USPHL Premier Players Of The Month – February 2023: Northwest Division

Summaries by Joshua Boyd



Raine Hodge, Seattle Totems

Hodge (‘02/Waterloo, Ont.) put together another month of more than one goal per game worth of production. Although he joined about halfway through in December, he had six hat tricks or better, finishing in a tie for second to Fresno’s Christopher Miraldo (seven). In February, he posted 11 goals and 21 points in his nine games. For the season, he had 40 goals and 60 points in just 24 games. He was the playmaker in the playoffs, however, putting up three assists in the three-game series with the Rock Springs Prospectors. 


Alex Rene Bartakovics, Vernal Oilers

Bartakovics had the highest single season points total in the USPHL Premier history with 122 points, passing the previous record set in 2021-22 by Stepan Skvirskii (115). The Slovakian who has tendered with the 2023-24 NCDC Provo Predators team started scoring early and never let up. He put up a 4-27-31 line in just 10 February games to push himself to the record. 


Filip Molnar, Vernal Oilers

Oftentimes Bartakovics’ offensive partner in crime, their Slovakian Connection combo (in addition to fellow countryman, teammate and defenseman Filip Lezzani) are all headed for NCDC hockey in Provo next year. Molnar was just a little off of Bartakovics’ totals but still good for top four in the Premier for February. He put up a 9-18-27 line over February’s 10 games, and came out as the Oilers’ second highest scorer at 88 points. On Feb. 18, he had his best performance at 3-4-7 against Rogue Valley. 



Peter Konopka, Seattle Totems

Konopka put up a seven-point month in February off a 2-5-7 line in nine games, as the Totems were able to secure the second seed in the playoffs (and then beat Rock Springs in a three-game series). He was a +4 and finished as the top-scoring Totems blueliner with 35 points in 41 games. 


Cole Bisson, Vernal Oilers 

Bisson (‘03/Salt Lake City, Utah) found his true groove in Vernal, and that continued with a 4-10-14 line in 11 contests. He was a +15 (best among Northwest defensemen) over the course of the month and the Oilers also made good on their top seed by advancing to the championship series this coming weekend against the Seattle Totems. 



Antonio Tarantino, Vernal Oilers

Tarantino was a busy man yet again in February, posting 199 saves on 215 shots over 304 minutes in net in February. He came out of the month with a 3-1-1-0 season and a .926 save percentage. Tarantino stopped all 25 saves he faced from Rogue Valley on Feb. 18 for his second shutout of the season, and he earned a shutout against Rogue Valley again in the playoffs.