BOSTON, MA -- We're a week away from the trade and free agent signing deadline, as things continue to ramp up all across the Eastern Hockey League (EHL) and the Eastern Hockey League Premier (EHLP).
Below you'll find the 20th set of weekly top performers for the 2022-23 season. 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 Koby Howat (Philadelphia Little Flyers), Jack Costabile (Philadelphia Little Flyers), and David Filak (Boston Jr. Rangers) have been named the Top Performers for Week #20.
Mark it down as back-to-back weeks for Koby Howat, as the '02 native of Honey Brook, PA continues to rack up points in bunches for the Little Flyers. In four games this past week, the Little Flyers' Assistant Captain notched another eight points on two goals and six assists. For the season, Howat now has 36 points in 39 total games, and that includes 22 points since the team returned from the holiday break back in early January.
As for Philadelphia's record, despite having their near-perfect week spoiled by a loss at home yesterday afternoon, the Little Flyers still own a mark of 18-15-6. The 42 points to date puts them in 3rd place in the South Division standings. The primary focus from this standpoint is remain in this position, ahead of Team Maryland and the Philadelphia Hockey Club, who would line up in the Play-In game if the standings remained the same way they are right now.
As for Costabile, the '03 native of Devon, PA collected four points of his own this past week, including a pair of power-play goals. For the season, Costabile now has 27 points in 39 total games to date. The Little Flyers are seven points behind the New Jersey 87's for 2nd place in the division and eight points behind the Protec Jr. Ducks for the top spot. You could make the case that the Little Flyers could truthfully finish in a variety of different positions, but one big key that Philadelphia has going for them is that six of their final seven games take place in the friendly home confines of the IceWorks Skating Complex.
Moving back to the goal, and crossing off a team that put together a perfect week, that's exactly how things played out for Filak and the Rangers. After knocking off the Railers Jr. Hockey Club in a shootout this past Tuesday, the Rangers kept things rolling with an overtime victory plus a shutout of the Express Hockey club this past Friday and Saturday.
As for the '02 native of Northville, MI, Filak was virtually unbeatable throughout three contests, turning aside 83 of the 86 shots that he faced. The stellar performance equaled out to a .965 save percentage. Heading into the week, the Rangers had been a mini skid, but the six-point swing helped them re-solidify their spot in 2nd place in the East Division standings, one point behind the Express for the top spot.
The EHLP is pleased to announce that Cameron Cherry (New Jersey Renegades), Grayden Iannello (Connecticut Chiefs), and Jason LoRicco (New Jersey 87's) have been named the Top Performers for Week #20.
Cherry and the Renegades swept their weekend set of games by earning victories over the Philadelphia Little Flyers and Union Jr. Thunder. As for the '03 native of Sparta, NJ, the Captain of the Renegades put together back-to-back three-point games on five goals and one assist. For the season, Cherry now has 28 points through 34 total games to date.
New Jersey has also won four of their last five games, which has helped the Renegades move into 3rd place in the Mid-Atlantic Division. Similar to what was just discussed at the EHL level, this is key for New Jersey, as remaining in 3rd place would help them avoid the Play-In game within their division.
Moving back to the blue line, and continuing with the them of weekend sweeps, Iannello and the Chiefs collected one of their own this past week over the Little Flyers. As for the '04 native of Canton, CT, Iannello tallied three points throughout the two-game series, increasing his point total up to nine for the year.
While Connecticut is locked into the Play-In game in their division, this past weekend's sweep will surely help the team feel stronger about their chances as they begin their way down the stretch run towards the postseason.
Putting a bow on things between the pipes, LoRicco and the 87's swept their weekend set of games by knocking off the Pennsylvania Huntsmen on Saturday and then following that up with a win over Union on Sunday.
As for the '04 native of Hillsborough, NJ, LoRicco got the nod in the game against the Huntsmen, turning aside 27 of the 28 saves he faced en route to his 10th win of the season. With an overall mark of 10-2-1, plus a 2.59 GAA and a .912 save percentage, the second-year netminder is a big reason why New Jersey is just six points away from clinching the #1 seed in their division.