USPHL Southeast Showcase: Youth Shows Way Forward For Elite Teams

The USPHL Southeast Showcase Presented by LTD Hospitality and hosted by the Hampton Roads Whalers wrapped up Monday, Sept. 26 after originally opening on Thursday, Sept. 22. 

Check out how the best USPHL Elite teams fared at the showcase, as we take a look at all teams that finished with at least a .500 record. 


Carolina Jr. Hurricanes (4-0-0-0)

Last year’s showcase hosts are on defensive fire early on. They’ve lost just once overall so far, but they continue to frustrate teams in both the goal and shots on goal department. They started out with back-to-back shutouts on Saturday and Sunday, taking down the Florida Jr. Blades and Tampa Bay Juniors by matching 4-0 scores. Jacob Sanders and Pavel Matiunin were shutout beneficiaries of suffocating efforts by the whole team that saw 13 shots against by the Jr. Blades and 18 by Tampa. Their shutout streak stretched to 49:21 in their third game before the Palm Beach Typhoon broke their bid for a third straight donut, scoring with 1:39 remaining in a 5-1 Jr. Canes win. They finished on Monday by defeating the Florida Eels by a 4-2 score. 

They gave up just 15 shots in both the Typhoon and Eels games, averaging 15.25 shots against per game at the showcase. The shutdown is on for the Jr. Canes! 


Hampton Roads Whalers (4-0-0-0)

The Whalers’ outstanding Thursday to Saturday run helped elevate them from a rough start to much better standing at .500 coming out of the showcase. They had the toughest route to an undefeated record of any team at the showcase, going to overtime or shootout in three of their four games. Taryk Filipuzzi’s second goal of their first game was the OT game-winner in a 4-3 win over the Atlanta MadHatters on Thursday. 

He scored his third to get the Friday morning game started, but the Florida Jr. Blades tied it up in the second. No further team play could settle the matter, so into the shootout it went. Out of 14 shooters, only the Whalers’ Michael Yelle was able to score and the Whalers got the 2-1 win. They were able to breathe a bit more in a 6-1 win over Columbia, but they ended with another OT extravaganza against the Nashville Spartans, winning 3-2. Santino Capone’s second goal was the deciding factor. 


Charlotte Rush (3-1-0-0)

The Rush found themselves in a push-and-pull game against the Atlanta MadHatters. It was only a 4-3 lead for Charlotte not long after the mid-game ice cut. They eventually outlasted their plucky opponents with a 7-5 win. 

The razor’s edge wasn’t done with them yet. Midday on Sunday, they were down 5-3 after the second. A third-period 3-0 advantage for Charlotte ended up being the difference in a 7-5 win.

Game 3 wasn’t any easier – and ended up with their first loss. Tied 3-3 late in the game, the Florida Eels scored with 1:09 left. Even in their final game, a 4-1 win over Tampa, they were only up 2-1 after two periods. Tyler Tonucci led the way over the showcase with points in every game, totaling two goals and four assists for six points. 


Florida Eels (3-1-0-0)

The Eels were right up there with the Rush in terms of one-goal games – all of their wins were by a single marker. First, they met the defending National Champion Richmond Generals, coming away with a 3-2 victory. Next up, they were tied 4-4 late against the first-year Nashville Spartans, but a goal with just 21 seconds remaining for the 5-4 victory. One of their biggest tests was going up against the Charlotte Rush. Again, they were tied late, but Justin Deshaies scored the GWG with 1:09 remaining for a 4-3 victory. It was the Carolina Jr. Hurricanes, who went undefeated in Virginia, who broke the winning run by defeating the Eels by a 4-2 score. Jacob Godbout posted a 3-3-6 line over all four games, and improved to a 7-6-13 total in his seven games this year. 


Potomac Patriots (3-1-0-0)

The Patriots came out firing on all cylinders in their Thursday opener, putting up a 7-1 victory against the Columbia Infantry. Friday saw a slightly more modest but still satisfying victory, a 3-1 mark against the Atlanta MadHatters. Later on in the day, they saw yet another two-goal margin of victory in defeating the Florida Jr. Blades by a 5-3 score. In their final game, they were on the other side of the two-goal margin, falling by a 3-1 score on Saturday to the Tampa Bay Juniors. Zarand Varga has scored in every game so far this season, and posted a 2-8-10 line in his four games and now leads the Elite with 18 points in six games. 


Richmond Generals (2-1-1-0) 

The defending National Champion Generals came into the Southeast Showcase undefeated, but saw that distinction fall in their final pair of games. To start, they defeated the Florida Jr. Blades 4-1 and then shut out Columbia by a 4-0 score. 

Possibly the biggest shockwave came on Friday when they fell by a 5-4 score in overtime to the Atlanta MadHatters. The Gens started out behind 2-1 in the first and while they were eventually able to earn a point by getting to overtime, Cooper Lundberg’s goal for Atlanta ended the proceedings. Trae Schanberger had his third straight game of scoring two goals when the Gens faced the Florida Eels, and he gave the Generals a 2-1 lead going into the third period, but two unanswered Eels goals saw a 3-2 final for the Fort Myers-based squad. 


Palm Beach Typhoon (2-2-0-0)

The Typhoon saw a bit of a grab bag of results from the Southeast Showcase, but they came out at least even. The second-year Typhoon started with a 5-4 overtime track meet with the first-year Columbia Infantry, with the winners powered by a four-goal effort by Lucas Nichols (including the OT GWG). Another one-goal showdown followed, but this time went the way of the Charlotte Rush. The Typhoon held a 5-3 lead after two periods, but a three-goal third by the Rush settled the matter at 6-5 in their favor. A 5-1 loss to the red-hot Carolina Jr. Hurricanes followed, but the Typhoon did break a Jr. Canes 151:21 shutout streak at the event. A four-point effort by Sean Boltin (2-2-4) pushed the Typhoon to a Sunday morning 6-1 victory over the Nashville Spartans to close their showcase stand.