USPHL Premier Players Of The Month: South Region
By USPHL Staff/USPHL.com , 01/02/20, 5:00PM EST
Forward Of The Month: Jacob Kaplan, Hampton Roads Whalers
The Whalers were one of the few teams to go 4-0 at the USPHL Florida Showcase, an event which provided two-thirds of the games for the Whalers in December.
In each of these contests, the third-year Whaler Kaplan (‘99/Bowie, Md.) more than made his presence known. In fact, Kaplan is entering the 2020 portion of the schedule on an 11-game point streak, during which he has racked up 26 points.
December was when that point streak went into turbo mode, as Kaplan scored multiple points in every single one of his six games, ending up with 18 points on the month.
In a series against the rival Richmond Generals, which ended up as a split, he scored six points, including three goals and an assist in the Dec. 8 game.
In the first game of the USPHL Florida Showcase, Kaplan had a 2-2-4 line to help the Whalers beat the host Tampa Bay Juniors. At the showcase, he posted five goals and seven assists. That put him at 52 points in 27 games so far this season.
Matt Wood, Richmond Generals
Kyle Watson, Hampton Roads Whalers
Defenseman Of The Month: Regnars Udris, Florida Eels
Udris (‘99/Talsi, Latvia) has helped to keep the Eels towards the top of the USPHL Premier Division. The Eels entered 2020 just one point outside of first place, standing at 22-5-2-1 overall.
On defense, the Eels gave up just 34.7 shots per game, and Udris was at the heart of the team’s defensive effort, averaging 23:15 of ice time per game and additionally, he blocked 56 shots and he has 58 takeaways for the season. This is all in addition to 18 total points scored, six of which came in the month of December.
In his final game of 2019, Udris fired the shorthanded game-winning goal against the Carolina Jr. Hurricanes in a 3-0 victory that pushed the Eels into second place overall.
Ilja Grekovs, Charlotte Rush
Thomas McGuire, Hampton Roads Whalers
Goaltender Of The Month: Greg Moon, Hampton Roads Whalers
Moon continues to make good on the Whalers’ moving him from a strong season last year at the USPHL Elite level to the USPHL Premier Division.
After all, Moon (‘99/Franklin, Mass.) has posted a 7-2-0-1 record thus far for the Whalers, following on his undefeated 9-0 stand with the Elite squad last year. He went 3-0 in his three appearances at the USPHL Florida Showcase – and boy did it start dramatically.
Moon came into a rough situation in his first game – the Whalers were down 4-0 to the Islanders Hockey Club with 29:14 still to go. No more pucks crossed the Whalers’ goal line when Moon was in net, as his teammates put together five unanswered goals, including the OT winner in the 5-4 victory.
Wait, he was just getting started! He then stopped 19 of 20 shots in a victory over the host Tampa Bay Juniors and, in his final act of the 2010s, he posted a 33-save shutout of the second-place Florida Eels. Not bad for a weekend’s worth of work.
Jack Riedell, Charlotte Rush
Kris Muhr, Potomac Patriots