The United States Hockey League today announced the weekly award winners for the 21st week of the 2009-10 USHL regular season.
Congratulations to forward Antti Roppo of the Indiana Ice, named Reebok Offensive Player of the Week; defenseman Anthony Bitetto of the Indiana Ice, selected as CCM Defensive Player of the Week; and C.J. Motte of the Waterloo Black Hawks who earned honors as the USHL Goaltender of the Week.
Roppo scored five points (4g, 1a) and registered a plus-five rating as the Ice won two of three games during the week. He scored two even strength goals in Wednesday’s 11-1 win over Youngstown. The native of Tampere, Finland then scored on the power play and shorthanded during the third period of Saturday’s 7-4 win vs. Fargo. It was the eighth multi-goal game of the season for the first-year USHL forward which established a new team record. Roppo is currently second on the Ice in scoring with 37 points (24g, 13a) while leading the team with 24 goals through 45 games.
Bitetto recorded six points (2g, 4a) and a plus-four rating in two games for the Ice. On Wednesday, he equaled his own team record when he collected five points (1g, 4a) in the 11-1 win vs. Youngstown. His goal also proved to be game-winner. The 19-year-old from Island Park, New York then scored the game-winner in Saturday’s 7-4 victory vs. Fargo extending his point streak to four games. Bitetto is tied for second among all USHL defenseman in scoring with 33 points (10g, 23a) in 43 games. The second-year blueliner has also registered a plus-18 rating.
Motte was in net for all three Waterloo victories during the week and posted a 1.66 goals-against-average and a .944 save percentage. On Wednesday, the 18-year-old made 21 saves in the 4-3 overtime win vs. Sioux City. He made 36 saves in the 5-1 win over Des Moines on Friday and then earned his fifth straight win making 28 saves in the 3-1 victory against Sioux City on Saturday. The St. Clair, Michigan native has been in net for each of the last 10 victories by the Black Hawks. Playing in his first USHL season, Motte has won 12 of his last 13 starts and has collected 19 victories this season.
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)