The Jacks made the journey to Syosset, New York over the weekend to face off against the PAL Junior Islanders and picked up 2 league wins on strong efforts by both teams. Saturday’s first game featured the U16 club rallying from a 2-0 deficit. The Jacks had a strong 1stperiod…but nothing to show for it after falling behind 1-0. The Islanders scored early in the 2nd, but Ryan Danner responded just 16 seconds later burying the rebound of a blistering Sam Wood slap shot from the point to put the Skipjacks right back in the game. Josh Kirk also added an assist on the play. Just 2 minutes later, Wood was again left open at the blue line and let go another big drive tying the game at 2. Ben Schmidling and Chris McCorkle tallied the assists. In the waning seconds of the period, Tyler Briley scored a beautiful goal with one second left to make the score 3-2 at the break. The brothers Schmidling (Ben and David) each added an assist. The 3rd period was dominated by the Jacks and were finally rewarded late in the period on a Cam Hausinger insurance goal to close out the game. Dylan Cook and Briley assisted.
It took extra time and then some for the U18 club to earn USPHL points on this Saturday evening, in front of a venomous Long Island crowd. The first period ended in a 1-1 draw, but more noticeable, was the tone this game was going to take on with a whopping 21 minutes in penalties being racked up. Ryan Finnegan, the Quinnipiac University commit from Tecumseh, KS scored the lone Skipjacks goal of the period on the power play. Reid Bibb and Jason O’Neill assisted on the goal. The second period featured all special teams play yet again on 22 total penalty minutes in the period. In what seemed like déjà vu to the first period, each team scored once in the period. The Skipjacks goal was again on the power play, this time coming from defenseman Ed Hirka, Bibb and O’Neill once again with the assists. The 3rd period finally brought forward some 5 on 5 hockey, with each team only committing one offense. However, the Jacks again made the Islanders serve penance with another Finnegan power play goal, which tied the game midway through the period. Shane Gaudreault and Hirka added helpers. With the score knotted at 3-3 at the end of regulation, a 4 on 4 five minute overtime ensued with both teams getting chances but all were denied. In the shootout, Ben Auerbach put up a wall against the Islanders shooters stopping all three. Finnegan was the second shooter for the Jacks and scored the lone shootout goal securing the win.
The Skipjacks head to New England for the heavily scouted Fall Beantown Classic this upcoming week, followed by a trip to UMASS-Lowell the following week. Keep up to date on all the action at the official Skipjacks website www.skipjackshockey.com and on twitter @SJ_hockey.
Jason O’Neill Commits to the University of New Hampshire of Hockey East
By Edward Pendergrast – Skipjacks Beat Reporter
The Skipjacks Hockey Club is pleased to announce that Jason O’Neill, the high scoring U18 Center has committed to the University of New Hampshire in Hockey East.
The Odenton, MD native is in his second year with the Skipjacks, and has long trained with Pinnacle Performance. O’Neill finished second overall in USPHL U16 scoring last season (with 27 Goals and 46 Assists in just 29 games), a USPHL All Star, and started this season with 5 goals during opening weekend on the road.
Jason follows a long list of players to be coached by the Kersners, the Skipjacks founders, to commit to the University of New Hampshire. Jason joins Nick Sorkin (currently with the Montreal Canadians organization), Casey Thrush (Senior Forward), Maxim Gaudreault (Junior Forward) and Dylan Maller (Sophomore Defenseman) to commit and eventually play for the Wildcats.
We spoke with Jason following his commitment; Jason talks to us about why he chose UNH, and how skating with the Jacks and Pinnacle has helped him prepare for the next level. “I have a lot of familiarity with UNH, my linemate Shane Gaudreault’s brother plays there, I’ve spent a lot of time on campus for hockey camps through the years, and I fit in well with their style on the Olympic sheet. I’ve been fortunate to play for the Jacks and train with Pinnacle, it’s the best organization in the country with the best coaches, a great facility, and the workouts are extremely difficult. Our team and my linemates are very talented; I wouldn’t be here without them. We also focus a lot of effort on the mental game, which has all helped take my game to the next level. So far this season we’ve had a good start, but we can do better, so we are working hard to keep improving, and achieve our goal of winning the USPHL championship.”
Coach Kersner said “Jason is a very talented player and has a high level of internal fuel to get better as a person and a player. He’s really matured through the process here the last couple years and we are very proud of him for this great accomplishment. As a player he is a very explosive skater and he has a great feel for the game. He is able to make a lot of plays because of his vision, poise and composure, and he is able to make plays in traffic in the internal part of the rink. We’re looking forward to continuing to work with him on and off the ice this season and for many summers to come. We believe he will continue to develop and be a great fit for the Wildcats.”
The University of New Hampshire is located in Durham, New Hampshire and enjoys a rich hockey tradition in a great hockey state, with a nationally recognized hockey team year after year. The team plays in Hockey East, and consistently plays against the top teams in the country. Playing in Hockey East, Jason will have an opportunity to play against his older brother, Colin (19), who is currently playing for the Aberdeen Wings in the NAHL and committed to the University of Massachusetts-Lowell.
2nd Annual Skipjacks Blue-White Game Brings Out the Community…. Blue Edges White 6-5
By Edward Pendergrast – Skipjacks Beat Reporter
Picture it…a beautiful autumn Sunday morning in the Piney Orchard, the community out to enjoy the best hockey action in the DMV, and the Skipjacks hospitality room setup for the Jacks valued parents and billets. The 2nd annual Skipjacks Blue – White game once again proved to be a hard fought intra-squad game featuring some of the best players in the USPHL, as well as some old-timers… for you nostalgia fans.
Player/coach Jared Kersner opened the scoring early in the first period on a goal assisted by Ryan Finnegan and Kevin Caggiano for Team Blue. Following the quick Team Blue start, Rylan Cratsenberg was able to provide an answer from Team White with an unassisted beauty. Later in the 1st period, Team Blue jumped on top with 2 big late period goals, one coming again from Kersner with Finnegan and Dylan Cook on the assists, and the second from Tyler Briley assisted by Conor Sullivan and Sam Wood. Team White clawed back with a goal early in the 2nd period from Shane Gaudreault, assisting were Jason O’Neill and Cratsenberg. As Team White was gaining momentum throughout the period, Kersner scored for the hat trick stifling the White energy; Cam Hausinger (Anchorage, AK) and Finnegan helped out on the goal. Team White was able to muster a late period push on a Jason O’Neill goal (Cratsenberg). The 3rdperiod was even with each team scoring twice, for White it was Josh Oring from Ben Schmidling and an unassisted goal from Gaudreault. Team Blue secured the 6-5 victory on 2 goals again from Briley and Kersner with the assists going to Finnegan and Ivan Yuryev. The 3 stars of the game were player/coach Jared Kersner, Ryan Finnegan, and Rylan Cratsenberg. Coach Fleming also played in the game and was a +1 rating, following the game Fleming commented: “What can I say, when you look at the roster, I was the only guy born in the 1970’s, I’m very grateful to be able to skate with all these guys with big careers ahead of them, despite the loss.” Attendance at the game was 427.
Following the game, the Jacks hosted a “Skate with the Jacks” open ice session. Local youth players and kids new to the ice had the opportunity to skate with their favorite Skipjack players and built memories that will certainly last a long time. The Skipjacks also wanted to recognize the commitment parents and billet families bring to the program throughout the season by hosting a hospitality room during and after the game. “This was a small token of appreciation that we wanted to set-up for everyone that gives their support throughout the year, and it turned out to be a great event, we really appreciate the commitment.” said Skipjacks Coach Mr. Thomas Kapp.
Join us again next year for the 3rd Annual Skipjacks Blue-White Game!
Skipjacks Launch Second Campaign
By Edward Pendergrast – Skipjacks Beat Reporter
The Skipjacks Hockey Club began its second season in early September. The Skipjacks will look to build on the success of its inaugural 2013-2014 season. The Skipjacks will once again be competing in the United States Premier Hockey League (USPHL) the top league on the East Coast and one of the best hockey leagues in the country. In addition to the ultra competitive schedule of the USPHL the Skipjacks will also be competing in top tournaments in the Northeast and the Midwest. The Skipjacks will once again be fielding U16 and U18 teams.
In its inaugural season both Skipjacks teams finished near the top of the standings in both divisions. Perhaps an even greater measure of the first year programs success was that 3 Skipjack players received Division I Scholarships (Ryan Finnegan, Kenny and Christian Hausinger). In addition many players were able to advance to Junior Hockey with players being drafted and tendered in the USHL and NAHL, and players advancing to the USPHL Premier level. With rosters as strong as last season Skipjacks management is looking forward to an even more successful second season.
Keep up to date on all the action at the official Skipjacks website www.skipjackshockey.com and on twitter @SJ_hockey.
2013-2014 Skipjacks U16 highlights
Welcome to the Home of the Skipjacks Hockey Club
The Skipjacks Hockey Club fields Independent U16 and U18 teams competing in the United States Premier Hockey League (USPHL). Last year was the inaugural season for the USPHL which consists of the top Midget programs on the East Coast, and provides the highest level of competition and exposure to Junior A and NCAA programs. In addition to our USPHL league schedule both teams will be playing in some of the top showcases in the country.
Our website provides our organization, fans, partners, and prospective players with critical information pertaining to all things JACKS! From our schedule to our player profiles and from weekend recaps to our community involvement, this is your Skipjacks destination.
Have a look around the site, and check back with us often, as we are committed to updating information and adding content daily. We look forward to your feedback and hope to see you at the rink.