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2021-22 USHL Players of the Week - Week 19

02/08/2022, 12:00pm CST

Rutger McGroarty (USA Hockey NTDP), Nathan McBrayer (Muskegon Lumberjacks) and Arsenii Sergeev (Tri-City Storm) Earn Weekly Honors

The United States Hockey League (USHL) announced Tuesday its Players of the Week for Week 19 of the 2021-22 season. For a league-leading fourth time this season, Tri-City Storm netminder Arsenii Sergeev was named Goaltender of the Week while Rutger McGroarty (USA Hockey National Team Development Program - NTDP) and Nathan McBrayer (Muskegon Lumberjacks) earned their first Forward and Defenseman of the Week awards of the season, respectively.  

Photo Credit: Dan Hickling / Hickling Images

Forward - Rutger McGroarty (USA Hockey NTDP)

McGroarty was crowned Forward of the Week after appearing in only one game last weekend but making the most of it offensively, registering a pair of goals and assists in a four-point effort in a wild 9-8 shootout win last Friday. The University of Michigan commit was crucial in the barnburner matchup, picking up his first point of the game, a powerplay assist, near the end of the first period to stop the bleeding as the opposing Muskegon Lumberjacks had jumped out to a 3-0 lead with a trio of goals in just more than two minutes of play. McGroarty then found his first tally of the game just 31 seconds into the middle frame to cut the deficit to one. The Lincoln, Neb. native then struck for  a second goal, this time while his team was shorthanded, in the third period. The shorthanded goal again brought the NTDP within one. McGroarty then picked up his second assist of the game just two minutes later to draw even. The game would eventually wind up in a shootout but McGroarty was denied on the NTDP’s first shot of the festivities. McGroarty figures to be an NHL Draft choice this summer as he was ranked 18th among North American Skaters in the NHL Central Scouting’s Midseason Rankings after being listed as a B-Rated Skater on the service’s Preliminary List. McGroarty represented the NTDP at the 2022 BioSteel All-American Game and was named MVP of the game. The Forward of the Week win was the first of the season for McGroarty, but the second of his career after winning it in Week 14 of the 2020-21 season. This was the second time in three weeks that a forward from the NTDP Under-18 squad brought the Forward of the Week award to Plymouth, Mich. after Frank Nazar won it for Week 17. McGroarty has recorded 11 points (6-5-11) in 12 USHL games this season after putting up 19 points (12-7-19) in 30 league contests last season. The future Wolverine is the son of Jim McGroarty who served in various roles from Assistant Coach to General Manager with the River City/Omaha Lancers, Lincoln Stars and Muskegon Lumberjacks over 12 seasons. 

Photo Credit: Dan Hickling / Hickling Images

Defenseman - Nathan McBrayer (Muskegon Lumberjacks)

For the second time in three weeks, a member of the Lumberjacks blueline was named Defenseman of the Week (Tyler Dunbar - Week 17) after picking up a trio of assists in Muskegon’s shootout loss to the NTDP last Friday night. McBrayer, a native of Columbus, Ohio, picked up a pair of assists on the second and third goals of the game for Muskegon before finding himself with a third assist on a shorthanded goal late in the third period to force the eventual overtime and shootout. The Ohio State University commit has been productive for the Lumberjacks this season, recording 13 points (1-12-13) in 38 games this season. With the Defenseman of the Week award, McBrayer is now the third Muskegon blueliner to earn an award this season, joining Dunbar and Jacob Guevin (Week 6) and pushed the Lumberjacks to a league-leading eighth Weekly Award this season as Jake Braccini (Week 9), Quinn Hutson (Week 10) and Jack Williams (Week 15) are former Forwards of the Week and Platon Zadorozhny (Week 11) and Cameron Korpi (Week 17) have each earned a Goaltender of the Week award. 

Goaltender - Arsenii Sergeev (Tri-City Storm)

Sergeev, for the fourth time this season, earned the Goaltender of the Week award after stopping 40 of the 44 shots the Chicago Steel sent his way last weekend, including a 21-save shutout on Saturday night. As two of the top three teams in the league met on Saturday and Sunday, it was a battle of league-leading netminder Sergeev against one of the best offenses in the league in the Steel. The Calgary Flames prospect (2021, Round 7, #205 Overall) opened the weekend with the aforementioned 21-save shutout as the Storm won 5-0 Saturday night, setting a new Club record with their 11th-straight victory. The shutout was Sergeev’s league-leading sixth of the season, twice the amount of the next closest netminder. During the Storm’s 11-game win streak, Sergeev picked up nine of the wins including a pair of shutouts and registered a 1.52 goals against average and 0.935 save percentage. The streak ended Saturday night in a 4-3 overtime loss, just the fourth loss of the season for Sergeev. The Yaroslavl, Russia native leads the USHL in all goaltending categories with 23 wins, a 1.58 goals against average and 0.934 save percentage as well as the league-best six shutouts. Sergeev, who is committed to play for the University of Connecticut, is the lone four-time award winner this season (Week 16, Week 9 and Week 7) in the league and joins Akira Schmid (Sioux City Musketeers) and Todd Scott (Tri-City Storm) as four-time Goaltender of the Week winners. Schmid and Scott each earned four awards last season and Schmid was eventually named the 2020-21 USHL Goaltender of the Year and is now playing in the NHL with the New Jersey Devils. 

Tag(s): Player News