On
The Seahawks and Avalanche have busy schedules, while the Jr. Warriors are also set to skate in key matchups. The Seahawks have games against Boston and Walpole – and perhaps there’s an exciting and dramatic finish on the horizon for one of those matchups.
In the EHLP, the Little Flyers face-off vs. the Renegades and 87’s, which should also make for intriguing outcomes. Additionally, the Jr. Rangers and Walpole are set to square up – two rival organization where bragging rights are always on the line.
See you at the rink…
(Kyle McKenna covers the EHL for HNIB and can be followed on Twitter @KMcKenna_EHL)