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USPHL Premier 2023-24 Midwest Region Players Of The Week

Oct. 19, 2023


Week of Oct. 10-16, 2023


Great Lakes Division 

Forward: Ryan Grant, Nashville Spartans

Grant (‘03/Cornwall, Ont.) was one of three players league-wide to attain nine points over the one-week period of Oct. 10-16, and one of only two to score six goals in that period, and he did it all in two games. The Spartans enjoyed two decisive wins in Decatur against the Blaze, and Grant came out with six goals and three assists. He had back-to-back hat tricks with one assist the first night and two helpers the second night. 


Defense: Austin Micale, Nashville Spartans 

Micale returns to the Defenseman Of The Week honors after putting up three goals and seven points in the two games against Decatur, while also posting a +6. He put up a 1-1-2 line on the first night and increased that to a 2-3-5, a career best performance in his USPHL tenure that goes back to the Midget ranks in 2020-21. 


Goaltender: Austin Nowak, Toledo Cherokee

The local product Nowak (‘04/Toledo, Ohio), who played his high school hockey at nearby Sylvania Northview, enjoyed a big win against the Chicago Cougars. On Oct. 13, he stopped 24 out of the Cougars’ 25 shots for a 5-1 Cherokee victory. He is currently 2-1 at the start of his junior career. 


Midwest West Division 

Forward: Jay Ellingson, Minnesota Squatch 

Ellingson (‘05/Maple Grove, Minn.) has been absolutely on fire lately, with two five-point games and a four-point game over his last three contests. Over the Oct. 10-16 period, Ellingson posted three goals and six assists for nine points. In the first of two games against the Dells Ducks, he put up a 1-4-5 line, followed one night later by going 2-2-4. He now has 20 points in his first six games. 


Defense: Jacob Bodin, Minnesota Squatch 

An ‘04 out of Osseo, Minn., has put together a fantastic early season with seven points in just four games. Four of those points came in the past weekend against the Dells Ducks, as he put up a goal and three assists and was a +5 on the weekend. 


Goaltender: Justin Garstecki, Minnesota Blue Ox 

Garstecki (‘04/Bartlett, Ill.) had a huge bounceback effort after a tough game one week earlier, this time shutting out the Steele County Blades with 25 stops for his first USPHL shutout. He stands at 2-1 early on in the season and 6-2 with a .910 save percentage for his young junior career. 


Midwest East Division 

Forward: Ryan Jaros, Battle Creek Kernels

Second-year Kernel Jaros (‘03/Portage, Mich.) had a big weekend as the Kernels split their weekend between a win over Cincinnati and a loss to the Metro Jets. Against the Cyclones, Jaros posted a pair of goals and added three assists for five points in the 7-4 win. With 14 points through nine games, Jaros is fast coming up on matching (and bypassing) the 18 points he posted in 40 games last year. 


Defense: River Lewis, Metro Jets Development Program

The ‘05 out of Arizona and Shattuck-St. Mary’s was a key player over the past week for the MJDP, including a blocked shot in their historic intra-organizational win over the Metro Jets (3-2) and then also scored the game-tying goal that eventually pushed the MJDP to a shootout against Fort Wayne. He has five points in seven games so far this year. 


Goaltender: Jack Sundhall, Chicago Crush

Sundhall (‘03/Goteborg, Sweden) put together a huge 33-save performance in defeating the Fort Wayne Spacemen in a game where the Crush were outshot but defeated their guests, 2-1. Sundhall is in the top 10 league-wide in wins (five, fourth), GAA (1.18, seventh) and save percentage (.955, seventh).

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