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SASKS Plays in the USPHL Semifinals This Weekend
The #8 U16 team in the country, Selects Academy at South Kent School is set to square off against the South Shore Kings in the USPHL Semifinals at 1:00pm on Saturday, February 25th at Stockdale Arena on the South Kent School campus. The winner of this semifinal game will take on the winner of the Boston Jr. Bruins/Jersey Hitmen in the other semifinal game played at 11:00am, also at Stockdale Arena. The USPHL U16 Championship Game is set for 11:00am on Sunday, February 26th at Stockdale Arena.
The Selects Academy at South Kent School earned the #1 seed in the South Division of the USPHL Playoffs on the strength of a 43-7-2 overall record, including a current stretch where they have won 13 of their last 14 games since returning from Christmas Break. The team reached the league semifinal game by knocking off the #8 seed Jersey Shore Whalers 10-0 and then beating the #4 seed York Skipjacks 6-0 the next day in the South Division Playoffs last weekend in Wayne, NJ.
The #4 seed South Shore Kings U16 team comes to South Kent this weekend with an overall record of 28-16-0 after taking down the #5 seed Springfield Pics 3-1 and the #3 seed Islanders Hockey Club 3-2 last weekend in the North Divisionl Playoffs held in Foxboro, MA.
This semifinal will be the first matchup of the season for these two teams and pits groups who are hot at the right time of the season. SASKS U16's look to continue to use a well balanced scoring attack as well as stingy defense to contain the South Shore Kings - a hard working team with good goaltending. The Selects Academy at SKS U16 team is looking to defend their USPHL title from a year ago. A win on their home ice this weekend would be their 3rd USPHL Championship in the past 4 years.
The other semifinal game features two annual league powers in the Boston Jr. Bruins and the Jersey Hitmen. The Boston Jr. Bruins are the #1 seed team in the North Division and have rolled through league competition this season. They enter this weekend with an overall record of 45-15-4. They got here by beating the #8 seed Hartford Jr. Wolfpack 4-0 and the #7 seed Syracuse Stars 5-1 in the North Division Playoffs last weekend. The #2 seeded South Division representative, Jersey Hitmen have had a very successful season in their own right. They come to the Hillside this weekend with an overall record of 40-16-1 and a top 20 National Ranking. They knocked off the #7 seed Connecticut Jr. Rangers 6-0 and the #3 seed PAL Jr. Islanders 6-2 in the South Division Playoffs on their home ice last weekend in Wayne, NJ. This will be the second meeting this year between the Hitmen and the Jr. Bruins. In their first game against each other on January 28th the Boston Jr. Bruins prevailed with a 6-3 win. The Hitmen have not lost since, while the Jr. Bruins have won 12 out of their last 13 games since the last time these two teams met.
Selects Academy at SKS opened the season against the Jersey Hitmen way back in the beginning of September, winning both games but have not seen the Hitmen since. SASKS has only played the Jr. Bruins one time this season, also in September in the Jr. Bruins Shootout, posting a 4-0 victory in that meeting. However, at this time of the year you can throw the regular season out the window and this weekend should provide fun and exciting playoff hockey action in all the games. It is going to be a grind as every team hopes to reach the finish line as the last team standing.
The Selects Academy at South Kent School U16 team has already qualified for USA Hockey's National Championship as winners of the New England title. The team will head to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania from April 6-10 to compete for the ultimate crown. It is the third trip to nationals for the U16 team.
Selects Academy at South Kent School U15
Selects Academy at South Kent School U15 team is also playing a couple big games at Stockdale Arena this weekend. There are no league playoffs for this age group but they will welcome the #10 ranked Long Island Gulls to The Hillside for two contests, 7pm Saturday and 9am Sunday. These are the last regular season games for the #4 ranked U15 team in the country as they try to lock up an at-large big in the USA Hockey National Tournament. The team is coming into this weekend riding an 11 game winning streak and boasts and overall record of 42-8-1. This new, younger age group is on track to qualify for the first U15 national tournament April 6-10 in Scottsdale, Arizona.
The USPHL U18 playoffs are also taking place at Stockdale Arena this weekend, semifinals at 3pm and 5pm Saturday and the championship at 1pm on Sunday.