By: Allan Westerholt
HUNTERSVILLE, NC (February 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 January.
MacDonald tallied 21 points, 11 goals, and 10 assists over 11 games played for the Ice Bears last month.
MacDonald recorded a point in each of the 11 games he appeared in during the month, including five multi-point performances. MacDonald netted his third career hat trick on January 13th against the Peoria Rivermen as the Ice Bears won 6-4. Justin tallied a season-high four points against Macon on January 22 as he scored the game-winning goal and dished out three assists in a 6-5 victory over the Mayhem. The Newmarket, ON native leads the SPHL in points (56), goals (23), and assists (33). All of which are career highs for the center. He is also the only player in the league to reach 50+ points this season.
MacDonald has helped lead Knoxville to fifth in the SPHL standings, just two points behind second place, and nine points back from league leaders Peoria.
Other nominees for the Warrior Player of the Month were: Michael Gillespie, Birmingham, (9g, 6a, +5), Trevor Gorsuch, Evansville, (2-1-0, 2.67 gaa, 0.936 sv%), Tyler Piacentini, Huntsville, (9g, 8a, +7), Garrett Milan, Pensacola, (6g, 6a, 4 ppg, 2 gwg), Alec Hagaman, Peoria, (8g, 10a, 2 ppg, 3 gwg), Kevin Resop, Quad City, (3-6-0, 3.27 gaa, 0.898 sv%), Nick Ford , Roanoke, (4g, 4a, +7)