News Archive

March 30, 2017

March, 31, 2017

The Skipjacks are pleased to announce that they will be adding a U16 Futures team for the upcoming 2017-2018 season.  The Skipjacks announced earlier this month that they were also adding a  Premier Junior team to its family.   The U16 Futures team and Junior team will be joining the established Skipjacks U18 and U16 teams.  The Skipjacks will now be fielding 4 teams competing in the USPHL next season.  The USPHL is one of the premiere leagues in the country.  This will be the fifth season for both the Skipjacks and the USPHL.  In its first four seasons, the Skipjacks U18 and U16 teams achieved great success in league play, and showcases, and most importantly had multiple players receive DI scholarships. 


The Jacks are looking for players that are tough, hard working, and competitive. Team members will be of high character and always maintain a professional attitude. A team first attitude in which each player understands his role and works hard for each other will again be critical for our success. Our rosters will be filled with highly committed student athletes who are serious about development and advancing to higher levels of the game.  


If you are interested in becoming a Jack for the 2017-2018 season, please visit our website and plan to attend one of our open tryouts.

March 9, 2017

March 10th, 2017

York, PA

RE:  Skipjacks Hockey Club Expansion – USPHL PREMIER


The Skipjacks Hockey Club is pleased to announce the addition of a USPHL Premier Junior team to be based in York, PA for the 2017-2018 season.  The USPHL Premier Division is a top East Coast league with a great reputation for helping to develop and prepare NCAA hockey players.  The location of USPHL Premier teams provides a great path for many players given the proximity of so many NCAA programs at both the Division I and III levels. The Skipjacks are extremely excited to be adding a Junior team to its growing program.  Both U18 and U16 teams, which also compete in the USPHL have garnered national attention over the past several years. 


We are equally proud to announce that Lennie Childs has accepted the positon of Head Coach for the new USPHL Premier team. Childs began his coaching career after graduating from Concordia University, where he played NCAA Division III Hockey, and graduated with a degree in Marketing/Sports Management. While staying in Wisconsin after college, Lennie created and built his elite training and development program while helping prepare players to compete in AAA hockey. Lennie played his youth hockey with Team Maryland AAA under Jason Kersner, and was Captain of the team that finished 3rd in the USA Hockey 18U Nationals in 2010. During that season, he accepted a tender with the Janesville Jets of the NAHL and spent 2 years in that program.  With a background in Junior and NCAA hockey, Lennie is a perfect fit to help grow young men into great people and to develop players to play at the next level.


The Skipjacks will host an open tryout camp in York, PA for the USPHL Premier team during the weekend of April 21-23.  Please Click here to learn more about the tryout camp and register.


March 8, 2017

Jackson Sterrett Commits to UMASS-Lowell

The Skipjacks are proud to announce U18 forward Jackson Sterrett has committed to the UMASS-Lowell River Hawks of Hockey East.  Sterrett had an excellent season with the Skipjacks and the USPHL, tallying 16 goals and 17 assists, finishing in the top 10 for all U18 USPHL scoring. The Hendersonville, TN native joined the Skipjacks this season, and jumped in as an impact player from the start. A great role model on and off the ice, Sterrett was a consummate positive presence throughout the season. The Skipjacks Hockey Club congratulate Jackson and his family on this great achievement.

January 29, 2017

U16 Skipjacks forward Clark Kerner has committed to play college hockey for the UMASS-Lowell Riverhawks of Hockey East.  Kerner, a 2nd year u16 forward for the Skipjacks, is leading the team in scoring with 20 goals, 26 assists, and ranks 3rd in the USPHL U16 division.  The Overland Park, KS native has come a long way the last 2 years with Skipjacks and has developed into a full player, contributing in all areas of the game.

Skipjacks U16 Head Coach Jared Kersner remarked:  “Our staff is very proud of Clark for the work he has put in since becoming a part of our program, and now he is realizing the reward of that work.  The UMASS-Lowell staff is one of the best in the country, and Kerner is a great commitment for their program, we couldn’t be happier.  Clark is a great offensive talent and competes in all areas of the rink, it will be exciting to continue to help him develop along his journey.”

“I visited the UMASS-Lowell campus and the coaching staff this season while we were playing in the Lowell area.  It was an unbelievable campus, and the staff is so knowledgeable and supportive.    I have the luxury of playing in the USPHL, and was able to really do my homework on colleges.  The Skipjacks staff helped me coordinate the process, and I’ve had an opportunity to become a completely different player since being here.  The Riverhawks have a great hockey atmosphere and town to play in, I’m looking forward to continuing my development and preparing for my college career”, commented Kerner.

Kerner looks to lead the Skipjacks U16 down the home stretch and into the USPHL playoffs.  The Skipjacks face the New Jersey Rockets in USPHL regular season action at home in York, PA on February 3rd and 4th.

Edward Pendergrast

Skipjacks Beat Reporter

Mr. Pendergrast can be reached at:

Providence College of Hockey East has committed yet another Skipjacks forward in Sammy Rhodes from Powhatan, VA.  The Friars secured crafty forward Jon Mulera from the Skipjacks last season, and now pick up another excellent offensive talent.  Rhodes has spent his 2nd U16 year primarily playing a level up for the U18 Skipjacks, after a fantastic season last year with Don Mill’s Flyers in Toronto.

I spoke with Skipjacks U18 Head Coach Jason Kersners in York, PA:  “We’re extremely happy for Sammy and his family on his commitment to Providence College.  Providence is a perennial contender for both Hockey East and National Championships, and the coaching staff is as good as it gets in terms of player development and helping players get to the next level.  Sammy is a special talent who is able to combine his elite offensive skills with a high competitive spirit. He’s a dynamic skater with a great 1st three steps and ability to change directions quickly.  With his offensive stick and vision the game consistently plays through him, which is a great attribute for a young player.  He has a deep passion for the game and works hard daily to better himself as a young man and player.  We’re looking to forward to continuing to help him grow and follow his great career”.

“I am really excited for the opportunity to be a part of Friartown.  They have a prestigious hockey program, and coach Leaman and his staff have turned them into a national contender every season.  The Skipjacks have helped me navigate all the schools I was interested in, and Providence was the best fit.  I was a Barrie Colts draft pick in the OHL last year, and I had intended to play in that league.  Since playing with the Jacks and the USPHL, I’ve learned a lot more about college hockey on the east coast and fell in love with the college game.  I am very grateful for the opportunity”, commented Rhodes.

The 1st place U18 Skipjacks look to finish the 2nd half of the year strong to make a playoff run in the USPHL.  Rhodes will undoubtedly be a huge factor in that equation as the jacks hit the road in January for 2 showcases in Providence, RI and Philadelphia before finishing the regular season with a 2 weekend home stand in February closing out the USPHL regular season versus south division rival the Jersey Hitmen.

Edward Pendergrast

Skipjacks Beat Reporter

Mr. Pendergrast can be reached through:

When Joey Strada showed up to the Skipjacks Hockey Club training camp last fall, the club knew they had acquired a great talent on the ice, but they were not quite sure just how far this young player could go in one season…after all, he was a bit undersized and came from the southwest United States.  The Phoenix, AZ native had played hockey in the southwest his entire life and made the jump to the USPHL for what was an unforgettable season for Strada and the Skipjacks.

Recently committing to play college hockey at new NCAA Division 1 program Arizona State, Strada is ecstatic:  “Having a Division 1 school right in my backyard, 20 minutes from my house, to play in my hometown, and in front of my friends and family is so important to me.  My friends and family are very excited as well.”  Certainly, this is a huge factor for Strada.  Being from this part of the country, the college hockey options are limited, so securing the commitment with the Sun Devils is a great accomplishment for the young forward.  “I think we will be really good, we’re getting a new rink in 2018, the campus is very nice, and it is a great school”, Strada remarked.

The Skipjacks fell to USPHL South Division foe Selects Academy in the playoff final but that did not taint Strada’s experience:  “Playing with the Skipjacks was a great experience and I developed a lot with the organization.  The practices, the morning skates, the workouts, and the professionalism I learned at the Skipjacks prepared me very well.  I had the opportunity to speak with other college coaches throughout the season which helped me prepare for this.”  When asked about last year’s Skipjacks team, Strada commented:  “It was great to live and play with all of my teammates from different states and we traveled on a nice bus everywhere we went which was so much better than flying everywhere.  It was a lot of fun developing rivalries with the other teams across the USPHL South division.”

The Skipjacks are ecstatic for Strada as well, having marked the 5th NCAA Division 1 committed player from the 2015-16 Skipjacks U16 team.  Strada’s success also sets a single season record for the Skipjacks NCAA Division 1 commitments.  The Skipjacks organization congratulates Joey and his family on this news and are excited to see Joey in a Sun Devils sweater in the future.

Edward Pendergrast

Skipjacks Beat Reporter

Mr. Pendergrast can be reached at:

The Skipjacks Hockey Club is pleased to announce the NCAA Division 1 commitment of Joey Baez to the University of Alabama-Huntsville. Baez, a 2nd year player for the Jacks, has earned an opportunity with an up and coming program in the Chargers, who joined the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) in recent years.
U16 Head Coach Jared Kersner said, “We are very happy for Joey, he’s put in all the hard work for 2 seasons with the Skipjacks, Joey deserves this opportunity and it is a great commitment for the Chargers. Baez is a two-way center that plays hard in all areas of the rink. With goals being at a premium in today’s game, Joey is an elite scorer and will help the Chargers on the offense. On the defensive side, he blocks shots, wins face-offs, and plays a physical 200-foot game.” A great commitment is right, Baez is having a dynamite season in his 2nd year in the USPHL U16 division with 42 points (17 goals, 25 assists) helping lead the Skipjacks to 10 wins during the front half of the season. Players like Baez represent the future building blocks of the UAH to help take their program to the next level.

We were able to track down Baez at Fraser Hockeyland outside of Detroit, MI while the Skipjacks were in town taking on the top midget teams from the Detroit, Chicago, and Cleveland areas. Clearly, Baez couldn’t be happier with the opportunity, and the decision to play college hockey in the southeast. “I first met the Chargers head coach Mike Corbett a couple of years ago, and we’ve stayed in touch very closely while I’ve been with the Skipjacks, so we’ve had the opportunity to build a good relationship. When our team went to face the TPH Thunder in Atlanta in November, I was able to go and visit the school, so it worked out really well,” commented Baez. I asked Baez what attracted him to UAH, He had great things to say from his recent visit: “First off, I really like the area, the town, there is a lot to do and it’s a nice city, but still has a country feel. The coaches are very knowledgeable, the facility is first class, and I’m going to have an opportunity to make an impact.” Baez is looking towards entering his freshman year in 2019.

Reflecting on his path to Alabama, Baez commented that making the jump from AA hockey in Florida to AAA hockey with the Skipjacks and the USPHL was a huge difference maker. “Jason and Jared (Kersner) have helped me along the entire way in interacting with scouts and coaches, and the daily routines and training week in and week out have been unbelievable since I’ve been here. Our new gym and facility in York (PA) are great, we have a huge gym, and our locker rooms are brand new.”
The next step for Baez will be to a high-level Jr. A hockey program, whether that be next year, or if Joey will remain with the Skipjacks for another year of seasoning is yet to be determined. Regardless, this is a win-win deal both for Joey and the Chargers. Baez and the Jacks will wrap up the weekend in Detroit facing the Cleveland Barons and Victory Honda (Detroit) before heading back home to York, PA for a much-needed home weekend after a grueling stretch on the road this fall.



Edward Pendergrast can be reached through the Media Relations Department at:

September 28, 2016

Contact: Todd Fisher
(717) 600-4389

York, PA (September 18, 2016) – The U-18 Skipjacks Hockey Club continued its dominance of foes this past weekend against the Connecticut Jr. Rangers by sweeping both games on Saturday (7-0) and Sunday (6-2) at the York Ice Arena.  The U-16 Skipjacks split the weekend with a convincing win on Saturday night (5-2) and a shootout loss (3-2) on Sunday morning.

In the U-18 game Saturday night, Andrew Hipp started the scoring spree against the Rangers with a goal at the 9:58 mark of the first period with an assist by Ian McCollum.  A minute and 21 seconds later, Connor Ferdorek put the puck in the back of the net for a 2-0 lead.  Cade Groton scored the first of his two goals in the game before the period ended at the 5:39 mark to give the Skipjacks a 3-0 lead at the first period buzzer after outshooting their opponents 24-3.

The second period saw McCollum score the lone tally of the period with 8:11 left from a Hipp pass.  The Skipjacks threw 24 more shots on goal for a two period total of 48.

The final period had three more goals added to the final score with goals from Alec Fryberger, Hunter Alden and Groton.  Groton lead the team scoring with two goals and three assists.  The Skipjacks defense held the Rangers with zero shots on goal in the final period.  Jack’s goalie, Travis Spangle made 7 saves in the game to backstop the 7-0 victory.

Earlier in the night, the U-16 Skipjacks team took the lead less than five minutes into the first period with a goal from Riley Mays, assisted by Joey Baez and Clark Kerner on a power play goal.  A little over a minute later, the Rangers tied the game with a power play tally.  With 4:57 left in the period, Skipjacks regained the lead on a power play goal from Kerner.  The Jacks lead 2-1 at the end of the first period after being outshot 10-14.

Jack Craycroft scored the lone goal of the second period with less than two minutes left to give the Skipjacks a 3-1 lead with one period of hockey remaining.

Less than one minute into the third period, the Rangers closed within one goal of the Jacks.  At the 12:19 mark, Noah Watkins gave the Skipjacks a little breathing room on a power play goal assisted by Jake Putnam and Jake Carlson.  The Jacks added one more power play goal with 20 seconds left in the game to win 5-2.  The potent Skipjacks power play unit went 4 for 5 on the extra man advantage.  Goaltender Alex Hanson made 29 saves to claim his second win of the season.

On Sunday morning, the U-16 Skipjacks team and CT Jr. Rangers held each other scoreless through the first two periods.

In a penalty filled third period, the Jacks got on the scoreboard first with a Riley Mays power play goal at the 11:37 mark to break the scoreless tie.  The Rangers tied the score with a 5-on-3 power play goal less than two minutes later.  While still on the man advantage, the Rangers took the lead (2-1) fifty-two seconds later.  The Skipjacks battled back to a tie game with an unassisted goal from Jarri Linna.  The third period ended in a 2-2 tie with the Skipjacks leading the shot advantage 56-31 as Jacks’ tender Alex Hanson made 29 saves.

The 5-minute overtime period saw each team with a power play.  However, the defenses held strong keeping their opponents scoreless.  In the shoot-out, the Rangers won 1-0 to take the win over the Skipjacks 3-2.

The U-18 Skipjacks team completed their sweep of the CT Jr. Rangers on Sunday afternoon.   Both teams held each other scoreless in the first stanza with the Jacks outshooting the Rangers 10-2.

Less than three minutes into the second period, Ian McCollum gave the Skipjacks the lead on a goal assisted by Lucas Bahn.  Bahn added two more goals in the period at the 7:10 and 6:51 mark of the period.  A late Rangers goal with 35 seconds left closed the score to 3-1 at the end of the second period.

Jumping on the Rangers less than a minute into the third, the Jacks went back up by three goals thirty-seven seconds in on an Andrew Hipp goal.  Once again the Rangers closed within two six minutes later.  Cade Groton scored with 5:35 left in the game to extend the score to three goals (5-2).  A minute later, Justin Fowlkes found the back of the net to secure the 6-2 Skipjacks victory with tender Isaiah Kahn in goal making nine saves in the game.  Defenseman, Lucas Bahn led the Jacks in scoring with two goals and three assists in his five point game.

Next weekend, the Skipjacks travel to New England Sports Center in Marlborough, Massachusetts for the Jr. Bruins Tournament.  The U-18 team will take on Nichols (Friday), CT Jr. Rangers (Friday) and Rochester Monarchs (Saturday) in the round robin round.  The U-16 team will play Rochester Monarchs (Friday), CT Jr. Rangers (Saturday) and Islanders Hockey Club (Saturday).  The playoff round and championship games will be on Sunday.

More information about the Skipjacks Hockey club may be found at

April 8, 2016

Skipjacks U16 forward Patrick Giles (Boston College), recently awarded a spot in USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program (NTDP) Evaluation Camp, has his sights set high for what could be the opportunity of a lifetime. The NTDP program, established in the late 90’s, has been a springboard for NHL and NCAA stars for nearly 20 years, giving the nation’s most elite prospects the opportunity to play together at a young age, versus the toughest Junior ‘A’ and international competition in North America. Both the NTDP U17 and U18 teams compete in the United States Hockey League (USHL) and IIHF tournaments.

As the program has moved from Ann Arbor, MI to the new USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, MI, Giles recently had a chance to visit the facility and the team. We spoke with Patrick about his visit and the goal of dawning the Red, White, and Blue: “I visited the new facility and team about a month ago, and it was such a great experience. I had the opportunity to practice with the team, and it’s such an unbelievable group of players. We played a lot of small games, and I was able to get a glimpse of what it’s like to live a day in the life at the NTDP.”

Clearly, the experience in and of itself is one component that Giles is looking forward to, but the possibility of representing his country is another aspect that has this young prospect hungrier than ever: “Playing for my country, that’s what I’ve been shooting for,” said Giles. Patrick has participated in the USA Hockey Development Camps for the last few years and has kept in contact with director of player personnel Ryan Hardy along the way. All of these small steps have led Giles to the final phase. “The players that have come through and developed through the NTDP are some of the best in the United States and the world, and I want to make the most of this opportunity,” he added.
Giles was a standout for the Skipjacks in the highly competitive USPHL U16 division this past season, leading the Skipjacks to a silver medal in the USPHL playoffs. We asked Giles about his season with the Jacks, and preparing for the NTDP: “Training with the Skipjacks, and the intense on and off ice regimen throughout the season has definitely prepared me better than I could ever have imagined. I worked hard all last summer with Pinnacle Performance, and went right into the daily grind of the regular season from there. I knew I would need to do everything I could to compete at the USHL level next season.”

Giles will head to Michigan where tryouts begin this Friday and run a grueling schedule through Tuesday. The prospects will also get a chance to take in a couple of games as the U17 team faces off against the Youngstown Phantoms, and the U18 team faces the Sioux Falls Stampede. The Skipjacks Hockey Club and Pinnacle Performance wish Patrick and his family all the best.

Edward Pendergrast
Skipjacks Beat Reporter
(Mr. Pendergrast can be reached through

April 7, 2016

The University of New Hampshire received the commitment of Skipjacks U16 defenseman Lucas Bahn (Hendersonville, TN) on Saturday evening. Bahn is now the 4th U16 Skipjack to commit to a Hockey East program during the 2015-2016 campaign, and for good reason (joining teammates Patrick Giles-Boston College; Mac Wiseman-UCONN; John Mulera-Providence). The 1999 born defenseman led the Skipjacks Hockey Club on an incredible playoff run to the United States Premier Hockey League (USPHL) title game, and was rock solid at the blue line for the entire season.
Lucas continues to add to a long list of players to be coached by the Kersners to commit to the University of New Hampshire. He will join last years U18 leading scorer Jason O’Neill (currently playing with the Langley Riverman, BCHL), recently graduated Forwards Nick Sorkin and Casey Thrush (both playing professionally), Senior Assistant Captain Maxim Gaudreault, and Junior Defenseman Dylan Maller.


“We are extremely proud of Lucas and excited for him and his family about this great commitment,” said Skipjacks Head Coach and General Manager Jason Kersner. Bahn came to the Skipjacks from Tennessee, and we asked Bahn if he ever thought he would end up coming to play in such a competitive league in the northeast: “I never thought I would be going away a few years ago, but I finally did, and I’m very grateful for the result.” Kersner also added: “Lucas is an elite person. He brought great character to our team and exhibited leadership and a team first attitude every day at the rink. His coach-ability and great work ethic made him one of the most improved players in our program this past season. As a player UNH is getting an elite skater with a great competitive spirit and Hockey IQ.”

Lucas told us that he really enjoyed the recruiting process, learned more about UNH as an institution, and got a first-hand glimpse of college hockey. Playing in the USPHL not only provided Bahn with the opportunity to compete at the highest of levels, but also to visit and meet some of the best coaches in college hockey due to the proximity of Hockey East schools with the USPHL and the Skipjacks travels. “The future of playing for a great program, the best conference in college hockey, and getting a great education for after my playing days is very exciting,” remarked Bahn.
“Lucas will be a great defender in college because of his smooth and efficient stride. He has a great feel for what the opponent is trying to do both at and away from the puck allowing him to put a stop to the opponent’s offense. Although he is not a big defender, he plays the game very hard and the right way. He brings many intangibles that aren’t found on a scoresheet and we believe he will help UNH compete for Hockey East titles. We’re looking forward to helping him continue his development and watch his great career,” said coach Kersner. Clearly, this young man is a huge contributor on the blue line for the Jacks. As I followed the Skipjacks throughout the season from the press box, there were very few key situations where Bahn was not on the ice, whether that be power play or penalty kill, final minutes of the game, or being matched up against the opponent’s top offensive unit.

Bahn is excited to spend time with family this summer, however, the off-season will fly by and the 2016-2017 season will be upon us before you know it. “This was by far the best season of my life, not only in the coaching, but the entire team was a family. The amount of ice time and the competition was incredible. The speed in the USPHL is almost double of where I used to play, and the skill level of all the players is very high. This summer in Nashville I’m going to train very hard to continue to get bigger, faster, and stronger. I’m definitely looking forward to coming back to play on the U18 club with the Skipjacks. We have a great goalie coming back in Matt Kastein along with many other key players that is going to give us another great chance to compete for a championship,” Bahn concluded.

Bahn will no doubt be working hard over this upcoming off-season, and will be joining the Skipjacks U18 club for the 2016-2017 season. Bahn will quickly step into the U18 lineup and make an immediate impact in the USPHL U18 division. The entire Skipjacks Hockey Club congratulate Lucas, the Bahn family, and the hockey staff at the University of New Hampshire.

Edward Pendergrast
Skipjacks Beat Reporter

— Mr. Pendergrast can be reached through:

January 19, 2016

By Edward Pendergrast – Skipjacks Beat Reporter

On Friday, December 18th, The Skipjacks U16 and U18 teams made the journey to Linthicum Park to help Anne Arundel county officials clean up an area which was long overdue for some good fall yard work.  An annual tradition, the Skipjacks Hockey Club typically finds a good cause this time of year during the holiday season to help out with, and this year was no different.  Both teams banded together with extremely positive attitudes and leveraged their strength off the ice for a great cause.

Skipjacks Hockey teams community service

Skipjacks Hockey teams Community service - cleaning local parks“It was awesome to get out in the community we get so much support from throughout the season and help on a project that was really needed,” said Skipjacks defenseman Lucas Bahn.  “Being outside of the rink and cleaning a park that’s used by so many kids in the area brings a really good feeling to all of us, especially as we are getting ready for a huge hockey weekend before the break,” Bahn continued.

Skipjacks U18 goaltender Max Kerner remarked:  “We worked pretty hard out there, and we ended up with close to 300 bags of dead leaves bagged and removed from the park, I can’t believe we were able to clean so much up.”  The Skipjacks Hockey Club commitment to the local community is a huge part of the program, and is very proud to take part in volunteer activities like this.

Skipjacks community service in the park

The Skipjacks are always looking for new community service events.  If you know of any great causes that need tending to, please contact

Check out all the great photos from the event here on the website

January 18, 2016

By Edward Pendergrast – Skipjacks Beat Reporter

The Skipjacks 3rd Annual Teddy Bear Toss was the largest home game and event in Jacks history, featuring the Skipjacks versus USPHL South Foe Jersey Hitmen, Billet family appreciation night, and a great rendition of our National Anthem by local recording artist Annie Mae Weiss.

This USPHL South battle for 1st place could be considered a penalty marred fiasco in some schools of thought.  The Jacks were grateful for the opportunity, however, and the highlight of the night came when Joey Baez scored on the power play for the U16 Jacks at the 11:19 mark of the 1st period.  This goal sent over 300 Teddy Bears onto the ice and were donated to the Children’s National Medical Center.  Recent UCONN commit Mac Wiseman and Lucas Bahn assisted on the Teddy Bear goal.

Teddy Bear 2015 Fan

Upon commencement of the 2nd period, Baez yet again notched a power play goal for the Jacks, this time assisted by Joey Strada and Mac Wiseman.  With the Skipjacks up 2-0, the Jersey Hitmen would not lie down in front of a capacity crowd at Piney Orchard Ice Arena scoring two quick goals to tie the game in what seemed like an instant.  Mac Wiseman answered back for the Jacks with Bahn and Clark Kerner helping out on another Skipjacks power play goal late in the 2nd period.  As if three wasn’t enough, future Boston College Eagle Patrick Giles buried another power play goal as an insurance policy unassisted making it 4-2 in favor of the Skipjacks.  Clark Kerner had the icing on the cake with an empty net goal late in the game.

Not only was this game a great showcase of the competitiveness of the USPHL, but also a testament to the enthusiasm of the local hockey community at Piney Orchard.  A literal carnival like atmosphere throughout the building was present throughout the evening, and the Skipjacks organization had the opportunity to thank the billet/host families that do so much for the program during a billet appreciation ceremony providing each family a gift and photo of the young players they bring into their homes.

The Skipjacks Hockey Club would also like to thank the following organization and people for their help in making this event a great success:

  • The Nelson Hockey Association – Thank you for your support and attendance!
  • Perry’s Restaurant and Cocktails – Thank you for great team meals!
  • Annie Mae Weiss – Thank you for the great National Anthem!

Please Join us again next year for the 4th Annual Skipjacks Teddy Bear Toss!

January 13, 2016

By Edward Pendergrast – Skipjacks Beat Reporter

The Skipjacks Hockey Club is pleased to announce that Mac Wiseman, the hard hitting and high scoring U16 Defenseman has committed to UCONN of Hockey East.

The rookie defenseman has made a heavy impact on both the U16 and U18 Skipjacks, winning United States Premier Hockey League (USPHL) Defensive Player of the Week honors a record setting 4 times in a row during the months of October and November.  Wiseman, tallying 11 goals and 9 assists at this point in the Skipjacks campaign, is the highest scoring defenseman in the USPHL.

Wiseman is the first player out of the Skipjacks organization and Pinnacle Performance Training to head to UCONN to play Division 1 NCAA Hockey.  “We are excited to see Mac commit to UCONN and help the Huskies step up to the next level in the future.  The Skipjacks and Pinnacle Performance have a long history of moving players on to Hockey East, and it is exciting to see players move on to more teams throughout that conference,” said Skipjacks General Manager Jason Kersner.

We spoke with Mac following his commitment; he speaks to us about why he chose UCONN, and how skating with the Jacks and Pinnacle has helped him prepare for the next level.  “I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to tour a lot of different schools this past fall, especially because the Skipjacks play in many Hockey East cities, so I was able to get a good look at a lot of great programs, in the end, UCONN made the most sense for me, they have a great coaching staff, and they are an up and coming program that I look forward to be a part of and contribute to.  Playing for the Skipjacks this year and training with Pinnacle Performance not only opened doors for me at the collegiate level, I’ve also improved my strength and my knowledge of different systems and style of play.”

Coach Jason Kersner said “UCONN is getting one of the top 2000s in the country.  Mac’s raw athletic ability, explosive skating, toughness, and competitive urgency are unlike many players we have coached over the years.  He is exactly what you want in a player when you speak the words “hard” or “compete”.  He wins 50/50 battles, has a strong lower hand, blocks shots, throws momentum changing hits, and will stick up for teammates.  Mac is still relatively new to the position and he will only continue to grow and develop as a defenseman.  By the time he arrives at UCONN he will be ready to make a big impact.”

UCONN is located in Mansfield, CT and is a newer club to Hockey East, continuing to build a rich hockey tradition in a state with a plethora of hockey history.

December 7, 2015

The Skipjacks Hockey Club U18 Team will face off against USPHL South Division foe Jersey Hitmen at Piney Orchard Ice Arena on Saturday, December 19th. The Skipjacks will host the 1st Place Hitmen in a USPHL South Division League game at 3:30PM.

Now becoming a favorite tradition within the Skipjacks Hockey Club and the Piney Orchard community, the Jacks have enjoyed a lot of success with the event, all benefitting a great cause. Over the past 2 years, the event has had over 1000 fans tossing over 700 teddy bears onto the ice after the Skipjacks scored their first goal. Last season’s first goal was scored by Rylan Cratsenberg at the 1:25 mark of the first period, as the Jacks pounded the Springfield Pics 5-1.

If you’re new to the teddy bear toss, it works like this: Fans bring teddy bears to the game (new or slightly used), and after the Skipjacks score their first goal of the game the fans throw their bears onto the ice.  As with last year, the Skipjacks will donate all the teddy bears tossed onto the ice to the Children’s National Medical Center.

The Teddy Bear Toss U18 game kicks off a full evening of hockey with the U16 Skipjacks also facing off against the Jersey Hitmen at 5:45PM, and the U16 Futures Skipjacks facing off against the Hampton Roads Whalers at 8:00PM.

We look forward to seeing you at Piney Orchard on December 19th. Please bring as many teddy bears as possible!

Edward Pendergrast

Skipjacks Beat Reporter


November 11, 2015

The recent commitment to the Providence Friars of Hockey East for the fiery Skipjacks’ winger John Mulera did not happen overnight…in fact, the process began years ago.  As Mulera’s older sister was at the local rinks for figure skating, a young Mulera developed an understanding and desire to play the game.  Mulera climbed through the youth ranks with much individual success and continued to improve and dominate at his level each year.


Fast forward to more recently, where many of the goals Mulera had set for himself, are becoming a reality.  We spoke with the Skipjacks star about his recent commitment to Providence and he offered this sentiment when we asked him what the process was like, and how he felt upon locking in his deal:  “It was an honor to get to know the Providence coaches and have them look at me as a good player they will bring into their program.  It’s a really great school where I will get a great education and be in an awesome hockey environment.”  Awesome could be an understatement in this case, with the Friars coming off an incredible NCAA National Championship run last season.


I was able to visit the offices of the Skipjacks Hockey Club this week and spoke with Head Coach Jason Kersner:  “J Mac is a great kid and we couldn’t be happier for him and his family on this great commitment to the reigning National Champions, Providence Friars.  We’ve had the opportunity to work with John during the summers and again this season, and it’s been a lot of fun to watch him mature through the process as a young prospect.  He’s a player with great internal fuel and a lot of passion for the game and his personal development.  As a player, JMac has elite stick skills and hockey IQ.  He understands his time and space very well and is able to make a lot of plays in small areas.  Although a smaller player, he is able to execute very well in traffic.  He has a great feel for what should be happening in all areas of the ice and a great understanding of what other players are doing.  Providence is getting a player who will add some elite skill to their lineup.”


Mulera trained with Pinnacle Performance last summer, and has trained throughout his young career at many other Pinnacle camps and clinics.  “The summer training program definitely helped the most, being harder on the puck, not giving up, developing the defensive side of the game, and honing my skating skills were all areas I just learned a ton from Pinnacle.  I’ll be training with Pinnacle every summer through my junior and college career”.


Its clear JMac is a hard worker during the off-season, I was also curious to hear about his current play and performance:  “Playing for the Skipjacks in a league like the USPHL has been a lot of fun.  It’s a lot more serious, competitive, and business-like compared to other places I’ve played.  I’ve learned a lot more systems and advanced concepts that you typically see at higher levels.”   The professionalism of this young man is impressive, but it sounds like there’s been a good level of fun on this journey:  “All the guys on the team have been great and I’ve made a lot of new friends.  The Jacks are a tight knit brotherhood that I’m very happy and appreciative to be a part of.  I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to meet and train with players from many different backgrounds.”


I asked Jmac what his parents thought about the recent success, he laughed and said:  “They’re very excited!”  Of course, everyone here in the Jacks family is very excited and proud, and look forward to helping him develop into an elite NCAA player.


Edward Pendergrast

Associated Press – Skipjacks Beat Reporter

November 2, 2015

It was all Team White last Saturday evening at Piney Orchard Ice Arena when the Skipjacks Hockey Club hosted the 3rd Annual Blue/White game in front of a healthy local crowd of hockey fans, sponsored by STX Hockey.  Team White came out on the winning end of this one 6-3 over Team Blue.

Joey Baez of Team Blue tallied the game’s first goal early in the first period, with an assist from Joey Shavatt.  Team White fought back on an unassisted goal from Ryan Danner.  In what appeared to be a back and forth tennis match, Dante Zapata would join in on the action later in the first with a big goal for Team Blue and an assist from Zach Martin.  Brendan Smith tied it up for Team White with a Patrick Giles (Boston College) assist.

Later in the game during the 2nd period, Giles again would end up on the score sheet with the go ahead goal.  Clark Kerner assisted this time.  With the momentum building for Team White and the ice slanted towards Team Blue’s goaltender, Jared Kersner made an impact with some insurance in the 3rd period on great goal from Danner and Giles.  Team Blue would not give up, and fought back to make the margin 1 goal again as Luke Cassanese buried one from Garrett Martin.  The Team Blue burst would not last long however, and Team White took back control to carry the game the rest of the way.  White poured it on with a goal from Cameron Bour, and Giles added a late empty netter to convincingly put away Team Blue.  Team White enjoyed a strong goaltending performance from the trio of Macoy Fisher, Matt Kastein, and Ryan Sotnick.

The 3rd Annual game continued to build onto the Skipjacks tradition with another successful event that was also enjoyed by many of the players host families and children.  Along with some of the other youth players in the area, the kids had the opportunity to skate with the Jacks prior to the game.  It was a great moment for the Skipjacks players to give back to the local community, especially since the club has been traveling on the road heavily in September and October.  It was an opportunity for the club to say thank you to the families that make it possible for the Skipjacks players to pursue their dreams.

The STX Hockey stick and glove giveaway was also an enjoyable part of the event, and gave some local players the chance to obtain some of the newest and advanced hockey equipment in the market.  The Skipjacks would like to thank STX Hockey for their ongoing support and sponsorship.

Thank you to everyone that came out and supported the event, the Jacks look forward to continuing this tradition next season.  The Skipjacks hit the road to face off in the Beantown Classic in Boston next week.

Edward Pendergrast

Associated Press – Skipjacks Beat Reporter


October 24, 2015

The Skipjacks Hockey Club is proud to announce U16 centerman Patrick Giles’ commitment to the Boston College Class of 2022. The 15 year-old Giles, who hails from Chevy Chase, Maryland, has been playing hockey since he was 3. He came to the Skipjacks program to train, develop, and hone his on-ice skills. Coming into the program, Giles is considered an elite offensive talent in his age bracket and is projected to be an “instant impact player on whichever team he ends up on next winter” (U.S Hockey Report, 2014).

Giles has described his recent experiences with the Skipjacks as exciting and informative. The first several weeks have been spent training, conditioning, learning the systems, and squaring off against the New Jersey Hitmen and Team Comcast in early-season action. He’s also enthusiastic about his commitment to Boston College, especially since his family has ties to the area. Giles looks forward to the opportunity to play for a prestigious NCAA hockey program with a history of seeding top-rated NHL talent.

When asked about Giles, head coach Jason Kersner had this to say about the centerman:

“We’re very excited for Patrick and his family about the recent commitment to Boston College (BC). BC is one of the most storied programs in all of NCAA hockey and he will be getting a first class education as well as continuing to pursue his hockey career. BC is getting a great young man with a ton of potential. Two words I would use to describe Patrick are ‘humble’ and ‘hungry’. Off the ice, Patrick is a great person. He cares about his teammates, he is a consummate leader, and he comes from a great family who has given him tremendous support along the way.

“On the ice, his combination of size and skill make him an offensive threat on a consistent basis. He has a great ‘feel’ for the game and plays offense in the hard areas of the rink. Those are translatable skills that will serve him well as he progresses up the ladder. We’re looking forward to continuing to help him grow as a player and person and following his promising career for many years to come.”

Fans of the Boston College Eagles won’t have to wait long to see Giles in action. He’ll be lacing up the skates in 2018, and will be prepared to add instant offensive potential and strong puck possession. Earning his spot with the Eagles is the next step in his continued progression as an elite hockey prospect.

October 23, 2015

The Skipjacks Hockey Club is pleased to unveil a new partnership with performance equipment manufacturers STX, a Baltimore-based sporting equipment company. STX is predicated upon the development of players through the creation of best-in-class products. The partnership with the Skipjacks provides the perfect outlet for STX to evaluate the performance of their specially-designed products.

STX, which began product development in lacrosse, has recently spearheaded efforts to craft high-end ice hockey equipment. Led by product manager Patrick Gowan and ice hockey division lead Matt Hoppe, STX has continued to research and develop cutting-edge equipment tailored to the needs of hockey players. Each piece of gear is rigorously tested and designed to integrate with elite hockey development programs.

The Skipjacks are excited about the new partnership as it allows the program to provide players with performance-driven equipment. For the next two seasons the Skipjacks players are fortunate to receive top of the line on-ice equipment, sticks, and off-ice apparel. STX uses feedback from the Skipjacks to continue to refine their host of products and address unique player requirements. As equipment improves, hockey development programs like the Skipjacks will continue to maximize player development.

Hoppe believes in these same principles. “We are looking to make our mark on the sport of ice hockey as we have done with our game-changing equipment introductions in the lacrosse industry…An intense level of research and understanding of the athlete’s needs are completed first and foremost, in order to inform the design and development process,” says Hoppe (Sports Insight, 2013).

With a focus on fostering player development through high-quality products, STX serves as the perfect partner for the Skipjacks. Players can rely on locally-made, durable, performance-based hockey equipment to help them train and perfect their skills. Thanks to product development staff like Gowan and Hoppe, STX continues to lead the way in sports equipment innovation.

February 5, 2015

IMG_3157by Edward Pendergrast – Skipjacks beat reporter

The Skipjacks Hockey Club is proud to announce the 1st Annual Military Appreciation Night as the Jacks faceoff against perennial USPHL South Division enemy the Jersey Hitmen on February 14th, 2015 at the Piney Orchard Ice Arena.  The Skipjacks in conjunction with Nelson Hockey are grateful to honor all branches of the United States Military, and your help is needed.  Please come out to support our troops, and to see the best hockey action in the DMV!

The festivities will kick-off at 3PM EST as the USA Warriors Hockey Team take on the Nelson Hockey Coaching Staff.  The USA Warriors Ice Hockey Program has been organized to operate exclusively for charitable and educational purposes, for those wounded in defense of the United States in conjunction with the USA Hockey Disabled Hockey Program.  This group of hockey players represents the very best of the United States.

Following the USA Warriors at 5PM EST, the red hot U18 Skipjacks will look to continue their current string of wins against the 2nd place Jersey Hitmen who will make the trip to Piney Orchard from Wayne, NJ.  The Jacks have won 6 straight since their dominating performance in the USPHL showcase in Philadelphia, PA in January.  Jason O’Neill (University of New Hampshire) and Ryan Finnegan (Quinnipiac University) are leading the club in scoring with 33 and 32 points respectively.    The U16 Skipjacks will complete the double header vs. the Hitmen in the 7PM EST showdown.  The U16 Skipjacks club has gained much needed wind in their sails sweeping the Jr. Islanders on the road in Long Island, NY this past weekend completing a much deserved 4 game win stretch.  Following a disappointing start in 2015 after the holiday break, the Jacks U16 has benefited from contributions throughout the lineup.  Defenseman Tyler Baum recently tallied 4 goals in the Islanders sweep, earning him USPHL Defensive Player of the Week honors.  Strong play from forwards Brady Newton and Max Freitag has also been a huge boost.

IMG_3152To round out an evening of fantastic hockey, there will be a number of events taking place at Piney Orchard to benefit and honor our armed forces and to surely make it a night to remember.  The silent auction featuring Washington Capitals memorabilia and other great items will take place throughout the evening, with proceeds benefitting the US Military branches.  Food and beverages will be available as well as other opportunities to make a donation to the cause.  A 50/50 raffle will also be taking place during the games.  Admission to all games is absolutely free!  The club is hoping for a huge crowd to support this worthy cause and to help propel the Jacks past the Hitmen in this late regular season USPHL bout.

Edward Pendergrast can be reached through the Skipjacks media relations department

January 16, 2015

By Edward Pendergrast – Skipjacks Beat Reporter

The USPHL has announced the rosters and schedule for their Annual All-Star Games.  The games will once again be played at Merrimack College in North Andover, MA on Monday, January 19th.

Both teams will be well represented with three players from each team being selected.  Forwards Ben Schmidling and Cameron Hausinger and Defenseman Dylan Cook will be playing in the U16 game.  All three players have been among the top scorers in the Division at their position.

The U18 game will also feature 3 Skipjacks, Forwards Jason O’Neill and Ryan Finnegan, and Defenseman Ed Hirka.  Finnegan (Quinnipiac commit) and O’Neill (UNH commit) finished first and second overall in USPHL scoring last season at the U16 level, will now be heading back to the All-Star game for the second consecutive season!

Congratulations to all players and good luck in the game!

By Edward Pendergrast – Skipjacks Beat Reporter

Congratulations to U18 Defenseman Ed Hirka and U18 Forward Reid Bibb who celebrated the Christmas holiday by traveling to Odessa, TX to suit up and play in the December 26 and 27 weekend series with the Odessa Jackalopes of the NAHL.  The Jackalopes split their two game series with Lone Star, a NAHL South Division rival.  In the Saturday night game, Hirka played a major role in helping the Jackalopes win finishing with 2 assists and a +2 rating.

Hirka and Bibb added to the already strong relationship between the Skipjacks and Jackalopes.  They joined former Skipjacks players Kenny Hausinger, Christian Hausinger, and Chris Javens on the Jackalopes team, meaning that 5 Skipjacks players were on the Jackalopes roster for the weekend series!

[caption id="attachment_3344" align="aligncenter" width="640"]Skipjacks Hirka, Kenny Haus, Bibb, Christian haus, Javens (not shown) playing for the Odessa Jackalopes of the NAHL Hirka, Kenny Haus, Bibb, Christian haus, Javens (not shown)[/caption]

By Edward Pendergrast – Skipjacks Beat Reporter

On December 20 the Skipjacks U18 team hosted the Springfield Pics at Piney Orchard Ice Rink in the Second Annual Teddy Bear Toss game.  By any measure the game was a huge success as the Skipjacks cruised to a 5-1 victory over the Springfield Pics.  The Teddy Bear toss was an even greater success than last year’s inaugural event as an enthusiastic crowd of approximately 600 people tossed 353 teddy bears on to the ice after the first Skipjacks goal.  Both the attendance and the number of teddy bears exceeded last year’s total. The fans did not have to wait long as Rylan Cratsenberg scored at the 1:25 mark of the 1st period with assists from Reid Bibb and Ivan Yuryev.

Keifer Garrity, Zach Martin, Ivan Yuryev and Danny Widmar rounded out the scoring for the Skipjacks.  Max Kerner earned the win in goal by stopping 14 of the 15 shots he faced.

All teddy bears tossed on the the ice are donated by the Skipjacks Hockey Club to the Children’s National Medical Center.

By Edward Pendergrast – Skipjacks Beat Reporter

The Skipjacks U18 team moved themselves into the discussion as to one of the top U18 Midget teams in the country.  The Skipjacks posted an impressive 7-0-1 mark for the month.

The Skipjacks began December in Chicago competing in the USPHL/Tier I Elite showdown.  The Skipjacks defeated the LA Jr. Kings, Dallas Stars and Chicago Fury in this elite tournament and lost in a shootout to the Pittsburgh Pens Elite.  The Skipjacks therefore posted a 3-0-1 mark against some of the top Midget AAA programs in the country.

The following weekend the Skipjacks traveled to Huntsville, AL to face Thunder Hockey also of the Tier I Elite league in a weekend series.  The Skipjacks swept the weekend series, once again defeating a highly ranked opponent.

The Skipjacks concluded their impressive December run by sweeping USPHL rival the Springfield Pics and running their December record to 7-0-1. The Skipjacks U18 is looking forward to the remaining part of their schedule as they gear up for what should be an exciting USPHL playoff run.

December 1, 2014

The Skipjacks hosted the highly ranked Wilkes Barre Scranton U18 and U16 teams at the York City Ice Arena on the weekend of November 8 and 9 before raucous home crowds on both Saturday and Sunday.

The U18 team won both its games by identical 5-2 scores.  In the Saturday contest Skipjacks scoring was led by Jason O’Neill with two goals and Shane Gaudreault, Rylan Cratsenberg, and Kevin Caggiano each chipping in with a goal.  Ben Auerbach back stopped the Skipjacks victory by stopping 24 of 26 shots.  In the Sunday game the Skipjacks were again led by Jason O’Neill with two goals.  Reid Bibb also scored two goals and Shane Gaudreault had the final Skipjacks tally.  Ben Auerbach was once again in net for the Skipjacks, this time stopping 26 of 28 shots by the Knights.  For their exploits in the weekend series Jason O’Neill was named the USPHL Forward of the week and Ben Auerbach was named the USPHL Goalie of the week.

The Skipjacks U16 team split its games with the Knights losing Saturday night 7-2, but bouncing back on Sunday with a solid 6-2 win. Ryan Danner and Cameron Hausinger scored for the Skipjacks on Saturday.  In the Sunday win the Skipjacks were led by Ben Schmidling with two goals and Mac Wiseman, Chris McCorkle, Cameron Hausinger, and Bret Taylor each chipped in with a goal.  Ryan Sotnick earned the win in goal in his first start of the season stopping 22 of 24 shots.

The Skipjacks players were able to go home and enjoy the Thanksgiving Holiday with their families.  Coming back from break both Skipjacks team will play a heavy dose of Tier One Elite Hockey League games.  The Jacks will travel to Chicago to play the LA Jr. Kings, Dallas Stars, Chicago Fury, and Pittsburgh Pens Elite at the T1EHL/USPHL Midget Showdown.  The following weekend the Jacks travel to Alabama to play Thunder Hockey.  Follow all your Skipjack action on our official website and on twitter @SJ_hockey.

The Skipjacks Hockey Club is pleased to announce the 2nd Annual Teddy Bear Toss on the evening of Saturday, December 20 at 5:30PM at Piney Orchard Ice Rink.  The Skipjacks will host the Springfield Pics in a U18 USPHL South Division League game.

Last year’s 1st annual Teddy Bear Toss game was a tremendous success as that game was attended by approximately 500 excited fans who “tossed” over 300 teddy bears on to the ice after the Skipjacks scored their first goal.

Last season’s first goal was scored by Shane Gaudreault at the 7:57 mark of the first period, in an eventual 11-1 routing over the Connecticut Junior Rangers.

If you’re new to the teddy bear toss, it works like this: Fans bring teddy bears to the game (new or slightly used), and after the Skipjacks score their first goal of the game the fans throw their bears onto the ice.  As with last year the Skipjacks will donate all the Teddy Bears tossed on to the ice to the Children’s National Medical Center.

Please bring as many bears as you can!

October 29, 2014

By Edward Pendergrast – Skipjacks Beat Reporter

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 and on twitter @SJ_hockey.

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.

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!

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 and on twitter @SJ_hockey.

March 30, 2014