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Know Your Opponent: Florida Showcase

12/17/2020, 8:00pm EST
By Tyler Davey

Carolina Jr Hurricanes


The Carolina Jr Hurricanes enter the showcase leading the Southeast Division with a record of 14-3-1. They currently hold a four-point cushion over the Charlotte Rush and Richmond Generals. They return one of their top 5 scorers from a season ago, Luke Babilon. Carolina’s success has been fueled by a stifling defense that is allowing just over two goals per game. Goaltender Jack Perna has shined with a 8-1-0 record, a 1.44 goals against, and a .948 save percentage. The Hurricanes are powered by a balanced offense with plenty of secondary scoring. Their leading scorer is defenseman Jakub Viedemann who has 19 points (17 assists). The lone mutual opponent of the Juniors and Canes is the Charleston Colonials with Carolina going 2-0-1 against them.

The Hurricanes finished fourth in the Southeast last season with a record of 24-17-3. They were swept in the playoffs by the Charlotte Rush, 5-1 and 4-3. The Hurricanes and Juniors met twice last season with the two teams splitting the series. Tampa beat Carolina 3-1 at the Southeast Showcase with goals from Zach Puterbaugh, Joseph Blanchard, and Stanley Lucas. Carolina got their revenge at AdventHealth Center Ice on 12/16, winning by a score of 3-2.



The Carolina Jr Hurricanes sit in second place of the Southeast Division with a record of 14-4-0. They trail the division-leading Richmond Generals by five points. Their record puts them at 4th in the league, behind Richmond, Tampa Bay, and the Islanders Hockey Club. Leading scorer Chase Williams’ 28 points are good for 4th in the league. Williams scored four goals on 11/15 against Charleston en route to a three-game sweep of the Colonials. The Canes have found success with their special teams units. Their 27.8% success rate on the power play leads their division and the penalty kill of 89.2% is second behind Richmond. Netminder Jaxson Verska has had a respectable season with a 7-1-0 record, a 2.24 goals against average, and a .925 save percentage.

Carolina finished last season in third place of the division with a 31-10-3 record. They clinched their spot at Nationals with a two-game sweep of the two seed Charlotte Rush. The Canes won by scores of 6-1 and 7-4. Tampa and Carolina split their two meetings from a season ago. The Hurricanes shutout the Juniors 4-0 at the Southeast Showcase. Tampa salvaged the season series with a 4-3 shootout win at the Florida Showcase. In the win at home, Tampa trailed 3-0 before mounting their comeback with goals from Mx Weinstock, Jonny Scheer, and Matt Menkhaus.


Potomac Patriots


The Potomac Patriots Premier team starts the day in last place in the Southeast Divison. Their 1-18-0 record puts them 21 points behind fourth place Hampton. The Patriots are entering the showcase with a little momentum after picking up their first win of the season. The Patriots defeated Hampton Roads 7-4 at home last Sunday. Seven goals marks a season-high for the team. Leading scorer Michael Kramer netted a hat-trick in the Patriots victory. Potomac is a team strugglng for offense, only scoring 30 goals in 19 games. They have been shutout in 5 of their 19 games, but only twice in the last 15.

Potomac is coming off one of the most successful years in recent program history. They finished with a record of 20-22-2. Their 42 points were not enough to clinch a playoff spot in the top-heavy Southeast division. Potomac won the lone matchup with the Juniors last season. They topped Tampa 2-1 in a shootout at AdventHealth Center Ice. Zach Puterbaugh scored the lone goal for Tampa in the loss.



The Potomac Patriots Elite team is bringing up the rear in the Southeast Division. They enter the showcase with a 1-17-2 record, 18 points behind Charlotte for fourth. Their lone win of the season came on November 22nd, a 2-0 win over Hampton Roads. They have picked up points in 3 of their last 6, having a shootout and overtime loss in the last two weeks. The Patriots Elite team is starved for offense. In 20 games played, they are averaging just 1.25 goals per game. They have also been held scoreless five times. Leading scorer Liam Hanna (12 points) is the only player in double-figures for scoring. A standout has been netminder Jacob Sanders. In 15 games played, he holds a 3.79 goals against, and a .914 save percentage.

The Potomac Patriots finished last season 10-32-2. Potomac did not qualify for the postseason. They finished last in the league in points (22), scoring (85 goals) and goal differential (-104). The Tampa Bay Juniors were victorious in both meetings with Potomac last season. The Juniors won 5-3 at the Boston Showcase last November. Nevada Woodring and Max Weinstock both scored twice in the win. Tampa completed the season sweep with a 4-1 win at AdventHealth Center Ice in December. Ryan Bahula, Ronan Keenan, Jonny Scheer, and Adam Custable all found the back of the net in the game.


Charlotte Rush


The Charlotte Rush Premier team is tied for second in the Southeast division. They have compiled a 12-4-1 record, but have three games in hand over the Richmond Generals who also have 25 points. Charlotte leads the division in goals against (30) and goal differential (46). Twenty five of their 76 goals have come on the man advantage. They lead the way in the division with a 31.6% success rate on the power play. They are coming off a 6-0 win against the Charleston Colonials, their sixth shutout win of the season. Charlotte did not give up a goal until their fourth game of the season. Their shutout streak spanned 195 minutes and 19 seconds to start the year. The Rush are led by third year defenseman, Alex Davis who has 22 assists and 25 points in 17 games. Goaltender David Battisti has been a workhorse all season for Charlotte. He enters the showcase with a stout 9-3-1 record, a 1.57 goals against, and a .946 save percentage.

The Rush won the regular season title in the Southeast last year, finishing with a 34-9-1 record. Their 190 goals scored, 86 goals against, and +104 goal differential were all the best in the division. The Rush only allowed one goal in their final five regular season games. Charlotte punched their ticket to nationals with a sweep of the Carolina Jr Hurricanes. They were not able to play a game at nationals before the cancellation. Charlotte triumphed in their only meeting with Tampa last season. The Rush beat the Juniors 2-1 at the Southeast Showcase. Paul Flidr scored the lone goal for Tampa. Charlotte won the Premier division title in the 2016-17 season.



The Charlotte Rush Elite team is currently fourth in the Southeast division with a 10-5-2 record. They are three points behind Hampton Roads with two games in hand. Charlotte is third in the division in goals scored (75) and goal differential (+21). They are fourth in the division in power play (15.2%) and penalty kill (81.8%) percentage. The Rush have gotten goals from 22 different skaters and points from 28. Forward Ivan Korcak leads the way for Charlotte with 9 goals and 10 assists. The Rush have played their last four games against the Charleston Colonials. Charlotte has won three of the four, with the lone loss coming in a shootout. Like the Juniors, Charlotte relies on a strong goaltending tandem. Arley Cutler and Brian Brady have both played more than seven games this season.

Charlotte finished second in the Southeast division last year with a 34-9-1 record. They came up three points short of Richmond for the regular season title. Charlotte led the division with 189 goals scored and a +100 goal differential. The Rush were swept in the first round of the playoffs by the Carolina Jr Hurricanes. They gave up 13 goals in the two losses. Current leading scorer, Ivan Korcak, finished second on the team last year with 59 points in 44 games. Charlotte beat Tampa 6-3 on September 28th in their only meeting of the season. They stormed out to a 4-0 lead in the first 18 minutes of the game. Tampa tried to form a comeback with goals from Matthew Menkhaus, Rasmus Tillander, and Ronan Keenan.


Hampton Roads Whalers


The Hampton Roads Whalers Premier team holds down the fourth position of the tightly-contested Southeast division. They are currently 11-7-1 and two points behind Charlotte and Richmond. They have played in many high scoring games, leading the division with 89 goals scored. The Whalers have scored more than 4 goals in 9 of their 19 games. Hampton is coming off a 7-4 loss against the Potomac Patriots, Potomac’s first win of the season. Kyle Watson has led the way offensively for Hampton this season, scoring 18 goals and 33 points in 18 games played. They have gotten secondary scoring with eight players having five goals or more. Kenny Vought and Justin Smith have shared goaltending duties all season for Hampton. Vought leads the way with a 7-4-0 record, a 2.94 goals against, and an .890 save percentage.

Unfortunately Hampton’s attempt to win back-to-back-to-back national championships was cut short due to the season cancellation. Hampton has won the Premier division in 2016, 2018, and 2019. The Whalers finished second in the Southeast last season with a 31-11-2 record. They clinched their spot in nationals with a sweep of the Richmond Generals in the Southeast playoffs. Before the season cancellation, Hampton won their lone game in Boston. They beat the Utica Jr Comets 3-2 on March 12th. Hampton beat Tampa twice in 2019-20. They beat the Juniors 3-1 at home in September and 4-1 at AdventHealth in December. Daniel Duncan and Stanley Lucas scored the goals for Tampa.



The Hampton Roads Whalers Elite team sits in third place of the Southeast division. Their 11-5-3 record gives them a three-point cushion over Charlotte and has them three-points behind Carolina for second. They are fourth in the division in goals scored (55) but second in goals allowed (44). They are led by the exceptional play of Nate McNamara who is averaging two points per game. Goaltender Ty Morton has been the steady hand for Hampton. In 14 games, he is 7-4-3 wit ha 2.38 goals against, and a .916 save percentage. They enter the showcase having picked up points in their last four games.

Hampton Roads finished fourth in the division last year with a 25-15-4 record. They were unable to keep pace with the top of the division, finishing 11 points behind third-place Carolina. They were bounced from the playoffs in two games in the first round by the Richmond Generals. Hampton won both games against the Juniors last season. Hampton won the first matchup 5-2 on September 29th. The Whalers completed the season sweep with a 4-3 win at AdventHealth Center Ice on December 13th. Ronan Keenan scored two goals in the loss at home. Hampton Roads won the national championship in the 2017-18 season.

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