Watch all the highlights and top plays from the 2014-15 season.
Forward: Matt Filipe – Cedar Rapids RoughRiders
3 GP: 3 goals, 3 assists, +4
Filipe scored three times over the weekend, including two shorthanded tallies. In addition to the goals, Filipe dished out three assists including a primary assist on the RoughRiders’ game-winning goal Friday night. The Lynnfield, MA native is third in USHL rookie scoring with 14 points, and is tied for first in goals scored by rookies with nine. Filipe is third in scoring for the RoughRiders, and is one goal shy of the lead for goals scored. Filipe is a first year NHL Draft-eligible forward and has been listed as a C-rated skater twice this season by NHL Central Scouting. Filipe is committed to Northeastern University and previously played for Malden Catholic High School prior to the USHL. Filipe was selected by Cedar Rapids in the 2014 USHL Phase II Draft in the 4th round, 69th overall.
Defenseman: Ruslan Rakhmatov – Chicago Steel
3 GP: 2 goals, 1 assist, +5
Rakhmatov had a big game Wednesday night, factoring into all three Steel goals. Rakhmatov would score twice, including the game-winning tally, and add an assist in the 3-1 win. The Moscow, RUS native would follow up the performance with two solid defensive showings, helping Chicago climb in the Eastern Conference Standings. In three games last week, Chicago did not allow a goal while Rakhmatov was on the ice. The veteran defenseman is currently uncommitted and previously played with the Waterloo Black Hawks (USHL), Des Moines Buccaneers (USHL), Amarillo Bulls (NAHL) and New Jersey Hitmen (EJHL).
Co-Goaltender: Ben Blacker – Cedar Rapids RoughRiders
3-0-0-0, 1.00 GAA, .972 SV%
Blacker had a busy Thanksgiving weekend starting in net for three consecutive nights, and stopped 105 shots total. Blacker allowed just one goal each night, leading to a perfect 3-0-0-0 record in 72 hours. Blacker helped the RoughRiders finish the weekend 12-for-12 on the penalty kill. Blacker ranks second in save percentage (.932), is tied for second in wins (9) and ranks fourth in GAA (.208) among USHL goaltenders. The Oakville, ON native is playing in his second season with Cedar Rapids and is committed to play college hockey at Western Michigan University. Blacker played with the Milton Icehawks (OJHL) and Brampton 45’s AAA (SCTAMM) prior to joining the RoughRiders.
Co-Goaltender: Daniel Vladar – Chicago Steel
2-0-0-0, 0.50 GAA, .986 SV%
Vladar faced the then-second place Dubuque Fighting Saints twice this weekend, and stopped 68 of 69 shots in back-to-back starts. Saturday’s 36-save shutout was Vladar’s second this season. Vladar has stopped 79 of 80 shots in his last three games for the Steel, and has helped Chicago climb back into the playoff hunt. Vladar ranks second in goals against average (1.97), second in save percentage (.930) and second in shutouts (2) among USHL goaltenders this season. Vladar, playing in his first USHL season, is a Boston Bruins prospect. Vladar previously played for HC Klando (Czech U20) prior to being selected by the Chicago Steel in the USHL Phase II Draft in the first round, seventh overall.