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Junior Bruins, Islanders players lead Team MA to USPHL All-Star victory

01/24/2014, 6:15pm MST
By Tom Robinson - Special to

Players from the Boston Junior Bruins and Islanders Hockey Club combined to lead the way Monday when Team MA defeated Team USA 10-3 in the United States Premier Hockey League All-Star Premier Division All-Star Game at Merrimack College in North Andover, Mass.

Three Bruins and two Islanders made up the five Team MA players who produced at least three points in the win. The game was the first of four that were part of the USPHL All-Star Classic.

From Boston, Brian Bowen had two goals and an assist, Timothy Doherty had a goal and two assists, and Bryan Lemos had a game-high four points on a goal and three assists. Ted McCarran had two goals and an assist and David Hallisey had three assists from the Islanders.

Islanders defenseman Aaron Titcomb was among the players contributing a goal and an assist.

Team USA opened a 2-0 lead before Team MA scored the game’s next 10 goals. The game was played in two halves. Alex Morin of the Islanders had 18 saves and Sean Lawrence of the Bruins had 14 while each playing a half.

James Winkler of the Portland Junior Pirates had a goal and an assist for Team USA.

The USHL Premier Division Prospects Game came next. Alec Weinberg scored on an assist from Philadelphia Flyers teammate Ron Greco with 22 seconds left to lift Team USA to a 5-4 win over Team MA in that game. John Schiavo from New York PAL and Matthew Volonnino from the Jersey Hitmen scored two goals each in the win.

George Mika from the Boston Jr. Bruins and Patrick Condon from the Bay State Breakers had a goal and an assist each for Team MA.

The USPHL’s Under-18 and Under-16 leagues were involved in the other two all-star games.

MILESTONE WIN: P.K. O’Handley established the United States Hockey League record for career coaching victories. O’Handley tied the mark Friday and broke it Saturday with his 530th win when Cam Johnson made 46 saves to lead his Waterloo Black Hawks to a 2-1 win over Team USA.

Mike Hastings had 529 wins from 1994 to 2008 with the Omaha Lancers. O’Handley matched that total Saturday with the 11th straight win by the Black Hawks (27-5-1).

O’Handley is in his 12th year in Waterloo and 19th in the USHL. The Black Hawks are 16-0-1 in the last 17 games and lead the league in wins.

For his career, O’Handley is 530-441-74.

WINNING STREAK: The Central Wisconsin Saints were just one game above .500 before embarking on their current seven-game Minnesota Junior Hockey League winning streak. The Saints have won 11 of their last 12.

Three of the wins came during the weekend in a series with the Wisconsin Rampage.

A.J. Smith made 29 saves in Friday’s 6-1 win. The rematch on Saturday was much tougher with Jacob Nitsche scoring in the second minute of overtime for a 4-3 win.

The Saints were back in control Sunday when they allowed only 12 shots over the final two periods to complete the weekend sweep with a 7-1 romp. Andrew Veglucci and Nicholas Mardirossian scored two goals each in the win.

HOT GOALIE: Brenden Cain of the New Hampshire Junior Monarchs has used a hot streak to move to the top of the Eastern Hockey League goalie leaders.

Cain has a 1.78 goals-against average and a .933 save percentage after allowing just one goal in each of the last four starts. He has given up seven goals in six games while making 148 saves, including 30 in a shutout.

PLAYOFF RACES: The Northern Pacific Hockey League’s four-team playoff field is set with the Vancouver Vipers winless in 32 games while the remaining teams are all within two games of .500, at worst. The Bellingham Blazers and West Sound Warriors, who are battling for first place, are playoff bound, along with the Tri-City Outlaws and Eugene Generals.

The Alexandria Blizzard clinched an NA3HL playoff berth.

COLLEGE COMMITMENTS: Several USHL players made recent college commitments.

Youngstown Phantoms defenseman Steven Ruggiero and Muskegon Lumberjacks forward Matt Mendelson each committed to Penn State. Ruggiero, a 17-year-old from Kings Park, N.Y., has one assist in 14 games. Mendelson, 18, from Pittsburgh, is second on the Lumberjacks with 26 points in 36 games.

Other USHL commitments include Sioux Falls Stampede forward Tony Calderone to the University of Michigan and Team USA goalie Blake Weyrick to Brown University.

Calderone, 19, from Trenton, Mich., has 11 goals and 13 assists in 36 games. Weyrick, from Ojai, Calif., has a 1.63 GAA and .943 save percentage in four games with the U.S. Under-18 squad.

Tyler Gernhofer from the defending North American Hockey League and USA Hockey Tier II national champion Amarillo Bulls has committed to the University of Vermont. The 19-year-old forward from Grapevine, Texas, has 23 goals and 15 assists in 36 games in his second season with the team.

ONE-TIMERS: Kyle Hayton of the Sioux City Musketeers posted his first career USHL shutout with 32 saves Friday in a 1-0 overtime win over the Sioux Falls Stampede. … The NAHL Top Prospects Tournament, for players who have not made an NCAA commitment, is scheduled for Feb. 17-18 in Troy, Mich. and will feature teams from the Central, Midwest, North and South Divisions, along with an 18U Selects team. … Sean Kelley made 41 saves and Alex King scored a pair of first-period goals Sunday when the Gillette Wild shut out the Billings Bulls 6-0 in an American West Hockey League game. … The General Generals have outscored opponents 299-82 while going 36-6-0-2 to lead the Metropolitan League Dowd Division. … Cincinnati Swords captain Henry Smith had five assists and went plus-4 in a pair of NA3HL wins.

Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.

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