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USPHL Premier 2023-24 Great Lakes Division All-Stars

USPHL Premier 2023-24 Great Lakes Division All-Stars 

 

Summaries By Joshua Boyd / USPHLPremier.com 

 

Selection Process: Voting took part in two phases. In the first phase, the division’s coaches voted for three of their own players and three players from other teams in the division. Once these results were compiled, the division’s coaches voted on the final team. 

 

Forwards

Jacob Ammar, Toledo Cherokee

Ammar (‘03/Scarborough, Ont.) had a monstrous improvement from 2022-23 up to 2023-24. He was already a strong contributor to last year’s Cherokee team, putting up 48 points in 37 games – and putting up 10 points in six games in the playoffs, which included a Nationals trip. This year, Ammar registered a 29-62-91 line in 44 games, plus eight more points in four playoff games. For the regular season, that’s an improvement of 43 points. His 139 points in the last two years is the most for any Cherokee since Ammar stepped on the ice for Toledo in 2022. He led the forwards with 21:07, was a +58 to lead the team, and he also blocked 26 shots. 

 

 

Ronan Keenan, Nashville Spartans

Keenan (‘03/Lawrence, N.J.) was certainly a great representative for the USPHL over his five years. He was a USPHL Elite player first, before moving on to the USPHL Premier the next year. He also took a season of development within the USPHL 18U division before returning to the Premier to be a leader with the first-year Nashville Spartans in 2022-23. After putting up six points in his first 22 games between 2019-21, Keenan posted 46 points in 43 games and then this year, blew that total out of the water with 88 points in 38 games. You can’t get much more of an example of #USPHLAdvancement In Action. He told this author directly in Tampa in January, “See you at Nationals” – and then helped his second-year organization make the championship tournament, putting up seven points in five games in the postseason. During the season, he led the Spartans forwards in average ice time (20:33), plus-minus (+63), faceoff wins and percentage (610, 63 percent) and 29 blocked shots. 

 

 

Caden Cavalieri, Buffalo Stampede

Cavalieri (‘04/Amherst, N.Y.) was a bright spot in a transitional season for the Stampede, who played their first season in the Great Lakes Division. He put up 20 goals and 38 points in 40 games to lead the Stampede, giving him a year-over-year improvement by 20 points. He also put up four points in his first four USPHL Premier playoff games. He led the Stampede forwards with 21:46 and was also the team’s top faceoff winner, with 302 wins for 51 percent. Cavalieri, a unanimous All-Star selection, also blocked 31 shots. 

 

 

Ugo Lollier, Metro Jets 

The ‘03 from Rouen, France, enjoyed a massive 58-point improvement. There are several players across the league who would love to have 58 points, period, but Lollier tacked on that many to the 23 points he registered as a junior rookie last year with Metro, improving to 81 points this year. Posting a team record 40 goals and 41 assists, his 81 points ranked second among the Jets in their six-year Premier history (and fourth in their over 30-year history as an organization). Lollier also contributed four points in five playoff games as the Jets made their sixth straight trip to the USPHL Nationals. His +81 rating was second best among Jets forwards, sixth best among Jets players and ninth among the entire league. 

 

 

Hunter Gentz, Columbus Mavericks

Gentz (‘04/Mason, Ohio) brought a season of previous experience with the Mavericks to provide leadership for the squad as the team battled its way through a tough Great Lakes Division Schedule that featured three organizations with a combined eight Nationals trips between them just since 2020-21. Gentz improved his points total from 13 last year to 23 points in 38 games. The Mavs’ Alternate Captain led his team with 39 hits and his 22 blocked shots was second among Columbus forwards. 

 

 

 

Aidan Gonzalez, Toledo Cherokee 

Gonzalez (‘05/Dearborn, Mich.) certainly made a great impression on his team and in the Great Lakes Division, as he put up 78 points in 41 games as a rookie junior player. This was the fourth-best season by a Cherokee player in their six-year USPHL history, as was his 1.90 points per game average. Gonzalez was also tied for the USPHL Premier in shorthanded goals (six) and game-winning goals (10). He was also second among Cherokee forwards with a +48 rating. 

 

 

 

 

 

Tyler Bautko, Metro Jets

Baukto (‘04/Macomb, Mich.) came to the Jets as a junior rookie this year out of the prestigious Belle Tire organization and was among the top 15 in league goal-scoring with 37 goals. He added 34 more assists for 71 points this season. He fired 186 shots on goal this year, and his 37 goals gave him a very sharp 19.9 percent shooting percentage. He also led the Jets in hits with 31. Bautko ranked just behind Lollier in the team’s leaderboard for goals in a USPHL Premier season, tied with Alex Schaumburger overall, though Bautko does lay claim to most goals in a Jets rookie season. 

 

 

Santino Multari, Toledo Cherokee 

A second-year Cherokee from Hermitage, Pa., Multari saw a big improvement in his year-over-year points production, as he scored 56 in 44 games, improving upon his 32. He also fully doubled his goal-scoring from 13 last year to 26. Multari came in with an odd path, having already played a full ACHA season with Robert Morris University in Pennsylvania in 2021-22. During his time with the Cherokee, he has scored 88 points in 87 regular season games, and he averaged 10 points in 10 playoff games, including a 2023 trip to Nationals. 

 

 

 

 

 

Defensemen

Austin Micale, Nashville Spartans

Micale (‘03/Hamilton, N.J.), a second-year Premier player, returned to the league after playing elsewhere in 2022-23, and was absolutely electric as a defenseman for the second-year Spartans. His contributions throughout the season were big reasons why Nashville challenged for the Great Lakes Division title, and also why Nashville made their USPHL Nationals debut in March. His 87 points were second-most by a defenseman this season – and in USPHL Premier history, behind only Connecticut’s Hunter Scanlon (104) in both categories. Micale led the Spartans in ice time at 24:55 and his +76 led the team.  

 

 

Carson Redd, Metro Jets

Redd (‘04/Macomb, Mich.) was a huge part of the Jets’ success, as they rose up to the title of Great Lakes Division Champions and made their sixth straight National Championships appearance. Redd put up 11-46-57 in 41 games this year, with his 57 points being the most put up by a Jets defenseman in their USPHL Premier history. This year, Redd led the Jets in ice time per game (21:45) and was a +100, not only leading the Jets, but that was also the highest-recorded plus-minus for any Premier player this year. 

 

 

Tyler Hilliker, Cincinnati Jr. Cyclones

The Jr. Cyclones’ Captain Hilliker (‘04/Muskegon, Mich.) came out of the American Hockey Association to Cincinnati, a team that had to adjust quickly in September from unexpected off-season changes. The team may have struggled, but they have a vision for the future and Hilliker, who had five assists in 42 games on the blue line, helped lay the foundation for where Cincinnati wants to bring this team. He ate up 23:14 per game on average to lead the team among those who played the full season, while also blocking 42 shots. 

 

 

 

Goaltenders

Daniel Duzek, Nashville Spartans

Duzek finished fourth in the league in wins (18) and fifth in goals against average (2.00) as the Spartans had a season for the ages, which is not bad for being two years in. The ‘06 from Skalka nad Vahom, Slovakia, improved from 12 wins last year in his first season with the then-new Spartans to the 18 this year, and also vastly improved his save percentage by .027 to .922 for this season. He went 4-1-0-0 during the postseason, including at the USPHL Nationals.

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