Week of Nov. 16, 2023
Games of Nov. 8-13, 2023
Submitted by Joshua Boyd / USPHLPremier.com
Forward: Kristof Molnar, Casper Roughnecks
Molnar (‘05/Komarno, Slovakia) registered three goals and six assists for nine points over the Roughnecks’ sweep of the visiting Bellingham Blazers. For the three-game series, he put up a +6 over the three-game series, won 17 faceoffs out of 26 for a 65 percent success rate. He tied for the team lead with three hits. Molnar, who joined the team in November after seven NCDC games with Idaho Falls, has 12 points in five games.
Defense: Josef Poch, Casper Roughnecks
A 2003-born native of Czechia, Poch is experiencing great success as a first-year player in North America, including a six-point weekend against Bellingham (off a 1-5-6 line). His 24:20 of ice time was second on the team in the series, while he was a +4 as well. He now has 12 points in 18 games for the season.
Goaltender: Kai Rivas, Bellingham Blazers
Rivas (‘05/Surrey, B.C.) faced well over 130 shots across his two games against Casper, and came out of the games with a .934 save percentage, despite a pair of losses. That performance stays in line with the fact Rivas holds a very impressive .929 save percentage on the season despite facing an average of 62.3 shots per game.
Forward: Noak Persson, Fresno Monsters
There might occasionally be other names here each week, but no one has found a way to stop Persson. And it’s not just a few points here or there – it’s mind-boggling numbers like a 6-7-13 line in just three games, which Persson posted against San Diego in a three-game series. This included a 6-4-10 performance on Nov. 10. He took 28 shots on goal for the series, giving him a 21.4 shooting percentage. Persson has registered 47 points in 12 games this season, all of which have seen a Fresno win. His two-season career average of 3.59 points per game is currently a USPHL Premier record.
Defense: Steven Blengino, Fresno Monsters
Another frequent customer in this shop, Blengino remains a huge driving force for the USPHL Premier’s completely undefeated team approaching Thanksgiving. He posted two goals and five assists for seven points against the San Diego Sabers, while averaging 30:00 per game. He registered a +13 on the weekend and blocked eight shot. He also drew four opposition penalties, while committing just one minor himself. A returning All-Star like Persson, the ‘03 from Czechia has 85 points in 57 career regular season games.
Goaltender: Matus Trnka, Ontario Jr. Reign
Trnka (‘04/Warradale, Australia) registered a 25-save shutout against Lake Tahoe on Nov. 11, and then also stopped 35 of 36 shots one day later to finish with a .984 save percentage for last weekend. Trnka, on a three-game winning streak going back to Nov. 4, is at 5-3-0-0 with a .925 save percentage. Last winter, Trnka helped Australia win the World Junior Championship Division 3 championship to earn a promotion to this year’s Division 2 Group B tournament (Jan. 14-20, 2024).