UTAH PUCK REPORT

Vernal Oilers Tear Through USPHL Playoffs, Hockey Interest Soars In Uintah Basin

Mar 14, 2024, 11:34 AM | Updated: 11:49 am

Vernal Oilers hold up championship banner...

Photo courtesy of the Vernal Oilers

SALT LAKE CITY – The Vernal Oilers have secured their second consecutive Northwest division title at the USPHL Premier level by defeating the visiting Seattle Totems by a 2-1 series score.

By finishing first in the regular season with a record of 29-9-4-2, the Oilers secured home-ice advantage for the duration of the playoffs and began the postseason by sweeping the Rogue Valley Royals (Medford, OR) by scores of 9-2 and 5-2 in the best-of-three series.

Oilers Rally In Front Of Packed Home Crowd

Up next was the second-place Seattle Totems for a rematch of the 2023 Northwest division final, and after dropping a tightly contested game one by a score of 5-4, the Oilers rallied in front of a packed Western Park Ice Arena to defeat the visiting Totems by scores of 5-1 in game two, and 6-2 in game three to defend the divisional title.

Logan Powers (Spokane, WA) paced the Oilers with 10 points in 5 playoff games, and Rodion Gornostaev (Russia); Austin Osborn (United Kingdom); and Jonathan Jakshoj (Denmark) each recorded 8 points each during the post-season. Goaltender Levente Hegedus (Hungary) started all three games during the divisional final, making 82 saves on 90 shots and recording a .911 save percentage.

“Nationals has been our goal since day one,” said GM David Imonti. “We built a deep team that would help us compete against the best teams in the country, and I feel we are poised to improve over last year’s showing.”

@kslsportscom When in doubt… throw a trash can??? #hockey #hockeyislife #vernaloilers #juniorhockey #hockeytiktoks ♬ Coming In Hot – Andy Mineo & Lecrae


The Oilers are coached by former Calgary Flames draft pick and Utah Grizzlies forward Ryan Howse.

“We now have big things to look forward to in the coming week,” Howse said. “This group has impressed me all year. It’s one of the best groups I have been a part of. We enjoy each other. We fight like brothers but we love each other like a family. We found a way to get through adversity. Going to nationals is a big goal of ours and I couldn’t be more proud of my group.”

RELATED: Utah Outliers Announce Brand New Park City Ice Rink

Vernals Oilers At USPHL National Championship

The Oilers have secured a berth in the USPHL National Championship tournament that will take place in Utica, NY from March 21 until March 26.

The tournament features the top 16 teams in the 61 team premier division of the USPHL vying for a National title.

Vernal will face the Fort Wayne Spacemen at 2:15 PM EST on March 21, and the Ontario Jr. Reign at 7:45 EST on March 22 during round-robin play, and will be re-seeded based on performance for the elimination rounds beginning March 23.

Utah Puck Report is a podcast all about Utah hockey, from interviews with NHL stars to which Grizzlies players are about to take the next step, Utah Puck Report has everything for a Utah hockey fan. Find it wherever you find podcasts or on KSLSports.com. The show is hosted by KSL Sports’ hockey insider, Jay Stevens.

Utah Puck Report

girls and women on the ogden ice sheet...

Jay Stevens

Ogden Hockey Event Aims To Get Women, Girls Involved As Hockey Grows

The Ice Breaker Girl and Women's hockey weekend is happening this week. It's an event aimed at getting women and girls engaged, interested and playing ice hockey.

12 days ago

park city ice rink rendering...

KSL Sports

Utah Outliers Announce Brand New Park City Ice Rink

Junior hockey in Utah is about to take a huge step forward with the addition of a new, luxury rink in Park City, Utah that will be home of the Utah Outliers.

2 months ago

general view of a weber state hockey game...

Jay Stevens

Weber State Knocks Off Utah State In Preparation For Big Mountain Tournament

Weber State Hockey kicked off the second half of their season with a much-needed rivalry win, with a 4 -3 victory over Utah State.

3 months ago

Jack Eichel #9 of the Vegas Golden Knights controls the puck during the third period of a game agai...

Stephen Whyno

Hot Starts By Vegas, Boston And Historically Bad Start For San Jose Among Early NHL Trends

Nearly a month into the NHL season, Wayne Gretzky's career goals record looks safer than Edmonton's playoff chances.

5 months ago

Trevor Lewis #61 of the Los Angeles Kings during warmups at Crypto.com Arena on October 21, 2023 in...

Jay Stevens

Utah’s Trevor Lewis Celebrates 900th NHL Game

Saturday night at the Staples Center, Salt Lake City native, and current Los Angeles Kings forward Trevor Lewis celebrated a remarkable career milestone

6 months ago

utah grizzlies player waits at center ice...

Jay Stevens, KSL Sports

Utah Grizzlies Off To Hot Start In ECHL Playoffs Against Steelheads

The Utah Grizzlies needed a final series sweep against the Tulsa Oilers to qualify for the 2023 ECHL playoffs.

12 months ago

Sponsored Articles

ksl-sports-newsletter...

KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.

...

KSL Sports

Jazz Notes Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the Jazz Notes newsletter. Get insider analysis, game recaps and opportunities to win tickets!

Follow @kslsports...

The Road Home Mediathon 2023

The KSL Sports Zone and KSLSports.com are proud to support the all-day Mediathon 2023 at the Road Home, an annual tradition to raise money and other essential items for the Road Home, a Homeless Shelter.

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.

Jordan-Clarkson-Utah-Jazz...

KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.

Vernal Oilers Tear Through USPHL Playoffs, Hockey Interest Soars In Uintah Basin