Photos by Hickling Images
The United States Hockey League announced the Forward, Defenseman and Goaltender of the Week for Week 5 of the 2017-18 season. Green Bay Gamblers forward Trenton Bliss, Chicago Steel defenseman Graham Lillibridge and Fargo Force goaltender Ryan Bischel all earned their first career weekly honors. Bliss extended his point streak to seven games with a five-point weekend, Lillibridge tallied six points in three games to help keep the Steel atop the Eastern Conference and Bischel stopped 48 of the 51 shots he faced to earn two victories, including a 23-save shutout on Friday. The USHL is America’s only Tier 1 junior hockey league, and continues to lead the world in the advancement of Division I college hockey athletes.
Forward: Trenton Bliss - Green Bay Gamblers
2 GP: 2 goals, 3 assists, +2 rating
Bliss tallied two points (1G, 1A) in an overtime loss to Chicago on Friday night before adding three more points (1G, 2A) to help Green Bay to a shootout victory over the Steel on Saturday, snapping the defending champ's six-game win streak. The Appleton, WI native is one of the hottest players in the USHL right now, earning a point in each of his last seven games, with 13 points (5G, 8A) during that span. He has recorded multiple points in four of those seven contests and is a big reason why the Gamblers are currently one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference. Bliss is playing in his second USHL season after playing 24 games with Green Bay last year, tallying an assist. He is currently uncommitted and previously played for the Coulee Region Chill (NAHL), Team Wisconsin (USHS) and Appleton United (USHS). He was selected in the 12th round, 193rd overall by the Gamblers in the 2014 USHL Phase II Draft.
Defenseman: Graham Lillibridge - Chicago Steel
3 GP: 2 goals, 4 assists, +2 rating
Lillibridge helped Chicago to three of a possible six points over the weekend to keep the Steel atop the Eastern Conference standings. He dished out a pair of assists in Friday's overtime win over Green Bay before exploding for a four-point performance (2G, 2A) on Saturday against the Gamblers. The Yale commit has now recorded at least one point in five of his last seven games, including four multi-point performances in that span. He also leads all defensemen and is tied for fourth among all USHL players in scoring with 12 points (2G, 10A) through 10 games. Lillibridge is in his third USHL season, spending 2015-16 with Muskegon before joining Chicago and helping the Steel to the Clark Cup championship in 2016-17. The Geneva, IL native has 52 points (7G, 45A) in 116 career games and played for the Chicago Mission (HPHL) prior to his time in the USHL.
Goaltender: Ryan Bischel - Fargo Force
2-0-0-0, 1.50 GAA, .941 SV%
Bischel stopped all 23 shots he saw on Friday to earn his first career USHL shutout before turning away 25 of the 28 shots he faced on Saturday, helping Fargo to victories over Cedar Rapids and Waterloo over the weekend. The Clarkson commit now sports a 5-2-0-1 record, a 2.30 GAA, .919 SV%, and he has picked up a win in each of his last four starts. His GAA ranks sixth among all USHL goaltenders while his save percentage is good for eighth in the league. Bischel has also been busy between the pipes this season, facing at least 30 shots in five of his nine appearances. Bischel appeared in 16 games for Fargo in 2016-17, compiling a 2.21 GAA and .904 SV%. He also suited up in three Clark Cup Playoffs games, registering a 2.49 GAA and .931 SV% in those contests. He is a native of Medina, MN and spent time with Benilde-St. Margaret's (USHS) before heading to Fargo.
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 16th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2017-18. 30 or more players from the USHL have been selected in five 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.
Tag(s): Top Story