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USHL Weekly: Week 8

11/17/2016, 10:15am CST
By Kevin Meyers, USHL

USHL alumni news, team recaps and weekend preview.

 

USHL Headlines:

 

Players of the Week: Pair of Muskegon teammates take honors

Recent college commits: Eero Teravainen | Anthony Del Gaizo | Robbie Beydoun | Bradley Johnson

USHL Combines Dates Announced: Dates for three Development Series events

NEW weekly podcast: The U-Show | Subscribe on iTunes

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NHL Alumni News

 

Minnesota’s Erik Haula (Omaha Lancers) played in his 200th NHL game over the weekend…  Zach Werenski (Team USA) picked up the overtime winner for the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night… J.T. Miller (Team USA) leads all USHL alumni in the NHL in scoring with 17 points (7G, 10A) in 17 games… Joe Pavelski (Waterloo Black Hawks) is second among those players with 14 points (5G, 9A) in 16 games… Kyle Rau (Sioux Falls Stampede) tallied his first career NHL goal last week with the Florida Panthers.

 

 

NCAA Alumni News

 

Mike Vecchione (Tri-City Storm) continues to lead college hockey in scoring with 26 points (14G, 12A) in 13 games. Those 14 goals also lead all players… Anders Bjork (Team USA) is third with 18 points (7G, 11A)… Denis Smirnov (Fargo Force) leads all freshmen in scoring with 17 points (5G, 12A)… Patrick Grasso (Des Moines Buccaneers) is second with 16 points (9G, 7A)… Hayden Lavigne (Bloomington Thunder) leads all goaltenders in SV% (.956)… Michael Bitzer (Lincoln Stars) leads in GAA (1.32), wins (9), and shutouts (3)… Hunter Miska (Dubuque Fighting Saints) also has three shutouts…

 

 

NCAA Award Winners

 

Once again, the USHL swept the Big Ten weekly awards thanks to Nick Schilkey (Green Bay Gamblers), David Gust (Fargo Force) and Nate Sucese (Dubuque Fighting Saints)… Patrick Harper (Omaha Lancers) was named Hockey East Rookie of the Week… Austin Ortega (Indiana Ice), Luc Snuggerud (Muskegon Lumberjacks) and Jack Ahcan (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders) all were named NCHC weekly honorees…  Former Tri-City Storm and current Clarkson teammates Jake Kielly and Nico Sturm picked up ECAC weekly honors…  Michael Bitzer (Lincoln Stars) was named WCHA Defensive Player of the Week.

 

 

Bloomington Thunder

Last’s Week Record: 2-0-0-0

Overall Record: 7-6-2-0 (16 PTS, 5th in East)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 11/18 and Saturday, 11/19 vs. Team USA

 

Thanks to a pair of victories over the Youngstown Phantoms last weekend, Bloomington is now on a four-game winning streak and sit a single point out of a top-four position in the Eastern Conference. Logan Halladay has been in net for the last four Thunder victories, and the Merrimack commit was named CCM USHL Co-Goaltender of the Week following a weekend in which he had 46 saves over two games. Mitchell Mattson had two points (1G, 1A) in the win on Saturday, and the Calgary Flames prospect now has a pair of multi-point games on the season. The Thunder will look to extend their winning streak over the weekend as they host Team USA Friday and Saturday.

 

 

Cedar Rapids RoughRiders

Last Week’s Record: 0-2-0-0

Overall Record: 0-13-1-1 (2 PTS, 9th in East)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 11/18 at Dubuque

 

It was a milestone weekend for Steven Agriogianis, who picked up his first career USHL goal on Saturday. The Penn State commit has four points (1G, 3A) in six games so far this season. Western Michigan commit Jason Polin also had a solid weekend, as he scored a goal both Friday and Saturday to double his goal total on the season to four. The RoughRiders will play only once this weekend, as they head to Dubuque on Friday for a matchup with the Fighting Saints.

 

 

Chicago Steel

Last Week’s Record: 2-0-0-0

Overall Record: 12-1-1-1 (26 PTS, 1st in East)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 11/18 at Madison, Saturday, 11/19 at Green Bay

 

The Steel got back to their winning ways over the weekend with home victories over Cedar Rapids and Waterloo. Matt Kiersted had a three-point night on Saturday (1G, 2A) in the 5-3 victory over the then Western Conference-leading Waterloo. It was the North Dakota’s commit sixth multi-point game of his USHL career. Johnny Walker scored his tenth goal of the season on Friday, making him the second player in the league to reach the double-digit mark in goals. Tommy Nappier has continued to impress between the pipes as he leads the league in GAA (1.47) and SV% (.943). Chicago will head north for a pair of games this weekend as they travel to Madison on Friday before heading to Green Bay on Saturday.

 

 

Des Moines Buccaneers

Last Week’s Record: 1-1-0-0

Overall Record: 8-4-0-1 (17 PTS, 3rd in West)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 11/18 at Lincoln, Saturday, 11/19 vs. Lincoln

 

Des Moines split their games over the weekend to remain alone in third place in the Western Conference. Kobe Roth dished out a pair of assists in the Buccaneers’ win on Friday. The Minnesota-Duluth commit has been credited with a point in nine of his team’s 13 games this season. Despite the split, Jan Ruzicka was solid between the pipes both nights, allowing only two goals in each contest and stopping 61 shots over the two games. He is tied for fifth among all goaltenders in SV% (.934) and ranks eighth in GAA (1.96). Des Moines will look to solidify their position in the Western Conference this weekend with a home-and-home set with the Lincoln Stars.

 

 

Dubuque Fighting Saints

Last Week’s Record: 2-0-0-0

Overall Record: 8-6-0-1 (17 PTS, 4th in East)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 11/18 vs. Cedar Rapids, Saturday, 11/19 at Madison

 

With a sweep of the Green Bay Gamblers in a home-and-home series over the weekend, the Fighting Saints have vaulted into the fourth position in the Eastern Conference. A big reason for Dubuque’s success over the weekend was CCM/USHL Co-Goaltender of the week Jaxon Castor. The Arizona State commit won both games on the weekend, including a 30-save shutout on Saturday, his second of the season and third of his USHL career. Castor is now seventh in the league in GAA (1.94). Zach Solow has a six-game point streak with eight assists in those games. Dubuque will look to keep climbing in the standings over the weekend with games against Cedar Rapids and Madison.

 

 

Fargo Force

Last Week’s Record: 2-1-0-0

Overall Record: 8-7-0-0 (16 PTS, 4th in West)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 11/18 at Omaha, Saturday, 11/19 at Waterloo

 

With a pair of victories in three games last week, Fargo is now alone in fourth place in the Western Conference. It was a big weekend for Ryan Bischel, who stopped 24 of 25 shots in a 3-1 win on Saturday for his first career USHL victory. Jack Adams continues to find the back of the net. The Union College commit scored once in each of his team’s three games and is now on a six-game goal streak, with 10 goals over that span. He remains atop the USHL goal-scoring race with 13 and is third in points with 18 points (13G, 5A). Fargo will play a pair of road games this weekend at Omaha and Waterloo.

 

 

Green Bay Gamblers

Last Week’s Record: 0-2-0-0

Overall Record: 10-6-0-0 (20 PTS, 3rd in East)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 11/18 at Waterloo, Saturday, 11/19 vs. Chicago

 

Despite a pair of losses to the Dubuque Fighting Saints, the Gamblers still hold a top-three position in the Eastern Conference standings. Casey Mittelstadt rejoined his Eden Prairie high school team this week, leaving the USHL as the league’s leading scorer. The rookie forward will have a chance to add to those numbers following his high school season as he is expected to return with the Gamblers later this year. The University of Minnesota commit finished the first half of his USHL season with 21 points (8G, 13A) in 16 games. He is tied for fifth in goals and tied for second in assists. The Gamblers will play their first games this season without their top forward this weekend as they travel to Waterloo on Friday before hosting Chicago on Saturday.

 

Lincoln Stars

Last Week’s Record: 1-0-0-0

Overall Record: 6-7-2-0 (14 PTS, 7th in West)

Upcoming Games: 11/18 vs. Des Moines, Friday, 11/19 at Des Moines

 

Lincoln sits just two points out of a top-four spot in the Western Conference following a 3-2 victory over Tri-City on Friday in the team’s only game of the weekend. Luka Maver had two goals and an assist in the win on Friday, including the game-winner in overtime. It was his first career game-winning goal, his first multi-goal game and his first multi-point performance of his USHL career. He has earned at least one point in three of his last four games, tallying three goals and two assists in that span. The Slovakian forward has six points (3G, 3A) in 11 games so far this season. The Stars will take on Des Moines this weekend in a Friday-Saturday home-and-home series.

 

 

Madison Capitols

Last Week’s Record: 1-1-1-0

Overall Record: 6-7-1-0 (13 PTS, 7th in East)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 11/18 vs. Chicago, Friday, 11/19 vs. Dubuque

 

Madison picked up three points on the weekend thanks to a win over Team USA on Friday and an overtime loss to Muskegon on Sunday. Dryden McKay was stellar between the pipes in the Friday victory. The Holy Cross commit stopped 30 of the 32 shots he faced against Team USA for his fourth victory of the season. He is currently ninth in the USHL in SV% (.925). Easton Brodzinski scored a hat trick on Sunday, the first of his USHL career. It was his second multi-goal game this season, and the St. Cloud State commit now has six goals in six games with Madison since being acquired from the Fargo Force. The Capitols will host Chicago on Friday before welcoming Dubuque on Saturday.

 

 

Muskegon Lumberjacks

Last Week’s Record: 2-0-0-0

Overall Record: 11-5-0-0 (22 PTS, 2nd in East)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 11/18 and Saturday, 11/19 at Sioux City, Sunday, 11/20 at Omaha

 

Muskegon defeated Cedar Rapids on Saturday before they erased a three-goal third period deficit to knock off Madison 5-4 in overtime on Sunday afternoon. The Lumberjacks had a pair of Players of the Week. Andrei Svechnikov was named CCM/USHL Forward of the Week just one week after leading the World U17 Hockey Challenge in scoring. He scored in both Saturday and Sunday’s game, including the overtime winner against Madison. The rookie forward had four total points on the weekend and extended his point streak to eight games. He is second among rookies in scoring with 13 points (5G, 8A) in 11 games. Bo Hanson was named CCM/USHL Defenseman of the Week after tallying five points (1G, 4A) on the weekend. He had two assists both Saturday and Sunday in addition to scoring the game-winning goal in the victory over the RoughRiders. The Boise, ID native leads all USHL defensemen with 13 assists and 15 points. With the two victories, Muskegon is now alone in second place in the Eastern Conference. It will be three road games in three nights for the Lumberjacks this upcoming weekend, as they take on Sioux City in a Friday-Saturday series before heading to Omaha on Sunday.

 

 

Omaha Lancers

Last Week’s Record: 1-0-0-0

Overall Record: 7-7-1-0 (15 PTS, T-5th in West)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 11/18 vs. Fargo, Sunday, 11/20 vs. Muskegon

 

The Lancers picked up a 4-3 victory over Fargo in their only game of the weekend. With the win, Omaha sits just a single point out of a top-four position in the Western Conference. A couple of rookies were a big reason for the team’s success on Friday. Jack Randl picked up a pair of goals, while Emilio Pettersen scored a game-winning goal in the final minute of the third period. It was Randl’s first career multi-point game. Omaha is 7-3-1 in their last 11 games, and Ralston Arena has been especially good to the Lancers lately, as the team has now won the last three games in their home rink. Omaha will look to continue that home cooking this weekend as they host Fargo and Muskegon.

 

 

Sioux City Musketeers

Last Week’s Record: 2-0-0-0

Overall Record: 11-3-1-0 (23 PTS, 1st in West)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 11/18 and Saturday, 11/19 vs. Muskegon

 

The Musketeers remain the hottest team in the USHL. They have won their last seven games, thanks to a pair of victories over the weekend, and are two points ahead of the Waterloo Black Hawks for the top spot in the Western Conference. Sioux City’s seven-game winning streak is the second longest in the USHL this season only behind the Chicago Steel’s 10-game winning streak. Matiss Kivlenieks is on fire right now. The Minnesota State University, Mankato commit has now won his last six starts to get to 10 victories on the year, which is more wins than 12 teams have accrued through seven weeks. He is the first goalie to reach the 10-win mark this season, and is also in the top-10 in both GAA (1.80) and SV% (.934). Matt Hellickson has led the charge from the back end with eight points in 11 games and a +14 rating. Sioux City will look to keep the winning train rolling with a Friday-Saturday set against Muskegon at Tyson Events Center.

 

 

Sioux Falls Stampede

Last Week’s Record: 0-2-0-0

Overall Record: 5-9-0-1 (11 PTS, 8th in West)

Upcoming Games: NO GAMES THIS WEEK

 

Sioux Falls dropped their games on both Thursday and Saturday, but Austin Albrecht has continued his solid offensive play. The University of Massachusetts commit is tied for fourth in the USHL in scoring with 17 points (4G, 13A) in 13 games this season. Those 13 assists are tied for second among all USHL players. Eric MacAdams has also brought some offensive balance with six goals and six assists. The Stampede are idle this upcoming weekend and will return to action November 23 at Fargo.

 

 

Team USA

Last Week’s Record: 1-1-0-0

Overall Record: 3-7-1-0 (7 PTS, 8th in East)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 11/18 and Saturday, 11/19 at Bloomington

Playing their first USHL games in the month of November, Team USA split their weekend series with the Madison Capitols. Jacob Tortora had a pair of assists in the victory on Saturday. The Boston College commit now sports four career multi-point games and has four points in five USHL games this season. Josh Norris also added two points (1G, 1A) and has four points in four USHL games. Team USA will continue with USHL games this upcoming weekend as they travel to Bloomington for a Friday-Saturday set with the Thunder.

 

 

Tri-City Storm

Last Week’s Record: 0-1-1-0

Overall Record: 6-5-1-2 (15 PTS, T-5th in West)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 11/18 and Saturday, 11/19 vs. Youngstown

 

The Storm earned one point on the weekend and sit just one point out of the top half of the Western Conference. Before it was snapped on Saturday, Alex Limoges extended his point streak to nine games, tied for the longest such streak in the USHL this season. The Cornell commit is tied for ninth in the league in scoring with 15 points (7G, 8A) in 14 games. Dayton Rasmussen has been playing well in goal as he is 10th in the league with a 2.22 GAA. Tri-City will look to gain ground in the Western Conference standings this weekend with a Friday-Saturday home set against Youngstown.

 

 

Waterloo Black Hawks

Last Week’s Record: 0-2-0-0

Overall Record: 10-4-0-1 (21 PTS, 2nd in West)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 11/18 vs. Green Bay, Saturday, 11/19 vs. Fargo

 

Despite a pair of losses over the weekend, the Black Hawks sit alone in second place in the Western Conference and are just two points behind conference-leading Sioux City. Shane Bowers continues to impress, as he scored his eighth goal of the season on Saturday. The Boston University commit now has 15 points (8G, 7A) in 15 games. Goaltender Robbie Beydoun announced his commitment to Michigan Tech last week. It was an exciting moment for Beydoun, who has posted an impressive 5-3-0-1 record with three shutouts on the season. He ranks second among USHL goaltenders in GAA (1.64) and SV% (.939). Waterloo will look to get back to their winning ways this weekend with home games against Green Bay and Fargo.

 

 

Youngstown Phantoms

Last Week’s Record: 0-2-0-0

Overall Record: 7-8-0-1 (15 PTS, 6th in East)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 11/18 and Saturday, 11/19 at Tri-City

 

The Phantoms, despite a pair of losses last weekend to the Bloomington Thunder, sit just two points out of the top half of the Eastern Conference. Youngstown has three players in the top-20 in USHL scoring. Alex Esposito (8G, 8A) and Nicolas Werbik (5G, 11A) are tied for sixth in league scoring with 16 points each, while Brett Murray ranks in the top-20 with 14 points (4G, 10A). Youngstown will look to gain some ground in the Eastern Conference standings as they face their longest road trip of the season with a Friday-Saturday series with the Tri-City Storm at the Viaero Center.

 

Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 15th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2016-17.  30 or more players from the USHL have been selected in four consecutive NHL Drafts,  and more than 400 players on team rosters last season committed to NCAA Division I schools, further establishing the USHL as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent.

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Tag(s): Recaps