The Dan K Show ELITE Player of the Week
AUSTIN SAWYER (2002) – RW – RICHMOND GENERALS
Thanos would have adored the opening weekend of USPHL Elite action this past weekend, as the scoring was perfectly balanced. Throughout the league teams found their early success in goals by committee, showcasing their balanced attacks in close battles around the country.
Standing out amongst the field was non-other than the Richmond Generals right wing extraordinare Austin Sawyer. Sawyer, the 2002 birthyear, “Rushed” to the top of the USPHL Elite stat leaderboard in week one, now tied for the goal lead with 2, while sitting alone atop the assists and points categories with 4 and 6 respectively. Outscoring the Hampton Roads Whalers 13-4 in this weekend’s two game series, the Generals showcased what makes them a perennial powerhouse in the USPHL Elite. Dan K’s review of the Generals first two games? He LYKE-d it a lot.
Honorable Mentions: In addition to the great play of Austin Sawyer, Generals teammates Garret Albers and Andrew Farley also get the nod as Honorable Mentions. After making the move to Richmond from a Colonials squad that nearly raised the Cup in 2020-2021, Albers opened his 2021-2022 campaign with a 2 goal 3 assist weekend. Albers is a year 2004 with huge upside. Scouts should have him on their radar today, with eyes set on the upcoming USPHL Southeast Showcase in Wake Forest, NC to get their first looks. With his brother on the game call, Andrew Farley put in a classic Farley family effort, hard-nosed, lunch pail to work hockey. Andrew found the net once while adding three assists on the weekend for his Generals squad.
In net this weekend, Brian Brady of the Charlotte Rush, Dylan Boughen of the Wilkes Barre Scranton Knights, Malik Johnson of the Carolina Junior Hurricanes and Evan Spinella of the Tampa Bay Juniors all had solid two-goal allowed performances to open the year. The only netminder to out-perform those numbers in week one, was yet another Richmond General, Chadron Cummins who allowed just 1 goal on 23 shots faced in a victory.
The Dan K Show PREMIER Player of the Week
JACOB WILSON (2003) – C – CHARLOTTE RUSH
Another year, another Rush superstar with a penchant for hat tricks. The first hatty of the 2021-2022 campaign belongs to center Jacob Wilson of the Charlotte Rush, who tallied a 3 goal, 1 assist performance on Sunday, September 12th in a 5-0 win over the Carolina Jr. Hurricanes. In honor of this great performance I suggest we all give Jacob, a Tom Hanks style scream of “WILLLLLSSSSSOOOOONNNNN” in celebration. Jacob is a skilled-centerman with strong upside as he gets the chance to develop in the offense-centric system of Mr. Touchdown, Troy Schwab.
Honorable Mentions – Jacob’s teammate, “The Human Drumroll” Ethan DeMumbrum had a Johnny Appleseed weekend, notching 4 assists with no goals scored, now leading the league in assists. In his debut with the Tampa Bay Juniors, AJ Beugen yet another Minnesota star to say “You Betcha” when given the opportunity to play for the Strot family in Tampa, FL, tallied 2 goals and 1 assist. Beugen skates well without the puck, isn’t afraid to crash the net and will play a vital role going forward for the Tampa Bay Juniors. Beugen is a 2002 birthyear, that can play any roll at the next level with a willingness to get to the dirty areas on ice.
Of the netminders on opening weekend, Nick Anderson of the Charlotte Rush and Kenny Vought of the Hampton Roads Whalers shined brightest. Anderson, a 6’0” tall 2003 birthyear, earned the USPHL’s first shutout of the season, blanking the Carolina Jr. Hurricanes in a 5-0 commanding victory. Vought, the 2001 birthyear allowed just 1 goal on 24 shots faced in a road win over the Richmond Generals.