BOSTON, MA -- We're down to just the final two weeks of the regular season in the Eastern Hockey League (EHL) and the Eastern Hockey League Premier (EHLP).
Below you'll find the 22nd 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 Jack Wineman (Railers Jr. Hockey Club), JJ Creighton (Team Maryland), and Jack Boschert (Express Hockey Club) have been named the Top Performers for Week #22.
Wineman and the Railers swept their pair of games this past week, knocking off the New Hampshire Avalanche on Thursday and the Seahawks Hockey Club yesterday afternoon. As for the '03 native of Birmingham, MI, Wineman found the back of the net three more times and collected an assist as well, running his season total up to 46 points for the year. It's also worth pointing out that Worcester has now won three straight games, and the EHL rookie has scored the game-winning goal in all three games.
Wineman and the Railers have already secured the #1 seed in the Central Division, but have continued playing hard down the stretch, knowing that every point is critical should they reach Providence again this year. While Wineman wasn't on the Railers this past season, he's well aware of the run they went on to the EHL Frozen Finals, as he hopes to help the team gain a little revenge in Rhode Island this year.
Moving back to the blue line, and keeping with the trend of weekly sweeps, Creighton and Team Maryland followed suit by knocking off the Philadelphia Little Flyers in a shootout last Tuesday and then picking up a win over the New Jersey 87's on Friday. As for the '02 native of Youngstown, OH, Creighton tallied three points over the course of the week on a goal and two assists. For the season, the Maryland captain now has 18 points to date and 43 total points over the course of his two-year career in the EHL.
As for where Maryland now stands in the South Division standings, the four-point week came at the perfect time, as they continue to battle with both the Philadelphia Hockey Club and the Philadelphia Little Flyers for the #3 seed. This is important of course because the #3 seed will advance right to the First Round, while the teams that finish #4 and #5 will be forced to win their way in via a single elimination Play-In Game.
Wrapping things up in goal, and once again sticking with the theme of weekly sweeps, Boschert anchored the Express to one of their own against the East Coast Wizards and New England Wolves. As for the '02 native of Florissant, MO, his performance between the pipes was simply spectacular, turning aside all 56 shots he faced en route to earning back-to-back shutouts.
The EHL All-Star and University of Wisconsin-Superior commit is putting together a terrific age-out campaign, as he owns a record of 19-9-1 to date, to go along with a 1.92 GAA, a .941 save percentage, and five shutouts. Boschert and the Express currently hold a five-point lead over the Boston Jr. Rangers for the top spot in the East Division standings. While the Express are in control of their destiny over the course of their final four games, the Rangers do own both a game in hand and the tiebreaker over their divisional rivals.
The EHLP is pleased to announce that Brendan Manning (Vermont Lumberjacks), AJ Wenzel (New Jersey Renegades), and Caiden Boucher (Vermont Lumberjacks) have been named the Top Performers for Week #22.
Manning, Boucher, and the Lumberjacks won three of their four games this past week, sweeping their two-game series with the Seahawks Hockey Club and splitting their set of games with the Adirondack Jr. Thunder. The six-point week keeps Vermont right on the heels of Adirondack, as they trail the new franchise by just a single point for the top spot in the New England Division standings.
As for the '03 native of Chandler, AZ, Manning led the way for his team on offense tallying seven total points throughout the week on four goals and three assists. Included in his production was the game-winning goal against the Thunder on Sunday, his second winning tally of the year. Speaking of the season as a whole, Manning now has 61 total points in 38 games to date.
As for Boucher between the pipes, the '04 native of Thornton, CO started and won the back-end of the two-game set with the Seahawks this past Wednesday. Boucher made 29 saves in that contest, and then added another nine to his credit when he entered the game in relief against Adirondack on Sunday. Overall, the two-win week improves Boucher's record up to 9-3-0 for the season to go along with a 2.55 GAA and a .918 save percentage.
Manning, Boucher, and the Lumberjacks have four games remaining on their regular season schedule, two with the Express Hockey Club and two with the Boston Jr. Rangers, as they push to solidify their seeding for the upcoming playoffs.
Speaking of seeding, Wenzel and the Renegades continue to push for the #3 seed in the Mid-Atlantic Division standings, following a split of their two-game series with the Connecticut Chiefs. As for the '05 native of Mountain Lakes, NJ, Wenzel went off in the two games, scoring once and dishing out an additional four assists. For the season, Wenzel now has 11 points in 35 total games to date.
While New Jersey owns a two-point lead over the Philadelphia Little Flyers, it's the latter that has a game in hand as we head down the final stretch. In all likelihood the deciding factor for who finishes #3 and who finishes #4 between the two teams will come down to the final game of the regular season in the EHLP -- Renegades vs. Little Flyers at 4:00 pm on Sunday, March 5th.