The Eastern Hockey League All-Stars, consisting of 20 players from around the league, will travel to the campus of UMass-Boston to play an All-Star Exhibition Game against the Beacons at Clark Athletic Center this afternoon at 4:00 p.m.
This marks the first time that an EHL squad will go to battle against an NCAA opponent.
The exhibition is a rare opportunity for the league to feature at least one player from all 16 EHL teams and a chance to put their talent on display on a national stage with the hope of one day playing at the collegiate level.
“This is an excellent opportunity for our league,” Mark Kumpel, EHL Director of Hockey Operations, said. “The Beacons have always recruited strongly from the EHL, so this will give our players a great chance to see where they need to get in order to play at the next level.”
In its fifth season, the Eastern Hockey League is a two-tiered system with 16 teams scattered throughout the Northeast. Committed to developing and producing student-athletes with aspirations of advancing to collegiate and professional hockey, the EHL expanded to include a 13-team EHL Premier Division this year.
Over the past two seasons the EHL has finished as the leader in direct-to-college advancement at the Division II and III levels and has accounted for nearly one-in-five freshmen on Division II and III NCAA rosters.
Featured in this year’s showcase are forwards D.J. Schwenke from the New England Wolves (6’0, 175, 1999) with seven goals and 12 points in 12 games played this season, Bryce Witman from the Philadelphia Revolution (6’3, 206, 1998) with 15 goals and 27 points, Jake Fuss from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights (5’11, 180, 1998) with 11 goals and 16 points and Cullen Kane from the Connecticut RoughRiders (5’10, 165. 1997) who has accumulated 11 goals and 24 points in just 13 games played so far this season.
Rounding out the rest of the offensive firepower for the EHL forwards consist of Chris Peters (Walpole Express), Jimmy Peltman (Valley Jr. Warriors), Alex Ochterbeck (Philadelphia Little Flyers), Joey Savel (Philadelphia Little Flyers), Drew Platt (Philadelphia Jr. Flyers), Matthew Boring (New York Applecore), Matthew Stewart (Total Athletics Seahawks) and Jarrett Slear (New Hampshire Avalanche).
Player to Watch: Bryce Witman (Philadelphia Revolution)
Bryce Witman was named the EHL forward of the week after he racked up seven points in a weekend sweep of the Wilkes-Bare/Scranton Knights. Through 11 games, Witman has 24 points and has led his team to a perfect 11-0 record.
Player to Watch: Andrew Barber (Vermont Lumberjacks)
Over the last five games Andrew Barber has tallied nine points, including a pair of assists to go along with the game-winner against the New York Applecore last Saturday. Barber upped the ante and added two more assists on Sunday against the New York Bobcats Royals.
Barber is joined on defense by Ryan Campbell (Vermont Lumberjacks), who has shown he is just as dangerous on offense accumulating 13 points in 12 games. Also keep an eye on Matt Fuller (East Coast Wizards), Nick Grinvalds (Boston Jr. Rangers), Ian Wallgren (Connecticut Oilers) and Matthew Araujo (New York Bobcats Royals).
Standing in between the pipes for the EHL are the dominant duo of Michael Paglucca from the New Hampshire Avalanche and Nolan Egbert from the Boston Jr. Rangers.
Paglucca holds a 5-2 record with a 1.08 goals-against average with two shutouts this season while Egbert has been nothing short of spectacular with an 8-2 record, 1.38 GAA and two shutouts.
Jon Lounsbury will sit atop the helm as the head coach for the EHL All-Stars from the Walpole Express and he is joined by assistants Chris Cerrella (New Hampshire Avalanche) and Rich DeCaprio (Boston Jr. Rangers).
The UMass-Boston roster consists of seven former players from the EHL including junior defenseman Garrett Galagher (Philadelphia Little Flyers), junior forward Drew Gannon (Philadelphia Little Flyers), junior forward David MacGregor (Wilkes-Bare/Scranton Knights), freshman defenseman Evan Heldt (Philadelphia Little Flyers), junior defenseman John Regnart (Wilkes-Bare/Scranton Knights), junior defenseman Gabe Chuckran (Philadelphia Little Flyers) and sophomore goaltender Jordan Bustard (Connecticut Nighthawks).
UMass-Boston, which skated in the 2016 Division III Frozen Four, has developed into one of the top programs in the country.
Live Stream the event today at 4pm!
Written by Chris Costa/Hockey Clan
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