PLAYOFF PREVIEWS: ST. MIKE'S NEEDS 'NEAR-PERFECT...
Date: Feb 24, 2018
A pair of Ontario Junior Hockey League graduates have snagged two of four Atlantic Hockey's Travel Team USA Weekly Awards.
Player of the Week
Gabe Valenzuela - RIT
Junior, Forward - Brampton, ONT/North York Rangers
Valenzuela tallied three goals and an assist in lifting RIT to a weekend sweep at Robert Morris. Friday, he got RIT on the board and started the play that set up Abbott Girduckis' second period goal in a 4-3 win. Saturday, Valenzuela had the primary assist on Myles Powell's first period power-play goal then added a second period tally and third period goal, tying a career-high with three points in a 6-2 win.Valenzuela played two years in North York, including a 76-point campaign in 2014-15, and one for the Milton IceHawks.
Defensive Player of the Week
Liam Clare - Sacred Heart
Junior, Defense - Georgetown, ONT/Georgetown Raiders
Liam Clare had another stellar weekend from the blue-line as Sacred Heart earned the weekend series sweep over Niagara. The junior registered his second career playmaker assisting on the Pioneers first three scores in the 7-1 win. He followed that up with his team-leading fourth assist of the weekend in Saturday’s 5-3 win over the Purple Eagles. Clare recorded the assist on Marc Johnstone’s power play goal in the first period. He finished the weekend with a team-high plus-five rating and added two blocked shots on defense. Clare played three years for his hometown Raiders, from 2012-15.