Ice Bears Justin MacDonald Named Back-to-Back Warrior/SPHL Player Of The Month

By: Allan Westerholt

HUNTERSVILLE, NC (March 1, 2023) – The Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) announced today that Justin MacDonald of the Knoxville Ice Bears has been named the Warrior/SPHL Player of the Month for February.

MacDonald tallied 16 points, nine goals, seven assists, and had a +7 rating over nine games played for the Ice Bears last month.

MacDonald recorded a point in each of the nine games he appeared in during the month, including five multi-point performances. MacDonald scored two goals in three separate games against Birmingham last month, with two of those three games resulting in wins. The Knoxville center-man is chasing the Ice Bears franchise record for points in a single season held by Kevin Swider (106 pts). The Newmarket, ON native currently leads the SPHL in points (72), goals (32), and assists (40). All of which are career highs. He is also the only player in the league to reach 70+ points this season. This is the second consecutive Player of the Month award for MacDonald, becoming only the second player to ever win back-to-back Player of the Month awards, joining Kevin Swider (Knoxville, February/March 2009-10).

MacDonald has helped lead Knoxville into a tie for fourth in the SPHL standings, just four points behind second place, and 12 points back from league leaders Peoria.

Other nominees for the Warrior Player of the Month were: Austin Lotz, Birmingham, (6-2-1, 2.96 gaa, 0.911 sv%), Austin Alger, Fayetteville, (4g, 7a, ppg), Rhett Kingston, Macon, (10g, 1a, ppg, gwg, shg, sog), Garrett Milan, Pensacola, (6g, 5a, 2 ppg, sog), Alec Hagaman, Peoria, (3g, 8a, +5, 2 ppg), Kevin Resop, Quad City, (2-5-0, so, 2.71 gaa, 0.898 sv%), Mac Jansen, Roanoke, (6g, 3a, 2 ppg)