Photo Credit: Kevin Hurley / Immortal Image, Rena Laverty, Dan Hickling / Hickling Images
The United States Hockey League (USHL) announced Tuesday the Forward, Defenseman and Goaltender of the Week for Week 23 of the 2019-20 season. First-time winners AJ Hodges (Sioux City Musketeers) and Ty Gallagher (USA Hockey National Team Development Program) took home Forward and Defenseman of the Week, respectively, while Nicholas Grabko (Green Bay Gamblers) nabbed his second USHL Goaltender 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: Kevin Hurley, Immortal Image
Hodges factored in all but one of the Sioux City goals as the Musketeers split a pair of road tilts over the weekend. The forward sparked all the offense on Friday night with a goal and an assist in the first period before adding another helper early in the third period to tie the game 3-3. Sioux City would eventually fall 4-3 to the Dubuque Fighting Saints, but Hodges' three-point night (1-2-3) kept his team in the contest. Twenty-four hours later, this time in Cedar Rapids, Hodges lit the lamp midway through the opening frame to start the scoring and would then score again late in the second before setting up the eventual game-winning goal in the third period of a 4-3 Saturday night victory. Hodges was named first star of the game for his second three-point effort (2-1-3) in as many nights. Hodges has found success this season, his first in the USHL. The Littleton, Co. native has 12 points (6-6-12) in 12 games since being acquired by the Musketeers after registering 18 points (11-7-18) in 35 games with the Muskegon Lumberjacks. This weekend's three-point efforts were the first and second of his USHL career, with a previous high of two points set on three separate occasions.
Photo Credit: Rena Laverty
Gallagher had a four-point (1-3-4) weekend, and like Hodges, factored in all but one of the NTDP's goals. On Friday night, Gallagher and the U-17 squad faced the Western Conference-leading Waterloo Black Hawks and the defenseman was credited with an assist on the lone NTDP goal of the game in a 5-1 loss. The next night, Gallagher was pivotal in the comeback effort for the NTDP to earn a point in an eventual 5-4 shootout loss to the Madison Capitols. The University of Notre Dame commit assisted on the game's opening goal, and then after Madison opened a 4-1 lead, assisted on a goal to stop the bleeding and later tallied an unassisted goal of his own with less than three minutes to play in regulation to force overtime. Gallagher's three-point night (1-2-3) marked a USHL career-high. The Clarkston, Mich. native has 10 points (5-5-10) in 29 USHL games this season, his first in the league. With his four-point weekend, Gallagher now has five points (2-3-5) in his last four games.
Photo Credit: Dan Hickling / Hickling Images
Grabko was a brick wall for the Green Bay Gamblers in a weekend road sweep of the Des Moines Buccaneers and Omaha Lancers, allowing just one goal in each of the wins. On Thursday night, the Channahon, Ill. native pushed aside 30 of the 31 shots he faced, including a combined 23 in the second and third period, en route to a 3-1 Green Bay victory. Grabko was awarded the game's second star of the night for his performance. Forty-eight hours later, the former Chicago Mission netminder turned away 31 of the Lancers' 32 shots on net to help lead the Gamblers to a 5-1 win. Grabko was once again named second star of the night for his efforts. This season, Grabko has an 11-11-0-2 record for the Gamblers (23-18-2-3), who are currently fourth in the Eastern Conference. Grabko has also put up a 0.918 save percentage and 2.56 goals against average, which are second and sixth - respectively, in the USHL.
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