Seedings set for PPHL’s first playoffs
18U Elite finishes regular season unbeaten; Mount dominates 16U level
By Kevin Conway
WALPOLE, Mass. – Playoff seedings were settled during the third and final showcase event of the inaugural season for the Power Prep Hockey League. The new alliance of like-minded hockey academies, prep schools, and AAA organizations gathered at the twin-rink Rodman Arena to cap their first regular season of competition.
At the 18U level, Elite Hockey Academy recorded three more victories to become the PPHL’s first-ever undefeated regular-season squad, earning the No. 1 seed for February’s playoff weekend. Meanwhile, Mount Academy 16U’s nearly equaled the same feat, racking up three wins to complete the season with only one blemish on their record.
Elite posted its fourth shutout victory of the season to start the weekend, 4-0 over Mount behind the netminding of Vladimir Mytnik, who blanked an opponent for the third time in six starts. EHA followed that up with back-to-back wins over a pair of guest clubs—Northern Cyclones and Bishops College—to finish off the 9-0-0-0 mark. However, the Bishops Bears of Quebec threatened to spoil Elite’s pursuit for perfection until Jake Lindstrom’s power-play goal with 5:34 remaining snapped a tie game to secure a 5-4 victory.
Both Mount and Boston Hockey Academy completed the third showcase with consecutive wins after an opening loss to finish tied in the standings with 17 points. However, thanks to Boston’s incredible six-goal comeback victory over the Saints during the November showcase event in Ohio, BHA earned the second seed for the playoffs.
Despite being unable to attend the Boston-area event due to transportation issues, Gilmour Academy had assured itself enough points during the first two events to claim the No. 4 spot in the standings ahead of Ontario Hockey Academy, which swept its third showcase opponents to halt a five-game losing streak, and Bourget College.
The lone club above .500 in the division, Mount defeated Boston Hockey Academy for the third time this season to begin the third showcase before dispatching of guest clubs Bishops College and Northern Cyclones. Saints scoring leader Noah Cziment netted at least one goal in all three games, including a five-point effort (2 goals, 3 assists) against the Bears, to give him a division-leading 13 points for the season. BHA all-star forwards Jonathan Doucette and Gryphon Watson-Bucci share the division lead for goals with six apiece.
Elite Hockey Academy’s 4-3 victory over 16U guest Ontario Hockey Academy on Easton Lower’s third-period tally allowed EHA to secure the second seed for the PPHL playoffs, one point ahead of BHA. Gilmour Academy, which was unable to make to the trip to Massachusetts, rounds out the standings in fourth place.
PLAYOFFS ON DECK
The first Power Prep Hockey League season will conclude with the playoffs weekend Feb. 3-5, 2023, in Simsbury, Conn., at the International Skating Center of Connecticut. Both divisions will feature a six-team preliminary round with the 18U and 16U league members.
Playoff schedule will be announced the week of December 27, 2022