Cyclones, Patriots spoil day for Dells Ducks

By Jim den Hollander  


Coming off its most impressive win of the season and second win in its past three games, the Dells Ducks rolled into the middle day of action at the Islanders Hockey Club Showcase tournament at Merrimack College, North Andover, MA. 

What awaited them though was an ambush from the Cincinnati Cyclones and Potomac Patriots. The level of competition was stepped up in a big way and the Ducks took a pair of losses on the chin by a combined score of 18-2. 

Cyclones 10 Ducks 2  

First up was another early morning contest against the Cyclones, a new team in the Great Lakes Division with a solid group of offensive weapons, including league leading scorer Drake Barnish who played three previous seasons with the Hudson Havoc.  

Dells Ducks

Barnish added six more points to his total with three goals and three assists, Brendan Walk, another former Havoc player also racking up a half dozen with two goals and four helpers.  

The Cyclones outshot the Ducks by a 16-6 margin in the opening period and carried a 5-1 margin in to the middle period. 

Caden Glamkowski (‘04/St. Charles, IL), the Ducks’ leading scorer, fired his second of the game and 17th of the season early in the middle period, but the final five goals all belonged to the Cyclones.  

Jack Kopfstein (‘05/Vista CA) continued a four-game points streak of his own with assists on both Glamkowski goals, other help coming from Jayden Tkaczuk (02/Channahon, IL) and Lucas Taylor (‘04/Chandler, AZ). 

Patriots 8 Ducks 0  

The road was no easier later Saturday when the Ducks hit the ice against the Potomac Patriots. 

The Patriots rolled into the contest buried in fifth and last spot in the league’s Southeast Division, a group that has laid claim to the league championship for the past half dozen seasons. 

Charged up by a win against the always powerful Hampton Roads Whalers the previous weekend, the Pats rolled to a big shutout win and nearly 50 shots against the Ducks.  

Despite a lopsided 13-4 edge in shots in the opening period, some standout work in goal (once again) from Drew Moseley limited the damage to a 1-0 Patriots’ lead. 

Potomac put up another three in the middle period and four more down the stretch.  

The Ducks, beginning the second half of the USPHL regular season with the Patriots, fell to 1-2 on the weekend and 3-20 in regular season play. The Ducks were hoping to wrap up a .500 weekend heading into Sunday and a final Showcase game against the Jersey Whalers. 

Jimmy D’s Top 10 Games — #3

Ducks bring it on home!

Statistically, the Ducks claiming the USP3HL National Championship in the spring of 2016 is the biggest win in team history.

After all, only champions end their season with a win — technically, the Ducks also ended the 2014 season with a win over Florida Jr. Blades at the USA Hockey Nationals, but that was in round robin play – and the team collected the highest honor it could achieve in 2016.

The reason it has been pushed down a bit on my list is because the National Championship wins might have been a bit of an anti-climax as in that season, the tougher games came earlier.

Between the 2014-15 and 2015-16, the Ducks and several other Minnesota Junior Hockey League teams moved to the United States Premier Hockey League. It was decided the large group of newcomers would be placed in the USP3HL (a pre-cursor of what is now known as the USPHL Elite League) for its first season.

The Ducks were included in the nine-team Western Conference with teams from the also merged Midwest Junior Hockey League season forming the Eastern Conference.

The playoff road might not have been the toughest the Ducks ever faced, but it was certainly the longest.

The Ducks finished third in its division despite a nice 38-8-2 regular season record. As a result, the Ducks faced the Illiana Blackbirds in the opening round of the post season and (see Top 10 Game 10) came close to being eliminated right there, needing an overtime winning in game three.

That pushed the Ducks into a road series in Chicago against the expansion Cougars who finished one point ahead of the Ducks in the regular season. This one also went the three-game limit as teams traded 2-1 overtime wins before the Ducks wrapped it up with a 3-2 victory. Chicago defeated the Ducks in the second game of the series and the Ducks never lost again that season.

The Ducks and top seeded Forest Lake Lakers (who finished two points ahead of the Ducks in the regular season) advanced to the League Championship set along with the Traverse City Hounds and Tri-City Icehawks from the Eastern Conference.

Placed in one of two Round Robin Divisions, the Ducks defeated the Hampton Roads Whalers (3-0); and Jersey Shore Whalers (6-1) to advance into the tournament’s Final Four.

A 5-2 win against the Florida Eels advanced the Ducks into the National Championship game where they once again played Hampton Roads – Wrapping up the Crown with another in a record-breaking season of shutouts for Jared Young, 5-0.

That game – the National Championship clinching shutout, is Game 3 on Jimmy D’s Top 10 Ducks games list.

The triumphant Ducks returned home to a cheering crowd at the Poppy Waterman Ice Arena. The following season, the Ducks and all the other Midwest teams were bumped up to the Premier League where many of them still reside in one of the three Midwest region divisions.