John Leonard (F)

Green Bay Gamblers

29 GP: 9 goals, 16 assists

10. Lincoln Stars

15-11-2-1, Last Poll: 11

Despite moving up only one spot in the rankings, the Stars are 7-2-0-1 in their last ten games and sit just a single point out of the top half of the Western Conference standings. Goaltending has been the big reason why Lincoln sits where they do in the West. Josef Korenar has been the best goalie in the USHL as of late. He has won three of his last four starts and is first among all USHL goaltenders in both GAA (1.77) and SV% (.942). The Stars recently welcomed back Cayden Primeau, where he led Team USA to a gold medal at the World Junior A Challenge. In his place, Derek Schaedig was called up from the Janesville Jets (NAHL) and was outstanding. In his four starts in Lincoln, Schaedig finished with a 4-0-0-0 record, a 1.74 GAA and a .942 SV%. After one of those 2-0-0-0 weekends, he was named CCM/USHL Goaltender of the Week. The Stars will take on the Fargo Force four straight times at the end of January, and it will be a good opportunity for Lincoln to gain ground in the West, as the Force sit just one point ahead in the Western Conference standings.

9. Green Bay Gamblers

17-12-1-1, Last Poll: 6

The Gamblers go into the second half of the 2016-17 season with two of the top-12 scorers in the USHL. Captain Jared Spooner (10G, 13A) and defenseman Connor Mackey (3G, 20A) both sit with 23 points on the season. Mackey is also fourth in the league and first among all defensemen in both points and assists. Continued success on special teams will be a continued point of emphasis for Pat Mikesch’s club in 2017, as Green Bay remains atop the USHL in power play percentage (26.1%). The Gamblers also had four players named to the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game – forwards Josh Dunne, Nolan Moyle and John Leonard, defenseman Connor Mackey, and goaltender Maksim Zhukov. The Gamblers will go on a five-game road trip to Madison, Team USA and Muskegon from January 6-14, which could be a key stretch for the team at the beginning of the second half.