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2019-20 USHL Players of the Week – Week 17

01/22/2020, 12:45pm CST

Brendan Brisson (Chicago), Mitchell Miller (Tri-City) and Erik Portillo (Dubuque) Earn Weekly Honors

Photo Credit: Dan Hickling / Hickling Images

The United States Hockey League (USHL) announced Wednesday the Forward, Defenseman and Goaltender of the Week for Week 17 of the 2019-20 season. This week features second-time winners for Forward and Goalie as Brendan Brisson (Chicago Steel) and Erik Portillo (Dubuque Fighting Saints), respectively, were both honored while Tri-City Storm blueliner Mitchell Miller collected his first USHL Defenseman of the Week award. The USHL is America’s only Tier I junior hockey league and continues to lead the world in the advancement of Division I college hockey athletes.


Photo Credit: Dan Hickling / Hickling Images

Brisson came up big for the Steel in a weekend sweep of the Omaha Lancers. On Friday night, the University of Michigan commit assisted on an equalizing tally from fellow forward Sean Farrell with one second remaining in the first period before setting up Farrell’s overtime winner in a 5-4 win over the Lancers. The next night, Brisson again collected an assist in the first period before potting a pair of goals of his own in the third period of a 6-1 Steel win. Brisson has been an offensive force for the Steel this season with 35 points (17-18-35) in 28 games. His 35 points ranks fifth on the Steel but is still good for ninth overall in the USHL. The Manhattan Beach, Calif. native was listed 31st among North American skaters in NHL Central Scouting’s midterm report and has had a busy season, representing Team USA at the World Junior A Challenge as well as appearing for Team Gomez at the 2020 BioSteel All-American Game. At the World Junior A Challenge, Brisson was twice named U.S. Player of the Game. The pair of multi-point games now gives Brisson more multi-point games (10) than games without a point (9) this season. Brisson was previously awarded USHL Forward of the Week in Week 8.


Photo Credit: Dan Hickling / Hickling Images

Miller earned Defenseman of the Week honors after scoring a goal in all three of Tri-City’s games last week. The Sylvania, Ohio native started the week with a multi-point effort in a 4-3 road win over the Waterloo Black Hawks on Tuesday. Miller assisted on a go-ahead goal late in the second period before netting what would hold up as the eventual game winning goal just 2:15 into the third period. The University of North Dakota commit then added another pair of multi-point efforts in a weekend split in Ohio against the Youngstown Phantoms. In a 4-1 Friday night win, Miller factored in three of the four Tri-City goals, scoring just 95 seconds into the game and added a pair of assists in the second period. The following night, Miller again added a goal and an assist, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Phantoms as the Storm fell 5-3. Saturday night’s goal and assist pushed the defenseman to new USHL career highs in goals (5), assists (13) and points (18), all of which beat his season total through 48 games last campaign with the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders. Miller has been the Storm’s best offensive defenseman and is currently tied for ninth in USHL defensive points (18) and assists (13) while his five goals is tied for eighth. Miller is NHL Draft eligible this season and was recently ranked 48th among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting. The defenseman also represented Team USA at the World Junior A Challenge in each of the last two seasons and was named to Team Gomez at the 2020 BioSteel All-American Game.


Photo Credit: Dan Hickling / Hickling Images

Portillo earned his second USHL Goalie of the Week award after standing tall in his lone appearance last week, turning aside 38 of the 39 shots he saw in a 4-1 win over the Waterloo Black Hawks on Saturday night. The Swedish netminder turned aside a combined 24 shots in the first 40 minutes while the only blemish on the night came midway through the final frame. Portillo, a Buffalo Sabres prospect (2019, Rd. 3, #67 overall), is now 13-4-1-0 this season with a league-leading 2.05 goals against average and second-best 0.918 save percentage. The University of Michigan commit has allowed one-or-fewer goals in 10 of his 18 appearances this season, including seven of his last 11 games. Portillo was previously awarded Goalie of the Week in Week 8.

Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 18th season as the nation’s only Tier I junior hockey league in 2019-20. The USHL had 55 players selected at the 2019 NHL Draft, and more than 800 alumni are currently on NCAA Division I rosters, further establishing the USHL as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent.

Tag(s): Player News