Photo credit (left to right): Hickling Images, Chicago Steel, Hickling Images
The United States Hockey League announced the CCM Forward, Defenseman and Goaltender of the Week for Week 28 of the 2016-17 season. Colin Theisen of the Dubuque Fighting Saints was named Forward of the Week for the second time this season, Ben Mirageas of the Chicago Steel picked up Defenseman of the Week honors for the first time, and Jan Ruzicka of the Des Moines Buccaneers earned Goaltender of the Week honors for the fourth time this year. Theisen had five goals and an assist over the weekend to help the Fighting Saints clinch a playoff berth, Mirageas tallied four points to help the Steel clinch the Eastern Conference, and Ruzicka won both of his starts over the weekend, allowing just one goal and notching a 22-save shutout in the process. CCM Hockey is the official equipment provider of the USHL.
Forward: Colin Theisen - Dubuque Fighting Saints
2 GP: 5 goals, 1 assist, +3 rating
Theisen scored a pair of goals in a 6-2 win over the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders on Friday night before tallying a hat trick and adding an assist in Dubuque's 7-4 win in Omaha on Saturday that clinched a playoff berth for the Fighting Saints. The hat trick was the Monroe, MI native's third of the season and he is currently tied for the USHL lead with 34 goals this season. Theisen is also second on the Fighting Saints and tied for third among all USHL players with 58 points (34G, 24A) in 55 games. The Notre Dame commit has tallied multiple points in a game 15 times this year and has earned at least one point in 38 of the 55 games he has played this season. Theisen was also named Forward of the Week on Feb. 6 and previously played for the Coulee Region Chill (NAHL), Victory Honda (T1EHL) and Compuware (HPHL). He was selected in the sixth round, 90th overall by Dubuque in the 2013 USHL Phase I Draft.
Defenseman: Ben Mirageas - Chicago Steel
2 GP: 1 goals, 3 assists, +2 rating
Mirageas tallied two points (1G, 1A) on Friday night against Tri-City and followed that performance up by dishing out a pair of assists in Chicago's 4-1 victory over the Storm on Saturday to help the Steel clinch the Eastern Conference regular season title. Since being acquired by Chicago on Feb. 27, the Providence College commit has been a steady presence on the blue line for the Steel. In his 11 games with his new team, Mirageas has nine points (1G, 8A), including four multi-point outings, giving him a total of 19 points (2G, 17A) on the year. Earlier this season, Mirageas was name to USA Hockey's Ivan Hlinka Team and the USA Hockey/CCM All-American Prospects Game. The Newburyport, MA was also named to the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game and was ranked 48th among North American skaters on NHL Central Scouting's Midterm Rankings. Mirageas previously played for the Bloomington Thunder (USHL), Neponset Valley River Rats (MHSL), Avon Old Farms (USHS), Springfield Rifles (MHSL) and Newburyport High (USHS).
Goaltender: Jan Ruzicka - Des Moines Buccaneers
2-0-0-0, 0.50 GAA, .975 SV%
Ruzicka backstopped Des Moines to a pair of wins over the weekend en route to being named Goaltender of the Week for the fourth time this season. The Czech netminder made 17 saves on 18 shots in the Buccaneers 6-1 win over Omaha on Friday before stopping all 22 shots he faced in Des Moines' 3-0 shutout of Sioux Falls on Saturday. Ruzicka now sports a record of 24-12-1-1 and has five shutouts on the year, tied for the most among all USHL goaltenders. He is also 10th in the league in both GAA (2.34) and SV% (.916) and has made 30 or more saves in 23 of his 39 appearances this season. Ruzicka is in his second full season with Des Moines and was named to the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game last year, making 14 saves in that contest. This season, he was named to the NHL Central Scouting Players to Watch List and previously won Goaltender of the Week honors on Oct. 10, Jan. 2 and Feb. 13. Prior to his time with the Buccaneers, Ruzicka played for BK Mlada Boleslav in the Czech Republic and was selected in the third round, 47th overall by Des Moines in the 2015 USHL Phase II Draft.
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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