EHL season moving into high gear with pair of games vs. NCAA teams this weekend
As the Eastern Hockey League season enters its second month, the USA Hockey-sanctioned junior league continues to provide exposure opportunities for its member clubs with two exhibition games this week against NCAA Division III schools.
The EHL team skating against Curry College (Friday at 6:50 p.m. EST) and UMass Boston (Saturday at 4 p.m. EST) will be made up of 2001- and 2002-born uncommitted players from all 17 EHL teams – 15 forwards, eight defensemen and three goaltenders.
The games will be played on the college campuses of each school with the EHL the lone junior hockey league in the country that features this unique opportunity which is now in its fourth year.
“This event brings with it one of my favorite weeks of the season,” said EHL associate commissioner Neil Ravin. “Our players get the chance to play college hockey RIGHT NOW, while they’re still developing at the junior hockey level. The response we’ve received over this annual event from the NCAA Division II and III community has been amazing, and I hear from so many people about how the dates are always circled on the calendar.”
The forward group includes Jake Murphy (Boston Jr. Rangers), Colin Bella (Connecticut RoughRiders), Ryan Webb (East Coast Wizards), Ricards Jelenskis (New England Wolves), Michael Tersoni (New Hampshire Avalanche), Matthew Zdanowicz (New Jersey 87’s), Colin Callanan (New York Apple Core), Kyle Patton (Philadelphia Little Flyers), Spencer Quinn (Protec Jr. Ducks), Matt Pimental (Railers Jr. Hockey Club), Austin Pick (Seahawks Hockey Club), Bobby Geier (Team Maryland), Farrell Dinn (Team Maryland), Egan Schmitt (Vermont Lumberjacks) and Josh Grund (Walpole Express).
Manning the blue line will be Dominic Chirico (Connecticut Chiefs), Julius Kvandal (New England Wolves), Thomas Dempsey (New Hampshire Avalanche), Avery Arnold (Philadelphia Little Flyers), Ryan Brow (Protec Jr. Ducks), Michael O’Brien (Seacoast Spartans), Kyle Lee (Seahawks Hockey Club) and Dominic Metro (Valley Jr. Warriors).
Nathan Mueller (Boston Jr. Rangers), Jackson Bernard (New York Apple Core) and Stefan Kulhanek (Railers Jr. Hockey Club) are the netminding trio.
At the foundation of the team, there are four players who are each in their third season in the EHL, and this group will serve as the captains for this year’s squad.
“We are going to lean on these four individuals to lead the group,” said Ravin. “Egan Schmitt is in his third season with the Lumberjacks at the EHL level, and fourth year overall in the #EShow when you include a season spent in the EHLP. Along with Colin Bella, Bobby Geier, and Josh Grund, these four leaders typically serve as leaders within their respective programs, and they’ll be asked to bring that veteran experience with them this week.”
In addition, Rich DeCaprio (Boston Jr. Rangers) will serve as the team’s head coach and will be joined by assistant coaches Chris Cerrella (New Hampshire Avalanche), Adam Houli (New Jersey 87’s) and Bill Zaniboni (Seahawks Hockey Club) on the EHL bench.
Both exhibition matchups will be streamed live on HockeyTV.com.
Egan Schmitt photo/Dan Hickling/Hickling Images
— Matt Mackinder
(October 19, 2021)