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USHL Weekly: Week 6

11/02/2016, 5:15pm CDT
By Kevin Meyers, USHL

USHL alumni news, team recaps and weekend previews.


USHL Headlines:


Players of the Week: Tolvanen, Mackey, Berdin earn honors

Recent college commits: Shane Bowers | Dryden McKay | Joey Matthews

Two players join Team USA: Semik and Krygier suit up for their country

Development Pipeline: Johnny Walker and Austin Albrecht benefited from time in NAHL

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USHLTV: Subscribe to watch nightly highlights



NHL Alumni News


Three of the top four rookie defenseman scoring leaders played in the USHL – Zach Werenski (Team USA), Ivan Provorov (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders) and Mike Matheson (Dubuque Fighting Saints)… Joe Pavelski (Waterloo Black Hawks) is tied for third in the NHL in scoring… Johnny Gaudreau (Dubuque Fighting Saints) leads the Calgary Flames with seven points (2 G, 5 A) in 10 games.



NCAA Alumni News


739 college hockey players in the 2016-17 season played in the USHL…  Two USHL alumni are tied for the college hockey scoring lead – Mike Vecchione (Tri-City Storm) and Boston Bruins prospect Anders Bjork (Team USA)…  Detroit Red Wings prospect Chase Pearson (Youngstown Phantoms) has four goals in eight games for the University of Maine… Winnipeg Jets prospect Erik Foley (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders) has scored in six of seven games for Providence College… Philadelphia Flyers prospect Tanner Laczynski (Lincoln Stars) currently sports a four-game multi-point streak.



NCAA Award Winners


Matthew Weis (Green Bay Gamblers), Luke Kunin (Team USA) and Tommy Parran (Youngstown Phantoms) swept the Big Ten weekly awards…  Alex Sakellaropoulos (Chicago Steel) and Jordan Boucher (Sioux City Musketeers) took home ECAC weekly honors…  Patrick Grasso (Des Moines Buccaneers), Stefanos Lekkas (Sioux Falls Stampede) and Adam Huska (Green Bay Gamblers) swept the Hockey East weekly awards…  Alex Iafallo (Fargo Force), Will Butcher (Team USA), Jack Ahcan (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders) and Hunter Miska (Dubuque Fighting Saints) did the same in the NCHC…  Gerald Mayhew (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders) and Michael Bitzer (Lincoln Stars) were named WCHA Offensive Player of the Week and Rookie of the Week, respectively…  Paul Berrafato (Muskegon Lumberjacks) was named Atlantic Hockey Goalie of the Week.



Bloomington Thunder


Last’s Week Record: 1-2-0-0

Overall Record: 3-6-2-0 (8 PTS, T-6th in East)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 11/4 at Madison, Saturday, 11/5 at Cedar Rapids


The Thunder picked up one win on the weekend and have earned at least one point in five of their 11 games so far this season. Brady Smith, a native of Palatine, IL and a University of Wisconsin commit, made his USHL debut last week with the team just two hours from his hometown. Bloomington is also well represented at the World U17 Hockey Challenge. Arttu Nevasaari, chosen in the 10th round, 157th overall by the Thunder in the 2016 Phase I Draft, scored twice in the opening match for Finland. As for the Thunder, they will look to move up the Eastern Conference standings over the weekend with games at Madison on Friday and at Cedar Rapids on Saturday.



Cedar Rapids RoughRiders


Last Week’s Record: 0-1-0-1

Overall Record: 0-9-1-1 (2 PTS, 9th in East)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 11/4 vs. Green Bay, Saturday, 11/5 vs. Bloomington


Marc McLaughlin had himself quite the night on Saturday in Sioux City. The Boston College commit scored his first career USHL goal with an assist from his former Cushing Academy and future teammate on Chestnut Hill in T.J Walsh. McLaughlin also added a goal in the shootout in the loss to the Musketeers on Saturday. Former RoughRiders forward Erik Foley has also been off to a good start to his sophomore season at Providence College. The Winnipeg Jets prospect has eight points (4G, 4A) in seven games. Cedar Rapids will try for their first victory of the season over the weekend as they host Green Bay on Friday and Bloomington on Saturday.



Chicago Steel


Last Week’s Record: 1-1-0-0

Overall Record: 10-1-0-0 (20 PTS, 1st in East)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 11/4 vs. Des Moines, Saturday, 11/5 at Madison


Even though the Steel had their 10-game winning streak snapped to start the season, they remain atop the USHL standings. Those ten straight wins tied the record for the longest winning streak to start a season. The other team to accomplish the feat was the 2012-13 Lincoln Stars. Chicago had a 15-game winning streak dating back to last season and went 212 days between losses. The previous Chicago Steel team record for consecutive wins was eight, from 2/6/09 – 2/27/09. Walker Duehr has been a steady force offensively, registering his 10th career multi-point game in the victory on Friday. The Minnesota State University, Mankato commit now has nine points in 11 games and currently sports a four-game goal scoring streak. The Steel are unbeaten at home and will look to continue that streak on Friday as they host Des Moines before traveling north to take on the Madison Capitols on Saturday.



Des Moines Buccaneers


Last Week’s Record: 0-1-0-0

Overall Record: 6-2-0-1 (13 PTS, 3rd in West)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 11/4 at Chicago, Saturday, 11/5 vs. Green Bay


Despite losing their only game of the weekend to the Sioux City Musketeers, Des Moines remains near the top of the Western Conference. A big reason for that has been Isaac Johnson. The uncommitted forward had a two-point night in Sioux City and now has reached double digit points on the season with 10 (3G, 7A). It was his third multi-point game of the season. Buccaneers alumni in the NHL have also been playing well. New Buffalo Sabres forward Kyle Okposo had been solid so far for his new club, tallying seven points (4G, 3A) in seven games. Matt Read has been off to a strong start as well for the Philadelphia Flyers with five goals in ten games. Des Moines one of two teams in the USHL that is unbeaten at home. They will look to stay that way on Saturday against the Green Bay Gamblers, a day after they try to break Chicago’s perfect home record on Friday.



Dubuque Fighting Saints


Last Week’s Record: 0-1-0-1

Overall Record: 5-5-0-1 (11 PTS, 5th in East)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 11/4 and Saturday, 11/5 vs. Muskegon


The Fighting Saints picked up a single point on the weekend and now sit three points out of a top-four position in the Eastern Conference. R.J. Murphy had himself quite the weekend. The NHL Central Scouting listed forward scored his first career multi-point game (1G, 1A). The Harvard commit now has four points in his first 10 USHL games. Dubuque is also currently well represented outside of the USHL. Jacob Semik is playing for Team USA at the World U17 Hockey Challenge and had two points (1G, 1A) in a 3-2 victory on Monday. Former Fighting Saints netminder Hunter Miska is off to a great start for Minnesota-Duluth with a 4-0-0 record, a 1.97 GAA and a .920 SV% so far this season. Dubuque will look to get over the .500 mark this weekend with a Friday-Saturday set at home against the Muskegon Lumberjacks.



Fargo Force


Last Week’s Record: 1-1-0-0

Overall Record: 5-6-0-0 (10 PTS, 7thin West)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 11/4 vs. Lincoln


Through 11 games, Jack Adams has led Fargo offensively. The Union College commit is tied for the most goals in the USHL with nine after two on Friday night and one on Saturday He is also fourth in the league in total scoring with 13 points (8G, 5A). The Force are also well-represented outside the league. Alex Iafallo picked up a hat trick to help lead Minnesota-Duluth to a sweep over the weekend, while Fargo draft pick Jonathan Tychonick is currently playing for Canada White at the World U17 Hockey Challenege. He picked up an assist for his team in a 4-1 victory over the weekend, and added another assist on Tuesday. Former Force netminder Zane McIntyre made his NHL debut with the Boston Bruins last week, stopping 15 of 17 shots in a relief appearance. Fargo will try to even their record in their only game on the weekend as they host the Lincoln Stars on Friday.



Green Bay Gamblers


Last Week’s Record: 2-0-0-0

Overall Record: 8-4-0-0 (16 PTS, 2nd in East)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 11/4 at Cedar Rapids, Saturday, 11/5 at Des Moines


Following a weekend sweep of the Lincoln Stars, Green Bay now sits four games over .500 and all alone in second place in the Eastern Conference. Casey Mittelstadt continues to impress, as he now has six points (3G, 3A) in his last three games. The University of Minnesota commit has registered a multi-point effort in half of his 12 games this season and is tied for second in the USHL in scoring with 14 points (6G, 8A). He is also currently sporting a three game multi-point streak and is the only rookie that sits in the top 10 in USHL scoring. Connor Mackey was named CCM/USHL Defenseman of the Week following his game-winning goal on Friday and two assists in the 3-2 overtime victory on Saturday. Maksim Zhukov has also continued his stellar play between the pipes. Following a 28 save performance in the win on Friday, he is now 5-2-0-0 on the season and currently sports a 2.01 GAA and a .922 SV%. Green Bay is currently on a three-game winning streak and will look to push it to five in a row with road tests at Cedar Rapids and Des Moines on Friday and Saturday, respectively.



Lincoln Stars


Last Week’s Record: 0-1-1-0

Overall Record: 5-6-1-0 (11 PTS, T-6th in West)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 11/4 at Fargo, Saturday, 11/5 at Sioux Falls


Lincoln earned one point over the weekend in Green Bay and currently sit just a single point out of a top-four spot in the Western Conference. Henry Bowlby has been red hot since announcing his commitment to Harvard University. The Edina, MN native has five points in his last three games (3G, 2A), including a pair of points over the weekend. Past and future Stars are also making headlines. Peyton Jones is now 5-0-1 for Penn State this season with a 2.11 GAA and a .920 SV%, and Ryan Dzingel registered his first multi-goal game in the NHL for the Ottawa Senators. The former Stars forward had five such games in his USHL career. Stars draft pick Jack McBain was named an alternate captain for Canada Black at the World U17 Hockey Challenge, while Christian Krygier is suiting up for Team USA. Currently uncommitted, McBain is playing for the Toronto Jr. Canadiens of the Ontario Junior Hockey League and has four goals and four assists. Lincoln will travel for a game at Fargo on Friday before taking on Sioux Falls at the PREMIER Center on Saturday.



Madison Capitols


Last Week’s Record: 1-0-0-0

Overall Record: 4-5-0-0 (8 PTS, T-6th in East)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 11/4 vs. Bloomington, Saturday, 11/5 vs. Chicago


The Capitols won their only game of the weekend, 4-1 on Sunday over the Bloomington Thunder, and now are just a game below .500 at 4-5-0-0. Looking at the big picture in Madison, it’s amazing what the Capitols have done in just over two seasons in the USHL. Madison has produced both 26 NCAA Division I college hockey players as well as a pair of NHL Draft picks in Ryan Lohin and Garrett Metcalf. The Capitols will look to climb over .500 this weekend with a pair of home games against Bloomington and Chicago.



Muskegon Lumberjacks


Last Week’s Record: 1-1-0-0

Overall Record: 7-4-0-0 (14 PTS, T-3rd in East)

Upcoming Games: Thursday, 11/3 vs. Youngstown, Friday, 11/4 and Saturday, 11/5 at Dubuque


After splitting their pair of games over the weekend, the Lumberjacks are still three games over .500 and are tied for the third spot in the Eastern Conference. Muskegon has done a majority of their damage on the road. Away from L.C. Walker Arena, the Lumberjacks are 5-1-0-0 and have outscored their opponents 27-16. The team is also represented at the World U17 Hockey Challenge. Andrei Svechnikov is playing for Team Russia and he scored twice in a 5-3 win on Thursday, while draft pick Sean Comrie is playing for Canada Black. Comrie was drafted in the 2016 USHL Phase II Draft and is committed to the University of Denver. The Lumberjacks will host Youngstown on Thursday before trying to continue their winning ways on the road with a Friday-Saturday set at Dubuque.



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, 11/4 at Tri-City, Saturday, 11/5 at Sioux City


Omaha remains at the .500 mark after once again splitting their two games over the weekend. After scoring his first two USHL goals last weekend, Filip Suchy has continued to play well as he now has three points (2G, 1A) in his first three games. Pierce Crawford and Brannon McManus have also been steady offensively. Both players have 10 points to tie for the team lead in scoring. Former Lancers netminder Hayden Hawkey earned his first shutout of the season for Providence College over the weekend. The Friars goaltender had four shutouts while with the Lancers from 2013-15. Omaha faces a pair of road tests this weekend as they take on Tri-City in Kearney on Friday before facing off with Sioux City at Tyson Events Center on Saturday.



Sioux City Musketeers


Last Week’s Record: 2-0-0-0

Overall Record: 7-3-1-0 (15 PTS, T-2nd in West)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 11/4 vs. Sioux Falls, Saturday, 11/5 vs. Omaha


Sioux City won a pair of 4-3 decisions over the weekend, one in regulation and one in a shootout, to move into a tie for second place in the Western Conference. Eeli Tolvanen was great yet again for the Musketeers. The Boston College commit scored two goals on Friday night and added a pair of assists on the weekend as well en route to earning CCM USHL Forward of the Week honors. He now has 14 career multi-point games and four multi-goal performances in his USHL career. His 12 points in 11 games is tied for sixth in league scoring, and he is just one goal shy of the USHL goal scoring lead. Sioux City has benefited from Tolvanen finding the back of the net as they are 4-1-0-0 when the Finnish forward scores. Aapeli Rasanen has been finding his stride as well, as he now has a three-game point streak. Future Musketeers have also been lighting it up. Todd Scott, a goaltending prospect with the Coulee Region Chill of the NAHL, has averaged 29 saves in his two starts. He is 2-0-0-0 in those games with a 1.48 GAA and a .951 SV%. The Musketeers are currently on a three-game winning streak and will look to stretch that this weekend with home games against Sioux Falls and Omaha.



Sioux Falls Stampede


Last Week’s Record: 1-1-0-0

Overall Record: 4-6-0-1 (9 PTS, 8th in West)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 11/4 at Sioux City, Saturday, 11/5 vs. Lincoln


Mikhail Berdin was the story of the weekend in Sioux Falls. In Friday’s 2-1 victory over the Muskegon Lumberjacks, the Winnipeg Jets prospect stopped 59 of the 60 shots he faced. Those 59 saves are the most in a game in Sioux Falls history, breaking the previous mark of 57 set by Zach Sikich in the 1999-00 season and Craig Vardy in 2003-04. He was named CCM USHL Goaltender of the Week for his record-breaking performance. The native of Ufa, Russia is now 2-2-0-0 on the season with a 3.00 GAA and a .932 SV%. Matthew Quercia has scored in two of his last three games while Austin Albrecht continues to lead the league in scoring with 16 points (4G, 12A) in 11 games. The Stampede will play at Sioux City on Friday before hosting Lincoln on Saturday.



Team USA


Last Week’s Record: 0-1-0-0

Overall Record: 2-6-1-0 (5 PTS, 8th in East)



20 players from Team USA are currently playing for their country at the World U17 Hockey Challenge. Joel Farabee has been leading the way. He has been named the 3rd star in back-to-back games and has scored both game-winning goals for Team USA, including an overtime winner, and leads his team in USHL scoring with five points (2G, 3A) in six games. Team USA alumni are also making headlines. Zach Werenski leads all NHL rookie defensemen in scoring with six points (2G, 4A) in seven games, while Trent Frederic has eight points (3G, 5A) in six games with the University of Wisconsin. Team USA will not be participating in USHL action this weekend as they will continue to compete at the World U17 Hockey Challenge and U18 Five Nations in Plymouth, MI.



Tri-City Storm


Last Week’s Record: 1-0-0-1

Overall Record: 5-4-0-2 (12 PTS, 4th in West)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 11/4 vs. Omaha


The Storm picked up three of a possible four points on the weekend to move into the top half of the Western Conference. Tri-City has now earned at least one point in four straight games. Alex Limoges continues to stay red hot. The Cornell commit scored in both games over the weekend to extend his goal-scoring streak to six games and his point streak to seven games. Limoges has 11 points (7G, 4A) in those seven games. Charlie Kelleher has also been playing well with four points in his last three games. Joey Matthews made news off the ice as he announced his commitment to Dartmouth College. Matthews is in his second USHL season and was a Clark Cup champion with Tri-City last season. The Storm will look to extend their point streak to five in their only game of the weekend as they host Omaha on Friday.



Waterloo Black Hawks


Last Week’s Record: 2-0-0-0

Overall Record: 8-2-0-1 (13 PTS, 1st in West)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 11/4 and Saturday, 11/5 vs. Youngstown


The Black Hawks swept the weekend and now have earned at least one point in three straight games to vault to the top of the Western Conference. Shane Bowers, who announced his commitment to Boston University earlier in the week, scored a goal and added a pair of assists in the win on Saturday and is now tied for the team lead in scoring with 12 points along with fellow forward Nick Swaney. He also has nine multi-point games in his USHL career. Waterloo alumni have also been making news lately. Joe Pavelski had four points (2G, 2A) in three games over the past week and is now tied for third in NHL scoring. Brandon Montour has been playing well for the San Diego Gulls of the AHL with six points (2G, 4A) in six games. Waterloo will look to stay atop the West with a Friday-Saturday set at home against the Youngstown Phantoms.



Youngstown Phantoms


Last Week’s Record: 2-0-0-0

Overall Record: 7-4-0-0 (14 PTS, T-3rd in East)

Upcoming Games: Thursday, 11/3 at Muskegon, Friday, 11/4 and Saturday, 11/5 at Waterloo


The Phantoms knocked off Team USA on Friday before snapping Chicago’s season opening 10 game winning streak on Sunday and are tied for third in the Eastern Conference. Alex Esposito continues to lead the team in scoring with 14 points (8G, 6A), good to be in a tie for second in the USHL after two points on Friday night. Youngstown is another USHL team represented at the World U17 Hockey Challenge. 2016 4th Round draft pick Cameron Hillis is currently playing for Canada Red. He is committed to Providence College.  The Phantoms will play three road games over the next week as they travel to Muskegon on Thursday before a Friday-Saturday set at Waterloo.



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