USPHL Premier 2023-24 Pacific Division Players Of The Month: November 2023

Summaries by Joshua Boyd / 


Forward: Noak Persson, Fresno Monsters

He’s only 21 games into the season and he already has 41 goals. No one has found an answer for this 2003-born Solleftea, Sweden-born veteran. He’s only 18 points away from tying his season total of last year, which was 93 points, as he is at 75 points currently. His November totals are what most Premier players would strive for over 44 games – instead, Persson posted 24 goals and 19 assists for 43 points in just 12 contests. It’s helped Persson rise to – and for now remain at – No. 1 all-time in USPHL Premier points per game at 3.57. 


Forward: Emil Loov, Fresno Monsters

In the 13 games he played in November, Loov (‘03/Sweden) registered multiple points in 10 games. He put up six goals and 27 assists for 33 points, giving him an average of 2.54 points per game for the month. A returning All-Star like Persson (and defenseman Steven Blengino), he’s helped make Fresno an actual beast. They’ve gone 19-1-1-0 for the season so far. Loov is now up to 47 points in 21 games this year, and 134 points in 62 career games. In the circle, he won 224 faceoffs, or 62 percent of his total draws. 


Forward: Oliver Burlin-Sjostrom, Fresno Monsters

Burlin-Sjostrom (‘03/Skelleftea, Sweden) – a six-year teammate of Loov’s, including five in Sweden – has been an outstanding new addition to Fresno this year. He scored 18 goals and added 14 assists for 32 points – in just the 13 games of November! So far this year, he has put up 55 points in 21 games, making him a candidate for at least 100 points this year. 


Defense: Steven Blengino, Fresno Monsters

Blengino (‘03/Pribram, Czechia) remains one of the Premier’s top-producing offensive blueliners, and he’s also one of the top ice-eaters, putting up an average of 32:36 per game. He put up a 7-17-24 line in 13 games, and he and Persson also tied at +19 for the team lead. He rose to the physical occasion with 11 hits and 26 blocks, also numbers that would lead the team. For his career, Blengino has crossed the century mark for his career, at 105 points in 66 games. 


Defense: Baden Powell, Ontario Jr. Reign 

Powell (‘04/Calgary, Alb.) was a great presence for the Ontario Jr. Reign, helping them to an 8-1-0-1. Those 18 points were the league’s third best points total, and Powell was all over those wins. He registered seven assists and added six assists for 13 points in 10 games. He was tied for the team lead in plus-minus at +12. 


Goaltender: Matus Trnka, Ontario Jr. Reign 

The ‘04 out of Australia was unbeaten in 65 minutes of hockey each time he took the ice during the month of November. He went 3-0-0-1 there, and stopped 146 out of 154 shots. He put up a 1.79 GAA, thanks in part to posting a 25-save shutout midway through the month against the Lake Tahoe Lakers. Overall, Trnka has gone 5-3-0-1 with a .925 save percentage, and he was named to Australia’s World Junior Championship team, as well. 


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