Colorado natives Clift, Gorbitz, Nieusma, Tillinghast pick up monthly awards from USPHL
Several Colorado natives earned monthly honors from the USPHL for the month of January.
Richmond Generals goaltender Logan Gorbitz (Superior), Northern Cyclones defenseman Andrew Nieusma (Superior) and Cyclones forward Jackson Tillinghast (Louisville) picked up accolades for the Premier Division, while Charlotte Rush forward Matthew Clift (Broomfield) was honored in the Elite Division.
Gorbitz was named the Southeast Division Goaltender of the Month, putting up an outstanding 6-1 record in January, with his first five victories actually part of an overall seven-game winning streak going back to the USPHL Florida Showcase in mid-December. In net, along with helping his team to nine January victories, the 2001-born Gorbitz stopped 161 of 169 shots on the month, giving him a division-leading .953 save percentage in January.
Back home, Gorbitz played for the Rocky Mountain RoughRiders and for Monarch High School.
Nieusma took home New England Division Defenseman of the Month honors. The Cyclones were in first place in the North Division by 10 points to start February because of the fact their best players on paper are even better on ice. Nieusma, another ’01, is one of the league’s best two-way threats on defense. He has put up 45 points, good for third in the USPHL this season (including 3-13-16 in January). On defense, in January, he was plus-6 with four hits, nine blocked shots and he led his team in shorthanded time on ice (37:49 total).
In Colorado, Nieusma skated for the Colorado Springs Tigers and Rocky Mountain RoughRiders.
A teammate of Nieusma’s, Tillinghast is also a 2001 birth year that has earned his third player of the month award in four months. He passed the 100-point mark for just two USPHL Premier seasons during the month of January, racking up a 4-16-20 line in just 10 games, also giving him 45 assists in just 37 assists this year along with his team-leading 62 points.
During his youth hockey days, Tillinghast played for the RoughRiders and Boulder Bison.
Clift snagged Forward of the Month recognition in the Elite’s Southeast Division. A third-year USPHL player, the 2001-born Clift led the Southeast Division with a 1.88 points-per-game average, as he scored 15 points in nine games. He enjoyed a six-game scoring streak in which he posted multiple points each game (6-8-14). He also scored a goal on New Year’s Day against Potomac for a 7-8-15 line in January. He improved his points total for 2021-22 to 36 points in 36 games.
Clift is a Hyland Hills Jaguars alum.
(February 7, 2022)