Top Defensemen in teh Division
USPHL Premier Players Of The Month: South Region
By USPHL Staff, 02/03/22, 3:15PM EST
Aaron Hamel, Charlotte Rush
The 2001-born native of Okemos, Mich., is enjoying his second USPHL Premier season, and first with the Charlotte Rush. He carried a scoring streak from December 2021 into the new year. Already 1-3-4 in his last two games at the USPHL Winter Showcase, he extended that to a 3-9-12 streak over seven games. The Arcadia University recruit added another goal and an assist in January to set his monthly line at 3-7-10 in nine contests. Overall, Hamel now has 24 points in 21 games this year and 72 points in 59 career regular season USPHL Premier games.
Michael Reed, Charlotte Rush
Reed (‘01/Knoxville, Tenn.) is another Rush player, like Hamel, who brought four points in his last two games of December into January and set an eventual seven-game scoring streak through Jan. 14. The streak was 9-3-12, and his month’s line for January was 7-5-12 in nine contests. The first-year Premier player improved to 23 points in 25 games, obviously posting more than half of his points for this season in January.
Brenden Yingling, Richmond Generals
Yingling (‘01/Harrisburg, Pa.) helped the Generals to a fantastic 9-1-0-0 month, which included taking over the Southeast Division lead. A Lebanon Valley College recruit, Yingling was a huge part of a massive team effort, as he posted 11 points in January’s 10 games. He carried a five-game scoring streak from December into January and made it an eventual 8-15-23 run in 12 games. By the time January flipped into February, Yingling had 2-9-11 for the first month of 2022. He is the leading scorer for the Generals with 45 points in 38 games.
Max Bronstine, Charlotte Rush
Bronstine (‘02/Toronto, Ont.) helped the Rush to a 9-1-0-0 run in their last 10 and remain a contender for the Southeast Division lead with their rivals the Richmond Generals. Bronstine posted a goal and eight assists for nine points in nine games, while also posting a +11 rating and five blocked shots. He led the Rush in power play time in January (38:27).
Drake Semrad, Richmond Generals
A recent SUNY-Oswego recruit, the 2001-born native of Middleton, Wis., has passed his 2020-21 points total of 28 by registering his 29th point of the season with a goal on Jan. 30 against Carolina. Overall, for January, Semrad registered a 5-6-11 line in 10 January games and also led the Generals in plus-minus (+9) and threw five hits. He also drew five opponent penalties in January, helping him launch 22 power play shots, third on the team.
Logan Gorbitz, Richmond Generals
Gorbitz (‘01/Superior, Colo.) put up an outstanding 6-1 record in January, with his first five victories actually part of an overall seven-game winning streak going back to the USPHL Florida Showcase in mid-December. In net, along with helping his team to nine January victories, Gorbitz stopped 161 of 169 shots on the month, giving him a division-leading .953 save percentage in January.
Jonah Mortenson, Tampa Bay Juniors
Recently tendered by the NCDC’s Twin City Thunder for 2022-23, Mortenson (Champlin, Minn.) exploded offensively in January. He was already a proven scorer, but he put up two three-point games and one performance each of four and five points last month. He finished January on a six-game, 17-point scoring streak as well. Overall, he racked up a 7-14-21 scoring line in nine games for a division-best 2.33 points per game in January. He now has 44 points in 29 games.
Ben Baker, Atlanta MadHatters
Baker (‘02/Powder Springs, Ga.) returns to this honor by just continuing to deserve it, always putting up points and giving his team the best chance to win. Atlanta is in a fierce push for third in the Florida Division with the Florida Jr. Blades, standing just six points back at the turn of the month after a 6-4 run in their last 10 games. Baker averaged two points per game in January, posting a line of 6-8-14, and he brings a five-game goal-scoring streak and a nine-game point-scoring streak into February.
Cole Ketola, Florida Jr. Blades
Ketola (‘01/Cloquet, Minn.) scored in every one of his seven January games, helping the Blades to a 6-2-1-1 record in their last 10 games. After scoring a goal in his final USPHL Florida Showcase game in December, he went on to post 5-9-14 this past month, averaging two points per game. He moved into a tie for the Jr. Blades scoring lead with 42 points in 32 games in this, his second USPHL Premier season.
Eric Hambling, Florida Eels
Hambling (‘02/Fort Myers, Fla.) helped the Eels to continue to pursue the Florida Division lead, which they continue to trade off with an equally tough Tampa Bay Juniors squad. During the month of January, and all on the big stage of the USPHL Winter Showcase, he posted a goal (the game-winner against MJDP) and five assists for six points. He was also the Eels’ plus-minus leader with a +8, he blocked five shots and delivered 11 hits in January.
Artjoms Kadnikovs, Tampa Bay Juniors
Kadnikovs (‘03/Riga, Latvia) is in his first year of North American hockey, but looks like he’s been playing USPHL Premier hockey all his life. He helped the Juniors to first place in the Florida Division by putting up a +13 rating (leading all Juniors blueliners in January), as well as seven blocked shots and a 3-6-9 scoring line in nine games. Overall, Kadnikovs has 18 points in 25 games.
Blake Mons, Tampa Bay Juniors
Mons (‘02/Charleston, S.C.) has shown the value of his three years of USPHL Premier experience, posting a fantastic 4-1 record during the month of January. And in the one loss he took, he gave up one single goal in a 1-0 loss to the Midwest East-leading Chicago Cougars. He also had a 30-save shutout win over the Mountain Division-leading Utah Outliers, both games coming at the USPHL Winter Showcase. He stopped 120 of 126 shots in the month for a .952 save percentage.