USPHL Premier 2023-24 Midwest Region Players Of The Week
Games of Nov. 8-13, 2023
Great Lakes Division
Forward: Caden Cavalieri, Buffalo Stampede
Cavalieri (‘04/Amherst, N.Y.) was on fire for the Stampede, including two goals and three assists for five points in their sweep of the Columbus Mavericks. Over three games, including a loss to Elmira on Sunday, he was a +4 to tie for the team lead. He also had 33 faceoff wins (for a 52 percent success rate). He has 12 points in 18 games so far this season.
Defense: Nick Minghine, Toledo Cherokee
The Cherokee swept the Fort Wayne Spacemen in a home-and-home series on Friday and Sunday, and Minghine was key to keeping a strong Spacemen team to just three goals in the two games. Minghine (‘03/Canton, Mich.) was a +4 on the weekend and skated an average of 20:36.
Goaltender: Daniel Duzek, Nashville Spartans
Duzek (‘06/Skalka nad Vahom, Slovakia) shut down the visiting Metro Jets with 38 saves for his third shutout of the season. He was also in net for the Spartans’ 3-1 loss to Metro, giving him a total of 64 saves on 67 shots for a .955 save percentage and a 1.50 GAA for the weekend. He is 7-3-1-0 with a .924 save percentage and a 2.27 GAA in this, his second Premier season.
Midwest East Division
Forward: Ryan Jaros, Battle Creek Kernels
Jaros (‘03/Portage, Mich.) scored the shootout goal that tied the 1v1 round to set up Nate Fricke’s winner on the next Kernels attempt.
The Kernels’ leading scorer also put up three points (1-2-3) on all of the Kernels’ goals in a 5-3 loss to the Chicago Cougars. Jaros has already bypassed his 2022-23 point total of 18 points with his 23 through 18 games this season.
Forward: T.J. Haas, Chicago Cougars
The longtime Premier veteran Haas (‘03/Hartland, Wis.) registered an assist in the 3-2 shootout loss and scored one of the Cougars’ two shootout goals there as well. In the next game, Haas scored the shorthanded goal that stood up as the game-winner in the 5-3 defeat of Battle Creek to secure a three-point Cougars weekend. He currently has 52 career goals and 124 points in 130 regular season games going back to the 2020-21 season with Chicago.
Goaltender: Sebastien Wigfield, Battle Creek Kernels
Wigfield (‘03/Newcastle, U.K.) made 48 saves on 50 shots and stopped two of four shootout attempts to secure a 3-2 shootout victory against the Chicago Cougars. Wigfield improved to 3-2-0-0 on the season with a .929 save percentage.
Midwest West Division
Forward: Brody Ward, Steele County Blades
Ward (‘03/Buffalo, Minn.) was absolutely electric as he posted three goals and five assists for eight points in just two games, which gave the Blades three points on the weekend. They decisively defeated the Isanti Outlaws and lost in OT to the Minnesota Moose. In the first game, Ward posted a 3-2-5 line, a season high. He then added three assists on the Blades’ four goals in the loss on Nov. 11. Ward is currently on a 6-8-14 scoring streak in his last six games. He also led his team on the weekend in plus-minus (+6), faceoffs (37 wins, 58%) and blocked shots (five).
Defense: Jeb Gould, Minnesota Squatch
Gould (‘05/Sugarland, Texas) produced four assists as the Squatch took a three-point weekend, falling to the Blue Ox in OT and winning 5-1 against the Minnesota Mullets. He put up three of his four assists against the Mullets and for the weekend, he led the team in ice time (27:13), plus-minus (+3), blocked shots (three) and hits (six).
Goaltender: Eli Marchese, Minnesota Blue Ox
The third-year Blue Ox veteran Marchese (‘03/Waterloo, Iowa) was called upon for relief duty against the Minnesota Squatch when the Blue Ox were down 4-0, and shut the Squatch down with 22 saves on 22 shots as his team came all the way back to win 5-4 in overtime. The next day, Marchese got the start and stopped 51 of 53 shots and all but one in the shootout in a shootout loss against Hudson. The win was the 20th of his career as he’s now 20-12-1-1 for his career.