Photos by Hickling Images/Stephanie Lyn Photography
The United States Hockey League announced the Forward, Defenseman and Goaltender of the Week for Week 17 of the 2017-18 season. Youngstown Phantoms forward Matthew Barry and Waterloo Black Hawks defenseman Ben Finkelstein earned their first career weekly honors, while Omaha Lancers goaltender Zach Driscoll picked up his third weekly award of the season. Barry picked up eight points on the weekend, including a five-point performance on Saturday, Finkelstein recorded six points on Saturday en route to a seven-point weekend and Driscoll stopped 61 of the 62 shots he faced in two starts, including a 25-save shutout on Friday. 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: Matthew Barry - Youngstown Phantoms
3 GP: 2 goals, 6 assists, +1 rating
Barry dished out two assists on Friday night before scoring a goal and adding four more helpers on Saturday as Youngstown knocked off Dubuque 6-5 in overtime. He followed that performance up by scoring the game winning goal as the Phantoms defeated the Fighting Saints 2-1 to sweep the two-game series. The Holy Cross commit leads Youngstown in scoring and is alone in fourth among all USHL players with 35 points (9G, 26) through 35 games. He has 10 multi-point contests on the season and has recorded 13 points (3G, 10A) in his last 10 games dating back to Jan. 5. The Naperville, IL native is playing in his first USHL season and was selected in the seventh round, 107th overall by the Phantoms in the 2017 USHL Phase II Draft. He previously played for the Bismarck Bobcats (NAHL) and Chicago Mission (HPHL).
Defenseman: Ben Finkelstein - Waterloo Black Hawks
2 GP: 1 goal, 6 assists, +1 rating
Finkelstein scored the game-winning goal and dished out five assists in Waterloo's 7-3 win over Cedar Rapids on Saturday and added his sixth helper of the weekend on Sunday against the Sioux Falls Stampede. The Boston College commit has been outstanding in his short time with the Black Hawks, recording nine points (2G, 7A) in just four games, an astonishing average of 2.25 points/game. He has earned at least one point in each of those four contests and already sits third among all Waterloo defensemen with his nine points. A native of South Burlington, VT, Finkelstein was selected in the seventh round, 195th overall by the Florida Panthers at the 2016 NHL Draft. He joined Waterloo earlier this month and played for St. Lawrence University (NCAA), the Boston Jr. Bruins (MHSL) and Kimball Academy (USHS) prior to his time in the USHL.
Goaltender: Zach Driscoll - Omaha Lancers
2-0-0-0, 0.50 GAA, .984 SV%
Driscoll stopped all 25 shots he faced to lead Omaha to a 6-0 shutout of Lincoln on Friday, his fifth whitewash of the season, before making 36 saves on 37 shots to lead the Lancers to a road win and a sweep of the home-and-home series with the Stars. The Bemidji State commit improved his record to 12-5-0-5 with his two victories on the weekend and currently sports a stellar 1.79 GAA and .935 SV% in 21 appearances, both second among all USHL goaltenders in their respective categories along with his five shutouts. He has compiled an impressive 10-2-1-0 record in his last 14 starts and has allowed more than two goals just once since Nov. 10. This is Driscoll's third USHL weekly honor this season, and second award in four weeks, as he was named Goaltender of the Week on Nov. 13 and Jan. 8. Driscoll in his second stint with the Lancers, as he appeared in 18 games for Omaha during the 2014-15 season. The Apple Valley, MN native has also played for St. Cloud State University, the Penticton Vees (BCHL), Austin Bruins (NAHL) and Eastview High (USHS) in addition to his time in the USHL. He was originally selected by the Lancers in the fourth round, 52nd overall of the 2013 USHL Phase I 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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