February 1, 2013

Juniors Journal: Felteau leading the charge for Cyclones

By Shawn Hutcheon

The Atlantic Junior Hockey League’s Northern Cyclones have been on a tear lately. They have won 14 of their last 20 games and hold a two point lead over the circuit’s defending champion Walpole Express. 

Of course, when a team enjoys such lofty success, it does so as a team. However, the efforts of one player always stands out and for the Cyclones, that player has been forward Johnathan Felteau (Peabody, Mass).

Felteau has racked up 13 points in his last four games. On the season, he leads his club with 14 goals and 37 assists for a total of 51 points. The recent scoring binge has allowed the 6-foot tall forward to move into second place in the league’s scoring race, just four points out of the top spot.

Cyclones coach Bill Flanagan describes Felteau as a player he knows he can rely on.

“He’s one of our assistant captains. He has that ability (to score in bunches),” the coach said. “He’s one of the top four players in this league. It’s really coming together for him.”

Flanagan likes Felteau’s on-ice intelligence, also known as “hockey sense.”

“He’s a smart player,” Flanagan explained. “He sees the ice and distributes the puck very well."

During the holidays, the coach rearranged his lines and has been very happy since.

"Johnathan’s been playing on a line with Brian Bowen (Littleton, Mass and the team’s second leading scorer) and  Jurgen Koster since Thanksgiving," the coach said, "and since then they’ve been one of the best lines in junior hockey.”  

As for the the forward’s future, Flanagan believes the college that lands Felteau will be quite happy that it did.

“Every Division 3 school would benefit from adding him to their lineup and to their campus. He’s a really smart kid,” Flanagan said. “I know he’s leaning towards studying engineering once he gets into college. He’s going to do very well in college on and off the ice.”

By the time he arrives on campus for his freshman year, Felteau may very well be fresh off leading the Cyclones to an AJHL championship. 

Game of the Week

The Game of the Week is sure to be a barnburner when the top two seeds in New England, the Boston Jr. Bruins and the Islanders Hockey Club, face off at 1:40 on Saturday afternoon at Skate 3 Arena (aka, The Lighthouse) in Tyngsboro, Massachusetts.

BJB has a seven point lead on the Islanders in the Eastern Junior Hockey League’s Northern Division. IHC is third in the league in goals for with 132 while the Junior Bruins are fourth with 128. On the defensive side of the puck, the two squads are tied for second in the circuit with 85 goals against.

The Islanders’ Michael Doherty (Reading, Mass.), who is fifth in league scoring with 55 points in 33 games and the Junior Bruins' leading scorer, Alex Brink, are your players to watch.
This will be the third meeting of the season between the clubs with the Islanders victorious in both tilts by scores of 4-1 and 5-4.

New England Junior Power Rankings

1) Boston Jr. Bruins (27-8-0-1-0)
2) Islanders Hockey Club (23-9-0-1-1)
3) Northern Cyclones (23-7-2-2)
4) Valley Jr. Warriors (22-14-0-0-1)
5) Walpole Express (23-7-2-0) 

6) South Shore Kings (21-13-0-3-0)
7) Connecticut Wolfpack (21-8-2-1)
8) Springfield Jr. Pics (20-16-0-1-1)
9) Boston Jr. Rangers (17-7-7-2)
10) Bay State Breakers (19-15-0-1-2)

11) New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs (16-17-0-0-2)
12) Boston Bandits (15-17-0-1-2)
13) Connecticut Oilers (10-20-0-2-1)
14) Laconia Leafs (8-21-5-0)
15) Portland Jr. Pirates (10-25-0-1-0) 

Shawn Hutcheon can be reached at feedback@hockeyjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter at @ShawnHutcheon.