USPHL Premier Players Of The Week: West Region

Week of Oct. 19-25


Northwest Division 

(Summaries By Jonathan West) 

Forward: Kieran Maloney, Bellingham Blazers

Maloney (‘04/Kamloops, B.C.) helped the Blazers earn their first USPHL win on Sunday. Nominated for this honor by Rogue Valley’s coach as well, he had the first four-point game (3-1-4) for Bellingham since Oct. 15. With totals of 14-8-22 in 12 games, Maloney is Top 10 in goals and points for the entire USPHL Premier. 


Defense: Filip Lezzani, Vernal Oilers

Lezzani has helped the Oilers stay undefeated on the season, and they are now ranked No. 1 in the entire league. The 18-year-old from Puchov, Slovakia, stepped up when Vernal’s top two scorers were shut down by Rock Springs, scoring two goals including the game-winner. With two goals on Friday, he now has points in four out of the last five games.


Goaltender: Kai Rivas, Bellingham Blazers

Rivas (‘05/Surrey, B.C.) hopped the border for his first season with the Blazers, and gave them a 42-save shutout on Sunday. With one win in four starts, the 17-year-old still has a solid .899 save percentage. His nomination for this honor was given by the Rogue Valley Royals as well, showing just how impressed they were by their opponent’s goaltender.


Mountain Division 

(Summaries By Brendan Price)

Forward: Paul Waldhauser, Utah Outliers

Waldhauser (‘02/Austria) had a career weekend in Pueblo with three goals and five assists for a staggering eight points in three games. He had the GWG late in the third period in Friday’s 6-4 win in Pueblo and a career-high four-point game on Sunday in the Outliers’ 7-4 win. Waldhauser now has 13 points (6-7-13) in 10 games. He’s already bypassed his point total from 2021-22 where he scored 12 points (6-6-12) in 33 games.


Defense: Matthew Koepke, Utah Outliers

At this point, Koepke (‘02/Vernon Hills, Ill.) and game-winning goals go together like The Dan K Show and ostentatious suit jackets. Koepke netted the OT winner in Utah’s come from behind 5-4 victory on Saturday. All three of his tallies this year have been GWGs. Oh, Koepke also celebrated his 100th game as an Outlier on Friday with three assists and finished the weekend with a goal and five assists. He’s averaging 1.3 points per game on the young season; nearly double his scoring average from his breakout 2021-22 season.


Goaltender: Owen Yancey, Ogden Mustangs

Amidst all the offensive fireworks, it could have been easy to lose sight of the Ogden netminder.

Yancey (‘02/Gibertsville, Pa.) was borderline untouchable for the ‘Stangs again; he stopped 70 of 72 shots between his two starts and went 2-0-0. What’s more, Yancey picked up his second shutout of the season in Ogden’s 7-0 win over Provo on Saturday. The 2002-birth year goaltender is a perfect 5-0-0 with a 1.00 GAA, other-worldly .965 save percentages, and two shutouts.


Pacific Division 

(Summaries By Grace Mello) 

Forward: Frederic Pinel, Las Vegas Thunderbirds

Year one in the USPHL for this forward and he has already scored more than half of the goals he scored last season playing for Mount Academy Saints. This weekend, Frederic Pinel (‘03/Quebec) earned nine of his 10 total points for the season. Finishing with six goals and 3 assists, Pinel earned himself a hat trick in Friday night’s decisive win over Long Beach. 


Defense: Steven Blengino, Fresno Monsters

It was a nine-point weekend for this Fresno Defenseman. Steven Blengino (‘03/Czech) is a +10 so far for the Monsters this season after going +3 this weekend against the Lakers. Blengino picked up six assists and three goals in the Monsters’ three game series in Tahoe.


Goalie: Loic Morin, Las Vegas Thunderbirds

In net for two of Las Vegas’ wins over Long Beach this weekend, Loic Morin (‘04/Quebec) finished with 77 saves. In Saturday night’s 7-1 game, he finished with 42 saves on 43 shots. Morin currently sits in the top 10 goalies in the USPHL Premier based on save percentage with .948.