Games of Feb. 8-14, 2023
Midwest East Division
Summaries by Miles Regan
Forward: Evan Burkle, Battle Creek Kernels
Battle Creek picked up two big divisional wins over the Decatur Blaze thanks to a huge weekend from homegrown Kernel Evan Burkle. The ‘02 winger recorded eight (5-3–8) points across two games in Decatur, including a franchise record six (4-2–6) during Friday’s 8-2 victory. Last summer, Burkle elected to return home to Battle Creek and play for the expansion Kernels in their inaugural season. He currently leads the team in points with 26 (15-11–26).
Defense: Peter Drake, Chicago Cougars
Three key victories over crosstown foes the Chicago Crush for the second-year blueliner and his Cougar teammates this weekend. Drake, an ‘04 from Wilmette, Ill., tallied three (1-2–3) points across three games but was at his best on Saturday, when he recorded a pair of assists in a 4-3 overtime victory. Drake also finished the weekend with four blocked shots and a +2 rating, helping to pull the fourth-place Cougars within one point of third place and two points of second in the very tight Midwest East playoff seeding race.
Goaltender: Maxim Zinchenko, Fort Wayne Spacemen
The best netminders show up when the lights are brightest, and that’s exactly what rookie Spaceman Maxim Zinchenko did on Saturday. The ‘04 stopper out of Yekaterinburg, Russia, saved 33 of 34 MJDP shots faced during Fort Wayne’s 5-1 victory, a win that helped them hold onto first place in the division. Zinchenko’s outing resulted his fourth win of the season and career-bests in both GAA (1.00) and SV% (.971). He’s lost in regulation just one time this season and could be the X-factor on a deep Fort Wayne playoff run in the coming weeks.
Forward: Brady Rossbach, Steele County Blades
The Blades are hoping to carry its quest for a top four spot in the division to a final weekend showdown with the Wisconsin Rapids Riverkings and kept that dream alive with a 4-1 win against the Minnesota Blue Ox Friday in its final home game of the regular season. Rossbach (‘01/New Berlin, Wis.) played a huge role in the win, counting all four Blades’ goals in the game. His second goal was his fourth game winner of the season.
Defense: Thomas Dalsin, Minnesota Moose
There is no drama left in the season for the Moose who are locked into a third place finish which means home ice in the opening round of playoffs. However, the tea still wants to finish strong and Dalsin (‘03/Shakopee, Minn.) played a part in his team’s weekend wins against the Minnesota Mullets and Isanti Outlaws as he scored two goals and added two assists in the contests. Dalsin blocked a shot along the way and finished the weekend with a +4 rating.
Goaltender: Levi Preugschas, Steele County Blades
Preugschas went to the net for a 29th time in the battle against the Blue Ox and turned in a stellar 37-save effort. The work of Preugschas between the pipes allowed the Blades to build up a 3-0 first period lead and roll to the win despite being outshot by a 38-26 margin. Preugschas has 13 of the Blades’ 18 wins this season so far and will be relied on heavily in the big games coming up.
Great Lakes Division
Forward: Ethan Hellman, Metro Jets
Rookie forward for the Metro Jets had a great weekend putting up three goals and four assists. Two of those goals coming from the 8-3 win over the Battle Creek Kernels. Hellman currently has seven goals and 10 assists on the season.
Defense: Dakota Kott, Metro Jets
Kott was another Metro Jets player to have a great week of hockey. In the three games, the Jets played Kott had a goal and seven assists. Six of his assists came from the win over the Cyclones on Wednesday. Kott not only knows how to excel in the defensive end but also the offensive, he is currently the leading defensemen on the team for assists and points.
Goalie: Frank Murphy, Toledo Cherokee
Toledo Cherokee goalie Frank Murphy added another win to his record this weekend. After stopping 22 shots and having a .957 save percentage he led his team to a 4-1 victory over the Columbus Mavericks. Murphy currently has 22 wins this season.