USPHL Premier 2023-24 Midwest West Division Players Of The Month: January 2024

Selection Process: The league media office sends top statistical candidates to divisional coaches for review and coaches either approve or challenge the nominations. 


Summaries by Joshua Boyd / 


Forward: Cannon Bonifay, Minnesota Squatch 

Bonifay (‘04/Fort Worth, Texas) has improved to more than 2.0 points per game, having posted nine goals and 12 assists for 21 points over their nine games of January. During the month, he enjoyed a six-game multi-point scoring streak, as well as individual game performances of five points once and four points twice. The first-year junior player out of the Dallas Stars Elite program has put up 73 points in 34 games. 


Forward: Jay Ellingson, Minnesota Squatch

Ellingson (‘05/Maple Grove, Minn.) can’t seem to be stopped by anyone, over nearly half a full season. In his last 19 games, Ellingson put up 17 goals and 26 assists for 43 points. Part of that was his January output of a 7-12-19 line in 19 games, an average of 2.1 points per game that lined up with the overall streak rate of 2.3. He registered a three-game streak of three-point games. He led the team in ice time among players who played the whole month with 21:53 per game. 


Forward: Tommy Babb, Minnesota Blue Ox

Babb (‘04/Andover, Minn.) put up four goals and 14 assists for 18 points, part of an overall 12-game scoring streak that has seen him put up a 7-17-24 line. The Blue Ox’s Captain is also their plus-minus leader, he led the way with a +12 during the month of January. A former Andover (Minn.) High player who was a teammate there with current Blue Ox Jackson Clough, Babb has blown past his 2022-23 totals, and now has 48 points for this season. He has 84 points in 75 games. 


Defense: Jackson Schaefer, Hudson Havoc 

Schaefer (‘04/Sussex, Wis.) was a leader in so many ways for the Havoc. He registered a line of two goals and seven assists for nine points in nine games, led the team in ice time during the month (30:20), and blocked shots with 16. Schaefer is in his second season in the USPHL Premier, having played with Provo’s former Premier squad last year. A former Milwaukee Jr. Admiral, Schaefer now has 24 points in 38 games this year. 


Defense: Jeb Gould, Minnesota Squatch

Bonifay’s former Dallas Stars Elite teammate, Gould (‘05/Sugarland, Texas) put up a goal and six assists for seven points in six games, and he was No. 1 among Squatch blueliners for ice time with 20:31 per game. Gould was also second on the team in hits with 10. Over 33 games, he has 26 points as a first-year junior player. 


Goaltender: Kaleb Bents, Hudson Havoc 

The second-year Havoc goaltender Bents (‘03/St. Croix Falls, Wis.) went in for three games for the Havoc during the month of January and shutout two of those, winning all three of those. He made 88 saves on 91 shots, giving him a .967 save percentage and a 1.00 goals against average. He made 37 saves on 37 shots against Steele County, and then stopped all 25 he faced from the Minnesota Mullets for his second doughnut of the month. For the season, he is 15-1-0-0 with a .938 save percentage.


Top Performers Of The Week (Jan. 24-31)

Forward: Cannon Bonifay, Minnesota Squatch – 1GP 1G 4A 5PTS 

Defense: Matthias Mader, Minnesota Moose – 2GP 2G 2A 4PTS 

Goaltender: Kaleb Bents, Hudson Havoc – 25-save shutout win