Summaries by Miles Regan
Evan Burkle, Battle Creek Kernels
Another productive month for Battle Creek’s leading scorer. The homegrown Kernel scored the club’s first-ever goal in October and set their single game scoring record on Feb. 10, recording 6 (4 2–6) points in Battle Creek’s 8-2 win over Decatur. The ‘02 winger continued to play well through the end of February, finishing the month with 10 (6-4–10) points in just five games. The first-year USPHLer led the Midwest East with an even 2.00 points-per-game in February.
Noah Maine – Fort Wayne Spacemen
Noah Maine is your 2022-23 Midwest East division scoring champ. The ‘02 out of Knoxville, Tenn., finished the regular season with 76 (30-46–76) points, 16 of which were scored in February. Maine recorded a point in eight of nine games played during the month and had multiple points in four of those. He was at his best during Fort Wayne’s Feb. 4 matchup with Cincinnati, scoring a goal and adding four assists in a big Spacemen win. Maine also scored the winning goal in Fort Wayne’s Midwest East-clinching victory on Feb. 19. The converted defenseman has amassed 126 (50-76–126) points across two USPHL seasons, and his Spacemen need to win just one playoff series to qualify for Nationals for the very first time.
Brian Bell – Motor City Gamblers
Motor City won 11 straight games heading into playoffs, and Bell has recorded a point in all but one of those. The ‘03 out of Macomb, Mich., scored eleven (4-7–11) points during the month of February, and registered multiple points in three of his six games played. Bell’s best game of February came in the Gamblers’ 4-2 win over Fort Wayne on Feb. 12. He helped erase a 2-0 deficit by scoring a goal in the second and assisting on the game-winner late in the third. The comeback helped Motor City win their season series with the division champs and keep hold of the division 3 seed, which they ended up clinching days later. Bell was brilliant in his first taste of USPHL playoff action this weekend, when the Gamblers defeated Battle Creek and Bell posted six points in two contests.
Jake Mullins, Motor City Gamblers
Another Player of the Month nod for Motor City’s power play ace. During February, Mullins, an ‘03 Clawson, Mich., native recorded 11 points (2-9–11) in just six games, good for a solid average of 1.83 points-per-game. Mullins scored multiple points in half of the games he played last month and had a career-high four assists in Motor City’s 7-3 win over Battle Creek on Feb. 26. He also scored a goal in that victory against the Kernels, a team Motor City defeated in the first round of playoffs. Mullins and defensive partner Aidan Canady [‘03/Schaumburg, Ill.] will need to continue to produce at a high rate if the Gamblers want to advance past the division finals this weekend against crosstown rivals the Metro Jets Development Program.
Sam Tetreault, Fort Wayne Spacemen
Another outstanding month for Fort Wayne’s do-it-all defenseman. Tetreault, an ‘02 out of Quebec played in nine February games and recorded a point during eight of them. He finished the month with 13 (4-9–13) points and tied his career-high with three assists in the Spacemen’s 5-2 win over MJDP on 2/11. Tetreault also got it done defensively in February, totaling 15 hits and 19 blocked shots. Playing such high-effort defense begins to take a physical toll by this point in the year, but the second-year Spacemen will have some time to recover this weekend. Fort Wayne won the Midwest East division and earned a first round bye to face the perennial Chicago Cougars, who swept the Chicago Crush.
Maxim Zinchenko, Fort Wayne Spacemen
Zinchenko (’04/Yekaterinburg, Russia) joined the Spacemen at the start of the calendar year and has been lights out ever since. He won all four of his February starts and gave up more than one goal just once. He earned his first career #ShutoutShoutout with a 22 save effort against the Chicago Crush on Feb. 17 and stopped 108 of 112 (.964) total shots faced in February. Zinchenko’s save percentage and GAA (1.00) were both best in the Midwest East during the month.