Marek Valach

Cedar Rapids RoughRiders (LW)

15 GP: 5 goals, 8 assists

14. Des Moines Buccaneers

6-9-0-1, Last Poll: 12

Des Moines faced a tough schedule in November, as they played either the Tri-City Storm or the Fargo Force, the top two teams in the Western Conference standings, in six of their eight games. Despite only winning two of those contests, the Buccaneers looked competitive, and there are signs that things might be on the rise in Des Moines. Nicolas Werbik continues to show strong offensive play, as the Czech forward has 14 points (7G, 7A) through 16 games, including a two-goal performance against Fargo last Friday. The Buccaneers are also sixth in the USHL on the power play (20.6%) and will need to keep capitalizing on the man-advantage if they want to turn things around. Des Moines will play their first four games of December at home before ending the month on a four-game road trip through Omaha, Lincoln, Central Illinois and Waterloo.


13. Cedar Rapids RoughRiders

7-8-0-0, Last Poll: 8

Cedar Rapids finished November with a 3-5 record, dropping them a game under .500 heading into December. However, the RoughRiders only sit four points out of third place in the Eastern Conference and have the chance to make a big move up the standings starting in December. Of the 10 games they play in December, nine of those contests are against teams higher than Cedar Rapids in the standings, giving them an excellent chance to make up some ground. Marek Valach (13 PTS) and Nathan Smith (12 PTS) are currently leading the team in scoring and will look to continue producing offensively on a consistent basis if they want to help their team climb in the Eastern Conference. Head coach Mark Carlson is just nine wins away from 600 USHL victories, and it would be quite something if Cedar Rapids could get their head coach to that milestone while also making a big move in the standings.