Congratulations to our Mid-Atlantic Division All-Stars, who were selected from votes made by the coaches with support from the League Media Director.
John Crowdell, Rockets Hockey Club
Crowdell (‘03/Staten Island, N.Y.) might be a surprise to some, but for those within the Rockets Hockey Club, they’ve seen this coming for a few years. Crowdell first joined the Rockets in 2019-20 at the USPHL 16U level and continued for two 18U seasons before being the true leader in every respect for this year’s team. He put up 29 goals and a league-leading 44 assists for a league-leading 83 points. That was good for Top 10 all-time in the Elite Division and is the second best season by a Rockets Elite player in the six years of the Conference.
Louis David, Rockets Hockey Club
The Rockets Captain, a third-year player for Head Coach Todd Wagenbach, put together his best of three seasons with a line of 21-28-49 for a 1.14 points per game average over 43 games. Talk about continued upward mobility in his offense – he’s improved from seven to 30 to 49 points in his three years.
Edward Kienzle, New York Aviators
The ‘05 hometown hero from Brooklyn, Kienzle had another outstanding offensive showing for the season, improving on the All-Star worthy 62 points of last year by putting up 76 points off a 33-43-76 line this year. He finished third in goals in the Elite with 33, and fourth in assists with 43. All-time, Kienzle is second in Elite points with 153 points in exactly 100 regular season games played. He also has seven points in five playoff games in his last two years.
Michael McGowan, New York Aviators
No. 2 on the Elite goal-scoring charts this year was another Brooklyn native, this being the ‘03-born McGowan. He put up 37 goals in his first junior season coming out of the New York Stars 18U AA program. McGowan added 33 assists for a clean 70-point season, good for fifth overall.
Eric McHale, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights
The #WilkesWagon made it all the way to the Elite final this year, and it really was no surprise given their scoring depth all year. The regular season champion Knights were led by the 2005-born Maple Shade, N.J., native who tied Kienzle at third in points with 76. He put up a 25-51-76 line that so impressed the WBS hockey operations staff that he earned the rare distinction of a direct call-up to the Knights’ NCDC team from Elite, skating in one game. McHale scored 10 points in seven postseason games.
Brody Bess, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights
A longtime teammate of McHale, including in the Philadelphia Little Flyers Midget program, Bess also joined up with the Knights this year and put up a fantastic 32 goals and 58 points in 34 games for a 1.71 points per game average. In the playoffs, he continued a torrid pace that pushed the Wilkes Wagon to the final, posting 15 points in seven postseason games. Bess also earned one game apiece with the Knights’ Premier and NCDC games during the season.
Jared Showen, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights
Showen (‘03/Brushton, N.Y.) is a repeat Elite All-Star after putting up 20 goals and 26 assists for 46 points in just 26 games. He also played in three games with the Knights’ Premier team, posting a 1-1-2 line there. In just 64 Elite games, he has posted a total of 102 points in the regular season – and he’s also put up 18 points in 13 playoff games after two straight trips to the Nationals in the Knights’ first two years.
Jason DiMatteo, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights
DiMatteo (‘04/Boca Raton, Fla.) only got a chance to play in half the season due to a broken ankle, but at the time of his injury in December, he was the clear leader in points per game with 2.04. That’s, of course, where he finished and remained with the best mark in that category thanks to his line of 32 goals and 17 assists for 49 points in 24 games.
Matthew DiCarlo, Jersey Hitmen
DiCarlo (‘04/Saddle Brook, N.J.) was unquestionably one of the top defensemen anywhere in the league throughout the year, always earning Head Coach Jim Raymond’s trust in every situation. With an 8-22-30 line in 44 games, the second-year Elite veteran DiCarlo was a guiding light for a team with 16 ‘05’s and ‘06’s. He also got a chance to help out with the Premier team, posting two assists in four Premier games.
Oliver Kiel Straarup, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights
Straarup (‘03/Kerning, Denmark) came into this, his third North American season but first in the USPHL with a will to win and that’s exactly what the Knights did so much of this year. To help the team secure the No. 1 overall seed to close the regular season and jump in the playoffs on the right foot, Straarup was the league leader in points per game by a defender with 0.86 off a line of 8-22-30 in 35 games. He also had three assists in seven postseason contests.
Anthony Crescimanni, P.A.L. Jr. Islanders
Crescimanni (‘05/Syosset, N.Y.) has been a regular with the Jr. Islanders for a few years now and has been with legendary Head Coach Aleksey Nikiforov throughout. After playing for Nikiforov on the 16U Islanders last year, he moved with the coach to the Elite side and experienced fantastic success there. He came away from his rookie junior season with a very impressive 10 goals and 14 assists for 24 points in 42 games.
Frank Smith, Jersey Hitmen
Smith not only helped the Hitmen finish second in a division that was the strongest it’s been in years, he also helped push the Hitmen to their second Nationals trip in three years. A veteran goaltender for the Hitmen, Smith (‘04/Little Ferry, N.J.) repeats as an All-Star thanks to his .926 save percentage and a 10-5-3-1 record. Smith saw his first five games with the Premier team this year, as well. He’s just as effective in the postseason, with a two-year playoff save percentage of .933.
Michael Grima, Rockets Hockey Club
When you’ve had multiple years of players like John Crowdell and Michael McGowan shooting at you in practice, you can’t help but sharpen your skills. This former New York Star and Rockets Hockey Club 18U goaltender very successfully moved into the junior realm this year with a save percentage of .919 and a win-loss record of 12-11-3-0. Grima is an ‘03 out of Staten Island, N.Y., just the same as longtime teammate and fellow All-Star John Crowdell.
Dylan Boughen, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights
Boughen (‘04/Peterborough, U.K.) returned to the Knights fold this year even more determined to shake off the title of backup by putting together a season for the ages. He finished undefeated in regulation with a line of 15-0-2-0 and the league’s third best save percentage at .933, not to four shutouts (also third in the league). He was even better in the playoffs as the Wilkes Wagon traveled all the way to the final, with Boughen earning a Dan K Show Player of the Game nod despite the opponent Carolina Jr. Hurricane taking the win. For his 30-game Elite career, he is 23-3-2-0 with a .923 save percentage.