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USPHL Premier All-Stars: Midwest Region Second Team

By Jim Den Hollander/USPHL.com, 03/20/19, 1:00PM EDT

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The USPHL Premier Midwest Region, consisting of the Midwest-East, Midwest-West and Great Lakes Divisions, is pleased to announce its 2018-19 season All-Star Selections, voted on by the coaches of the three divisions. Coaches could not vote for their own players on the ballots.

The Midwest Region came up with four “teams” of six-player units that any coach would dream of putting out on the ice together. We announced the Fourth and Third Teams earlier today, and the First Team All-Stars will be announced at 2 p.m. EST/1 p.m. CST on this Wednesday, March 20.

 

Midwest Region – Second Team

Forward – Jozef Martancik(‘00/Burbank, Ill.) Chicago Cougars 

The Cougars had a great second half and the future looks bright thanks to the play of Martancik, a young forward who came to the Cougars late in the season from the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs of the NCDC. He exploded for 24 points – five goals and 19 assists in the final 10-games of the season and added three more points in a five-game playoff run that wrapped up at the National Championship tournament.

 

Forward – Brendan Smith(‘98/Birch Run, Mich.) Lansing Wolves 

Smith topped all scorers in the Great Lakes Division scoring 32 goals and adding 30 assists for 62 points meaning he was in on nearly half of his team’s 140 goals. Smith made his presence felt in every situation, scoring five game winners and three goals while team was shorthanded.

 

Forward – Caleb Griffin(‘98/Regina, Sask.) Rum River Mallards 

Griffin was one of the leading scorers in the region last season and he returned for his final season of junior ready to play a leadership role on the expansion Mallards. Griffin picked up 26 goals and added 27 helpers, including six powerplay goals and two shorties.

 

Defense – John Vandervalk III(‘98/Chicago, Ill.) Chicago Cougars 

A physical defenseman, Vandervalk played a part in the team’s division best 118 goals against total but also played a key role on the powerplay as well. Vandervalk collected 21 goals and 21 assists, including four powerplay markers and a game winner.

 

Defense – Kenny White(‘98/Trafford, Penn.) Pittsburgh Vengeance 

White enjoyed a great season as a two-way defenseman, leading the blue line corps in his own end and making the outlet pass that helped him rack up 37 assists. He scored six goals on the season, half of them on the powerplay and he was also one-for-two when selected to come up big in the shootout.

 

Goaltender – Fredrik Meurling(‘98/Huddinge, Sweden) Metro Jets 

Meurling was half of a great tandem in goal through the regular season and his bright red pads were a fixture in the blue paint through all seven of the Jets’ playoff encounters. Meurling racked up 22 regular season wins in 26 starts, losing just twice while stopping all but 42 of the 1469 shots he faced for a 1.72 Goals Against Average and a .938 Save Percentage. In the post season Meurling added five more wins with 59 saves on 173 shots.