The United States Hockey League announced the Forward, Defenseman and Goaltender of the Week for Week 21 of the 2017-18 season. Waterloo Black Hawks forward Jackson Cates earned his second award of the season, while Lincoln Stars defenseman Wyatt Aamodt and Chicago Steel goaltender Justin Robbins won their first career weekly honors. Cates recorded four goals and five points over the weekend, including a hat trick on Saturday, Aamodt dished out four assists in two games and Robbins stopped 51 of 53 shots in his pair of appearances, including his first career shutout on Sunday. 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
2 GP: 4 goals, 1 assist, Even rating
Cates found the back of the net in Waterloo's 2-1 victory in Des Moines on Friday before recording his second hat trick of the season and dishing out an assist against the Lincoln Stars on Saturday. The Minnesota Duluth commit has been one of the top offensive players in the USHL this season, as he currently sits with 50 points (27G, 23A), good for third in the league. His 27 goals ranks second among all players and his 23 assists place him inside the top-20 in the USHL. Cates has been remarkably consistent as well, recording a point in 19 of his last 22 games dating back to Dec. 16. This is his second weekly award this season, as he was previously named USHL Forward of the Week on Jan. 1. The Stillwater, MN is in his second USHL season and has 71 points (38G, 33A) in exactly 100 career games. 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: Wyatt Aamodt - Lincoln Stars
2 GP: 0 goals, 4 assists, +2 rating
Aamodt dished out an assist in Lincoln's 4-2 triumph over Fargo on Friday night and added three more helpers on Saturday as the Stars picked up a huge 8-5 victory over the Waterloo Black Hawks to move to 7-2-1-0 in their last 10 games. The Minnesota State commit has now recorded an assist in each of his last five games dating back to Feb. 16, with seven helpers in that span. He now sits with 13 points (2G, 11A) on the season, good for third among all Stars defensemen. Aamodt is in his third season in the USHL and joined the Stars prior to the 2017-18 season after spending the last two years with the Chicago Steel, where he won the 2017 Clark Cup. He also won a gold medal with Team USA at last year's World Junior A Challenge. In 98 career USHL games, the Hermantown, MN native has registered 33 points (3G, 30A). Aamodt was originally drafted by Chicago in the 18th round, 285th overall in the 2014 USHL Phase II Draft and previously played for Hermantown (USHS).
Goaltender: Justin Robbins - Chicago Steel
1-0-0-1, 0.97 GAA, .962 SV%
Robbins made 19 of 21 saves, in addition to 2/3 saves in a shootout, against the Green Bay Gamblers on Friday night. He then suited up for the Steel on Sunday against the Central Illinois Flying Aces and stopped all 32 shots he faced for his first career USHL shutout. The Quinnipiac commit has helped Chicago earn points in nine of his 14 appearances this season, as he currently boasts a record of 5-4-0-4. He has also faced a lot of rubber this year, as he has faced 30 or more shots in seven of his 14 appearances. The Alpine, NJ native is playing in his first full USHL season after a 2016-17 campaign that saw him suit up for one game with the Steel. Robbins was selected in the eighth round, 124th overall by Chicago in the 2016 USHL Phase II Draft and previously played for the North Jersey Avalanche (T1EHL).
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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