What it dooooooooo DMV!!! We’re heading into the first weekend of October, so time to start giving you readers some weekly previews for our local squads. We’ll be your one stop shop for previews and breakdowns for Junior Hockey previews, so let’s get in to it, shall we?
Richmond Generals vs Potomac Patriots
We have ourselves a weekend series in both the Premier and Elite Divisions in the USPHL as two local teams go head to head with a home and home series between the Richmond Generals (Shoutout to our guy RC Lyke, friend of the pod) and the Potomac Patriots. First up, we’ll take a look at the Elite Division Matchup:
Richmond Elite (6-2-0-0-1) is coming off a loaded weekend in which they went 4-0 with a shootout win at the USPHL Weekend Showcase, defeating the Florida Eels, FL Junior Blades, Charleston Colonials, and Jersey Hitmen. The Gens put up 15 goals in those 4 games and only allowed 4 tucks on their own end. Rob Simmons is leading the team with 6G-1A–7PTS for the Richmond squad early in the year, and it seems that goalie Nick Bernstein is the early workhorse for Coach Lyke, already playing 4 games going 3-1 in that span with a 1.02 GAA and 0.964 SV%. The Gens are sitting 3rd in the Elite Southeast Division with 12 points, trialing undefeated Charlotte Rush and the Carolina Jr Hurricanes. A Big weekend will put them right up top with those two teams, depending how their weekends play out, of course.
Potomac Elite (1-6-0) didn’t have as good of a weekend as the Generals did, losing two of three. They did pull out an OT thriller over the Charleston Colonials 4-3 with a tuck by Alex Thomas, but dropped their other two to the Charlotte Rush 1-5 and Florida Eels 0-6. The PPATS are off to a rocky start with a tough, tough weekend against the defending National Champs.
GAME 1 will be going down Saturday the 5th at 5:05 at Prince William for the Pats home game, then Sunday it’s off to Richmond for GAME 2 at 4:30 at SkateNation. The Richmond Generals are 2-0 this season vs. the Patriots, winning both games by a score of 3-0
Richmond Premier (4-4-0) are looking to build off their showcase performance last weekend that saw them split their four games at 2-2, defeating the Atlanta Mad Hatters (wtf kinda name is that??) and the Florida Eels, while dropping games to the Charleston Colonials and Metro Jets. It’s early, but the Gens have been streaky, winning their first two, then dropping two straight, then going every other at the showcase. Rookie Matt Wood has been their guy so far with 5G-2A–7PTS in the early going. Coach Lyke seems to getting all three of his goalies action, but both Ryan Creenan (4 GP, 2-2, 2.53 GAA, 0.898 SV%) and Tommy Lemire (3GP, 1-2, 2.68 GAA, 0.905 SV%) are getting split reps until the Gens can really find their horse in the crease to rely on.
Potomac Premier (3-4-1-0-1) got off to a rough kick to start the season at 0-3, but have won 3 of their last 5 to stay alive in the early going of the campaign, one of those losses being in OT to the Florida Eels. Left winger Daniils Berzins has only suited up five times for the PPats, but has 3 tucks and 2 apples for 5 pts and setting him at their top scorer so far. Much as the Generals, the Patriots are splitting goalie time up between their two tendys in Brogan McDonald (5 GP, 2-2-1, 3.89 GAA, 0.877 SV%) and Jake Hahn (3 GP, 1-2, 3.89 GAA, 0.886 SV%)
GAME 1 will take place in Prince William at 7:35 following the Elite game on Saturday, while GAME 2 will do the same, with a Sunday puck drop slated for 7:30. The Generals, much like their elite counterparts, won both meetings vs the Patriots to start the season by scores of 8-2 and 4-1. Both teams find themselves in the bottom two of the Premier Southeast division, and are looking for 4 big points to stay in the race early.
Hampton Roads Whalers
Both Whalers squads are heading south to Wake Forest this weekend to take on the Carolina Jr Hurricanes. Both Whalers teams combined for an 8-0 record (nottttttttttttt a big deal) at last weekends showcases, and look to carry the momentum to Carolina.
Whalers Elite (4-2-0) is, as we mentioned, coming off that four game sweep last weekend where they dummied the Florida Jr Blades 7 rip and Charleston Colonials 5 rip, and also taking down the Mad Hatters 6-1 and Tampa Bay 5-2. The boys put up 23 GENOS, HELLO! and only let up 3 last weekend, so they’re buzzin coming into a toughhhh matchup with an undefeated, 8-0-0 Jr Hurricanes that are sitting at the top of the Southeast division. Elite is looking for a split, and hopeful weekend sweep to avoid getting lost in the back of the back in the division. Whalers have four guys with 8 points leading the team this year already with Joe Polcaro, Tyler Dienna, Arun Cibrario, and Nate McNamara. Shout out our boy Nolan Murphy with 6 apples already on the season.
Whalers Premier (5-1-0) are sitting 2nd in the Southeast with 10 points, 3 behind the Charlotte Rush, BUTTTTTT, have 2 less games players, so they ain’t worried. We mentioned last weekend sweep, but prior to that, the only game the boys have dropped was the season opener, they’ve ripped off 5 straight since then and look to keep that hand hot vs a 5-3 Jr Hurricanes team. Whalers have two hot goalies in Greg Moon (2 GP, 2-0, 0.53 GAA, 0.967 SV%) and Dom Rodrigue (4 GP, 3-1, 1.78 GAA, 0.939 SV%)
Elite kicks off both games, the first being Saturday the 5th at 6:00, followed by Premier at 8:45. Sunday is for the early birds as Elite drops the puck at 9:00 AM followed by Premier again at 11:45 AM
Team Maryland EHL
Team Maryland is kicking off their second season in the EHL and off to a 4-4-0 start. They ripped off a 3 game heater before dropping their most recent to the Vermont Lumberjack. This weekend they’ll be heading up to NY to take on the Apple Core. TM has one guy in double digits in Jay de Ruiter whos got 5G-5A–10PTS in his first 8 games. Local guy and former Spalding captain and Howard Husky Evan Donnelly has 2 tucks and an apple in his first 8 games of his junior career. Game 1 is 5:30 on Saturday, followed by an 11:00 am showdown on Sunday morning for game 2.