BOSTON, MA -- We're just a few days away from the USA Hockey roster freeze, which means things will only heat up more in the Eastern Hockey League (EHL) and the Eastern Hockey League Premier (EHLP).
Below you'll find the 19th set of weekly top performers in the #EShow. The forward and defensemen awards are presented by Verbero Hockey, while the goalie honors come courtesy of Vaughn Custom Sports.
The EHL is pleased to announce that Colin Bella (Connecticut RoughRiders), Julius Kvandal (New England Wolves), and Lenny Perno (Vermont Lumberjacks) have been named the Top Performers for Week #19.
Bella and the RoughRiders hit the ice for just a single game this past week, but made it count on their way to a resounding 6-2 victory over the New Jersey 87s last Wednesday. As for the '01 native of Norwalk, CT, Bella played a role in every goal his team scored, finding the back of the net four times, to go along with a pair of assists. For the season Bella now has 58 points in 35 total games to date, which ranks him as the 2nd leading scorer in the league, with also a pair of games in hand over the man at the top, Michael Tersoni of the New Hampshire Avalanche (60 points).
Overall, Bella's career totals sit at 153 career points in 117 total games to date, and that includes 73 goals. Combined between the regular season and the postseason, the veteran forward is 11 goals away from being the top all-time goal scorer in league history. Bella has 11 regular season games remaining to try and break that record, plus the playoffs, and the quest picks back up tomorrow when the RoughRiders play host to the in-state rival Connecticut Chiefs at 11:30 am.
Kvandal and the Wolves finished the week with a record of 3-1-0 in their four total games. As for the '01 native of Norway, and the future Curry College Colonel, Kvandal finished the week with at least a point in all four contests, tallying three goals and six assists to his credit. For the season, Kvandal now has 26 points in 38 total games to date, and that includes 10 points in his last five games. Tack on a pair of game-winners in that stretch as well, and Wolves' captain has led by example as of late.
New England is off now until next Tuesday the 15th, when they travel to take on the East Coast Wizards at 11:00 am. Following that matchup, the Wolves will play four of their final six games at home in Laconia, NH.
As for the top netminder this past week in the EHL, Perno started and won all three games for Vermont, as they knocked off the Wolves, the Boston Jr Rangers, and the Wizards. After losing his Lumberjacks debut to the Avalanche back on January 30th, Perno has ripped off four straight wins and put together marks of a 2.36 GAA and a .941 save percentage.
The strong effort in net has helped the Lumberjacks climb their way back into the EHL Power Rankings, as the current 5th ranked team in the league, and helped things get even tighter in the North Division standings. Coming up this weekend, the '02 native of Rochester, NY gets his next crack at the Avalanche, as the Lumberjacks host the 1st-place rivals for a pair of games.
The EHLP is pleased to announce that Anthony Palermo (Walpole Express), Chris Merryman (Boston Jr Rangers), and James Williams (New England Wolves) have been named the Top Performers for Week #19.
Due to the winter storm, Palermo and the Express also hit the ice for just a single game this past week, as they skated away victoriously yesterday afternoon in a 5-4 thriller over the Seahawks Hockey Club. As for the '03 native of Norwood, MA, Palermo was the offensive catalyst for his team, finishing with pair of goals and a pair of assists to his credit. Included in Palermo's four-point performance was the game-winning goal, his 1st of the season.
For the year, Palermo now has 20 points in 18 total games to date, which matches the 20 points he put up in his first season of junior hockey back in 2019-20. Now, with 10 games remaining in regular season, Palermo is looking for eight more points to surpass the high-mark he set last year (2020-21), when he finished with 27 total points to his name. Palermo will look to pick up where he left off when Walpole hosts the Connecticut Chiefs on Friday.
Moving back to the blue line, Merryman and the Rangers traveled north this past weekend and picked up a two-game road sweep of the Vermont Lumberjacks. As for the '03 native of Peabody, MA, Merryman finished the weekend with a goal and two assists, as the three total points now gives him 18 in 33 games to date.
The four-point weekend for the Rangers helped Boston increase their lead up to eight points over the Railers Jr Hockey Club for the top spot in the East Division standings. Worcester still owns five games in hand over the Rangers, as the matchup on February 25th keeps growing larger and larger in terms of the value it will play towards each team's final playoff seeding.
Wrapping things up in goal, Williams and the Wolves earned a huge divisional victory of their own this past weekend, picking up a 4-2 road victory over the New Hampshire Avalanche on Saturday evening. As for the '03 native of Crofton, MD, Williams delivered one of his best games of the season, turning aside 45 of the 47 total shots that were sent his way.
There was also a very unique accomplishment made by Williams in the game, as the young netminder was credited with a goal, following errant Avalanche pass that wound up in the back of New Hampshire's net. Williams was the last Wolves player to touch the puck, therefore was credited with the 1st goalie goal in the history of the EHLP. Williams and the Wolves are heading right back to the Ice Den tomorrow afternoon, for a quick rematch with the Avalanche.