The PWHPA All-Stars dropped a tough 5-1 decision to the Northern Cyclones Premier team on Wednesday afternoon. The good news? They get a chance to get right back at it on Thursday morning. In just mere hours, the PWHPA will take on the Islanders Hockey Club of the USPHL’s Premier League. The Islanders are 29-5-0 in 34 games played this season, and sit atop the New England Division.
The sides will meet for the first and only time in Hub City Tampa at TGH Ice Plex in Brandon, Florida. Puck drop is set for 9:00 am.
Scouting The Islanders
Under the guidance of Head Coach Jay Punsky, the Islanders Premier team is again among the elite groups in the USPHL. Last season, they were the best team in Premier in the regular season, and advanced to USPHL Nationals. So far, they have put themselves in outstanding position to defend their New England Division crown.
Ethan Louisos leads the team with 43 points (22 g, 21 a) in just 34 games played this season. Ryan Barrett is second with 38 points (14 g, 24 a), while rookie Jesper Seeberg (14 g, 20 a) and Matt Young (4 g, 30 a) are tied for third in scoring with 34 points each. Young, a right-shot, is the leading scorer among defensemen for the Islanders.
In goal, Dean Hahn and rookie William Nepveu have both appeared in 16 games this season. Hahn is 13-1-0 with a .944 save percentage and a 1.59 GAA. Hahn has also pitched two shutouts so far this season. Nepveu, meanwhile, is 14-2-0 with a 2.05 GAA and a .939 save percentage. He too has a pair of shutouts on the season.
PWHPA Looking For More Shots, Chances
Maddie Rooney was outstanding on Wednesday, stopping 35 of 40 shots in the loss. Hayley Scamurra scored the lone goal on a point shot that hit a defender’s leg and beat Cyclones’ goalie Trevor Wong. The PWHPA’s goal coming from the point shouldn’t be a surprise to those who watched the game. According to Coach Bill Flanagan, the team spent too much time on the perimeter on Wednesday.
“I thought we were a little bit too perimeter,” Flanagan admitted postgame. “We did have some decent looks, but not enough. So, tomorrow we’ve gotta some more looks, gotta get some more shots on net. We need better puck possession and some more dangerous chances.”
Amanda Kessel and Brianna Decker both had numerous chances, but other than that the PWHPA failed to create too much at five-on-five as they got their legs under them in the Hub City opener.
The Decker line, with Kessel on her right and Haley Skarupa on her left, will remain in tact against the Islanders. They are the only forward line that stays together after Wednesday’s loss.
There are ample changes for coach Flanagan. Both Maddie Rooney and Kimberly Sass, who dressed in goal yesterday, will be scratched against the Islanders. Katie Burt and Alex Cavallini, scratched on Wednesday, will dress. On defense, both Demi Crossman and Jacquie Greco come out, while forwards Samantha Donovan and Delaney Belinskas sit.
Gigi Marvin, who has played exclusively at forward for the New Hampshire Regional Training Hub, will rotate to defense.
Sophia Shaver – Kelly Pannek – Abby Roque
Haley Skarupa – Brianna Decker – Amanda Kessel
Hayley Scamurra – Hannah Brandt – Sydney Brodt
Megan Keller – Kali Flanagan
Savannah Harmon – Gigi Marvin
Where To Watch
You can tune in to the game live at 9:00 am eastern on HockeyTV. A subscription will be required to view today’s game. The USPHL will have live stats which can be found on their website. Live scoring will be available for all five games during the Hub City Tampa trip. Veteran play-by-play voice Alex Thomas will have the call of all five PWHPA games in Florida.
Stay tuned to ‘The Women’s Hockey Tribune’ and the PWHPA on Twitter for updates throughout the game and postgame!