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USHL Weekly: Week 11

12/08/2016, 2:00pm CST
By Kevin Meyers, USHL

USHL alumni updates, weekend previews and more.

 

USHL Headlines:

 

Players of the Week: Swaney, Hamelin, Stezka honored

 

Recent college commits: Vitaliy Novytskyy | Bo Hanson | Jeff Baum

 

December Power Rankings: Sioux City takes top spot

 

World Junior Championship rosters announced: 24 USHL alumni named to Team USA

 

Berger named to U.S. Select Team: Des Moines forward is 22nd player named to roster

 

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NHL Alumni News

 

Brandon Saad (Team USA) tallied his 200th career NHL point, making him the third player from the 2011 NHL Draft to do so. Saad is a two-time Stanley Cup champion (2013, 2015)…  Anders Lee(Green Bay Gamblers) picked up his 100th career NHL point. He is the 24th player drafted in 2009 to reach that milestone…  Johnny Gaudreau (Dubuque Fighting Saints) recently returned from injury and scored on his first shot on goal during his first shift…  

 

 

NCAA Alumni News

 

Of the 24 USHL alumni named to Team USA’s World Junior Championship roster, 22 have experience playing college hockey…  University of Connecticut goaltender Adam Huska (Green Bay Gamblers) has made 30 saves or more in seven of his nine appearances and also leads all Hockey East goalies in SV% during conference play (.938), according to the New York Rangers, the team that Huska was drafted by in the seventh round of the 2015 NHL Draft…  Denis Smirnov (Fargo Force) leads all freshmen with 27 points (10G, 17A) in 15 games. He is third among all college hockey players in scoring behind only Mike Vecchione (Tri-City Storm) and Tyler Kelleher (Team USA). Anders Bjork (Team USA) is not far behind with 26 points…

 

 

NCAA Award Winners

 

Once again, USHL alumni swept the Big Ten weekly awards thanks to Peyton Jones (Lincoln Stars), Tyler Sheehy (Youngstown Phantoms) and Denis Smirnov (Fargo Force)…  Alex Sakellaropoulos (Chicago Steel) was named ECAC Goaltender of the Week…  Tyler Kelleher (Team USA), Adam Huska (Green Bay Gamblers) and Jake Oettinger (Team USA) swept the Hockey East weekly honors…  Austin Ortega (Fargo Force) and Will Butcher (Team USA) were named NCHC weekly honorees…  Marc Michaelis (Green Bay Gamblers) was named WCHA Rookie of the Week…  

 

 

Bloomington Thunder

 

Last’s Week Record: 1-1-0-0

Overall Record: 10-9-3-0 (23 PTS, 6th in East)

Upcoming Games: Saturday, 12/10 at Team USA

 

Bloomington picked up two big points over the weekend as they split their series with Sioux City to snap the Musketeers season-high 11-game winning streak. With that split, the Thunder remain just two points out of the top four in the Eastern Conference. Vladislav Dzhioshivili picked up the game-winning goal in the team’s 2-1 victory on Friday. The Cornell commit leads the team with 15 points (8G, 7A) in 21 games. It also was a milestone weekend for defenseman Daniel Willett. The RIT commit played in his 236th career USHL game, tying the all-time league record. He is set to break the record on Saturday when Bloomington travels to Plymouth to take on Team USA. 

 

 

Cedar Rapids RoughRiders

 

Last Week’s Record: 2-0-0-0

Overall Record: 3-16-1-1 (8 PTS, 9th in East)

Upcoming Games: Thursday, 12/8 at Team USA Friday, 12/9 and Saturday, 12/10 at Youngstown

 

The RoughRiders are now winners of three straight games thanks to a weekend sweep over the Madison Capitols. Drew DeRidder has now won two straight decisions between the pipes, and recent Air Force Academy commit Zack LaRocque earned his first win of the season over the weekend. Robert Arrak picked up his first career USHL goal on Saturday in a 2-1 win. That tally would eventually end up as the game-winner. Cedar Rapids will look to extend their winning streak with a Thursday matchup at Team USA and a Friday-Saturday set in Youngstown against the Phantoms.

 

 

Chicago Steel

 

Last Week’s Record: 2-0-0-0

Overall Record: 16-4-1-1 (34 PTS, 1st in East)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 12/9 and Saturday, 12/10 vs. Fargo

 

Chicago picked up a pair of road wins over Youngstown and Team USA to retake the top spot in the USHL standings from the Sioux City Musketeers. Minnesota Wild prospect Ales Stezka was named CCM/USHL Goaltender of the Week following two games in which he allowed just one goal in both appearances. He currently sits in the top-10 among all USHL goaltenders in both GAA and SV% and holds an 8-3-0-1 record. Tyler Gratton (2G, 1A) picked up three points on the weekend, including the game-winner over Youngstown on Friday. Defenseman Corson Green tallied a pair of assists in the two games and finished with a +3 rating. Newcomers Brannon McManus and Jordan Seyfert made their Steel debuts over the weekend as well.  Chicago will host Fargo this weekend in a Friday-Saturday series at Fox Valley Ice Arena.

 

 

Des Moines Buccaneers

 

Last Week’s Record: 1-0-1-0

Overall Record: 12-6-1-1 (26 PTS, 3rd in West)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 12/9 at Sioux Falls, Saturday, 12/10 at Tri-City

 

The Buccaneers picked up three points on the weekend to move back into sole possession of third place in the Western Conference. Kobe Roth tallied a pair of goals over the weekend to give him 16 points (6G, 10A) on the season. He is tied for the team lead in scoring along with David Keefer, who dished out one assist in each of Des Moines’ games last week. Jan Ruzicka continues to lead the way between the pipes. The Czech netminder is in the top-10 among USHL goalies in both GAA (2.11) and SV% (.923). The Buccaneers will travel to Sioux Falls on Friday before heading to Tri-City on Saturday.  

 

                                               

Dubuque Fighting Saints

 

Last Week’s Record: 2-0-0-0

Overall Record: 14-6-1-1 (30 PTS, 2nd in East)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 12/9 at Lincoln, Saturday, 12/10 at Waterloo

 

Dubuque has now picked up a point in eight of their last nine games thanks to a pair of wins on the weekend over the Green Bay Gamblers. Veteran forward Dallas Gerads led the way offensively with two goals and two assists in the two victories over Green Bay. Zach Solow extended his point streak to 13 games with a goal and two assists. He currently holds the longest active point streak in the league and is tied for the longest such streak in the league this season. In goal, Arizona State commit Jaxon Castor continues to lead the way. He made 47 saves on the weekend and allowed just three goals to lead the Fighting Saints to those two wins. Dubuque will look to continue their winning ways with road tests at Lincoln and Waterloo on Friday and Saturday, respectively.

 

 

Fargo Force

 

Last Week’s Record: 1-1-0-0

Overall Record: 12-9-0-0 (24 PTS, 4th in West)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 12/9 and Saturday, 12/10 at Chicago

 

With a split of their games with the Sioux Falls Stampede, Fargo remains alone in fourth place in the Western Conference. The Force continue to thrive offensively, with Jack Adams (16G, 10A), Hank Crone (8G, 16A) and Blake Lizotte (4G, 20A) all sitting in the top-five of the USHL in scoring. Adams leads the league in goals, and Lizotte leads in assists. Scoring the first goal of the game has been key for Fargo as well, as they are 9-1-0-0 when tallying the opening goal of the game. Another big key for Fargo has been special teams. The Force are first in the USHL with a 95.7% penalty kill and sixth in the league with a 14.1% conversion rate on the power play. They will look to continue that success on the road this weekend with a set against the top team in the Eastern Conference, the Chicago Steel.

 

 

Green Bay Gamblers

 

Last Week’s Record: 0-2-0-0

Overall Record: 12-10-1-0 (25 PTS, 4th in East)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 12/9 at Madison, Saturday, 12/10 vs. Madison

 

Following a pair of losses to the Dubuque Fighting Saints, Green Bay sits alone in the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference standings. Connor Mackey is still second in scoring among USHL defensemen with 15 points (3G, 12A) in 23 games. It has also been a notable week for Gamblers alumni. Anders Lee scored his 100th career NHL point earlier in the week, making him the 24thplayer to do so from the 2009 NHL Draft. Additionally, Vili Saarijarvi was named to Team Finland for the World Junior Championship. Green Bay will take on the Madison Capitols in a Friday-Saturday home-and-home series.

 

 

Lincoln Stars

 

Last Week’s Record: 2-0-0-0

Overall Record: 10-9-2-1 (23 PTS, 5th in West)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 12/9 vs. Dubuque, Saturday, 12/10 at Sioux City

 

Lincoln picked up victories over Muskegon and Des Moines over the weekend and remain just a single point out of the top-four in the Western Conference. Ethen Frank had himself a nice weekend, scoring a pair of goals, including an overtime game-winner over the Buccaneers on Saturday. Alex Green dished out a pair of assists over the weekend to move his total on the season to nine. Those nine helpers lead all defensemen on the team. Lincoln will look to continue their winning ways over the weekend with a home contest against Dubuque on Friday and a road tilt at Sioux City on Saturday. 

 

 

Madison Capitols

 

Last Week’s Record: 0-2-0-0

Overall Record: 8-11-1-1 (18 PTS, 7th in East)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 12/9 vs. Green Bay, Saturday, 12/10 at Green Bay

 

The Capitols dropped their pair of games over the weekend and sit in seventh place in the Eastern Conference. Goaltending remains a bright spot for the Capitols, as Dryden McKay sits in the top-10 of the USHL in both GAA (2.31) and SV% (.929). The Capitols are 6-2-1-0 when scoring first, and will look to add to that win total this weekend with a home-and-home series with the in-state rival Green Bay Gamblers. The two teams will play at Resch Center on Friday night before heading south to play in Madison on Saturday evening.

 

 

Muskegon Lumberjacks

 

Last Week’s Record: 0-2-0-0

Overall Record: 13-10-0-0 (26 PTS, 3rd in East)

Upcoming Games: Thursday, 12/8 at Youngstown and Friday, 12/9 at Team USA

 

Despite a pair of losses over the weekend, Muskegon remains alone in third place in the Eastern Conference. The Lumberjacks don’t appear to on the losing train for very long, however. Muskegon boasts three of the top 15 scorers in the league, with Collin Adams (15-12—27, 1st in USHL), Andrei Svechnikov (10-14—24, T-4th in USHL), and Bo Hanson (3-17—20, 13th in USHL). Adams is second in the league in goals, while Hanson leads all defensemen and is third among all players with 17 assists. Muskegon will look to get back in the win column with a game at Youngstown on Thursday and at Team USA on Friday. 

 

 

Omaha Lancers

 

Last Week’s Record: 1-0-1-0

Overall Record: 9-10-2-0 (20 PTS, 6th in West)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 12/9 vs. Tri-City, Saturday, 12/10 at Sioux Falls

 

The Lancers earned three of a possible four points over the weekend and now sit just one game below the .500 mark. Newcomer Tommy Nappier, acquired in a trade last week with the Chicago Steel, made his first appearance in an Omaha uniform and picked up a win on Saturday, stopping 31 of the 32 shots he faced. Emilio Pettersen continues to play well as a rookie, with nine points (5G, 4A) in 21 games, good for seventh among all USHL rookies in scoring. The Lancers will look to stretch their winning streak over the weekend with games against Tri-City at home on Friday and at Sioux Falls on Saturday.

 

 

Sioux City Musketeers

 

Last Week’s Record: 1-1-0-0

Overall Record: 16-4-1-0 (33 PTS, 1st in West)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 12/9 at Waterloo, Saturday, 12/10 vs. Lincoln

 

The Musketeers split the weekend on the road against the Bloomington Thunder and, despite getting their league-high 11 game winning streak snapped, remain atop the Western Conference standings and just one point behind the Chicago Steel for the best record in the USHL. Eeli Tolvanen earned his ninth career multi-point performance in the win on Saturday. It was his third multi-point performance in his last four games. He now has 24 points (14G, 10A) in 21 games this season, most on the team and fourth among all USHL players. Tolvanen and teammate Aapeli Rasanenwere also named to Team Finland for the World Junior Championship in late December/early January. Sioux City will play at Waterloo on Friday before hosting Lincoln on Saturday.

 

 

Sioux Falls Stampede

 

Last Week’s Record: 1-1-0-0

Overall Record: 8-11-0-1 (17 PTS, 8th in West)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 12/9 vs. Des Moines, Saturday, 12/10 vs. Lincoln

 

Sioux Falls split their games on the weekend and now sit with 17 points on the season. The big story of the 6-2 win over Fargo on Saturday was that it marked the 300th career USHL win for head coach Scott Owens. Owens is one of three active USHL coaches (P.K. O’Handley, Mark Carlson) to reach 300 career wins. He is also one of two coaches (Kevin Hartzell) to reach their 300th career USHL win while with the Sioux Falls Stampede. Goaltender Mikhail Berdin picked up his second consecutive win on Saturday, stopping 27 of 29 shots. The Stampede will host Des Moines on Friday before welcoming Lincoln on Saturday.

 

 

Team USA

 

Last Week’s Record: 0-1-0-0

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

Upcoming Games: Thursday, 12/8 vs. Cedar Rapids, Friday, 12/9 vs. Muskegon, Saturday, 12/10 vs. Bloomington

 

Team USA dropped their only game of the weekend to the Chicago Steel. Several former Team USA players have been making headlines lately. Jack Roslovic has been off to a red hot start with the AHL’s Manitoba Moose. He has seven goals and 10 assists on the season to lead the team. Additionally, Brandon Saad picked up his 200th career NHL point, making him the third player to do so from the 2011 NHL Draft. Dylan Larkin and Noah Hanifin have also reached milestones of their own, as they both recently played in their 100th career NHL game. Team USA will play three USHL games in three nights as they host Cedar Rapids on Thursday, Muskegon on Friday and Bloomington on Saturday. 

 

 

Tri-City Storm

 

Last Week’s Record: 1-1-0-0

Overall Record: 8-9-2-2 (20 PTS, T-6th in West)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 12/9 at Omaha, Saturday, 12/10 vs. Des Moines

 

The Storm split their pair of games on the weekend and sit four points out of the top-four in the Western Conference. Alex Limoges, who was recently named team captain, leads the team and is ninth in the USHL in scoring with 21 points (11G, 10A) in 21 games. The Storm will continue to look to the power play to help climb their way up the standings. Tri-City currently sits with the top home power play in the league (23.3%) and the third best overall power play in the USHL (20.9%). Tri-City will look to put that home power play to good use on Saturday against the Des Moines Buccaneers, a night after they take on the Omaha Lancers at Ralston Arena.

 

 

Waterloo Black Hawks

 

Last Week’s Record: 1-1-0-0

Overall Record: 13-7-0-1 (27 PTS, 2nd in West)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 12/9 vs. Sioux City, Saturday, 12/10 vs. Dubuque

 

The Black Hawks remain alone in second place in the West following a split of their games this past weekend. 2017 NHL Draft prospect Shane Bowers picked up his 50th career USHL point with an assist on a Nick Swaney tally. Bowers now sits with 17 points (8G, 9A), second on the team only behind Swaney, who had a milestone weekend of his own. The University of Minnesota Duluth commit picked up his 50th career goal with his second tally of the game on Friday night. The CCM/USHL Forward of the Week leads the team with 21 points (11G, 10A) in 21 games and is tied for ninth in the USHL in scoring. Waterloo will host Western Conference-leading Sioux City on Friday before welcoming the Dubuque Fighting Saints to Young Arena on Saturday. 

 

 

Youngstown Phantoms

 

Last Week’s Record: 0-1-0-0

Overall Record: 11-9-1-1 (24 PTS, 5th in West)

Upcoming Games: Thursday, 12/8 vs. Muskegon, Friday, 12/9 and Saturday, 12/10 vs. Cedar Rapids

 

Youngstown is just one point out of the top-four in the Eastern Conference despite a loss to Chicago in their only game last weekend. Nicolas Werbik found the back of the net in the game against the Steel to give him 10 tallies on the season. He is just the 10th player to reach double-digits in goals this season. He leads the team in scoring and is eighth among all USHL players with 22 points (10G, 12A). Ivan Kulbakov continues to stand tall in net with a 1.70 GAA and a .928 SV%, both of which are in the top-10 among all USHL goaltenders. He currently sits with a 9-5-1-1 record. Youngstown with host Muskegon on Thursday before welcoming Cedar Rapids for a Friday-Saturday set at Covelli Centre. 

 

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.

USHL.com

 

 

 

Tag(s): Recaps