- Created: 05 January 2018
The holiday break officially comes to a close this weekend when the Generals travel to Marlborough, Massachusetts to play five opponents in three days at the USPHL Winter Showcase.
It will be the third and final time during the regular season that the Generals will travel from the Northwest to participate in a USPHL Showcase Series event, with the previous two trips being to the Chicago Showcase and the Islanders Hockey Club Showcase.
Eugene will enter the weekend with an official record of 4-5-0 in USPHL play, which does not include a 2-1 win over the Florida Eels in an exhibition game played at the Chicago Showcase.
In the team's most recent USPHL Showcase Series event, the Generals posted a 2-3-0 record at the I.H.C. Showcase with wins over the Jersey Shore Whalers (3-1) and Boston Bandits (2-1) along with losses to the Charlotte Rush (0-4), Hampton Roads Whalers (2-4) and Atlanta Jr. Knights (1-4).
The trip to Marlborough will be the team's first visit since participating in last year's USPHL Playoffs after claiming the 2017 USP3HL Pacific Division Championship.
This weekend's showcase comes admist a massive storm that has wreaked havoc throughout the Northeast, and particularly in the Boston area. As a result, a number of teams previously scheduled to attend the Winter Showcase were forced to cancel their trips due to cancelled flights or unsafe driving conditions.
The Generals were one of those teams to have their travel plans dramatically affected as inclement weather at Boston's Logan Airport forced the cancellation of the team's originally scheduled flight on Thursday. Generals players, coaches and staff will now depart Eugene early Friday morning with the hopes of finding more hospitable conditions when they are scheduled to arrive in Boston later that evening.
The New England Sports Center will serve as the home for every game of the 2018 USPHL Winter Showcase. Boasting an eye-popping eight ice sheets under its roof, the NESC is one of the premier hockey venues in the country for youth and junior tournaments. As noted earlier, the NESC served as the host site for the 2017 USPHL Playoffs.
Similar to November's I.H.C. Showcase, the Winter Showcase is one of the largest Showcase Series events on the USPHL calendar. The event will feature all 25 member teams of the USPHL's Elite League. In addition, the Winter Showcase will also feature all eleven teams from the National Collegiate Development Conference (NCDC) along with teams from the USPHL's Premier, 18U and 16U leagues.
Note: As a result of the travel difficulties posed by the inclement weather in the Northeast, a number of teams shown above will no longer be in attendance this weekend. Currently, the following teams are believed to no longer be attending the Winter Showcase: Atlanta Jr. Knights, Carolina Eagles, Charlotte Rush, Daytona Racers, Florida Eels, Florida Jr. Blades, Hampton Roads Whalers, Palm Beach Hawks, Potomac Patriots, Richmond Generals, Springfield Pics.
|Saturday, January 6||Syracuse Stars||NESC - Rink 6||8:40am EST|
|Saturday, January 6||Jersey Shore Whalers||NESC - Rink 5||5:20pm EST|
|Sunday, January 7||Springfield Pics||NESC - Rink 8||8:50am EST|
|Sunday, January 7||Beijing Shougang Eagles||NESC - Rink 3||4:40pm EST|
|Monday, January 8||Boston Bandits||NESC - Rink 2||10:30am EST|
*Note: snow and high winds forcasted for this weekend have led to warnings regarding potential power outages, road closures, etc.. Stay tuned to EugeneGenerals.com and USPHL.com for updates and information regarding changes to game times and venues.
Record: 6-18-4, 16 points (6th in North Division)
Notes: Of Eugene's five opponents this weekend, Syracuse is one of two programs to boast teams at the NCDC, Premier and Elite levels (Boston Bandits). The Stars, who are in the midst of the program's first year as members of the USPHL, have found success at the NCDC (12-13-6, 6th) and Premier (24-6-2, 1st in North Division) levels but have struggled so far at the Elite level. Ukranian forward Sasha Golovko currently paces the Stars by a wide margin in goals (14) and overall points (32), and goaltenders Anthony Mazzoni and Ben Trembath have largely split the duties in net so far this season.
Jersey Shore Whalers
Record: 11-16-0, 0 points (5th in Mid Atlantic Division)
About the Team: The Whalers will be facing off against the Generals for the second time this season, the first of which was a 3-1 victory by Eugene at the I.H.C. Showcase this past November. Following their prior meeting with Eugene, Jersey Shore went on to win five of their next since games, but they have since lost three straight, including a 4-1 loss to the Northern Cyclones on Friday afternoon to start their run at the Winter Showcase.
Record: 4-24-1, 9 points (7th in North Division)
Notes: To put it simply, the Pics will begin 2018 eager to leave the struggles of last year behind them. Springfield enters the Winter Showcase losers of 12 straight, with the team's last win coming all the way back on November 4th against the Boston Jr. Bruins, who are currently in first place in the North Divison. Like the Aviators, the Pics field a strong team at the USPHL's Premier level (17-13-0, 5th in North). The Pics have been shutout seven times this season and will arrive in Marlborough having failed to muster more than one goal in each of their previous five contests. The Generals have been snakebitten by a cellar-dwelling team before, though, most notably the team's 2-1 loss at the hands of the Potomac Patriots at the Chicago Showcase in October.
Beijing Shougang Eagles
Record: 13-12-1, 27 points (3rd in Mid Atlantic Division)
About the Team: After struggling mightily in the team's first season of play, the Eagles have been one of the best stories of 2017-18 and one of the more impressive turnaround stories across all of junior hockey. Founded as "Team Beijing" last year, the program was originally created by the Beijing Hockey Association in a partnetship with the New York Islanders with the long-term goal of helping facilitate a Chinese team for the 2022 Olympics in Beijing. The Eagles boast a veteran team as 16 of their currently rostered players are returners from last year, and 19 total players hail form China.
Record: 15-9-1, 31 points (4th in North Division)
Notes: The weekend's finale will feature a rematch of what was aguably the most physical (and certainly the chippiest) game of the season. Boston and Eugene will face off in the final Elite game of the weekend, and they'll be doing so less than two months removed from a thrilling matchup at the I.H.C. Showcase in November, a come-from-behind, 2-1 win for the Generals. Despite often being thin on numbers, there's no shortage of skill on the Bandits bench, led by leading-scorer Eric Steeves who is currently tied for 6th in goals at the Elite level. Boston has made a habit of taking frequent trips to the sin bin as the team's 532 PIMs are ranked 4th overall in the league.
How To Follow
Live video broadcasts of every USPHL Winter Showcase game will be available via HockeyTV while live stats will be provided via USPHL.com. You can also follow updates of every Generals game at the USPHL Winter Showcase by following the Gens on Twitter. Full recaps of every game will be available at EugeneGenerals.com.
The next Eugene Generals home games are Friday, January 19th and Saturday, January 20th vs. the Everett Jr. Silvertips Both games are scheduled to start at 7:00pm PST at The Rink Exchange in Eugene, Oregon. Tickets are on sale now at EugeneGenerals.com. Stay tuned to EugeneGenerals.com and follow the Generals on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat for more updates, information and behind-the-scenes content throughout the 2017-18 season.