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Tough Sledding

By Craig Peterson, 01/03/20, 11:00AM EST


This week's Dream Team faces a difficult schedule

Last week only consisted of four days worth of games but it proved to be one of our biggest performances this season from the Dream Team of the Week! Shane Romback led the way and cracked the leaderboard with his five-goal and two-assist weekend, and Jacob Winters won all three of his starts at the Scott Miller Memorial Tournament in Traverse City. 



Austin Combs, Milford

6 G, 4 A

16 FPS


Doug Wood, University Liggett

3 G, 8 A

14 FPS


Shane Romback, Macomb Dakota

5 G, 2 A

12 FPS


Mason Kelly, Forest Hills Central

4 G, 3 A

11 FPS


Andrew Potyk, Lake Orion

4 G, 1 A



Dylan Dooley, Detroit Catholic Central

3 G, 3 A



We’ve got another short slate of games to begin 2020 but plenty of teams in action for Friday-Saturday performances. I’ve got a couple players to pay attention to this weekend that are ripe for big outings. I won’t delay anymore, let’s take a look at six players to watch this week.

Week Seven

Monday, December 30th - Sunday, January 5th

FORWARD, Senior Luke Linart, West Ottawa

SCHEDULE: 1/3 vs. East Grand Rapids, 1/4 vs. TBD

He’s got a real nice goal scorer’s touch. Going back to the MDHL in the fall, Linart led the Westside’s Team Green in scoring with five goals and he’s continued that tear into the first half of the regular season. The 5-foot-8 forward has eight goals through West Ottawa’s first seven games and leads the team with 15 points. Only the Bay Reps have been able to keep Linart off the score sheet, otherwise, he’s putting crooked numbers in bunches with six multipoint games. The schedule gets much more challenging over the next few weeks but I like Linart’s chances in favorable matchups this weekend. 


FORWARD, Senior Keegan Spitz, Grosse Pointe South

SCHEDULE: 1/3 @ Trenton, 1/4 vs. Gabriel Richard

Speaking of goal scorers, how about the 16 goals and 28 points Spitz has compiled already for the Blue Devils? He’s tallied multiple goals on five separate occasions this season, and has a really strong first stride towards the net that fuels his quick-strike ability. If he is to have a big weekend, it won’t come easy with two challenging opponents. The last time Spitz squared off against Trenton, the Trojans actually kept him off the scoreboard and it resulted in South’s only loss to this point of the season. I like the Blue Devils to win both of these games this weekend and I’m counting on Spitz to be a factor in those outcomes.


FORWARD, Junior Matt Kanaras, Rochester United

SCHEDULE: 1/3 vs. Lake Orion, 1/4 @ Clarkston

He’s got a little flash-and-dash in his game. I like Kanaras’ ability to create space and attack the net with the puck. if he can’t get around you, he’s capable of lowering a shoulder and powering his way to the net too. I think RU is really close to turning the corner and flipping that 2-8-0 record upside down. That process starts with the captain and he’s got six points in RU’s last two games, factoring in on two-thirds of the team’s goals last weekend. If Kanaras can keep up his level of play, RU has the potential to flirt with not one, but two big upsets against a pair of OAA rivals. It won’t be easy, but I’m all in on the way he’s playing right now.


DEFENSEMAN, Senior Nathan Rublein, GRCC

SCHEDULE: 1/3 @ Forest Hills Central, 1/4 @ Byron Center

Probably faces the toughest schedule of any player in the Starting Six and hasn’t scored a goal yet this season. Why pick him? I’m steering into the skid a little bit here. I think Rublein is due. Don’t get it twisted, he’s still contributing for the Cougars with 10 assists in 10 games and logging a ton of minutes in all three phases of the game. Rublein is involved in the offense, he’s engaged, he just hasn’t found the back of the net yet and I think he breaks through in a big spot this weekend for GRCC. 


DEFENSEMAN, Senior Ty Halonen, Houghton

SCHEDULE: 1/3 vs. Brighton, 1/4 vs. U-D Jesuit

Defensemen account for one of every four goals scored by the Gremlins. Halonen has four goals and nine points this season, leading the offensive surge from the back end and has put together three multi-point games. The four-year senior has been quiet as of late, with just two points in the last five games but Houghton will need a strong showing from Halonen at this weekend. With two challenging opponents coming to town, he’ll have to be active at both ends of the ice and I think he comes into 2020 with a strong showing.


GOALIE, Senior Alex Studebaker, Calumet

SCHEDULE: 1/3 vs. U-D Jesuit, 1/4 vs. Brighton

If you score on Studebaker… keep the puck, because it doesn’t happen often. His sub-1.00 goals-against average and .950 save percentage is borderline unbelievable and he’s putting up numbers you couldn’t duplicate in a season of NHL20 on Beginner Mode. Studebaker has blanked Hancock, Houghton and Eisenhower, with an overtime win against Marquette as well. Nobody has put more than 26 shots on Studebaker in a game yet this season, which is a tribute to Calumet’s defensive effort. I expect opponents’ struggles to continue against the senior this weekend and probably the remainder of the year.

Tough to limit yourself to just six when there’s so many great players out there! Let me know who I should be looking at for Dream Team of the Week HERE.