(Summaries by Joshua Boyd / USPHL.com)
Alex Rene Bartakovics, Vernal Oilers
Bartakovics (‘04/Slovakia) may never leave these graphics the way he’s going, and the way the Vernal Oilers went, undefeated through November at 15-0 to close the month. Bartakovics was up to old tricks in November, posting three points per game on average, as he scored eight goals and 10 assists for 18 points in just six games. Few others in the league could match that pace, and thus Bartakovics ranks fourth in league scoring with 51 points in 15 games, and he is second in assists with 32.
Filip Molnar, Vernal Oilers
The OIlers’ 1-2 punch at offense left teams’ heads spinning, as he posted a 7-7-14 line, good for 2.33 points per game, second only in the division to his linemate, teammate and countryman Alex Rene Bartakovics. Molnar, who stands ninth in league scoring with 41 points, led all Oilers in plus-minus in November at +18. Molnar scored in every November game, so he carried that six-game streak into December and added five points to it on Dec. 1. On Nov. 20 against Rock Springs, he had his fourth hat trick of the season (including two four-goal outings).
Scott Vanderhoff, Rogue Valley Royals
Vanderhoff (‘05/Vernon, N.J.) was a scoring machine throughout November, never missing the scoring column last month. He racked up an outstanding 6-9-15 line over seven contests, as the Royals earned three of their six victories on the season in November. Vanderhoff enjoyed back-to-back four-point games against Rock Springs and Bellingham on Nov. 6 and 11, hitting the four-point mark for the third and fourth times this season. Vanderhoff has a prior history in the league, having won the USPHL 15U Championship with the Jersey Hitmen in 2021.
Kyle Russell, Vernal Oilers
Another repeat selection for the undefeated league leaders, Russell was all over the ice for the Oilers every single time. He not only posted a division-high 2-14-16 to outscore all defensemen (and most forwards) in the Northwest Division, but he also led the Northwest in plus-minus with a +18 mark. He is tied for second in USPHL Premier defenseman scoring with 31 points in 16 games, but his 1.94 points per game is No. 1 among all blueliners.
Matej Nemec, Rock Springs Prospectors
Although not close to the Oilers’ 32 points, the Prospectors’ 19 put them in a good, close race for the No. 2 spot in the division with the Seattle Totems. Nemec (‘05/Czechia) was a big help for the Prospectors in getting them three more wins in November by posting four points in seven games, and playing tough on defense. He had a +2 rating for the month, along with eight hits and eight blocked shots to keep the first-year Prospectors above .500 at 9-8-1-0. Nemec currently has 10 points through 18 games.
Antonio Tarantino, Vernal Oilers
The USPHL veteran was tapped for four of the Oilers’ seven games in November and was equal to the task every time out, stopping all but six of 145 shots faced for a .959 save percentage, third best for Premier goalies with at least 180 minutes played last month. He never gave up more than two goals in any of these four games, including stopping 37 of 38 against Seattle and 43 of 44 against Rock Springs. Overall, the second-year Premier goalie is second in wins (11) and sixth in save percentage (.945). Tarantino’s .943 save percentage since the start of 2021-22 is currently the best among all active two-year USPHL Premier goaltenders. The Boston Junior Bruins’ Dominik Bovan is a close second at .941 since last season.