Austin Lemieux’s hat trick in the clinching game lifted the Islanders Hockey Club to the United States Premier Hockey League Premier Division’s Dineen Cup Championship with a two-game sweep of the Boston Junior Bruins.
The Islanders won the title after reaching the championship series but falling last season.
Lemieux led the way in a 4-1 win in the second game on March 9, scoring both of the game’s first-period goals and adding another for a 3-1 lead after two periods.
The Islanders also got a goal from Lemieux while winning the first game, 3-1.
The Charlotte Rush won the USPHL Elite Division and the Florida Junior Blades won the USP3HL.
EASTERN PLAYOFFS: The Eastern Hockey League playoffs have trimmed the Elite-19 Division to its two finalists and the Premier Division down to eight quarterfinalists.
The Philadelphia Revolution and Boston Junior Rangers are playing for the Elite-19 title in a best-of-three series on neutral ice after getting through conference round robins.
The Revolution went 3-0 in the Southern Conference behind strong goaltending from Chad Simmerman and Trevor Babin.
What had started out as the opening game in the Northern Conference had to be suspended and was completed at the end of the playoffs. The Junior Rangers rallied from a two-goal, second-period deficit when that game with the New Hampshire Monarchs resumed to win the conference round robin.
The eight quarterfinalists in the Premier Division had to win first-round series.
Joey Abel had both game-winning goals when the New Hampshire Junior Monarchs swept the Boston Bandits, 1-0 in overtime and 5-0.
The Philadelphia Little Flyers and Philadelphia Junior Flyers are the top two seeds for the quarterfinals.
The regular-season champion Little Flyers dropped their playoff opener, but came back with consecutive 4-1 wins over the Connecticut Nighthawks behind four points by Alex Peterson.
The Junior Flyers swept the Hartford Junior Wolfpack.
Austin Smith stopped 51 of 54 shots to lead the Northern Cyclones to a two-game sweep of the Walpole Express.
Nolan Egbert was busy, making 149 saves to get the Boston Junior Rangers through a three-game series with the Vermont Lumberjacks.
The East Coast Wizards, New York Applecore and New Jersey Rockets also advanced.
NA3HL FINISH: The Texas Junior Brahmas won the South Division and the Northeast Generals locked up the last playoff spot Sunday on the final day of the North American 3 Hockey League regular season.
Tyler Myers had 30 saves for Texas in a 3-0 shutout of the College Station Spirit.
Tyler Rudek scored a pair of late goals to lift Northeast over the Maine Wild, 5-3.
The Metro Jets went 47-0 to win the East Division.
Metro completed the NA3HL’s first perfect season Saturday when Connor Inger scored two goals in a 5-2 win over the Wooster Oilers.
Other division champions were: the North Iowa Bulls in the Central, Long Beach Sharks in the Coastal, Yellowstone Quake in the Frontier, St. Louis Junior Blues in the Midwest, Binghamton Junior Senators in the Northeast and Granite City Lumberjacks in the West.
NA3HL PLAYOFFS: While other divisions were completing their regular seasons, the Frontier Division was starting its playoffs.
The Gillette Wild beat the Helena Bighorns in three games and the Missoula Junior Bruins swept the Bozeman Icedogs in two games.
Yellowstone and the Great Falls Americans had first-round byes.
USHL ROUNDUP: Alex Limoges has been piling up points since moving within the United States Hockey League from the Tri-City Storm to the Waterloo Black Hawks.
Limoges has 16 points in 11 games since the change, including five in two weekend wins. He had a pair of assists in a 5-3 win over the Dubuque Fighting Saints Friday, then two goals and an assist Saturday to break a nine-game winning streak by the league’s top team, the Sioux City Musketeers, in a 6-1 romp.
Blake Lizotte from the Fargo Force has 10 points during a five-game point streak, including five in a pair of weekend wins. He had a goal and two assists in Friday’s win over Cedar Rapids, then a goal and an assist in Sunday’s 5-2 win over the Sioux Falls Stampede.
COLLEGE COMMITMENT: Three prominent North American Hockey League players recently made their college commitments.
Aston Rebels captain Dom Garcia is headed to Arizona State University, Lone Star Brahmas captain John Zimmerman is headed to Army West Point and Springfield Junior Blues scoring leader Matt Long has committed to Canisius College.
Garcia, a 20-year-old forward from Las Vegas, has 39 points to rank fourth on the East Division-leading Rebels. Last season, he earned the team’s Most Improved Player and Hardest Working Player awards.
Zimmerman, 20, from Arlington, Texas, is second among AHL defensemen in points. His 32 assists leads the Brahmas, who are in first place in the South Division.
Long, a 19-year-old forward from Orland Park, Illinois, has 14 goals and 32 assists in 48 games this season. He has spent three years with the team, appearing in 150 games.
Christian Evers, a defenseman for the USHL’s Lincoln Stars, has committed to play at the University of Vermont.
Evers is a 6-foot-2, 220-pounder from Waukee, Iowa. The 19-year-old alternate captain has 31 points through 100 career games with Lincoln after earlier playing with Team USA.
ONE-TIMERS: The Colorado Rampage needed sudden-death overtime to beat the Colorado Thunderbirds in the final regular-season game and earn the final Rocky Mountain Junior Hockey League playoff berth. … The USHL surpassed one million in total attendance for the 18th straight season. … Caleb Schroer had seven points and went plus-7 when the Coulee Region Chill won consecutive NAHL games. … The Lockport Express of the NA3HL is moving to Niagara Falls next season.
Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.
Tag(s): News & Features