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USHL Weekly: Week 12

12/15/2016, 10:45am CST
By Kevin Meyers, USHL

USHL alumni update, weekend recaps and team previews.

 

USHL Headlines:

 

Players of the Week: Alger, Woolf, St. Cyr take home weekly honors

 

Recent college commits: Phillip Nyberg | Ronnie Attard | Marko Reifenberger | Yuki Miura

 

USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game roster announced: 40 players selected for the game

 

Willett blazes unique path: Bloomington defenseman sets record for USHL games played

 

Owens reflects on USHL coaching career: Stampede head coach newest member of 300-win club

 

NEW weekly podcast: The U-Show Subscribe on iTunes

 

USHLTV: Subscribe to watch nightly highlights

 

 

NHL Alumni News

Sam Gagner (Sioux City Musketeers) was named the NHL Third Star of the Week. He had six points (3G, 3A) in three games to help the Columbus Blue Jackets to three victories and now has 21 points this season (12G, 9A). Those 12 goals are tied for 15th in the NHL…  Zach Werenski (Team USA) is fifth among all rookies and ninth among all NHL defensemen with 18 points (6G, 12A)…  Brandon Saad (Team USA) has scored in 10 of his last 13 games, with 12 points in that span…  Jack Eichel(Team USA) has eight points (5G, 3A) in seven games since returning from injury. The Buffalo Sabres forward had two goals and one assist on Tuesday in a win over the Los Angeles Kings…  

 

 

NCAA Alumni News

Wade Allison (Tri-City Storm) scored twice in Western Michigan’s 3-1 upset of North Dakota on Saturday…  Mike Vecchione (Tri-City Storm) is still the leading scorer in the nation with 35 points (17G, 18A) in 17 games. He added a goal and three assists last weekend…  He is followed by Tyler Kelleher (Team USA) and Anders Bjork (Team USA)…  Denis Smirnov(Fargo Force) leads all freshmen in scoring with 27 points (10G, 17A) in 15 games…  

 

 

NCAA Award Winners

Shane Starrett (Lincoln Stars) was named Atlantic Hockey Goalie of the Week…  Justin Kloos (Waterloo Black Hawks), Luke Kunin (Team USA) and Tyler Sheehy (Youngstown Phantoms) swept the Big Ten weekly awards…  Anders Bjork (Team USA), Chase Pearson (Youngstown Phantoms), Jake Oettinger (Team USA) and Hayden Hawkey (Omaha Lancers) did the same in Hockey East…  Wade Allison (Tri-City Storm), Neal Pionk (Sioux City Musketeers) and Ben Blacker (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders) took home NCHC weekly honors…  Brandon Parker (Sioux Falls Stampede) was named WCHA Defensive Player of the Week… 

 

 

Bloomington Thunder

 

Last’s Week Record: 0-1-0-0

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

Upcoming Games: Friday, 12/16 at Chicago

 

Bloomington dropped their only game of the weekend to Team USA and are at the .500 mark on the season at 10-10-3-0. The big story of the weekend was Daniel Willett, who broke the record for most games played in the USHL by suiting up for his 237th career contest. He is committed to play at RIT next season. Fellow defenseman Ben Mirageas was selected to the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game roster earlier this week. Teammate Marko Reifenberger also recently announced his commitment to the University of Massachusetts Amherst.  A notable Thunder prospect has also been playing well lately, as 2016 fifth round USHL Phase I Draft selection Jeremy Davidson has 23 points (9G, 14A) in 29 games with Shattuck-St. Mary’s. Bloomington will look to climb back over .500 as they travel north to Chicago on Friday to battle the Steel in their only game of the weekend.

 

 

Cedar Rapids RoughRiders

 

Last Week’s Record: 0-3-0-0

Overall Record: 3-19-1-1 (8 PTS, 9th in East)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 12/16 and Saturday, 12/17 vs. Green Bay

 

The bright spot last weekend for Cedar Rapids was the play of goaltender Drew DeRidder, who gave up just three goals in his two appearances last week. In his last five starts, the Michigan State commit has a 1.00 GAA and has made 133 saves in those contests. The RoughRiders also had three players named to the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game roster. Forwards Marc McLaughlin and Robert Arrak, along with blueliner Jakub Sirota are going to be participating in the festivities in Sioux Falls in early January. Cedar Rapids will be hosting the Green Bay Gamblers on both Friday and Saturday night.

 

 

Chicago Steel

 

Last Week’s Record: 1-0-0-1

Overall Record: 17-4-1-2 (37 PTS, 1st in East)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 12/16 vs. Bloomington, Saturday, 12/17 at Muskegon

 

Chicago earned three of a possible four points on the weekend to keep their stranglehold atop the Eastern Conference standings. Several players have been playing well for the Steel as of late. Forward Jack Badini had a solid weekend, picking up three goals and an assist in two games. He has now scored a goal in three straight contests. Captain Marc Johnstone is currently sporting a three-game point streak and has eight points (4G, 4A) in his last 10 games. Derek Daschke has also been solid since coming over from Muskegon, as he has a three-game point streak of his own. He has three points (1G, 2A) as a member of the Steel. Forward Eduards Tralmaks was named to Latvia’s World Junior Championship roster, while Brannon McManus and Sioux Falls native Walker Duehr were among the 30 players named to the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game. Chicago will host Bloomington on Friday before playing in Muskegon on Saturday.

 

 

Des Moines Buccaneers

 

Last Week’s Record: 1-1-0-0

Overall Record: 13-7-1-1 (28 PTS, 3rd in West)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 12/16 and Saturday, 12/17 vs. Youngstown

 

With a split of their games on the weekend, Des Moines stays six games over the .500 mark and alone in third place in the Western Conference standings. Isaac Johnson has had himself quite the week. The Buccaneers’ third leading scorer picked up a goal in Team USA’s 3-1 win at the World Junior A Challenge on Tuesday and also was named to the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game, along with teammate Mario FerraroChristopher Berger, the last player named to Team USA’s World Junior A Challenge roster, currently leads the team in scoring with a goal and three assists. Nick MacNab was spectacular between the pipes on Saturday. The Yale University commit stopped all 18 shots he faced in the road victory at Tri-City. He is now 5-2-0-0 on the season with a 2.15 GAA and .922 SV%. Des Moines will look to keep their success going this weekend with a Friday-Saturday home series against the Youngstown Phantoms. 

 

                                               

Dubuque Fighting Saints

 

Last Week’s Record: 1-1-0-0

Overall Record: 15-7-1-1 (32 PTS, 2nd in East)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 12/16 and Saturday, 12/17 vs. Tri-City

 

The Fighting Saints are 8-1-1-0 in their last ten games following a split of their weekend games. They remain alone in second place in the Eastern Conference. Zach Solow remains the story in Dubuque. The Northeastern commit has now stretched his point streak to 13 games, with 18 points (4G, 14A) over those 13 contests. He has picked up at least one point in 18 of his 22 appearances this season. He is currently representing Team USA at the World Junior A Challenge and was named to the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game along with teammate Santeri VirtanenAlex Steeves had himself a special night on Saturday, as he scored his seventh career USHL goal on his 17th birthday to help his team to a 3-2 victory. Jaxon Castorpicked up his fifth consecutive win in the game and is now 13-6-1-1 on the season. The Arizona State commit has a 1.89 GAA and .917 SV% this season. Dubuque will host Tri-City both Friday and Saturday. It will be the first time the two sides square off since the 2016 Clark Cup Final. 

 

 

Fargo Force

 

Last Week’s Record: 1-1-0-0

Overall Record: 13-10-0-0 (26 PTS, 5th in West)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 12/16 and Saturday, 12/17 vs. Waterloo

 

Fargo sits just a point out of the top half of the Western Conference following a 1-1 record on the weekend. Ryan Savage, the seventh overall pick in the 2016 Phase I Draft, made his USHL debut over the weekend, playing in both of the Force’s games against the Chicago Steel. Former Chicago forward Christiano Versich got some revenge against his old team as he picked up a pair of assists in Saturday’s 4-3 shootout victory. He now has 12 points (2G, 10A) on the season. Odeen Tufto now has a three-game point streak after tallying two points (1G, 1A) in the win. Additionally, Jack Adams, Charlie Dovorany and Clayton Phillips were all named to the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game roster. Phillips, along with teammates Hank Crone and Blake Lizotte, are currently representing Team USA at the World Junior A Challenge. Fargo will look to improve their position in the Western Conference this weekend with a Friday-Saturday home series with the Waterloo Black Hawks, a team just three points ahead of the Force in the standings.

 

 

Green Bay Gamblers

 

Last Week’s Record: 1-1-0-0

Overall Record: 13-11-1-0 (27 PTS, 5th in East)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 12/16 and Saturday, 12/17 at Cedar Rapids

 

The Gamblers are just two points out of the top-half of the Western Conference with a 1-1 record on the weekend. Jared Spooner had himself a three-point night on Friday (1G, 2A). He added a goal on Saturday and has now eclipsed his point total from last season in just 25 games. The Minnesota State University, Mankato commit now has 18 points (9G, 9A) on the season. Four Gamblers were named to the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game roster – forwards Joshua Dunne and Nolan Moyle, defenseman Alexis Binner and goaltender Maksim Zhukov. Green Bay will look to climb back into the top half of the Eastern Conference with a Friday-Saturday set at Cedar Rapids.

 

 

Lincoln Stars

 

Last Week’s Record: 2-0-0-0

Overall Record: 12-9-2-1 (27 PTS, 4th in West)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 12/16 at Sioux Falls, Saturday, 12/17 vs. Omaha

 

The Stars might be the hottest team in the USHL. They have won their last four games and are 7-2-0-1 in their last 10 contests. The story of the weekend was Derek Schaedig, who was replacing goaltenders Cayden Primeau and Josef Korenar, who are representing Team USA and the Czech Republic, respectively, at the World Junior A Challenge. Schaedig won both games over the weekend against two teams with top-10 offenses in Dubuque and Sioux City. Speaking of Primeau, both he and defenseman Eero Teravainen were also named to the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game. Captain Dylan Woolf was named CCM/USHL Defenseman of the Week thanks to goals in back-to-back games. Dominick Mersch was solid as well with his first career multi-point game (1G, 2A) in the 5-1 victory over the Fighting Saints on Friday. It was also a special weekend for both Christian and Cole Krygier, as the twin brothers both picked up their first USHL goals over the weekend. Christian scored on Friday night, and Cole followed up on Saturday. The Stars will look to continue their winning ways with a game in Sioux Falls on Friday before they host in-state rival Omaha on Saturday.

 

 

Madison Capitols

 

Last Week’s Record: 1-1-0-0

Overall Record: 9-12-1-1 (20 PTS, 7th in East)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 12/16 and Saturday, 12/17 vs. Team USA

 

Following a split on the weekend with in-state rival Green Bay, Madison sits three games below the .500 mark. Mick Messneris having himself quite the week. He is currently playing for Team USA at the World Junior A Challenge, and he was also named to the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game. Eugene Fadyeyev picked up his first career-multi point game in the Capitols 5-2 victory over Green Bay on Saturday. Madison prospect Ryan O’Reilly has been making some noise this season as well. The Dallas Stars Elite forward has 13 goals in 13 games. He is now tied for fourth goals among all T1EHL players. Madison will host Team USA for a Friday-Saturday series this weekend.

 

 

Muskegon Lumberjacks

 

Last Week’s Record: 2-0-0-0

Overall Record: 15-10-0-0 (30 PTS, 3rd in East)

Upcoming Games: Saturday, 12/17 vs. Chicago

 

Muskegon is now alone in third in the Eastern Conference following a pair of extra time wins on the road both Friday and Saturday. The Lumberjacks knocked off Youngstown 4-3 in overtime on Thursday before edging Team USA by the same score via shootout on Friday. It was a milestone game for Jachym Kondelik on Friday, as he notched his first career USHL goal in the win. Caleb Everett also made USHL debut in the same game and picked up an assist. Everett was a 2016 second round pick of the Lumberjacks. Andrei Svechnikov has been dominating for Russia at the World Junior A Challenge. In his team’s first game of the tournament, he tallied three points (1G, 2A). On Tuesday night, he had two goals and an assist in a 6-5 overtime win. He is now tied for first in tournament scoring. Teammate Collin Adams also picked up a goal on Tuesday for Team USA in a 3-1 victory. Additionally, four Lumberjacks were named to the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game – Keeghan Howdeshell, Jordan Timmons, Scooter Brickey and Keith Petruzzelli. Muskegon will host Chicago in the USHL Game of the Week in their only game of the weekend.

 

 

Omaha Lancers

 

Last Week’s Record: 2-0-0-0

Overall Record: 11-10-2-0 (24 PTS, 6th in West)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 12/16 vs. Sioux City, Saturday, 12/17 at Lincoln

 

Omaha is now just three points out of the top-half of the Western Conference standings thanks to a pair of victories on the weekend. Austin Alger was named CCM/USHL Forward of the Week thanks to a two-assist night on Friday followed by a pair of goals on Saturday. Those were the Miami University commit’s fifth and sixth multi-point games of the season. Tommy Nappier has now won three consecutive starts, and the Ohio State commit is tied for third in the USHL with a record of 11-1-2-0 this season. Teammate Greg Printz was selected to the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game. Omaha will host Sioux City on Friday before visiting in-state rival Lincoln on Saturday in a game between two teams fighting for position in the Western Conference standings.

 

 

Sioux City Musketeers

 

Last Week’s Record: 0-1-1-0

Overall Record: 16-5-2-0 (34 PTS, 1st in West)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 12/16 at Omaha, Saturday, 12/17 vs. Sioux Falls

 

Despite picking up just one point on the weekend, Sioux City is five points clear of the Waterloo Black Hawks atop the Western Conference standings. Eeli Tolvanen continues to produce offensively. The Boston College commit had an assist on Friday and two goals on Saturday. He is now tied for first in the USHL in both goals (16) and points (27). Tolvanen was also named to the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game along with teammate Matt Hellickson. Musketeers prospect Mathieu De St. Phalle has been playing well for the Chicago Mission (HPHL). In seven games, he has 13 points (6G, 7A), tied for second in the HPHL in scoring. Sioux City will look to get back on the winning track this weekend as they play in Omaha on Friday before hosting Sioux Falls on Saturday.

 

 

Sioux Falls Stampede

 

Last Week’s Record: 1-1-0-0

Overall Record: 9-12-0-1 (19 PTS, 8th in West)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 12/16 vs. Lincoln, Saturday, 12/17 at Sioux City, Sunday, 12/18 vs, Waterloo

 

Sioux Falls split their pair of games on the weekend and remain three games below .500. Jason O’Neill had a pair of beautiful goals in the Stampede’s 2-0 win over the Des Moines Buccaneers on Friday night. In the win, Winnipeg Jets prospect Mikhail Berdin picked up his first career USHL shutout. He has now won his last three starts. Fellow Stampede players Matthew Quercia, Kasper Kotkansalo and John St. Ivany were named to the USHL.NHL Top Prospects Game that will be played in their home rink, the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center. 2016 Phase I first overall pick Gavin Hain has back-to-back four-point games with Grand Rapids High School. In five games, Hain has 15 points (7G, 8A). Sioux Falls will host Lincoln on Friday, play in Sioux City on Saturday and welcome Waterloo on Sunday afternoon.

 

 

Team USA

 

Last Week’s Record: 2-0-0-1

Overall Record: 7-11-1-1 (16 PTS, 8th in East)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 12/16 and Saturday, 12/17 at Madison

 

Team USA picked up wins over Cedar Rapids and Bloomington and earned an additional point with a shootout loss against Muskegon on Friday night. University of Michigan commit Dylan St. Cyr was named CCM/USHL Goaltender of the Week thanks to a 15-save shutout over the RoughRiders to go along with a 28-save performance in Saturday’s victory over the Thunder. He is now 5-1-1-0 on the season and has won his last four starts. His GAA (2.14) and SV% (.921) are both 10thamong all USHL goaltenders. Quinn Hughes added a point of his own and remains Team USA’s leader in scoring with nine points (1G, 8A) in nine games. Team USA will travel to Madison for a Friday-Saturday series with the Capitols.

 

 

Tri-City Storm

 

Last Week’s Record: 0-2-0-0

Overall Record: 8-11-2-2 (20 PTS, T-6th in West)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 12/16 and Saturday, 12/17 at Dubuque

 

The Storm are now three games under .500 with a pair of losses on the weekend. Goaltender Dayton Rasmussen has been the big story as of late. In addition to being named to the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game, he stopped 24 of the 25 shots he faced to lead Team USA to a 3-1 win on Tuesday at the World Junior A Challenge. Four Storm forwards were also named to the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game – Adam Goodsir, Paul Washe, Alex Limoges and Wyatt Bongiovanni. Tri-City will look to get back in the win column this weekend with games at Dubuque Friday and Saturday in a rematch of the 2016 Clark Cup Final.

 

 

Waterloo Black Hawks

 

Last Week’s Record: 1-1-0-0

Overall Record: 14-8-0-1 (29 PTS, 2nd in West)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 12/16 and Saturday, 12/17 at Fargo, Sunday, 12/18 at Sioux Falls

 

The Black Hawks split their games on the weekend and remain in second place in the Western Conference standings. Kevin Charyszyn tallied the overtime winner on Friday against Sioux City. The Clarkson commit scored in both games over the weekend and now has 15 points (8G, 7A) in 23 games. A pair of Waterloo players picked up points for Team USA in their 3-1 win at the World Junior A Challenge on Tuesday – forward Nick Swaney and defenseman Jack Ryczek. Swaney, along with teammates Shane Bowers and Mikey Anderson, were also named to the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game. The Black Hawks will play Friday and Saturday in Fargo before taking on Sioux Falls at the PREMIER Center in a Sunday matinee. 

 

 

Youngstown Phantoms

 

Last Week’s Record: 2-0-1-0

Overall Record: 13-9-2-1 (29 PTS, 4th in East)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 12/16 and Saturday, 12/17 at Des Moines

 

The Phantoms picked up five of a possible six points in their three games last week to move into the top half of the Eastern Conference standings. Dalton Hunter had himself a milestone game on Thursday, scoring the first goal of his USHL career on his first shot on goal. Prior to being called up, Hunter had 33 points (17G, 16A) in 26 games for the Johnstown Tomahawks (NAHL). On Friday night, Ivan Kulbakov made 15 saves in a win and is now 10-5-2-1 on the season. The Phantoms won again on Saturday, thanks to the performance of Britt League between the pipes and two goals from Chase Gresock. League is now 2-0-0-0 on the season with a 1.42 GAA and .946 SV%, while Gresock picked up his first career USHL game-winning goal in the contest. Curtis Hall also picked up his first career multi-point game on Saturday. The Yale commit dished out a pair of assists in the 2-1 victory. Fellow Phantoms Nicolas Werbik and Michael Karow were named to the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game. Youngstown will travel to Des Moines to take on the Buccaneers in a Friday-Saturday series. 

 

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