Quintet of California connections take home weekly USPHL, NCDC honors
The USPHL and NCDC have announced their weekly players awards that this week includes five players with California ties.
Pueblo Bulls forward Hunter Hayes is the NCDC Mountain Division Forward of the Week, while Seattle Totems defenseman Michael Karvelas is the Northwest Premier Division Defenseman of the Week, Bakersfield Roughnecks blueliner Emile Rodrigue the Pacific Premier Division Defenseman of the Week, Hampton Roads Whalers defender John Rangel the Southeast Premier Defenseman of the Week, and Northern Cyclones forward Josh Bruno the New England Elite Division Forward of the Week.
Hayes, a 2004-born Lodi native, has just been absolutely on a tear since New Year’s Day, posting 10 points in the four games of 2024 for the Bulls. Most recently, he registered three goals and two assists for five points – including his first short-handed goal – to bring his season total to 22 goals and 36 points in 33 games. He was also dynamite in the dots, posting a 30-for-41 faceoff record last weekend for 73 percent success.
Back home, Hayes played for the Golden State Elite Eagles and Saint Mary’s High School.
Karvelas, an ‘04 out of Pasadena, registered a pair of assists on two of the Totems’ five goals for the weekend during their matchups against the Vernal Oilers. He was on the ice for only two goals against as well, while playing 29:07 per night. He has points in 12 of his last 14 games dating back to mid-November and holds a total of 25 points in 31 games overall.
During his youth hockey days, Karvelas skated for the Los Angeles Jr. Kings.
Rodrigue, a 2004-born native of Saguenay, Que., is on a roll, picking up another 10 points off four goals and six assists against Long Beach to give himself 16 points for six games. He led the team for another weekend, with 23:07 per game, and he was plus-16. He now has 66 points in 76 career Premier games.
Rodrigue played for the LAKHSHL’s Kern County Knights prior to the USPHL.
Rangel is an ‘03 from Corona who recently played in his 110th game with the Premier Whalers to reach the top 10 all-time for that category. Rangel was all over the ice for the sweep of Columbia, over which he put up a goal and two assists for three points. He now has 26 points for the season, a career single season best. He hit the ice for 22:56 per game and co-led in plus-minus at plus-6.
Before advancing to the USPHL, Rangel played for the California Wave, California Golden Bears, and Anaheim Jr. Ducks.
Bruno, an ‘04 out of Glendora, was up to his old tricks as he registered five goals and four assists for nine points in just three games. He has 100 career points now in 60 games. He now is just five points away from the all-time Cyclones Elite lead.
During his youth hockey career, Bruno skated for the Empire Hockey Club, Orange County Hockey Club and Jr. Kings.
(January 22, 2024)