USPHL Elite 2023-24 New England Division Players Of The Month: February 2024

Summaries By Joshua Boyd / 


Selection Process: The league media office sends statistical leaders to divisional coaches for review and coaches either approve or challenge the nominations. 


Forward: Josh Bruno, Northern Cyclones 

Bruno (‘04/Glendora, Calif.) was on a goal-per-game tear to end the regular season for the USPHL Nationals-bound Northern Cyclones. He put up nine goals in nine games and added 12 assists for 21 points, good for a 2.33 points per game average. After putting up 68 points in 42 games last year, he came back with 63 points in just 33 games this year, and he also skated up in five Premier games early in the season. Bruno finished the regular season with a 13-game point streak of 15-15-30. 


Forward: Noah Malcolm, Northern Cyclones 

Malcolm (‘03/Londonderry, N.H.) has been right there alongside Bruno as leading the Cyclones all year, and leading them right back to Utica, N.Y., to try to win a National Championship. He put up 10 goals and 10 assists for 20 points in nine games for a 2.22 points per game average. He finished the regular season with 17 goals and 36 points in a 17-game point streak. 

He totaled 69 points in 42 games this year, finishing seventh in league scoring and 1-2 in Cyclones scoring with Bruno. Malcolm also cleared the 100-point career mark during February, finishing his Elite regular season career with 108 points. 


Forward: Bogdan Guntypov, Islanders Hockey Club 

Guntypov (‘06/Astana, Kazakhstan) was a breakout star for the Islanders this year, showing great promise to move up in the ranks in future seasons. He scored 26 goals and 60 points in 41 games this season, and that is inclusive of scoring seven goals and eight assists for 15 points in eight games of February. Guntypov saw two Premier games over the year, one in January and the more recent on Feb. 25. He helped the Islanders to a return USPHL Nationals trip. 


Defense: Matthew Taylor, Northern Cyclones 

The ‘05 out of Wake Forest, N.C., continues to be really the all-around leader for the Cyclones. Offensively, he put up four goals and 10 assists for 14 points in 10 games. He helped the Cyclones keep their goals against to three goals or less down the stretch in their final four regular season games, before shutting out the Boston Junior Bruins in two playoff games. He finished the season as the second leading scorer among Elite defensemen with 54 points in 42 games. He also played in two USPHL Premier games. 


Defense: Justin Pniewski, Islanders Hockey Club 

Along with the Cyclones, the Islanders are also bound for the National Championships in Utica for another season, their fourth straight trip. Pniewski (‘04/North Haven, Conn.)  finished his second season with a 5-6-11 line, which brought him up to 12 goals and 28 points for the season in 41 games, very close to the 30 points he put up in his first year with the Islanders last year. 


Goaltender: Shane McKone, Springfield Pics

McKone (‘05/Scotia-Glenville, N.Y.) has been one of the strongest goaltenders all year, and helped the Pics to have a four-goalie average of .925 in save percentage during the regular season. During February, he stopped 186 of 200 shots in 269 minutes of action for a .930 save percentage. He started February with 30 saves against Elmira, and also had strong performances against Somang Hockey (43 saves on 44 shots) and put up 45 saves on 48 shots later in the month. Outside the scope of February Players Of The Month, he was dynamite in the postseason, especially in Game 2 when he stopped 55 of 56 Islanders shots in an eventual 1-0 Islanders Hockey Club victory to close the series. In the two games, he stopped 123 of 126 shots for a .976 save percentage.