It was a well deserved off day for the PWHPA ‘All-Stars’ on Sunday in Tampa, Florida. On Monday, the team got back to work with a practice at AdventHealth Center Ice. Tomorrow morning? It’s gameday as the PWHPA ‘All-Stars’ take on the USPHL NCDC’s Boston Junior Bruins at 9:10 am.
This game might be the best test the PWHPA faces in Tampa.
“They’re so good,” PWHPA ‘All-Star’ coach Bill Flanagan said on Monday. “Most of their team is Division 1 players. They have a lot of skill-sets, they really handle the puck. Just a lot of really good players, so we’re just gonna have to be on the top of our game to compete. I’m sure we’re going to be, so I’m looking forward to it.”
Part of being on top of their game is being strong on the powerplay. The PWHPA was 2-for-5 on the advantage in their first two games, but went 0-for-2 in Saturday night’s loss to the Philadelphia Hockey Club. They put in a good amount of time Monday practicing the powerplay, both 5-on-4 and 5-on-3.
“Just getting the legs going again,” Flanagan said when asked what he was looking to accomplish with the powerplay work in practice. “Just getting back, acclimated here after the day off. We’ll need to be good in this area tomorrow.”
In addition to powerplay work, the PWHPA ‘All-Stars’ worked on offensive zone setups, three-on-three work on half-ice, and had a shootout to end the practice session. It was a good skate that got the legs moving, one that allowed a skilled group to get back to what makes them so successful as the emphasis turns to creating offense.
“It was good to get back on the ice, to get our feet going again,” Hannah Brandt said after practice. “It was nice to work with our linemates, we had a few changes so it was good. I think the powerplay is looking great.”
Back Into The Win Column?:
The PWHPA ‘All-Stars’ saw their lineup change a little bit as they try to return to the win column after two straight losses. While the top line will remain the same, forward Abby Roque will rotate up to the second line and center Sophia Shaver and Haley Skarupa. Brandt will drop to the third line as a result.
Defensively, Codie Cross and Lillian Ribeirinha-Braga both return to the lineup after being scratched on Saturday. Jincy Dunne and Olivia Zafuto come out, and will be scratched along with Chelsey Goldberg.
All three goalies will again dress for the PWHPA.
Dani Cameranesi – Kelly Pannek – Amanda Kessel
Sophia Shaver – Abby Roque – Haley Skarupa
Hayley Scamurra – Hannah Brandt – Sydney Brodt
Nicole Schammel – Gigi Marvin – Delaney Belinskas
Megan Keller – Kali Flanagan
Lee Stecklein – Savannah Harmon
Codie Cross – Lillian Ribeirinha-Braga
Burt is expected to make her second start in the hub. She made 34 saves in a 4-2 loss against the South Shore Kings last Friday morning.
Scouting The Bruins:
Once again, the Bruins are elite. Head coach Mike Anderson has routinely iced teams that finish inside of the top-three in the NCDC in the regular season. In both 2018-19 and 2019-20, the Bruins had the second best record in the NCDC. They would go on to win the Dineen Cup in 2019 in three games over the Connecticut Junior Rangers (best-of-three series).
The Bruins are running away with the newly-formed North Division this season. Through 24 games, the Bruins are 17-4-3 (37 points) and have an eleven-point cushion on the second place Islanders Hockey Club. The Bruins have outscored opponents by an 88-51 margin (+37), and are 3-0-2 inside ‘Hub City Tampa’.
The Bruins boast outstanding goaltending. Rookie TJ Semptimphelter (11-2-3, 1.90 GAA, .940 SV%, 3 shutouts) has quickly emerged as one of the best goalies in the league. Sources confirm that Semptimphelter has been garnering attention from Division 1 NCAA teams, and could commit soon.
His backup, Ryan Wilson, is 2-0-0 in two appearances for the Bruins and is committed to Army West Point (Division 1).
Up front, Union College commit Colin Graf paces the offense with 29 points (11 g, 18 a). Uncommitted F Frankie Ireland, who won a Dineen Cup in 2019, is second on the team in scoring with 23 points (16 g, 7 a).
Ian Carpentier finished second in league scoring a season ago, and returned to the Bruins after Yale opted out of the 2020-21 season. He’s made an immediate impact upon return, scoring 15 points (8 g, 7 a) in 13 games. Carpentier will suit up for the Bulldogs next season.
F Shane Lachance (Boston University, NHL Central Scouting ‘Player To Watch’), F Jack Dempsey (Boston College), F Trey Croddick (Dartmouth), F Oliver Flynn (UConn), F Cam Lund (Northeastern University), D Jackson Dorrington (Northeastern University), D Jude Brower (Army West Point) and D Jack Pascucci (UConn) are all on the Bruins roster and are committed to Division 1 colleges, in addition to Carpentier and Wilson.
Where To Watch:
Fans can watch today’s game live and for free on Hockey TV. Veteran play-by-play voice Alex Thomas, who has called numerous PWHPA and NCAA games over his career, will again have the call of the contest from AdventHealth Center Ice in Florida. Coverage begins at 9:10 am, with puck drop officially set for a little after 9:30 am.
You can follow ‘The Women’s Hockey Tribune’ on Twitter for highlights and postgame interviews as well! Live scoring is available on the USPHL’s official website.