Joey Savel Boosts Little Flyers to Sweep
Joey Savel’s back-to-back hat tricks and five-point games got the Philadelphia Little Flyers through to the Eastern Hockey League’s Frozen Finals.
The Little Flyers swept the Connecticut RoughRiders to join the Boston Junior Rangers, New Hampshire Avalanche and Philadelphia Revolution as Frozen Finals qualifiers.
Savel had four goals and an assist in Friday’s 8-2 win. He followed it up with a hat trick and two assists in Saturday’s clinching 9-3 victory.
The top two teams from both the Northern and Southern Conferences reached the event at Providence College where they will play a round-robin with games Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The top two teams from the round-robin will play in Sunday’s championship game.
Each of the four finalists got through unbeaten. The Little Flyers outscored opponents 28-8 in four games.
The other three finalists and the RoughRiders had each received first-round byes.
The Revolution went from beating New York Apple Core, 11-2, to needing Jackson Koblick’s overtime goal to win the clincher, 2-1.
SILVER CUP: Michael Redmon had a hat trick and Kyle Cote added two goals Monday when the Texas Brahmas defeated the Point Mallard Ducks, 7-4, in the third and deciding game of their South Division semifinal series, completing the field for the division finals of the North American Hockey League’s Silver Cup Playoffs.
Only three of 15 first-round series went to a third game.
The New Ulm Steel defeated the Alexandria Blizzard in the West and the L/A Nordiques topped the Northeast Generals in the Coastal Division in other three-game series.
Andrew Logar had back-to-back, four-point games when the Niagara Falls Power Hawks swept the Skyland Kings, 8-3 and 8-4, in the Northeast Division.
Other two-game sweeps were completed by: the North Iowa Bulls and La Crosse Freeze in the Central Division; the New England Stars in the Coastal; the Pittsburgh Vengeance and Metro Jets in the East; the Yellowstone Quake and Helena Bighorns in the Frontier; the Peoria Mustangs in the Midwest; the Mid Cities Jr. Stars in the South; and the Granite City Lumberjacks in the West.
The St. Louis Junior Blues from the Midwest Division had the only first-round bye.
USHL ROUNDUP: Waterloo’s Ben Finkelstein repeated as United States Hockey League Defenseman of the Week and has now been selected three times this season.
Finkelstein, who played previously at St. Lawrence University, helped the Black Hawks move into the Western Conference lead with a pair of wins over USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program Under-17 squad, 6-1 and 6-4.
The 2016 National Hockey League Entry Draft pick of the Florida Panthers from South Burlington, Vermont, has 22 points in 14 USHL games. He had a goal in Friday’s win, then three assists Saturday.
NTDP forward Jake Wise, who plays on the Under-18 squad, had his first USHL hat trick and accounted for six points in two games.
Wise had two assists in Thursday’s 10-3 win over the Madison Capitols to make Team USA the first to clinch a berth in this season’s Clark Cup Playoffs. He had the hat trick and an assist in the next night in a 6-3 win, giving him 24 points in 15 USHL games.
Team USA leads the Eastern Conference at 34-14-0-1.
COACHING MILESTONE: Aberdeen head coach Scott Langer picked up his 500th career North American Hockey League victory when the Wings defeated the Brookings Blizzard, 3-1, Friday.
The Wings used the win to open their Central Division lead to 10 points by improving to 34-15-3-1.
Langer has won 30 or more games 11 times and 40 or more four times in 14 seasons in the NAHL. He coached the Topeka RoadRunners and Santa Fe RoadRunners prior to Aberdeen.
NAHL CLINCHERS: The Fairbanks Ice Dogs beat the Janesville Jets three straight times, including twice in overtime, to clinch the North American Hockey League’s Midwest Division title.
The New Jersey Titans clinched an NAHL playoff berth.
New Jersey’s Tate Singleton had a hat trick in a 7-6 loss to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights. The team scoring leader had two goals and two assists in a 5-3 win over the Philadelphia Rebels.
COLLEGE COMMITMENTS: Two USHL players are among those to recently make NCAA Division I college commitments.
Omaha Lancers goalie Vinnie Purpura is headed to Boston University and Tri-City Storm forward Blais Richartz has committed to Michigan Tech.
Purpura, a 19-year-old from Lemont, Illinois, came to the Lancers this season from the NAHL’s Johnstown Tomahawks. He is 11-3-2 with Omaha while ranking sixth in the USHL in goals against average (2.19) and save percentage (.921).
Richartz, 17, from Menomonie, Wisconsin, is already in his second season with the Storm. He has eight goals and six assists in 44 games this season.
Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.