(Games of Dec. 6-12)
Forward: Jacob Slater, Toledo Cherokee
Slater (’02/Milwaukee, Wis.) has been a great addition to the Toledo Cherokee, making an immediate impact since transferring from the NA3HL and reuniting with his former team from last year. This previous weekend, Slater put on a solid performance, tallying one goal and four assists. Three of his five points came on the power play, an area where he really stands out with his ability to create opportunities in the man advantage.
Defenseman: Kyle Burke; Cincinnati Jr. Cyclones
After missing three months with his team Burke (’02/Dexter, Mich.) was able to finally take the ice for the Cyclones in Sunday’s game against Columbus. Although Burke missed some time this year, he didn’t let that stop him. Not only did he dominate on the defensive side of things he also got some things started for the offense. Despite losing 6-4 Burke had two assists that came late in the game, keeping it a close game and giving the Cyclones some offensive life.
Goaltender: Dylan Eliason, Metro Jets
Eliason (’04/Northville, Mich.) added to his shutout total over the weekend as the Jets defeated the Battle Creek Kernels 9-0. Eliason is definitely the type of player anyone would like to have on their team. With a save percentage of .952 he is one of the reasons that the Metro Jets have had so much success this season. He stopped 21 shots in the win over the weekend and currently has a record of 6-1.
Midwest West Division
Forward: Teodor Benno Vaage, Minnesota Moose
It’ a few weeks until Christmas but Benno Vaage (Oslo, Norway) was in a giving spirit this past weekend, helping the Moose wrap up both a weekend and season sweep of the Dells Ducks. Benno Vaage scored twice and set up six others in the weekend series, but while that is a huge offensive weekend, its not that unusual for the forward who has racked up 17 goals and 39 points in 23 games so far this season, already more than double his input with a different Premier team in 41 games last season. Five points came in the Friday night game, his second best offensive outing of the season, and it was the sixth time he has collected three or more points in a game this season.
Defense: Brendan Shaner, Minnesota Blue Ox
Shaner (’03/Waterloo, Iowa) played a key role in the best weekend of the season so far for the Blue Ox as they wrapped up three consecutive wins, against the Isanti Outlaws, Steele County Blades and Minnesota Mullets. Shaner collected points in all three contests, wrapping it up with a goal and three helpers and a +4 rating. He has just seven points on the season so far, but it will be worth watching him in Chicago as he enters the Showcase weekend with points in four of his past five games.
Goaltender: Chris Mazurek, Dells Ducks
After picking up a 26-save win on the road against the Mullets Thursday, Mazurek (’03/Batavia, Ill.) went back to the crease Saturday in the second game against the Moose. He ended up saddled with a loss, but his 71 saves in the contest was the primary reason the Ducks flirted with a 2-1 win just three minutes from the final buzzer. He wrapped up the weekend with 97 saves, a .942 save percentage and his third victory. The 75 shots was not the most he has faced this season, and it was the third time he has been challenged with 50 or more chances.
Midwest East Division
Forward: Grigory Koryazhin, Fort Wayne Spacemen
A big weekend was had by Khoryazin, ‘02, and his Fort Wayne club. The Russian-born rookie centerman recorded seven points (4-3–7), and the Spacemen won both of their games against the Decatur Blaze. Khoryazin recorded two goals and two assists on Saturday before adding two and one on Sunday. The Spacemen currently sit atop the Midwest East, and Khoryazin has 23 points (10-13–23) through 23 games.
Defense: Thomas Turgeon, Fort Wayne Spacemen
Turgeon’s offensive explosion helped him nearly double his season points total this past weekend. The ‘04 Laval, Quebec, native totaled ten (6-4–10) points across Fort Wayne’s two games; the second most of any Premier skater from Dec. 6-12. The Spacemen blueliner started his spree with a two goal, three assist outing Saturday before adding four scores and one helper on Sunday. Turgeon has 27 (12-15–27) points so far in his second USPHL season.
Goaltender: Larkin Dolan, Motor City Gamblers
Dolan recorded his second-career #ShutoutShoutout on Saturday, helping Motor City defeat the Chicago Cougars for the first time since 2019. The ‘02 product from Colorado stopped all 26 Cougar shots he saw during the 3-0 victory at Big Boy Arena. Dolan and the Gamblers’ defense have been lights-out as of late, it’s been over 120 game minutes since he last conceded a goal.