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NAPHL announces Apex Learning Peak Performers for October

November 3, 2014

The North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) announced its Apex Learning Virtual School Peak Performers for the month of October.  The players were selected based upon their performance at the second NAPHL event of the season, which took place at Canlan Ice Sports in Romeoville, Illinois from October 17-20, 2014.

18U Apex Peak Performer (Forward) – Evan Somoza, California Titans

After a subpar performance by the California Titans 18U team in Blaine, the club responded with a great effort in Romeoville as they got right back in the thick of the standings with a perfect 5-0 record at the event. 17-year-old forward Evan Somoza helped lead the way for the Titans as the native of Simi Valley, CA, registered 10 points (4 goals, 6 assists) in the five wins. Somoza (5’11/160) recorded at least a points in all five of the wins as the Titans outscored their opponents 22-4. In the first game, Somoza tallied the same winner and assisted on the other California goal in a 2-1 win over West Michigan. He then picked up assists in a 5-1 win over Pikes Peak and a 3-0 win over Arizona. In a 7-0 win over Philadelphia, Somoza had two goals, including the game-winner and three assists for a five-point game. In the final game of the event, he added another goal in a 5-2 win over St. Louis. Somoza ranks 2nd on the team in scoring this season with 12 points in 10 games played. “Evan has improved so much and has a great future in front of him. He has improved his strength and skill and that has made him a very effective player at the 18U level. We are very happy for him and the progress he has made,” said California head coach Luc Beausoleil.

#2 Star: Eric Weber, California Titans

#3 Star: Jordan Fader, Madison Capitols

18U Apex Peak Performer (Defense) – Carter Ekberg, Esmark Stars

After two events Esmark defenseman Carter Ekberg, 17, has clearly established himself as one of, if not the best, defenseman in the NAPHL 18U Division. As winner of the Defensive Peak Performer from the event in Blaine in September, Ekberg (6’2/185) followed it up with another great performance in Romeoville as he again led the way for all NAPHL 18U defensemen. The native of McMurray, PA, had another great event as he totaled seven points (3 goals, 4 assists) in five games as the Stars put together a 3-1-1 record to remain one of the top teams in the division. Ekberg began the event with the lone goal (and the lone shootout goal) for Esmark in a 2-1 shootout loss against San Jose. The next game, he had the game-winning goal and two assists in a 7-0 win over Arizona. Ekberg followed that up with another game-winning goal and an assist in a 4-1 win over Pikes Peak. He then picked up an assist in a 4-1 win over the Pursuit of Excellence. Ekberg did not score in the lone regulation loss of the event for the Stars, a 3-0 defeat to the Madison Capitols. “Carter stepped up at the last event because our bench was short, but he really played a lot of minutes and met the challenges before him. He is demonstrating his abilities week in and week out and that type of consistency will make him succeed at the next level,” said Esmark head coach Dave Kosick.

#2 Star: Evan Nyhus, Anaheim Jr. Ducks

#3 Star: Cole Hults, Madison Capitols

18U Apex Peak Performer (Goaltender) – Burton Rehm, Madison Capitols

The Madison Capitols have stormed onto the NAPHL 18U scene and through the first two events of the 2014-15 season the Caps find themselves in 1st place in the Division with a 9-1-0 record. A large part of this success has been the team defense, and more specifically, the goaltending. Leading the way has been 17-year-old Burton Rehm. The native of Sun Prairie, WI, has put together a perfect 6-0 record this season and three of those wins came in Romeoville. Rehm (6’2/205) won all three of his stars, while giving up just four goals in the process and also posting his first NAPHL shutout. He stopped 84 of the 88 shots that came his way in the three wins, which was good for a 95.5% save percentage and a 1.33 goals against average. Rehm’s best effort at the event may have been his 45 saves in a 5-3 win over New Jersey. He also stopped all 20 shots that came his way in a 3-0 shutout of the Esmark Stars. Rehm is 1st in wins in the NAPHL 18U Division with six and ranks 3rd in both goals against average (1.17) and save percentage (95.2%) to date.

#2 Star: Nicholas Nast, California Titans

#3 Star: Devin Cooley, San Jose Jr. Sharks

16U Apex Peak Performer (Offense) – Ethen Frank, Omaha AAA

Sitting atop of the NAPHL scoring lead is Omaha 16U forward Ethen Frank. That is thanks in large part to another great performance during the event in Romeoville, as the native of Omaha, NE, helped his team to a perfect 5-0 record as they outscored their opponents 24-6. Frank, 16, had 11 points in the five wins, he registered at least a point in all five games and led the event with seven goals. The Western Michigan recruit began the event with an assist in a 4-1 win over the previously unbeaten Anaheim Jr. Ducks. Frank (5’10/187) then followed that up with a goal and an assist in a 5-0 shutout of West Michigan. Later that same day, he had the game-winning goal and an assist in a 3-2 win over the St. Louis Selects. In a 6-2 win over Everett, Frank had two goals and an assist and in his final game, he recorded a hat-trick in a 6-1 win over Madison. Frank’s 15 goals and 25 points to date are tops in all of the NAPHL. "Ethen is a very good player with a bright future in the game. He is the offensive engine that drives our team and is an extremely elite skater. I am very proud of the way that Ethen has developed both on the ice and off of the ice for himself and the Omaha AAA Hockey Club,” said head coach David Wilkie.

#2 Star: Alec Zawatsky Pursuit of Excellence

#3 Star: Andre Ghantous, Anaheim Jr. Ducks

16U Apex Peak Performer (Defense) – Cole Barney, Esmark Stars

The Esmark Stars have a rich history of producing top quality defensemen and it appears the next in line may be Esmark 16U defenseman Cole Barney.  The 16-year-old defenseman from Ft. Wayne, IN, had a breakout event in Romeoville as he helped the Stars to a 4-1 record at the event. Barney (5’11/165) recorded at least a point in each of the five games and had eight points total (3 goals, 5 assists) during the five games. Barney began the event scoring the lone goal in a 1-0 win over San Jose. The next day, Barney had three assists in a 6-5 win over California. In his third game, Barney assisted on two more goals in a 7-1 win over New Jersey. Later that day, Barney scored twice, including the game-winning goal and also picked up an assist as Esmark bested the Pursuit of Excellence, 5-1. In the final game, Esmark lost to Anaheim 5-1, but Barney assisted on the lone Stars goal. Barney leads the 16U Esmark Stars in scoring with 11 points in 10 games played. “Cole demonstrated a consistent improvement week in and week out and has very quietly demonstrated a skill set that is at a very high level,” said Esmark 16U assistant coach Dave Kosick.

#2 Star: Reagan Wortz, Lansing Capitals

#3 Star: Johnny Schacher, California Titans

16U Apex Peak Performer (Goaltender) – John Massara, St. Louis Selects

It isn’t often that a goalie with just one win at an event is selected as the Peak Performer, but in the case of St. Louis 16U netminder John Massara, 16, he truly stood out with his overall performance in Romeoville. The native of Fenton, MO, played in four of the five Selects games while in Romeoville. He faced a 149 shots in four games and made 140 saves. Massara (5’7/140) began the event with his first shutout of the season, as he made 22 saves in a 2-0 win over West Michigan. The next day may have been Massara’s best game of the event as he made 58 saves in a close 3-2 loss to Omaha as the Selects just fell short of their upset bid. In his third game, Massara made 28 saves in a 3-1 loss to Madison and to round things out, he made another 32 saves in a 5-3 loss to Lansing, with the final goal being an empty-net goal. While at the event, Massara posted a save percentage of 94% in facing the 149 shots and his goals against average was 2.28. Despite having a 3-4 record this season his save percentage of 93.1% currently ranks 3rd in the NAPHL 16U Division. “John’s has a tremendous compete level. What he lacks in size he makes for in determination and skill. He has done a great job at keeping the team in games and in position to be competitive. He has great quickness and plays his angles very well,” said St. Louis head coach JP Beilsten.

#2 Star: Cole Weaver, Omaha AAA

#3 Star: Hunter Smith, HC Dallas

The NAPHL is comprised of five regular-season events leading up to its Championship Tournament Series in which the top teams in each division compete for a league championship. The third NAPHL event of the 2014-15 season will take place from November 14-17, 2014 at Moylan Iceplex in Omaha, Nebraska. The event will feature all 16 NAPHL 18U teams.

Apex Learning Virtual School

With more than 100 online high school courses and 20 years of experience, Apex Learning Virtual School offers players the opportunity to be both successful academically and available for practice and travel. Rigorous curriculum and the support of expert online teachers provide a strong academic foundation. The flexibility to complete online course work when and where it is convenient means school can fit with player's hockey commitments. Enrollment options include full time to earn a diploma and individual courses to fulfill specific requirements. For players wanting to qualify for Division I and Division III college teams, courses approved by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) are offered.

 
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