USPHL Premier 2023-24 Midwest Region Players Of The Week

Week of Dec. 15, 2023


Games of Dec. 6-12, 2023


Summaries by Joshua Boyd /


Great Lakes Division

Forward: Christopher Free, Nashville Spartans

A fourth-year USPHL veteran and 2003-born Nashville native, Free put up seven goals and four assists for 11 points last weekend when the Spartans faced the Decatur Blaze. This big outburst helped him pull to within one point of already matching his full-season total of 20 points in 2022-23, his first year with the Spartans. He currently has 19 points in 22 games. He first joined the USPHL at the 16U level playing for the Islanders Hockey Club in 2019-20. 


Defense: Austin Micale, Nashville Spartans

Micale (‘03/Hamilton, N.J.) was a busy man for the Spartans, leading his team with 25:49 in average ice time in their series against the Blaze. He put up three goals and three assists for six points, and was also a +7 and drew two opponent penalties with none of his own committed. Micale now has 41 points in 25 games for the season. 


Goaltender: Caleb Kril, Toledo Cherokee

Kril (‘04/Dexter, Mich.) stopped 31 of 32 shots put on him by the Motor City Gamblers on Dec. 9 in a decisive win for the Cherokee. The win put him at 7-3-0-1 for the season. 


Midwest West Division 

Forward: Noah LaFleur, Steele County Blades

LaFleur (‘03/Fairbanks, Alaska) was immense for the Blades as they won three games, each against different opponents, between Dec. 8-10. They’ve also won four out of their five games for December. He put up a 2-5-7 line, including assists in each game. LaFleur also led the way in hits with 11 over three games. His performances topped out with a 1-3-4 line against the Minnesota Mullets. Overall, LaFleur has 27 points in 20 games. 


Defense: Steven Pribula, Steele County Blades 

Pribula (‘03/Grand Forks, N.D.) is a four-year junior veteran in his second season on the Blades’ blue line. During the team’s three-game weekend, Pribula averaged a very impressive and team-leading 27:49 of ice time per game, while posting a goal and three assists for four points in the three games. He has a career-best 16 points in 20 games, and 27 points in 62 career USPHL Premier games for Steele County. 


Goaltender: Bora Yildirim, Wisconsin Rapids Riverkings

Yildirim (‘03/Hostivice, Czechia) came up big with 26 saves on 27 shots against the Minnesota Moose in a battle of the third vs. fourth place teams in the division. He has been huge for the Riverkings all season so far, putting up a 6-2-0-2 record with a .953 save percentage and 1.56 GAA, second and fourth in the USPHL Premier, respectively. 


Midwest East Division 

Forward: Connor Hasse, Battle Creek Kernels

The Kernels’ returning ‘03 forward from Denver, Colo., put up two goals and two assists in the Kernels’ only action last week, helping them defeat the Cincinnati Jr. Cyclones. Hasse improved to 24 points in 25 games, close to his full-season total of last season, 26 points in 43 games. 


Defense: Aidan Canady, Chicago Cougars

Canady (‘03/Schaumburg, Ill.) came away from the Cougars’ games against the rival Chicago Crush in their split series last weekend, in which they only gave up two goals. He averaged 24:49 per game on ice to lead the team. He has averaged a point per game as a first-year Cougar, with 23 points in 23 games. 


Goaltender: Nick Pike, Battle Creek Kernels

Pike (‘03/Guilderland, N.Y.) had a great 42-save performance to help the Kernels get the win against Cincinnati on Dec. 9, giving him two wins in both of his starts this year, with a .940 save percentage to boot.