Photos by Hickling Images
The United States Hockey League announced the Forward, Defenseman and Goaltender of the Week for Week 22 of the 2017-18 season. Team USA forward forward Oliver Wahlstrom earned his second award of the season, while Muskegon Lumberjacks defenseman Marc Del Gaizo and Lincoln Stars goaltender Tomas Vomacka won their first weekly honors of the year. Wahlstrom picked up two points in both of his games over the weekend, Del Gaizo recorded five points and three games and Vomacka gave up three goals in two starts, helping Lincoln to a pair of victories. 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: Oliver Wahlstrom - Team USA
2 GP: 3 goals, 1 assist, +4 rating
Wahlstrom scored a goal and added an assist on Friday in Green Bay before scoring two goals to help Team USA to a 4-1 victory over the Gamblers on Saturday. The Harvard commit is now up to 32 points (20G, 12A) in 19 games, good for second on the team and an average of 1.68 points/game. That mark ranks second among all USHL players, behind only fellow Team USA forward Jack Hughes. He also has earned at least one point in five straight games and has been on the scoresheet in nine of his last 10 contests dating back to Jan. 13. A native of Quincy, MA, Wahlstrom is in his second USHL season and has 45 points (29G, 16A) in 48 career games. He played in the 2017 CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game and was ranked seventh among North American skaters on January's NHL Central Scouting Midterm Rankings. This is his second weekly award this season, as he was previously named Forward of the Week on Oct. 16. Prior to his time with Team USA, Wahlstrom played for Shattuck St-Mary's.
Defenseman: Marc Del Gaizo - Muskegon Lumberjacks
3 GP: 2 goals, 3 assists, +6 rating
Del Gaizo dished out three assists on Friday before lighting the lamp both Saturday and Sunday to help Muskegon earn four of a possible six points on the weekend. He now leads all Lumberjacks defensemen, sits fifth on the team and is tied for second among USHL blueliners with 32 points (9G, 23A) through 47 games. He has also earned a point in each of his last four games as well as five of his last six contests dating back to Feb. 17. With his three-assist performance on Friday, the UMass commit is now second among defenseman on the all-time Muskegon scoring list. Del Gaizo is in his third season with the Lumberjacks and has tallied 55 points (12G, 43A) in 107 career USHL games. The Basking Ridge, NJ native was named to the 2018 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game, where he picked up an assist to help Team East to a victory over Team West. Del Gaizo was selected in the eighth round, 122nd overall by Muskegon in the 2015 USHL Phase I Draft and previously played for the New Jersey Rockets (EHL).
Goaltender: Tomas Vomacka - Lincoln Stars
2-0-0-0, 1.48 GAA, .951 SV%
Vomacka stopped 33 of the 35 shots he faced on Friday to help Lincoln to a victory over the Waterloo Black Hawks. He then made 25 saves on Saturday as the Stars knocked off the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders. The Nashville Predators prospect moved back over the .500 mark on the season with the pair of victories, as he now sits with a 17-16-0 record in addition to a 2.92 GAA and an even .900 SV%. He has been especially stellar as of late, winning each of his last five starts and nine of his last 11 appearances going back to Jan. 30 to help the Stars move into playoff contention in the Western Conference standings. The UConn commit joined the Stars after spending 2016-17 with the NAHL's Corpus Christi IceRays, where he recorded a 2.43 GAA and .923 SV% in 41 appearances before being selected by Nashville in the fifth round, 154th overall in the 2017 NHL Draft. Vomacka was acquired by Lincoln prior to the 2017-18 season and played for HC Krkonose in his native Czech Republic before his time in North America.
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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