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NCDC 2023-24 Mountain Division Players Of The Month: October 2023

Mountain Division 

 

Forward: Payton Struck, Ogden Mustangs

One of the most electrifying NCDC rookies east or west, Struck (‘05/Rogers, Minn.) has posted eight goals and nine assists for 17 points in 12 games for 1.42 points per game. He was one of four players who have scored points in 10 straight games or more, registering at least one in each game from Sept. 22 through Oct. 21. Three of his eight goals are game-winners, putting him into a three-way tie for second in that category. 

He is also leading his team in hits (19) and he is tied with teammate Dimitri Voyatzis for the plus-minus lead (+13). 

 

Forward: Dimitri Voyatzis, Ogden Mustangs

Voyatzis (‘03/Fountain Valley, Calif.) became one of the first two players in the new NCDC Mountain and NCDC overall this year to have played in the USPHL Premier last year and become an NCDC Player Of The Month this year. He has the longest current scoring streak, registering points in all but the first game of the season, giving him 11 straight games in which he’s posted a 4-12-16 line, good for a 1.33 points per game average. 

Voyatzis joined the NCDC Mustangs after finishing their Premier existence as the team’s third-leading scorer all-time with 125 points scored between 2021 and 2023. 

 

Forward: David Utkin, Utah Outliers

Utkin (‘05/Murmansk, Russia) joins Dimitri Voyatzis in becoming the first two former USPHL Premier Mountain Division players to become NCDC Players Of The Month. After registering 34 points last year in 33 regular season games, Utkin is scoring goals at a one-per-game pace with a 12-4-16 line. For the most part, he’s spread them around and been consistent with his scoring – he only has three multi-goal games and one hat trick on Oct. 6. 

He has an amazing 25% shooting percentage, as he’s put 48 shots on goal this year, and at 19:29 of ice time per game, he leads all Utah forwards in that category. 

 

Defense: Nate Farrell, Pueblo Bulls

A fantastic find for the Bulls out of Northstar Christian Academy, the ‘04 Farrell from Wheaton, Ill., has been one of the most offensively productive defensemen this year. His 15 points (from a 7-8-15 line) is good for second in the league among defensemen, and his seven goals are No. 1 for NCDC blueliners. 

Defensively, he has a +5 (good for second on the Bulls) and his 117 takeaways is 20 more than the next closest teammate. 

 

Defense: D.J. MacLeish, Idaho Falls Spud Kings 

MacLeish (‘05/Troy, Mich.) is in the top 10 for all NCDC defensemen with a line of 3-7-10 in 11 games, which is also good for second overall in Spud King scoring so far. Additionally, MacLeish has also scored a shootout goal (in a 5-4 win over Utah on Oct. 21), making him one of only five blueliners league-wide to have scored in the 1v1 session so far. 

He also leads his team in blocked shots per game (2.8) and defensive takeaways per game (nine). 

 

Goaltender: Vladislav Bryzgalov, Ogden Mustangs

Bryzgalov (‘06/Haddonfield, N.J.) has been very possibly the steadiest goaltender in the NCDC. Having one of the league’s best defensive corps in the league helps, certainly, but Bryzgalov still faces an average of 33 shots per game. He has to put on a good show in order to earn the league-best 1.81 goals against average and his .946 save percentage (second in the NCDC) is all him. He’s won even when greater pressure is applied, such as turning away 47 of 50 in a win against Provo on Oct. 20. The son of Stanley Cup Champion goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov stands with a 4-0-1-1 record on the season. 

 

Top Performers of the Week (Oct. 24-31)

 

Forward: Ethan Thombs, Pueblo Bulls – Thombs (‘03/Waukesha, Wis.) scored a pair of goals – including the regulation GWG in the 4-3 victory against Idaho Falls – and also added three assists for a five-point weekend. 

 

Defense: Nate Farrell, Pueblo Bulls – Farrell was a +3 in addition to posting a goal and an assist in a weekend sweep of Idaho Falls. He registered 19 defensive takeaways and blocked five shots as well. 

 

Goaltender: Ryan Henry, Provo Predators – Henry (‘04/Wayne, N.J.) posted a 28-save shutout in a 5-0 victory against the Rock Springs Grizzlies. 

 

Rookie: Lucca Ori, Provo Predators – Ori, an ‘06 from Gurnee, Ill., had a big offensive weekend of three goals and two assists for five points in the two-game sweep of Rock Springs. 

 

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