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Players of the Week: Week 13

01/01/2018, 1:45pm CST

Waterloo teammates Cates, Tomek, Madison defenseman Kucharek earn weekly honors.

The United States Hockey League announced the Forward, Defenseman and Goaltender of the Week for Week 13 of the 2017-18 season. A pair of Waterloo Black Hawks teammates - forward Jackson Cates and goaltender Matej Tomek, and Madison Capitols defenseman Jared Kucharek all captured USHL weekly honors. Cates recorded five points in a three-game span to help Waterloo extend their winning streak to four games, Kucharek scored a goal and added six assists last week, including a four-point game on Thursday and Tomek finished the week with a pair of victories, including a 31-save shutout on Thursday. The USHL is America’s only Tier 1 junior hockey league, and continues to lead the world in the advancement of Division I college hockey athletes.


Forward: Jackson Cates - Waterloo Black Hawks

3 GP: 2 goals, 3 assists, +4 rating


Cates scored a goal and added an assist on Thursday in Omaha, dished out another helper on Friday against Lincoln, and put up two more points, a goal and an assist, on Sunday against Des Moines, all resulting in Waterloo victories. The Minnesota Duluth commit has been a big part of the Black Hawks four-game winning streak, as he has seven points (2G, 5A) in those contests. The Stillwater, MN native currently leads the team and is tied for 10th among all USHL players in scoring with 22 points (11G, 11A) through 26 games. The 22 points is a career-high for Cates, and his 11 goals tie his career-high, as he recorded 21 points (11G, 10A) in 56 games with Waterloo last season. Prior to his time in the USHL, Cates played for Stillwater High (USHS). He was selected in the 10th round, 155th overall by the Black Hawks in the 2016 USHL Phase II Draft.



Defenseman: Jared Kucharek - Madison Capitols

3 GP: 1 goal, 6 assists, +2 rating


Kucharek recorded four points, a goal and three assists, in Madison'a 7-5 win over Youngstown on Thursday, added another helper on Friday to complete the two-game sweep of the Phantoms and dished out two more helpers on Sunday against Central Illinois, helping the Capitols earn five of a possible six points in those contests. The Jackson, MI native has been outstanding for Madison since being acquired from Omaha earlier in the month. He has recorded a point in three of the four games he has played with the Capitols and now has eight points (1G, 7A) in the 10 games he has played this season. The Western Michigan commit is in his first USHL season and previously played for the Omaha Lancers, Lone Star Brahmas (NAHL), Meijer AAA (NAPHL) and Rochester Jr. Americans (USPHL). 



Goaltender: Matej Tomek - Waterloo Black Hawks

2-0-0-0, 1.50 GAA, .952 SV%


Tomek stopped all 31 shots he faced in Waterloo's 3-0 win over Omaha on Thursday to earn his first career USHL shutout before making 29 saves on 32 shots as the Black Hawks defeated the Lincoln Stars 4-3 on Friday. The Slovakian netminder has now won each of his last three starts dating back to Dec. 16, allowing a total of four goals in those contests. He now sits with a 7-4-1-1 record, a 2.37 GAA and .912 SV%. His GAA ranks sixth among all USHL goaltenders and his SV% puts him into a tie for eighth in the league. Tomek was selected in the third round, 90th overall by the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2015 NHL Draft and previously played for the University of North Dakota, Topeka Roadrunners (NAHL) and HK SKP Poprad in Slovakia. He has also represented his home country at the U18 World Junior Championships (2013-14) and U20 World Junior Championships (2016-17). He was chosen in the second round, 31st overall by Waterloo in the 2017 USHL Phase II Draft.

Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 16th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2017-18. 30 or more players from the USHL have been selected in five 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.

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