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USHL Weekly: Week 20

02/09/2017, 11:30am CST
By Kevin Meyers, USHL



USHL Headlines:


Players of the Week:  Theisen, Ryczek, DeRidder earn weekly honors


Recent college commits: Coale Norris | Luka Maver | Reed Lebster | David Hrenak | Colin Theisen


February Power Rankings: The Chicago Steel remain in the top spot


USHL and LA Kings Renew Partnership: Dates announced for second annual Pacific Showcase


Weekly podcast: The U-Show Subscribe on iTunes


USHLTV: Subscribe to watch nightly highlights



NHL Alumni News


2014 USHL Player and Defenseman of the Year Brandon Montour (Waterloo Black Hawks) recently scored his first career NHL goal…  Paul LaDue (Lincoln Stars) was recently called up to the NHL by the Los Angeles Kings…  Matt Tkachuk (Team USA) and J.T. Miller (Team USA) both picked up two points in the Calgary Flames vs. New York Rangers matchup on Monday…  John Carlson (Indiana Ice) recently played his 500th career NHL game… 



NCAA Alumni News


The top three scorers in college hockey are USHL alumni: Mike Vecchione (Tri-City Storm), Zach Aston-Reese (Lincoln Stars) and Tyler Kelleher (Team USA)…  Vecchione and Aston-Reese are tied for the NCAA lead with 22 goals…  Kelleher leads all players with 31 assists…  75% of the NHL Draft Picks in last Monday’s Beanpot semifinal rosters are USHL alumni…  57 combined USHL alumni are on the Northeastern, Harvard, Boston College and Boston University rosters… 


NCAA Award Winners


Shane Starrett (Lincoln Stars) was named Atlantic Hockey Goalie of the Week…  Eric Schierhorn (Muskegon Lumberjacks), Nick Schilkey (Green Bay Gamblers) and Cooper Marody (Sioux Falls Stampede) swept the Big Ten weekly awards…  Mike Vecchione (Tri-City Storm) was named ECAC Player of the Week…  Erik Foley (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders) and Mattias Goransson (Tri-City Storm) earned Hockey East weekly honors…  Neal Pionk (Sioux City Musketeers), Wade Allison (Tri-City Storm) and Hunter Miska (Dubuque Fighting Saints) were named NCHC weekly award winners…  Tommy Muck was named WCHA Rookie of the Week…



Bloomington Thunder


Last’s Week Record: 0-1-0-1

Overall Record: 17-17-3-2 (39 PTS, 6th in East)

Upcoming Games: Thursday, 2/9 and Friday, 2/10 vs. Youngstown


Bloomington earned a point over two games in their weekend series at Fargo and sit in sixth place in the Eastern Conference standings. Veteran forwards Mitchell Mattson and Vladislav Dzhioshvili have been producing the majority of the offense lately for the Thunder. Mattson, a Calgary Flames prospect, has 10 points (6G, 4A) in his last 10 games. Dzhioshvili was stellar against the Force last weekend, tallying four points (2G, 2A) in four games to boost his total to 31 points (15G, 16A), most on the team. The Vermont commit also has 16 points (7G, 9A) in his last 15 games. He will look to help his team climb up the Eastern Conference standings over the weekend, as Bloomington will host Youngstown for a Thursday-Friday series at U.S. Cellular Coliseum.



Cedar Rapids RoughRiders


Last Week’s Record: 2-1-0-0

Overall Record: 7-31-1-1 (16 PTS, 9th in East)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 2/10 at Madison, Saturday, 2/11 at Waterloo


The RoughRiders knocked off the Madison Capitols on Friday night before traveling to Dubuque and defeating the USHL-leading Fighting Saints in overtime on Saturday night. They were then knocked off 4-1 by Des Moines on Wednesday. Drew DeRidder was named CCM/USHL Goaltender of the Week following a weekend in which he made 52 saves, including 31 stops in the win in Dubuque on Saturday. The Fenton, MI native has now won four of his last six starts and has six victories on the season. He has faced 652 shots, second most by USHL rookie goaltenders this season, and his 25 games played ranks first among rookie netminders. Riese Zmolek was outstanding last weekend as well, tallying three points (1G, 1A) in two games, including a goal and an assist on Saturday. Bobby Hampton scored on Tuesday for his third straight game with a goal. The RoughRiders will play in Madison on Friday and Waterloo on Saturday.



Chicago Steel


Last Week’s Record: 0-2-0-0

Overall Record: 25-10-1-3 (54 PTS, 2nd in East)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 2/10 at Sioux City, Saturday, 2/11 at Sioux Falls


For the first week this season, Chicago is out of the top spot of the USHL standings following a pair of home losses to the Youngstown Phantoms. The Steel picked up some reinforcements at the trade deadline as they look to bolster up for a deep Clark Cup Playoffs run. Jason O’Neill was acquired from Sioux Falls and will look to provide an offensive spark, as he was second on the Stampede in points before being moved to Chicago. The Steel might also now boost the top goaltending tandem in the USHL, as Dayton Rasmussen was acquired from the Tri-City Storm and will now split duties with Ales Stezka. O’Neill and Rasmussen will suit up for their first games in a Steel uniform over the weekend. Chicago will play in Sioux City on Friday before traveling to Sioux Falls to take on the Stampede, O’Neill’s former team, on Saturday at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center.



Des Moines Buccaneers


Last Week’s Record: 2-1-0-0

Overall Record: 22-13-1-3 (50 PTS, T-3rd in West)

Upcoming Games: Wednesday 2/8 at Cedar Rapids, Friday, 2/10 and Saturday, 2/11 at Muskegon

The Buccaneers sit in a tie for third place in the Western Conference standings with a split of their two games over the weekend and a win in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday. Des Moines had a pair of players pick up four points over the weekend – forwards Tommy Parrottino (1G, 3A) and Julian Napravnik (2G, 2A). Mario Ferraro continued his strong play on the back end, finishing the weekend with a goal and an assist. He also added a goal and an assist on Tuesday and is now second on the team in scoring with 26 points (6G, 20A) and third in scoring among all USHL defensemen. Nick MacNab was outstanding between the pipes on Saturday, stopping all but one of the 25 shots he faced to pick up the victory between the pipes. He is now tied for second in the USHL in GAA (1.97) and is third in SV% (.925). The Buccaneers will look to move up the Western Conference over the weekend as will play in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday before traveling to Muskegon for a Friday-Saturday series with the Lumberjacks.



Dubuque Fighting Saints


Last Week’s Record: 2-0-1-0

Overall Record: 26-10-2-2 (56 PTS, 1st in East)

Upcoming Games: Saturday, 2/11 at Madison, Sunday, 2/12 vs. Madison


By picking up five of a possible six points last week, the Fighting Saints have moved into the top spot in both the Eastern Conference and USHL standings. Colin Theisen earned CCM/USHL Forward of the Week honors following a six-point week (3G, 3A). He tallied his second hat trick of the season and added an assist on Thursday against Sioux Falls before dishing out two helpers in a win at Des Moines on Friday. Theisen has now earned at least one point in four of his last six games and is tied for third in USHL scoring with 40 points (23G, 17A). He also has 23 goals this season, second most in the league, and 11 multi-point performances. Arizona State commit Patrick Kudla tallied a pair of assists last week and is third among all USHL defensemen in scoring with 25 points (4G, 21A). Dubuque will look to increase their lead atop the USHL standings this week with a Saturday-Sunday home-and-home set with the Madison Capitols.



Fargo Force


Last Week’s Record: 2-0-0-0

Overall Record: 24-14-2-0 (50 PTS, T-3rd in West)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 2/10 and Saturday, 2/11 vs. Green Bay


With a sweep of the Bloomington Thunder at home last weekend, Fargo is now alone in third place in the Western Conference standings. With his goal on Saturday, Jack Adams has now found the back of the net in five straight contests. He leads the USHL with 25 goals on the season and is second among all USHL players with 43 points (25G, 18A). Hank Crone added a goal and an assist on the weekend and now has six points (2G, 4A) in his last five games. Matthew Murray was strong between the pipes, allowing just two goals in both wins over the Thunder while making 49 saves in the two contests, as well as three of four attempts in a shootout win on Friday night. The University of Massachusetts commit now has 20 victories on the season, tied for the third most among all USHL netminders. The Force will host the Green Bay Gamblers at Scheels Arena both Friday and Saturday night.



Green Bay Gamblers


Last Week’s Record: 1-1-0-0

Overall Record: 20-16-2-2 (44 PTS, 5th in East)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 2/10 and Saturday, 2/11 at Fargo


With a split against the Muskegon Lumberjacks last weekend, the Gamblers sit seven points out of the top-four of the Eastern Conference standings. Chris Grando (1G, 3A) and Connor Mackey (0G, 3A) both had productive weekends. Mackey leads all USHL defensemen with 33 points (3G, 30A) in 40 games. There is some additional good news for Green Bay, as they will welcome Casey Mittelstadt back to the roster. Despite having played in only 16 games this season, the University of Minnesota commit is fourth among rookies in both points (21) and assists (13). Green Bay also acquired Easton Brodzinski, who was leading the Madison Capitols in scoring prior to the trade. Captain Jared Spooner has vaulted into the top-10 in USHL scoring, thanks to a two-point weekend. He now has points in seven of his last nine games, with 13 points (5G, 8A) in that span. On the season, the Minnesota State University, Mankato commit has tallied 34 points (14G, 20A). The Gamblers will look to inch closer to the top-half of the Eastern Conference this weekend with a Friday-Saturday set in Fargo against the Force.



Lincoln Stars


Last Week’s Record: 1-0-1-0

Overall Record: 21-13-4-1 (47 PTS, 5th in West)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 2/10 vs. Waterloo, Saturday, 2/11 at Omaha


Lincoln earned three of a possible four points in their home-and-home set with in-state rival Omaha over the weekend to remain a single point out of the top-half of the Western Conference standings. Alex Green had himself a very memorable weekend, as he scored the first goal of his USHL career in the win over the Lancers on Saturday. Ethen Frank picked up a shorthanded goal in that game and now sports a five-game point streak. He also has tallied at least one point in 13 of his last 14 games. Josef Korenar was solid between the pipes for the Stars, stopping 51 shots on the weekend. He is second among league netminders in SV% (.933) and fifth in the USHL in GAA (2.04). Lincoln has a great chance to move up the standings this weekend with a pair of Western Conference games, as they will host Waterloo on Friday and play in Omaha on Saturday.



Madison Capitols


Last Week’s Record: 0-2-0-0

Overall Record: 15-21-1-1 (32 PTS, 8th in East)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 2/10 vs. Cedar Rapids, Saturday, 2/11 vs. Dubuque, Sunday 2/12 at Dubuque


The Capitols dropped games to Cedar Rapids and Des Moines over the weekend. Following the departure of Easton Brodzinski to the Green Bay Gamblers, Eugene Fadyeyev will be looked upon to lead the offensive charge for Madison. The Ohio State commit has 24 points (6G, 18A) in 36 games this season. Kamil Sadlocha continues to play well in his first USHL season. He is tied for ninth among all USHL rookies with 15 points on the season (6G, 9A). Despite two losses last weekend, Dryden McKay has remained solid between the pipes, as he has won four of his last seven decisions. The Capitols will host Cedar Rapids on Friday and Dubuque on Saturday before going on the road to face the Fighting Saints on Sunday afternoon.



Muskegon Lumberjacks


Last Week’s Record: 1-1-0-0

Overall Record: 24-13-2-1 (51 PTS, T-3rd in East)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 2/10 and Saturday, 2/11 vs. Des Moines


Muskegon split their weekend set with the Green Bay Gamblers to remain in a tie for third place in the Eastern Conference standings. Collin Adams, who recently picked up his 100th career USHL point, continues to lead the team in scoring with 40 points (19G, 21A). Andrei Svechnikov remains the rookie scoring leader with 36 points (19G, 17A), good for a tie for seventh among all USHL players. The Lumberjacks also added another strong offensive player by acquiring forward Austin Alger from the Omaha Lancers. Alger has 24 points (12G, 12A) in 37 games so far this season and will suit up in a Muskegon uniform for the first time this weekend, as the Lumberjacks will host the Des Moines Buccaneers in a Friday-Saturday series at L.C. Walker Arena.



Omaha Lancers


Last Week’s Record: 1-2-1-0

Overall Record: 15-20-5-1 (35 PTS, 8th in West)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 2/10 at Tri-City, Saturday, 2/11 vs. Lincoln


The Lancers picked up an overtime victory over in-state rival Lincoln on Friday night before picking up their third point of the week on Tuesday in an overtime loss to the Sioux City Musketeers. Pierce Crawford scored a goal on Tuesday against Sioux City and now has three points (1G, 2A) in his last four games. He leads Omaha in both goals (13) and points (27). Filip Rydstrom picked up a goal and added an assist on Tuesday and is second on the team in scoring with 25 points (8G, 17A). His 17 assists also lead the team. Omaha will play in Tri-City on Friday before hosting the Lincoln Stars on Saturday.



Sioux City Musketeers


Last Week’s Record: 2-0-0-0

Overall Record: 24-8-5-2 (55 PTS, 1st in West)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 2/10 vs. Chicago, Saturday, 2/11 vs. Tri-City, Sunday, 2/12 at Sioux Falls


With a win on Friday in Sioux Falls followed by another victory on Tuesday over the Omaha Lancers, Sioux City is now back atop the Western Conference standings. The Musketeers have earned at least one point in eight of their last 10 games and are the only team in the USHL to have single-digit regulation losses. Sioux City bolstered their offense in a big way this week, picking up Charlie Kelleher, Odeen Tufto and Joey Matthews from the Tri-City Storm as well as Bloomington Thunder captain Tarek Baker. Kelleher, Tufto and Matthews all made their Musketeers debut on Tuesday in Omaha, with both Kelleher and Tufto picking up an assist in the 3-2 overtime victory against the Lancers. Kristian Pospisil scored twice on Tuesday, including the overtime winner on a penalty shot, and now has goals in three straight games. Sioux City will look to increase their lead atop the Western Conference with three games in three days as they host Chicago on Friday and Tri-City on Saturday before playing in Sioux Falls on Sunday afternoon.



Sioux Falls Stampede


Last Week’s Record: 0-2-0-0

Overall Record: 16-19-1-3 (36 PTS, T-6th in West)

Upcoming Games: Saturday, 2/11 vs. Chicago, Sunday, 2/12 vs. Sioux City


The Stampede dropped games to the top two teams in the USHL in Dubuque and Sioux City over the weekend. Austin Albrecht continues to pace the team in scoring with 32 points (5G, 27A). His 27 assists rank fourth in the USHL, and he has five helpers in his last nine games. Winnipeg Jets prospect Mikhail Berdin has remained impressive between the pipes. He currently sports a .923 SV%, which ranks fourth among all USHL goaltenders. The Stampede will play a pair of home games over the weekend as they will host Chicago on Saturday before welcoming Sioux City for a Sunday matinee.



Team USA



Overall Record: 16-19-1-1 (34 PTS, 7th in East)



Team USA is currently playing in both the U17 and U18 Five Nations Tournaments. The U18 team is playing in Sweden, while the U17 team ‘s tournament is taking place in the Czech Republic. They will resume USHL play next weekend.



Tri-City Storm


Last Week’s Record: 0-2-0-0

Overall Record: 15-19-4-2 (36 PTS, T-6th in West)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 2/10 vs. Omaha, Saturday, 2/11 at Sioux City


Tri-City dropped both of their games over the weekend to the Waterloo Black Hawks. Linus Weissbach has been on fire for an extended period of time. In his last five games, the Swedish forward has scored four goals. In his last 22 games going back to November 25, he has tallied 26 points (11G, 15A). Adam Goodsir is still continuing his rock-solid play as a rookie. The University of Denver commit is fourth among all rookies with 18 points (12G, 6A), including a goal last Friday night in Waterloo. The Storm will look to get back on the winning track this weekend as they host Omaha on Friday and play in Sioux City on Saturday.



Waterloo Black Hawks


Last Week’s Record: 2-0-0-0

Overall Record: 25-12-1-2 (53 PTS, 2nd in West)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 2/10 at Lincoln, Saturday, 2/11 vs. Cedar Rapids


With their weekend sweep of the Tri-City Storm, the Black Hawks are now just two points out of the top spot in the Western Conference standings. It was a milestone weekend for Nick Swaney, who scored on Saturday night for his 100th career USHL point. He now sports an eight-game point streak, with 9 points (3G, 6A) in that span. Swaney also leads the team in scoring with 36 points (16G, 20A), which is tied for seventh in the USHL. Kevin Charyszyn has also been playing extremely well as of late. The Clarkson commit had two goals on Saturday night’s win over the Storm and now has 26 points on the season (16G, 10A), which at the time was behind only Swaney and Shane Bowers in team scoring. Waterloo also made a big push to acquire more scoring and veteran leadership, as they acquired Alex Limoges from the Tri-City Storm. In 36 games this season, the 2016 Clark Cup champion has tallied 31 points (13G, 18A), which is now third on the Black Hawks roster. He will make his Waterloo debut on Friday when the Black Hawks travel to Lincoln to take on the Stars before they host Cedar Rapids on Saturday.



Youngstown Phantoms


Last Week’s Record: 2-0-0-0

Overall Record: 23-13-4-1 (51 PTS, T-3rd in East)

Upcoming Games: Thursday, 2/9 and Friday, 2/10 at Bloomington


Youngstown finished the weekend with an impressive sweep of the then-USHL leading Chicago Steel to move into a tie for third place in the Eastern Conference standings. Veteran forward Austin Pooley is now sporting a five-game point streak dating back to January 22 thanks to a three-point weekend (2G, 1A). In those five games, the Ohio State University commit has tallied seven points (4G, 3A). He is also third on the team in scoring with 21 points (14G, 7A). It has also been an exciting week for Coale Norris, who recently announced his commitment to Ferris State University. Ivan Kulbakov picked up victories in both of the Phantoms wins last weekend and has now won four of his last five starts. The Belarussian netminder is tied for second in the USHL with a 1.97 GAA and just outside the top-10 with a .915 SV%. The Phantoms have earned at least one point in eight of their last 10 games and will look to continue that success later in the week with games in Bloomington against the Thunder both Thursday and Friday night.


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