PHL announces Peak Performers from final regular season event
The North American Prospects Hockey League (PHL) announced its Pointstreak Peak Performers for the month of January. The players were selected based upon their performance at the fifth and final PHL regular season event of the season, which concluded on January 16th at the Troy Sports Center in Troy, MI.
MIDGET MAJOR (18U) POINTSTREAK PEAK PERFORMER-Alec Butcher, forward, Pikes Peak Miners
Pikes Peak Miners forward Alec Butcher,17, finished as the 18U Division’s leading scorer with 43 points during the 2011-12 regular season and his performance at the January event in Troy, Michigan was a big reason why. The Anchorage, Alaska native totaled 13 points (4 goals, 9 assists) in the four games played in Troy as Pikes Peak posted a 3-1-0 record at the event to finish in sole possession of 2nd place in the 18U division with 33 points heading into the PHL Championship Series in February.
Three out of the four teams that Butcher and Miners faced at the event managed to finish in the top 8 in the PHL’s 18U Division. The Miners began the weekend on a tough note, losing to the Detroit Falcons 5-2. However, Butcher recorded a goal and assisted on the other in the loss. The next day, Butcher kept his point streak going with an assist in a 3-1 win over the Indiana Jr. Ice. Butcher’s best performance of the event and of the year for that matter, came on Sunday as he registered a power play and a shorthanded goal, along with five assists in an 8-0 win over the Phoenix Firebirds, a gold division playoff-bound team. On the final day, Butcher added the game-winning goal and two assists as Pikes Peak made one final statement before the playoffs by knocking off regular season champion Pittsburgh, 5-2.
Butcher has signed an NAHL tender to play for the Kenai River Brown Bears next season and Pikes Peak head coach Greg Vanover believes that Butcher has been improving steadily as the season has gone on. “Alec has a tremendous hockey I.Q. and is one of the smartest players I have ever coached. I think where he gets his edge is that his competitiveness and his skill set match that,” said Vanover. Butcher, along with linemates and fellow NAHL tenders Josh Haverstrom and Kirk Van Arkel, are part of the most potent and productive line in the PHL’s 18U Division, something that Vanover says has contributed greatly to Butcher’s and the team’s success. “They work well together, but most importantly they are able to predict where one another is going to be on the ice and visualize what is going to happen. As a coach, you allow them to do some things that maybe you normally wouldn’t do because they have that connection with one another.”
MIDGET MINOR (16U) POINTSTREAK PEAK PERFORMER-Trevor Heuser, defenseman, New Jersey Jr. Titans
16-year-old defenseman Trevor Heuser from the New Jersey Jr. Titans has been selected as the 16U Division’s Pointstreak Peak Performer for his efforts in Troy. The native of Farmingdale, New Jersey helped the Titans to a 3-1-0 record in Troy and a 4th place finish overall in the PHL’s 16U division with a 14-4-0 record and 28 points. For the week, Heuser recorded nine points (2 goals, 7 assists) from the blueline.
Day one began with Heuser sparking the Jr. Titans to a 9-4 win over Pittsburgh. Down 3-1 in the game, Heuser the chipped in with a goal and two assists as New Jersey scored eight of the last nine goals in the game. On Day 2, Heuser helped out with two more assists in a comfortable 7-0 win over the Detroit Falcons. Heuser’s strongest effort of the week may have come in New Jersey’s lone loss of the week as they fell 3-2 to the Las Vegas Storm. Heuser factored in on both goals with a goal and an assist, all the while playing injured. Heuser wrapped-up the week with another two-assist effort in a 6-3 win over Carolina.
Heuser, who signed an NAHL tender earlier in the season with the NAHL’s Corpus Christi IceRays finished third in scoring for defenseman during the 2011-12 PHL regular season. “Trevor has been consistent since day one of the season and that is something that’s hard to find at a young age,” said New Jersey head coach George Haviland. “He was big in the first game against Pittsburgh because we trailed 3-1 after the 1st period, but he came out the rest of the game and set the tone. He also played very well in our lone loss against Las Vegas because he was playing hurt, but showed toughness and trudged through it. He is a big part of the team and is very good at a young age. I have been coaching him since he was 9 years old and he has been that way ever since I can remember.”
BANTAM MAJOR (14U) POINTSTREAK PEAK PERFORMER-Ellis Burgett, goaltender, St. Louis Selects
The St. Louis Selects 14U team are on an 8-game winning streak heading into the PHL Championship Series, where they will be the #1 seed in the playoffs and a big reason why is 14-year-old goaltender Ellis Burgett. Burgett won both games he started during the last regular season event in Troy, including posting his first shutout of the season. He stopped 33 of a combined 35 shots as St. Louis secured the regular season title in the 14U Division.
The native of St. Louis, Missouri began the week with a 10-save shutout of the Texas Tornado, followed by a 23-save performance the next day in a 3-2 shootout win over the Lansing Spartans. Burgett has won his last five starts, allowing no more than two goals in any of those games.
“Ellis is a great teammate and a very positive player in the lockerroom,” said St. Louis 14U head coach Greg Kozicz. “He takes practice very seriously and he wants to become a better goaltender every day. Has a lot of confidence in himself and his team, which is essential for a young goalie. A goaltender can always be working on his craft and technique, but Ellis has one of the best attitudes towards himself and towards hockey, and that’s something you can’t teach.”