The Springfield Pics open their league schedule this weekend with the Premier’s away from the friendly confines of the Olympia, while the Elite, U16, and U15 open up their home end of their season.
The Premier squad open their season with four games over an extended weekend. They will be facing the Jersey Hitmen and the Utica Jr Comets twice. They will be facing the Hitmen twice on Saturday, once on 3:50pm and again at 9:00pm. They will then face the Comets on Sunday at 10:40am, and again on Monday at 10:30am.
The last time these teams met, the Pics beat the Hitmen 4 – 1 on November 16th, and the Pics and the Comets split their series, with the Pics on the winning end 4 – 3 on September 21st, and on the opposite end with a 3 – 2 loss on February 14th.
The Pics then travel to the Hollydell Ice arena, home of the Skipjacks on October 9th, then back up to Bridgewater for another showcase against the Rockets Hockey Club, The New York Aviators, and the P.A.L. Junior Islanders.
Rob Bonneau, when asked about this coming series was quoted at saying “We are looking forward to getting back to league play. We had an excellent training camp and look to get off to a good start as the division will be extremely competitive all season, and every game will be important.”
The Elite squad has a lone game against the Islanders Hockey Club on Saturday at 8:20pm, with Pics broadcaster Eric Richardson having the call. The Islanders elected not to field an Elite team last season. The Islanders have already played 3 games so far, being victorious in all of them.
“We are fortunate that the league is letting us move forward with the season. We are looking forward to our first league game Saturday against a new IHC team which I expect to be just as skilled as our upcoming opponents. We have a mix of veterans, players who have moved up in the organization, as well as newcomers. The Elite team this year is a skilled squad, and anticipates getting back to Nationals, and hope to begin the run on Saturday”, Elite Head Coach Chris Beaudoin was quoted saying when inquired about this upcoming game and season.
The Pics begin the home end of their season on Saturday and Sunday against the visiting Utica Junior Comets at 8:45 pm on Saturday and 5:30pm on Sunday. The Pics and the Comets did not face each other last season.
The Pics face the visiting Utica Comets, as they go to battle on Saturday and Sunday. 8:05pm on Saturday and 3:30pm on Sunday. The Comets were successful all three times last season they faced the Pics. When asked about this coming series against Utica, Head Coach Vern Smith was quoted saying “We’ve got a real challenge ahead of us with a skilled Utica team. We will be forced to up the tempo of our game. We have a number of new faces, so it will be a test for many of our players.”
Written by Ed Meyer
The Springfield Pics U15’s opened up their league play at Foxboro Sports Center this past weekend. Due to C19 protocols and the uncertainty of the season for all of hockey; the U15’s after a single week of practice prior to the weekend still managed to impress the coaching staff with their individual skill and their potential.
This weekend was a great opportunity to expose many new players to a higher level of play that is both faster and more aggressive at the Tier I AAA Midget level within the USPHL. Returning Head Coach Vern Smith now has seen his players' game time decisions and abilities and has already made adjustments in the first training of the week to improve on attention to detail, but also the speed of play.
The Springfield Pics staff worked hard to recruit and build almost an entirely new roster for this season. It is a team of great potential and made mostly by players at the 2006 birth year. A positive outlook offensively for the U15’s were the new 06’s who contributed to the scoring and offensive pressure with Forwards Pisano, Ritter and Patchkofsky while defensively the pairing of Berman and Blaze kept their plus/minus respectful. The new guys still have plenty to learn and can do so by paying attention to the solid core of returning 2005 players such as Stockseth, Cassells, Cartee and Hill who used their experience and knowledge of the speed of the game to apply pressure on the opposing teams.
Goalie Aiden Houk (2005) was in net for the Pics and provided what can be nothing less than a stellar performance. Houk made all his routine saves and kept the boys in the game as they were still figuring it all out. It is a team that GM Rob Bonneau feels that will grow over the season, not only as a team, but to compete with teams that traditionally are strong at this age group and make a move to the top of the standings.