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USHL Weekly: Week 5

10/26/2016, 1:15pm CDT

Auston Matthews continues to impress early, USHL alumni dominate college hockey and Chicago Steel are chasing history.

USHL Headlines:


Players of the Week: Walker, Hellickson, Castor all win first career weekly honors

Recent College Commits: Zac Robbins | Josh Passolt

Cody Haiskanen: Fargo native relishes opportunity to suit up for hometown team

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NHL Alumni News


Auston Matthews (Team USA) leads the NHL in scoring with 10 points, and is tied for the most goals scored with six… Joe Pavelski (Waterloo Black Hawks) is tied for third with six assists… Speaking of assists, several USHL alumni are approaching 100 in their careers: Brandon Saad (Team USA) – 97, Torey Krug (Indiana Ice) – 95, Craig Smith (Waterloo Black Hawks)95, Justin Abdelkader (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders) – 94, Matt Read (Des Moines Buccaneers) – 91 and Johnny Gaudreau (Dubuque Fighting Saints) – 91…  Martin Hanzal (Omaha Lancers) is approaching 300 career NHL points…  Both Jimmy Hayes (Lincoln Stars) – 95 points and Anders Lee (Green Bay Gamblers) – 94 points are approaching 100 career NHL points…



NCAA Alumni News


Several USHL goaltenders have had notable starts to their NCAA careers…  Hayden Lavigne (Bloomington Thunder) is off to a 2-0-0 start for the University of Michigan. Lavigne has a 1.50 GAA and a .954% in those contests…  Stefanos Lekkas (Sioux Falls Stampede) and Ryan Larkin (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders) recorded their first career NCAA shutouts… Jake Oettinger (Team USA) recorded back-to-back shutouts for Boston University… Speaking of Boston University, their top four scorers are all USHL alumni – Patrick Harper (Omaha Lancers), Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson (Omaha Lancers), Jordan Greenway (Team USA) and Clayton Keller (Team USA). All four players are NHL prospects… Tanner Laczynski (Chicago Steel) is tied for the Ohio State scoring lead with six points in five games… the top three NCAA scorers are USHL alumni – Mike Vecchione (Tri-City Storm), Brock Boeser (Waterloo Black Hawks) and Anders Bjork (Team USA).



NCAA Award Winners


For the third straight week, the USHL alumni swept the Big Ten weekly awards with Peyton Jones (Lincoln Stars), Nick Schilkey (Green Bay Gamblers) and Will Lockwood (Team USA) receiving honors… Jordan Greenway (Team USA), Jake Oettinger (Team USA) and Stefanos Lekkas (Sioux Falls Stampede) did the same for Hockey East…   A pair of Tri-City Storm alumi, Mike Vecchione and Jake Kielly took home ECAC weekly awards…  Brock Boeser (Waterloo Black Hawks), Louie Belpedio (Team USA) and Ryan Larkin (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders) earned NCHC weekly honors…  Collin Saccoman (Waterloo Black Hawks) and Nick Rivera (Omaha Lancers) took WCHA Defensive Player of the Week and Rookie of the Week, respectively… Charles Williams (Lincoln Stars) was named Atlantic Hockey Goalie of the Week.



Bloomington Thunder


Last’s Week Record: 1-1-0-0

Overall Record: 2-3-2-0 (6 PTS, T-6th in East)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 10/28 and Saturday, 10/29 vs. Omaha


After a loss on Friday night, the Thunder responded in a big way with a 7-0 shutout of the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders on Saturday, with Bloomington getting a pair of notable performances in the win. Vladislav Dzhioshvili had two goals and two assists, and the four-point performance was the most points in a game the Cornell commit has had in his USHL career. The Thunder also saw a big game in net from Gabriel Mollot-Hill on Saturday. The Ottawa, ONT native turned aside all 27 shots he faced for the first shutout of the Providence College commit’s USHL career. Bloomington will look to build on last Saturday’s success this upcoming weekend as they host the Omaha Lancers at U.S. Cellular Coliseum both Friday and Saturday.



Cedar Rapids RoughRiders


Last Week’s Record: 0-2-0-0

Overall Record: 0-8-1-0 (1 PT, 9th in East)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 10/28 at Chicago, Saturday, 10/29 at Sioux City


It was an exciting week for RoughRiders forward Zac Robbins, who announced his commitment to play college hockey at University of Connecticut. The Glenview, IL native formerly played for Team Illinois and has 22 points (10G, 12A) in 68 career USHL games. This season, Robbins is tied for the team lead in scoring with five points (3G, 2A) in nine games. The other player at that mark is 2018 NHL Draft Prospect Aleksi Halme, who now sits with two goals and three assists on the season. Former RoughRider and Vancouver Canucks prospects Adam Gaudette is off to a fast. In six games, the Northeastern University forward has nine points (4G, 5A).  In other alumni news, goaltender Ryan Larkin picked up his first career NCAA shutout with Miami University. Cedar Rapids will be on the road this week for games at Chicago on Friday and Sioux City on Saturday.



Chicago Steel


Last Week’s Record: 3-0-0-0

Overall Record: 9-0-0-0 (18 PTS, 1st in East)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 10/28 vs. Cedar Rapids, Sunday, 10/30 at Youngstown


With wins on Wednesday at Green Bay, Friday over Cedar Rapids and Saturday against Omaha, the Steel still remain perfect and sit at 9-0-0-0 on the season. The reason for Chicago’s success is balanced contributions between their forwards, defense and goaltending. Arizona State commit Johnny Walker has nine points (7G, 2A) in nine games and currently sports a six-game goal and point streak. The CCM USHL Forward of the Week has scored in seven of his team’s nine contests this season. Baker Shore, who assisted on the game-winner on Saturday, has also been solid through the first nine games. The Harvard commit has eight points (4G, 4A) on the season, including a pair of game-winning goals. In terms of team defense, the Steel have been outstanding. In their nine games, Chicago has only allowed 10 goals, none of which have come in the third period or overtime. They also lead the league with a +20 goal differential. Between the pipes, both Tommy Nappier and Ales Stezka recorded victories over the weekend. Stezka, who is 4-0-0-0, now sits with a 0.50 GAA and a .982 SV%, and, despite having his shutout streak snapped on Saturday, now holds the fourth longest shutout streak in USHL Tier 1 history at 205:50. Chicago will look to keep their perfect start alive as they host Cedar Rapids on Friday before heading to Youngstown on Sunday.



Des Moines Buccaneers


Last Week’s Record: 1-0-0-0

Overall Record: 6-1-0-1 (13 PTS, T-1st in West)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 10/28 at Sioux City


After a 1-0 loss last weekend to Lincoln, the Buccaneers gave the Stars a taste of their own medicine with a 1-0 shutout of their own against their Western Conference foe on Friday. Cam Orchard scored the only goal of the game to give Des Moines the victory. It was the Western Michigan commit’s first game-winning goal of his USHL career, and he now has four points (3G, 1A) on the season. Jan Ruzicka recorded his second shutout of the season in the win and is now 4-1-0-1 with a 1.31 GAA and a .953 SV%. Scoring first has been a key to success for the Buccaneers, who are now 5-0-0-0 when tallying the initial goal of the game. Special teams have also been a big factor for Des Moines, who are third in the league on the power play (23.3%) and second on the penalty kill (93.9%). The Buccaneers, who are tied atop the Western Conference, will play their only game of the weekend on Friday as they travel to Sioux City and take on the Musketeers.



Dubuque Fighting Saints


Last Week’s Record: 2-0-0-0

Overall Record: 5-4-0-0 (10 PTS, T-4th in East)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 10/28 at Waterloo, Saturday, 10/29 vs. Waterloo


The Fighting Saints swept the Youngstown Phantoms over the weekend and are now tied for the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference. A big reason for the back-to-back wins was goaltender Jaxon Castor. The Arizona State commit stopped 40 of the 41 shots he faced on the weekend and had a 0.50 GAA and .980 SV% in the two games, including his first shutout of the season and second of his USHL career on Friday. Those two performances spurned Castor to CCM USHL Goaltender of the Week honors. Cole Guttman made his season debut for Dubuque and was outstanding. The St. Cloud State commit finished with three points (1G, 2A) in the two games against Youngstown. Dubuque will look to continue their winning ways with a Friday-Saturday home-and-home set against in-state rival Waterloo.



Fargo Force


Last Week’s Record: 1-1-0-0

Overall Record: 4-5-0-0 (8 PTS, 7thin West)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 10/28 and Saturday, 10/29 vs. Tri-City


Fargo split their Thursday-Friday set with the Sioux City Musketeers and now sits a game below the .500 mark at 4-5-0-0. Blake Lizotte tallied a pair of assists in the win on Thursday to become the second USHL player to each 10 assists. The St. Cloud State commit is also second in the league in overall scoring with 11 points (1G, 10A) in nine games. It was a good weekend for former Force goaltender Zane McIntyre, who was called up to the Boston Bruins after a red hot start for the team’s AHL affiliate in Providence. Prior to being promoted, McIntyre lead the AHL in goals against average (0.44) and SV% (.977). McIntyre made his NHL debut last night with the Boston Bruins, and is expected to make his first career NHL start tonight. As for the current players on Fargo’s roster, they will try to get back over .500 with a Friday-Saturday set with the Tri-City Storm in Kearney.



Green Bay Gamblers


Last Week’s Record: 1-2-0-0

Overall Record: 6-4-0-0 (12 PTS, T-2nd in East)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 10/28 and Saturday, 10/29 vs. Lincoln


Green Bay dropped their games on Wednesday and Friday before rebounding with a 4-2 victory at Sioux Falls on Saturday to stay tied for second place in the Eastern Conference. Maksim Zhukov continues to impress between the pipes for the Gamblers. The 2017 NHL Draft prospect now has a 2.17 GAA and a .914 SV% after stopping 22 of 24 shots in the win on Saturday. That 2.17 GAA leads all rookie goaltenders. Rookie forward Casey Mittelstadt also continues to play well. The University of Minnesota commit now has 10 points (5G, 5A) in his first 10 games of the year. Green Bay alumni in the NCAA are also playing well. Marc Michaelis has eight points (3G, 5A) in six games for the Minnesota State Mavericks, while 2016 USHL Goaltender of the Year Adam Huska holds a .925 SV% in his first two starts for the University of Connecticut. Huska has faced at least 35 shots in both of those contests. The Gamblers will look to inch closer to the top of the Eastern Conference as they prepare for a weekend set at home against the Stars.



Lincoln Stars


Last Week’s Record: 1-1-0-0

Overall Record: 5-5-0-0 (8 PTS, T-4th in West)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 10/28 and Saturday, 10/29 at Green Bay


Lincoln remains at .500 after a 1-0 loss to Des Moines on Friday and a 6-1 victory at Madison on Saturday. Henry Bowlby had himself quite the weekend. Just a few days after announcing his commitment to Harvard University, Bowlby recorded his first career multi-point game in Saturday’s victory, scoring a goal and adding a pair of assists. Western Michigan commit Ethen Frank also had himself quite a game, putting up four assists. He now has five multi-point games in his USHL career. Despite the split, both Stars goaltenders were outstanding over the weekend. The duo of Cayden Primeau and Josef Korenar combined to stop 56 shots in the two games while recording a 1.00 GAA and a .970 SV%. Additionally, defenseman Eero Teravainen was named to Team Finland for the U18 Five Nations tournament, and Christian Krygier was named to Team USA for the World U17 Hockey Challenge. The Stars will try once more to climb above .500 with a weekend set at Green Bay.



Madison Capitols


Last Week’s Record: 1-1-0-0

Overall Record: 3-5-0-0 (6 PTS, T-6th in East)

Upcoming Games: Sunday, 10/30 vs. Bloomington


Madison snapped the Waterloo Black Hawks seven-game winning streak with a 3-2 win on Friday night. Alec Broetzman, Noah Weber and Mick Messner were the goal scorers for the Capitols in the victory. For Messner, his tally was the game-winner, his first GWG of the season. The University of Wisconsin commit now has five points in seven games. Daniel Lebedeff stopped 16 of 18 shots between the pipes for his second victory of the season. The Capitols will have both Friday and Saturday off before returning to action on Sunday as they host Eastern Conference foe Bloomington at Alliant Energy Center.



Muskegon Lumberjacks


Last Week’s Record: 2-0-0-0

Overall Record: 6-3-0-0 (12 PTS, T-2nd in East)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 10/28 and Saturday, 10/29 vs. Sioux Falls


Muskegon rebounded from a sweep courtesy of the Youngstown Phantoms the previous weekend thanks to a 5-0 shutout of the Bloomington Thunder on Friday and a 4-3 shootout victory over the Waterloo Black Hawks on Saturday. Collin Adams is off to a great start through nine games. The New York Islanders prospect and North Dakota commit is tied for third in the USHL in scoring with 11 points (6G, 5A).  But it’s not just the veterans like Adams who are contributing offensively. 2018 NHL Draft prospect Andrei Svechnikov now holds a six-game point streak, with eight points (3G, 5A) in those six games. In goal, it’s been Keith Petruzzelli who is leading the way. The Quinnipiac commit picked up his first career USHL shutout on Friday, and stopped 29 shots as well as all three shootout attempts on Saturday. His .917 SV% leads all USHL rookie netminders. The Lumberjacks will host the Sioux Falls Stampede on both Friday and Saturday.



Omaha Lancers


Last Week’s Record: 1-1-0-0

Overall Record: 5-5-0-0 (10 PTS, T-4th in West)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 10/28 and Saturday, 10/29 at Bloomington


The Lancers split the weekend and remain at the .500 mark with a 5-5-0-0 record and are now 5-1-0-0 in their last six games. Brannon McManus has been on an offensive tear as of late. The University of Minnesota commit extended his point streak to seven games over the weekend, the longest such streak in the league this season. In those seven games, McManus has nine points (6G, 3A). On the season, McManus has recorded 10 points (6G, 4A). He is now tied for sixth in the USHL in scoring, as well as tied for fourth in goals scored. It was a special night for Filip Suchy on Friday, as the Czech forward scored the first two goals of his USHL career in a 4-1 win at Team USA on Friday. The Lancers will travel to Bloomington for a Friday-Saturday series with the Thunder.



Sioux City Musketeers


Last Week’s Record: 1-1-0-0

Overall Record: 5-3-1-0 (4 PTS, T-3rd in West)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 10/28 vs. Des Moines, Saturday, 10/29 vs. Cedar Rapids


After falling 2-0 to Fargo on Thursday, the Musketeers responded with a 5-1 win on Friday to split the series. Leading the way for Sioux City was defenseman Matt Hellickson. The University of Notre Dame commit had two points on Saturday, including an assist and his first career USHL game-winning goal. He leads all Musketeers defenseman in scoring and is second on the team with seven points. He is also second among all USHL defenseman in scoring. Team defense has also been a big reason for Sioux City’s overall success this year. The Musketeers have only allowed 15 goals in their first nine games, which is the third lowest mark in the league behind only Chicago (10 GA) and Des Moines (13 GA). In alumni news, Mitchell Fossier is off to a great start with the University of Maine. The former Musketeers forward leads all of college hockey with three game-winning goals on the season. Sioux City will look to build off of last Friday’s win with home games Friday and Saturday against Des Moines and Cedar Rapids, respectively.



Sioux Falls Stampede


Last Week’s Record: 1-1-0-0

Overall Record: 3-5-0-1 (7 PTS, 8th in West)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 10/28 and Saturday, 10/29 at Muskegon


Sioux Falls also went 1-1-0-0 on the weekend, including a 7-2 victory over the Green Bay Gamblers on Friday night. Four players registered multiple points in the win - Austin Albrecht, Josh Passolt, Eric MacAdams and Jack Doremus. Albrecht continues to light it up offensively. The University of Massachusetts commit added three points on the weekend, including a goal and an assist in the win on Friday. He now has 16 points (4G, 12A) on the season and holds the league scoring lead by four points. It was also a notable week off the ice for Stampede forward Josh Passolt who announced his commitment to Western Michigan University. Sioux Falls will try to get back to .500 on the season over the weekend with a Friday-Saturday series at Muskegon.



Team USA


Last Week’s Record: 0-1-0-0

Overall Record: 2-5-1-0 (5 PTS, 8th in East)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 10/28 at Youngstown


Team USA fell 4-1 to the Omaha Lancers in their only game of the weekend. Despite having played only five USHL games so far, Joel Farabee is off to a hot start with two goals and three assists in those contests. Team USA alumni have also had some notable performances as of late. Jake Oettinger recorded a pair of shutouts for Boston University over the weekend, matching his USHL career total from 2014-16. Will Lockwood has been off to a great start for the University of Michigan with six points (3G, 3A) in five games. Anders Bjork continues to lead the way for the University of Notre Dame with 11 points (5 G, 6 A) in six games. Team USA also saw a former player get the call to the NHL, as Jack Campbell was promoted to the Los Angeles Kings after starting the season with a 2-0-0-0 record, a 2.48 GAA and a .930 SV% in the AHL. In the NHL, Auston Matthews has been grabbing headlines as the rookie leads all players in scoring. Dylan Larkin also scored twice for the Detroit Red Wings, his first two goals of the season. Team USA will play one USHL game over the weekend as they travel to Youngstown for a game with the Phantoms on Friday.



Tri-City Storm


Last Week’s Record: NO GAMES

Overall Record: 4-4-0-1 (9 PTS, 6th in West)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 10/28 and Saturday, 10/29 at Fargo


The Storm were idle last weekend and find themselves sitting at .500 through the first nine games of the season. The defending Clark Cup Champions will look to get balance from both young players and veterans, including Alex Limoges, who, despite not playing over the weekend, remains tied for sixth in the USHL in scoring with 10 points (5 G, 5 A). He will also come into Friday’s game with a five-game point streak, a streak in which he has eight points (5 G, 3 A) in that span. Tri-City gets back into game action over the weekend with a Friday-Saturday series at Fargo.



Waterloo Black Hawks


Last Week’s Record: 0-1-0-1

Overall Record: 6-2-0-1(13 PTS, T-1st in West)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 10/28 vs. Dubuque, Saturday, 10/29 at Dubuque


The Black Hawks had their six-game winning streak snapped over the weekend, but managed to stay in a tie atop the Western Conference by gaining a point in a shootout loss to the Muskegon Lumberjacks on Saturday night. Shane Bowers has been lighting up the scoresheet as of late. The 2017 NHL Draft prospect now sports a four-game goal streak, the longest streak of his USHL career. Two of those goals have also been game-winning tallies. He now has five goals and four assists in nine games. Former Waterloo netminder Cam Johnson has been off to roaring start for the University of North Dakota, opening up the season with a 5-0-0 start. He now holds a collegiate record of 29-4-2. Waterloo will look to remain atop the West with a home-and-home against in-state rival Dubuque.



Youngstown Phantoms


Last Week’s Record: 0-2-0-0

Overall Record: 5-4-0-0 (10 PTS, T-4th in East)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 10/28 vs. Team USA, Sunday, 10/30 vs. Chicago


Even though Youngstown suffered two losses on the weekend to the Dubuque Fighting Saints, the Phantoms remain in the top four in the Eastern Conference. There were some notable storylines out of Youngstown on the weekend as well. Yale commit Curtis Hall had a night he will never forget as he scored his first career USHL goal on Saturday. He now has a goal and three assists in nine games this season. Despite not scoring on the weekend, Alex Esposito remains second in the USHL in scoring with 12 points (7G, 5A). The Phantoms also have the second best goal differential in the Eastern Conference at +9. Youngstown hosts Team USA for Pink in the Rink night on Friday before welcoming Chicago on Sunday.



Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 15th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2016-17.  30 or more players from the USHL have been selected in four consecutive NHL Drafts,  and more than 400 players on team rosters last season committed to NCAA Division I schools, further establishing the USHL as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent.

Tag(s): Recaps