Nick Swaney (F)

Waterloo Black Hawks

24 GP: 13 goals, 14 assists

6. Des Moines Buccaneers

16-8-1-2, Last Poll: 7

Heading into the second half of the season, the Buccaneers are 6-2-1-1 in their last 10 games and are tied for second place in the Western Conference standings. The Buccaneers have the second-best team defense in the USHL, having allowed the second-fewest goals in the league (63). Des Moines also has two players in Isaac Johnson and Mario Ferraro who are in the top-five of the rookie scoring race. Like several other teams in the USHL, goaltending has also been a big reason why Des Moines sits where they do. The duo of Jan Ruzicka and Nick MacNab have buoyed the Buccaneers in the first half of the season. Ruzicka is tied for fifth in the USHL in GAA (2.07), while MacNab is eighth (2.19). Des Moines has also been successful both at and away from Buccaneer Arena. The Buccaneers are 8-4-1-1 at home and 8-4-0-1 on the road. They will play six of their 10 games in January away from home.

5. Waterloo Black Hawks

17-11-0-1, Last Poll: 4

Waterloo sits in a tie for second place in the Western Conference as the USHL season heads to the second half. Nick Swaney leads the way offensively for the Black Hawks with 27 points in 24 games, tied for fifth among all USHL players. Swaney, along with teammates Shane Bowers and Mikey Anderson, will be going to Sioux Falls next week for the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game. Waterloo is 8-3-0-1 this season at home this season and will look to continue their success at home in 2017, as they will play six of their 10 games at home in January.