Forward: Nikita Pinimyasov, Florida Eels.
The Eels put up a 7-1 record in the month of January to leapfrog the DME Swamp Rabbits and claim sole possession of first place in the USPHL Premier’s Florida Division at the end of January.
A big reasons for their success as a team was the individual scoring exploits of the 2000-born Moscow, Russia resident. Pinimyasov scored 19 points in his eight January games, averaging 2.38 points per game.
He has already far surpassed last year’s points total (33) from his first year with the Eels.
He moved up to 16th in league scoring as he now has 53 points in the USPHL Premier.
His biggest performance came on Jan. 13 against the rival Florida Jr. Blades, when he had four goals and added two assists.
Honorable Mention: Brandon Osmundson, Hampton Roads Whalers; Demeed Podrezov, Florida Eels.
Defense: Artem Mikhaylov, Charlotte Rush.
The Charlotte Rush are firmly entrenched at second place in the Southeast Division, which is possibly the toughest division in the 51-team league with two teams in the top four overall and three in the top 10.
The defenseman Mikhaylov, a ‘99 from Moscow, Russia, was all over the scoresheets with nine points in nine games for the Rush. He started right off with a goal and an assist in his first Winter Showcase game, a close 4-3 loss to another top 10 team in the Boston Bandits.
All told, he had two goals and seven assists in the month of January, while also keeping other teams to an average of 27.6 shots per game, one of the lowest counts among teams from the USPHL’s southern region. He has 27 points in 37 games for this season.
Honorable Mention: Cullen Rush, Atlanta Jr. Kings; Yan Kalinovskiy, Florida Eels.
Goal: Alec Lindberg, Hampton Roads Whalers.
The Hampton Roads Whalers have pretty much led the USPHL Premier from wire to wire this year, and it’s because they are stacked at every position.
For instance, in goal, the third-year Whalers goalie from Bedford, N.H., just goes in and wins. It’s almost automatic. It certainly seemed that way as he went 5-0 in January. He posted a 2.16 goals against average and a .936 save percentage in the first month of the year.
Lindberg now has an 18-1-0-1 record overall, losing only once in regulation in early November. Don’t expect much to change as the Whalers try to build towards repeating their USPHL Premier championship.
Honorable Mention: Danick Francouer, Florida Eels; Eric Daniel, Carolina Eagles.