(Games of Jan. 1-8, 2023)
Summaries by Joshua Boyd / USPHL
Forward: Edvin Robertsson, Twin City Thunder
The Thunder picked up a win against the Islanders Hockey Club and took a shootout loss to the Boston Advantage, and those three points helped them continue to put pressure on the fourth-place South Shore Kings just three points ahead in the standings. Robertsson (‘03/Stockholm, Sweden) put up a pair of assists and a goal against the Advantage. He’s been a highly valuable addition to the Thunder lineup since being acquired in a trade from WBS in the fall.
Defense: Cullen McCormick, Twin City Thunder
The ‘04 from Eagle River, Alaska, was a huge part of the Thunder’s three-point weekend in which he not only had an assist against each of the Islanders and Advantage. He had 12 takeaways in two games, while going +3 with three blocked shots. Playing 22 minutes per game, he led all Thunder defenders in ice time as well. He has eight points in 21 games.
Goaltender: Jacob Torgner, South Shore Kings
The Kings split their first two games of 2023, but the NCDC veteran Torgner (‘03/Mjolby, Sweden) was outstanding in both. He made 28 saves on 30 shots in beating the North’s No. 1 team, the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs. He then put up 40 saves on 42 shots in a close defeat against the Boston Junior Bruins. Overall, he had 68 saves on 72 shots for a .944 save percentage and a 2.00 goals against average. He has a 5-4-1-1 overall record with a .936 save percentage on the season.
Forward: Paul Desaro, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights
The second-year NCDC veteran Desaro (‘03/Manorville, N.Y.), a December acquisition from the Boston Junior Bruins, pushed the WBS Knights to a 2-1 weekend against the Utica Jr. Comets. Desaro posted a goal and six assists – two helpers in each game – as the first-year Knights keep their South Division playoff hopes alive. On the season, Desaro has a 6-9-15 line in 26 games.
Defense: Casey Roepke, Jersey Hitmen
Roepke (‘02/Erin, Wis.) played his part in a 6-0 shutout victory over the Rockets as the Hitmen went 1-1 to start the new year’s schedule. Along with a goal and an assist against the I-287 rivals out of Bridgewater, his +3 was tied for third best in the NCDC last week and his five blocked shots were also among the league leaders since Jan. 1. Roepke has a 2-15-17 line in 21 games.
Goaltender: Cameron Smith, P.A.L. Jr. Islanders
The St. Lawrence University commit loves 2023 already! After all, what’s not to love when you’re 2-0 with two shutouts to kick off the new year? An ‘02 from West Chester, Conn., Smith stopped all 45 shots he faced from the Jersey Hitmen in a 3-0 P.A.L. victory last Friday. On Sunday, he added 35 more saves on everything the Connecticut Jr. Rangers could throw at him, giving him a total of 80 saves on 80 shots, a 0.00 GAA and a 1.000 save percentage since Jan. 1. Overall, Smith is 15-7-1-2 on the season with a .944 save percentage and three shutouts.