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USPHL Elite Players Of The Month – February 2023: Mid-Atlantic Division

Summaries by Marlee Bulman

 

Forwards

Eddie Kienzle, New York Aviators

With the Aviators, No. 91 left wing Kienzle put up an impressive 12 goals and 15 assists for 27 points in helping his team to eight wins and the third seed in the division for the upcoming playoffs. For the season, the Brooklyn native put up a 33-43-76 line in 43 games to place third in overall Elite scoring (after finishing sixth in 2021-22 with 62 points).

 

Michael McGowan, New York Aviators 

McGowan (’03/Brooklyn, N.Y.), also with the Aviators and wearing No. 20, was not too far behind his teammate Kienzle. In 11 games, he posted a 12-10-22 line. McGowan also ended the season as a top scorer, landing fifth overall with 37-33-70 in 42 games. The Aviators are set to face the host Jersey Hitmen in the playoffs for a chance to move on to the USPHL Elite National Championships.

 

John Crowdell, Rockets Hockey Club

Crowdell (’03/Staten Island, N.Y.) helped bring six February wins for his team by posting three goals and 14 assists in his 10 games played, and he helped score a spot in the playoffs for the Rockets. In the end, Crowdell claimed the scoring title for the Elite Division with a 44-game total of 29-54-83.

 

Defense

Drew D’Emic, New York Aviators

Once again, proving to be a team that won’t quit, the Aviators saw the ’05 Long Beach, N.Y., native Drew D’Emic post an amazing 3-11-14 line, which accounted for more than half of his full season output of 27 points in 43 games. D’Emic was a star blueliner for Long Beach High before joining the Aviators this season.

 

Samuel Russo, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights

Russo (’04/North Branford, Conn.) put up a 5-7-12 line in February, and proved to be a powerful player that pushed the WBS to claim the top overall seed in the entire USPHL Elite Division. The former Hoosac School blueliner came out with 31 points off a 15-16-31 line in 41 games.

 

Goaltender

Christopher Lucente, P.A.L. Jr. Islanders

Lucente (’05/Centereach, N.Y.) played a league-high 378 minutes in net in February, and he also led the league in saves by stopping 229 of 244 shots for a .939 save percentage. He started the month with a 35-save shutout of the Aviators, and he also earned wins against the Rockets Hockey Club (40 saves) and Jersey Hitmen (45 saves). He also had two very strong relief performances towards the end of the month against the Rockets, stopping all 24 shots faced in 36:16 of one game, and stopping 19 of 21 in 31:50 of their Feb. 26 game.

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