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USHL Weekly: Week 24

03/08/2017, 1:30pm CST
By USHL

USHL team updates, NHL alumni updates, NCAA award winners.

 

USHL Headlines:

 

Players of the Week:  Farabee, Mackey, Kivlenieks earn weekly honors

 

Recent college commits: Julian Napravnik | Lukas Kalble | Andong Song

 

Weekly podcast: The U-Show Subscribe on iTunes

                                                                                                                          

USHLTV: Subscribe to watch nightly highlights

 

 

NHL Alumni News

 

Jack Eichel (Team USA) had three points (2G, 1A) for the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday against the Philadelphia Flyers…  Eichel also scored his 100th career NHL point in the game…  He is the third-youngest Sabres player to reach 100 career points…  Phil Housley (St. Paul Vulcans) is the second-youngest player in Sabres history to do so…  T.J. Tynan (Des Moines Buccaneers) recently made his NHL debut for the Columbus Blue Jackets…  Tage Thompson (Team USA) signed a three-year entry-level contract with the St. Louis Blues…  Joe Pavelski scored the goal that gave Joe Thornton 1,000 career assists on Monday… 

 

NCAA Alumni News

 

Joey Anderson (Team USA), Jack Ahcan (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders), Michael Davies (Waterloo Black Hawks) and Ben Blacker (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders) were named to the 2016 NCHC All-Rookie Team…  Shane Gersich (Omaha Lancers) won the NCHC goal-scoring race…  Stefanos Lekkas (Sioux Falls Stampede) now has 18 wins this season, the most by a UVM goalie in 20 years… 

 

NCAA Award Winners

 

Mason Jobst (Muskegon Lumberjacks), Tyler Sheehy (Youngstown Phantoms) and David Goodwin (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders) swept the Big Ten Three Stars of the Week…  Griffen Molino (Muskegon Lumberjacks) and Tucker Poolman (Omaha Lancers) earned NCHC weekly honors…  Matt Pohlkamp (Fargo Force), Jason Pawloski (Green Bay Gamblers) and Parker Tuomie (Sioux Falls Stampede) swept the WCHA Players of the Week.

 

 

Bloomington Thunder

 

Last’s Week Record: 2-1-0-0

Overall Record: 20-23-3-2 (45 PTS, 6th in East)

Upcoming Games: Thursday, 3/9 and Friday, 3/10 at Muskegon, Sunday, 3/12 vs. Team USA

 

It was an impressive weekend for the Thunder, who picked up wins over Dubuque on Friday and Madison on Saturday. Ethan Somoza scored in both of Bloomington’s wins, giving him three points (2G, 1A) in two games and 27 points (13G, 14A) in 44 games this season. Recent addition Walker Duehr got off to a fast start with his new team, as he scored the overtime-winning goal on Friday against the Fighting Saints, his first goal with the Thunder. Will Garin also picked up his first goal since joining Bloomington in the win over Madison on Saturday. It will be a busy weekend for the Thunder, who will play in Muskegon Thursday and Friday before hosting Team USA on Sunday.

 

 

Cedar Rapids RoughRiders

 

Last Week’s Record: 0-2-0-0

Overall Record: 9-35-3-1 (22 PTS, 9th in East)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 3/10 at Fargo, Saturday, 3/11 at Sioux Falls

 

Cedar Rapids dropped their games to Madison and USHL-leading Sioux City over the weekend. Riese Zmolek found the back of the net against both the Musketeers and the Capitols. The Minnesota State University, Mankato commit now has four points (2G, 2A) in his last four games and has 14 points (3G, 11A) in 33 games this season. Justin Cole also picked up a goal over the weekend and has now scored in three of his last five games. Drew DeRidder started both games for the RoughRiders and stopped 53 shots in those two games. Cedar Rapids will play a pair of road games over the weekend as they are in Fargo on Friday and in Sioux Falls on Saturday.

 

 

Chicago Steel

 

Last Week’s Record: 1-1-0-0

Overall Record: 31-12-2-3 (67 PTS, T-1st in East)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 3/10 vs. Team USA, Saturday, 3/11 vs. Muskegon

 

Chicago shut out Lincoln 3-0 on Saturday night before falling 5-3 to Omaha on Sunday evening. Reggie Lutz picked up a goal and an assist against the Lancers on Sunday and leads with team with 39 points (19G, 20A). Jake Jaremko also had a goal and an assist on Sunday, giving the Minnesota State University, Mankato commit four points (2G, 2A) in his last four games. Brannon McManus had two of the Steel’s three goals in the shutout win over the Stars on Saturday and now has 18 points (8G, 10A) in his 24 games with Chicago. With his goal on Friday, Jack Badini stretched his team-leading total to 25. The Harvard commit’s 25 tallies are fourth among all USHL players. The Steel are tied atop the Eastern Conference standings and will look to take sole possession of first place this weekend with home games on Friday and Saturday against Team USA and Muskegon, respectively.        

    

 

Des Moines Buccaneers

 

Last Week’s Record: 1-1-0-0

Overall Record: 30-15-1-3 (64 PTS, 3rd in West)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 3/10 vs. Sioux City, Saturday, 3/11 at Omaha

 

Des Moines has now won seven of their last eight games and moved into sole possession of second place in the Western Conference thanks to a split of their games on the weekend. Isaac Johnson has been red hot as of late, with six points (5G, 1A) in his last six games. The uncommitted forward has 24 points (11G, 13A) this season. Julian Napravnik had himself quite a week as well, as he had three points (2G, 1A) in a 4-3 win at Omaha on Friday, giving him nine points (5G, 4A) in his last six games. He also announced his commitment to play college hockey at Minnesota State University, Mankato, where he will be the third native of Germany on the Mavericks roster, joining USHL alumni Marc Michaelis (Green Bay Gamblers) and Parker Tuomie (Sioux Falls Stampede). It was also a milestone weekend for Nick Leitner, who scored his first career USHL goal in the win on Friday. He also dished out an assist on Saturday against Sioux Falls. The Buccaneers will host USHL-leading Sioux City on Friday before playing in Omaha on Saturday as they try to inch closer to the Musketeers in the Western Conference standings.

 

                                               

Dubuque Fighting Saints

 

Last Week’s Record: 2-0-1-0

Overall Record: 30-12-5-2 (67 PTS, T-1st in East)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 3/10 vs. Waterloo, Saturday, 3/11 vs. Team USA

 

By picking up five of a possible six points in their three games last week, Dubuque is once again tied with the Chicago Steel atop the Eastern Conference standings. Zach Solow dished out five assists over the weekend to stretch his league-leading total to 42 on the season. The Northeastern commit is now sporting a three-game point streak and continues to lead all USHL players in scoring with 55 points (13G, 42A) in 45 games. Jaxon Castor picked up wins in both of his starts between the pipes last weekend and has now won four of his last five starts in goal for Dubuque. Colin Theisen tallied three points (2G, 1A) in those three games and is now tied for the USHL goal-scoring lead with 28. The Notre Dame commit is now tied for second in the USHL in scoring with 49 points (28G, 21A). Dubuque will look to keep pace in the race for the Anderson Cup this weekend as they host Waterloo on Friday and Team USA on Saturday.

 

 

Fargo Force

 

Last Week’s Record: 1-0-1-0

Overall Record: 28-15-4-1 (61 PTS, 4th in West)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 3/10 vs. Cedar Rapids, Sunday, 3/12 vs. Sioux Falls

 

Fargo earned three of a possible four points last weekend thanks to a win and overtime loss to the Tri-City Storm to remain in the fourth and final playoff position in the Western Conference. With his goal on Saturday, Jack Adams has now scored 28 times this year, tied for the most goals by any player so far this season. Blake Lizotte tallied three points (1G, 2A) in the pair of games against the Storm and is tied for seventh among all USHL players in scoring with 46 points (11G, 35A) in 44 games. The St. Cloud State commit is third among all players with his 35 assists and has nine points (4G, 5A) in his last six games. Michael Graham found the back of the net in both games last weekend and now has seven points (5G, 2A) in his last eight games. The Notre Dame commit has put together a solid first full USHL season, with 18 points (10G, 8A) in 30 games. Matthew Murray was between the pipes for both games over the weekend and has now won six of his last eight starts. The University of Massachusetts commit remains in the top-10 among all USHL goaltenders in both GAA (2.36) and SV% (.913). Earlier last week, defenseman Lukas Kalble announced his commitment to Lake Superior State University. With his announcement, every player on Fargo’s roster is committed to a Division I program. The Force will look to move up the Western Conference standings this weekend with home games Friday and Sunday against Cedar Rapids and Sioux Falls.

 

 

Green Bay Gamblers

 

Last Week’s Record: 2-1-0-0

Overall Record: 26-20-2-2 (56 PTS, 5th in East)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 3/10 and Saturday, 3/11 at Youngstown

 

With two wins in their three games last weekend, the Gamblers remain in the hunt for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Connor Mackey was named CCM/USHL Defenseman of the Week thanks to a three-point weekend (1G, 2A). The Minnesota State University, Mankato commit leads all USHL defensemen in scoring with 42 points (6G, 36A), and he is also the only USHL defenseman to sit in the top-20 among all USHL players in scoring. Dante Palecco had an outstanding weekend in his own right, tallying five points (2G, 3A) and finishing with a +3 rating. John Leonard has been on a roll at the right time for Green Bay, as the University of Massachusetts is currently on a four-game point streak, with five points (2G, 3A) in those contests. Easton Brodzinski continues to produce since joining the Gamblers, as the St. Cloud State commit has eight points (6G, 2A) in the 10 games he’s played with Green Bay since being acquired from the Madison Capitols. The Gamblers will look to inch closer to the top half of the Eastern Conference standings this weekend with arguably their biggest series of the year. Green Bay will travel to Youngstown for a Friday-Saturday series with the Phantoms, who currently sit just five points ahead of the Gamblers for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

 

 

Lincoln Stars

 

Last Week’s Record: 1-1-0-0

Overall Record: 26-18-4-1 (57 PTS, 5th in West)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 3/10 and Saturday, 3/11 vs. Team USA

 

Following a split of their games last weekend, Lincoln sits just four points out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Jack Doremus made a great first impression with his new team, scoring in his first game with Lincoln since being acquired from Sioux Falls in late February. Christian Evers and Brandon Schultz also found the back of the net for the Stars over the weekend. For Schultz, the goal was his team-leading 35th point (11G, 24A) of the season. Cayden Primeau stopped 26 of the 27 shots he faced in the win over Sioux Falls on Saturday for his 14th victory of the year between the pipes. Lincoln will look to climb closer to the top half of the Western Conference standings this weekend with a Friday-Saturday home series against Team USA.

 

 

Madison Capitols

 

Last Week’s Record: 1-2-0-0

Overall Record: 20-26-1-1 (42 PTS, 7th in East)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 3/10 and Saturday, 3/11 vs. Tri-City

 

Madison picked up a win in one of their three games last week, earning a 3-1 victory over Cedar Rapids on Friday. Billy Jerry scored twice in the win over the RoughRiders. The uncommitted forward now has four points (3G, 1A) in his last four games. It was an exciting time last week for defenseman Andong Song, the first Chinese-born NHL draft pick, as he committed to play college hockey at Cornell University. Another Capitols defenseman committed to a Division I school this week with Cole Hults announcing he will play college hockey at Providence College. Madison will be at home this weekend as they will welcome the Tri-City Storm for a Friday-Saturday series.

 

 

Muskegon Lumberjacks

 

Last Week’s Record: 1-1-0-0

Overall Record: 29-16-3-1 (62 PTS, 3rd in East)

Upcoming Games: Thursday, 3/9 and Friday, 3/10 vs. Bloomington, Saturday, 3/11 at Chicago

 

With a split of their series with the Youngstown Phantoms, Muskegon remains in third place in the Eastern Conference standings. Andrei Svechnikov had a productive weekend, scoring two goals on Saturday in their win over the Phantoms. The Russian forward leads the team and all USHL rookies with 24 goals and 47 points (24G, 23A) in 39 games. He is also fourth among all USHL players in scoring. Saturday’s two-goal performance was also the 14th multi-point game of the season for Svechnikov, who has 13 points (7G, 6A) in his last 12 games dating back to Jan. 27. Austin Albrecht made his Lumberjacks debut over the weekend and got off to a fast start, as he dished out a pair of assists in the win on Saturday. Colin Adams found the back of the net as well on Saturday and is now tied for sixth in USHL scoring with 46 points (22G, 24A) in 46 games. Keith Petruzzelli stopped 29 of the 30 Youngstown shots he faced on Saturday for his 10th win in his last 14 starts dating back to Dec. 8. Muskegon will be busy this week, as they host Bloomington for a Thursday-Friday series before playing in Chicago on Saturday.

 

 

Omaha Lancers

 

Last Week’s Record: 1-1-0-0

Overall Record: 19-24-5-1 (44 PTS, 6th in West)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 3/10 at Sioux Falls, Saturday, 3/11 vs. Des Moines

 

Omaha fell to Des Moines on Friday before responding with a huge 5-3 win over the Chicago Steel on Sunday night. Cole Gallant had two goals on Friday against the Buccaneers, giving him four multi-goal performances in his last six games. Sunday was Filips gone wild, as Filip Suchy tallied a hat trick for the Lancers, while Filip Rydstrom scored the other two goals for Omaha in their win over Chicago. Suchy now has eight points (4G, 4A) in his last six games, while Rydstrom now has five points (2G, 3A) in his last five contests. Tommy Nappier was excellent between the pipes against his former team, stopping 20 of the 23 shots he faced for his 19th victory of the season and his 11th with Omaha. The Lancers will play in Sioux Falls on Friday before hosting Des Moines on Saturday at Ralston Arena.

 

 

Sioux City Musketeers

 

Last Week’s Record: 2-0-0-0

Overall Record: 32-9-5-2 (71 PTS, 1st in West)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 2/24 vs. Lincoln, Saturday, 2/25 at Tri-City

 

The Musketeers are the hottest team in the USHL, having won eight straight games and taking a four-point lead over Chicago and Dubuque in the race for the Anderson Cup. Sioux City knocked off Cedar Rapids on Saturday before shutting out Madison on Sunday afternoon. Connor Ford picked up a goal in Sunday’s win over the Capitols and now has five points (2G, 3A) in his last six games. Odeen Tufto has been outstanding in his time with the Musketeers. The Quinnipiac commit had two goals in Saturday’s win over the RoughRiders and has seven points (3G, 4A) in his 10 games with Sioux City. He also has tallied at least one point in four of his last six games. Matiss Kivlenieks was named CCM/USHL Goaltender of the Week for the second straight week thanks to a pair of wins over the weekend, including a 15-save shutout on Sunday. The Minnesota State University, Mankato commit has now won his last nine starts between the pipes dating back to Feb. 3 and has still not lost back-to-back starts all year. Kivlenieks remains the USHL goaltending leader in multiple categories, including wins (29), goals against average (1.76), save percentage (.938) and saves (1094). He is also the only goaltender to have stopped more than 1000 shots so far this year. He will look to continue that success this weekend as the Musketeers host Lincoln on Friday and play in Tri-City on Saturday.

 

 

Sioux Falls Stampede

 

Last Week’s Record: 1-1-0-0

Overall Record: 17-25-2-4 (40 PTS, 8th in West)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 3/10 vs. Omaha, Saturday, 3/11 vs. Cedar Rapids, Sunday, 3/12 at Fargo

 

Sioux Falls picked up an impressive victory on Saturday night, as they dominated the Des Moines Buccaneers, who were the hottest team in the USHL coming into the game, 8-2 at Buccaneer Arena. A pair of Stampede players – Kasper Kotkansalo and Nathan Dingmann – picked up their first career USHL goals in the win over the Buccaneers. Dingmann also dished out a pair of assists in the win, giving him 13 points (2G, 11A) in 42 games this season. Jash Passolt had a strong weekend as well, scoring three goals, giving him 15 on the season, most on the team. The Western Michigan also leads Sioux Falls with 30 points (14G, 15A) this season.  Winnipeg Jets prospect Mikhail Berdin had a very strong weekend between the pipes, stopping 69 shots in the Stampede’s two games and only allowing five goals. Sioux Falls will play three games in three days this weekend, as they will be at home Friday and Saturday against Omaha and Cedar Rapids before playing in Fargo on Sunday.

 

 

Team USA

 

Last Week’s Record: 2-2-0-0

Overall Record: 18-23-1-2 (39 PTS, 8th in East)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 3/10 at Lincoln, Friday, 3/10 at Chicago, Saturday, 3/11 at Lincoln, Saturday, 3/11 at Dubuque, Sunday, 3/12 at Bloomington

 

The U18s swept the Waterloo Black Hawks over the weekend, while the U17s lost their pair of games to the Green Bay Gamblers. Joel Farabee played up with the U18s against Waterloo and was outstanding, tallying seven points (4G, 3A) in two games, including a natural hat trick and a pair of game-winning goals. The Boston University commit has played extremely well in USHL competition lately, with 10 points (6G, 4A) in his last five USHL games. In addition, other players all over the Team USA roster had multiple points on the weekend - Grant Mismash (1G, 4A), Scott Reedy (1G, 2A), Evan Barrett (0G, 3A), Max GIldon (1G, 1A), Quinn Hughes (1G, 1A) and David Farrance (1G, 1A). Dylan St. Cyr and Adam Scheel were solid between the pipes as well, as both netminders earned a victory. St. Cyr won Friday thanks to a 22-save performance, and Scheel picked up the victory on Sunday by stopping 23 of the 26 Waterloo shots he faced. The U17s will play in Chicago on Friday and Dubuque on Saturday, while the U18s will play Friday and Saturday in Lincoln before playing in Bloomington on Sunday.

 

 

Tri-City Storm

 

Last Week’s Record: 1-1-0-0

Overall Record: 17-25-5-2 (41 PTS, 7th in West)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 3/10 and Saturday, 3/11 at Madison

 

Tri-City split their weekend series with the Fargo Force with a loss on Friday and an overtime win on Saturday. Linus Weissbach picked up the overtime winning goal on Saturday, completing a three-point night (1G, 2A) from the Wisconsin commit. He has been on fire for the last quarter of the season, with 16 points (10G, 6A) in his last 15 games. Brian Hawkinson, Josiah Slavin, Wyatt Bongiovanni, Garrett Hall and Adam Goodsir also scored for the Storm over the weekend. Tri-City will travel to Madison for the first time this season for a Friday-Saturday series against the Capitols at Alliant Energy Center.

 

 

Waterloo Black Hawks

 

Last Week’s Record: 0-2-0-0

Overall Record: 31-14-2-2 (66 PTS, 2nd in West)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 3/10 at Dubuque, Saturday, 3/11 vs. Sioux City

 

Despite a pair of losses to Team USA’s U18 team, the Black Hawks remain alone in second place in the Western Conference. Bailey Conger has been tallying points with regularity for the last several weeks. Dating back to Jan. 20, the RPI commit has points in 16 of 20 games, with 15 points (5G, 10A) in that span. Nick Swaney picked up a goal on Friday and now has seven points (5G, 2A) in his last five games. Mikey Anderson also continues to tear it up. The Minnesota-Duluth commit also scored on Friday and has points in seven of his last eight games, with nine points (3G, 6A) in those eight contests.  Waterloo will look to get back to their winning ways this weekend, but it won’t be easy. The Black Hawks will travel to Dubuque, who is tied atop the Eastern Conference, on Friday before hosting USHL-leading Sioux City on Saturday.

 

 

Youngstown Phantoms

 

Last Week’s Record: 1-1-0-0

Overall Record: 28-16-4-1 (61 PTS, 4th in East)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 3/10 and Saturday, 3/11 vs. Green Bay

 

The Phantoms remain in the fourth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with a split of their weekend series with the Muskegon Lumberjacks. Austin Pooley found the back of the net in Youngstown’s victory on Friday to give him four goals in his last six games. The Ohio State commit leads the team with 18 goals on the season and is tied for fourth on the Phantoms with 25 points (18G, 7A). Alex Esposito also scored on Friday to give him goals in two of his last three games. The Vermont commit is third on the team in scoring with 28 points (13G, 15A). Ivan Kulbakov posted a 29-save shutout on Friday night for his 24th victory and third shutout of the season. The Belarusian netminder is currently second in the USHL in GAA (1.98) and tied for sixth in SV% (.917). Youngstown will look to solidify their playoff positioning this weekend with a Friday-Saturday series against the fifth-place team in the Eastern Conference, the Green Bay Gamblers.

 

 

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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