The United States Hockey League announced the CCM and Reebok player awards for the 18th week of the 2012-13 USHL regular season.
Award winners include Luke Johnson of the Lincoln Stars and Justin Kloos of the Waterloo Black Hawks who were named co-recipients of CCM Forward of the Week; Paul LaDue of the Lincoln Stars, selected as CCM Defenseman of the Week; and Connor Girard of the Dubuque Fighting Saints, who takes home honors as Reebok Goaltender of the Week.
Luke Johnson, F, Lincoln Stars: The 18-year-old tallied four goals and an assist over the weekend, leading then Stars to a pair of wins. On Friday night, he scored Lincoln’s first goal mid-way through the first period on the power play and assisted on Paul LaDue’s second period power play goal to help the Stars to a 3-2 shootout victory over the Sioux City Musketeers. After being held off of the score sheet on Saturday, the Grand Forks, ND native responded by recording his first USHL career hat trick, with a goal in each period, to lead the Stars to a 5-0 win over the Des Moines Buccaneers. Johnson currently ranks fifth on the team in scoring with 26 points (11g, 15a) and is tops with 11 points on the power play (6g, 5a).
Justin Kloos, F, Waterloo Black Hawks: The Lakeville, MN native had a big weekend for the Hawks recording six assists in two games played. Friday night, he notched the lone assist on Taylor Cammarata’s first-period goal in Waterloo’s 6-5 overtime loss to Tri-City. On Saturday, 19-year-old dished out five assists as Waterloo took down Omaha 8-1. His five assists on Saturday tied a USHL single-game high for the season (Ryan Lowney, Youngstown - 11/21/12) and was just one shy of the Black Hawks’ team record for assists in a single game. He now has assists in five straight contests, collecting 13 over that span, and his 37 assists on the season is tops in the USHL.
Paul LaDue, D, Lincoln Stars: The Grand Forks, ND native had a point in each of the Stars’ three games over the weekend. On Friday, he scored a second-period goal on the power play and buried the deciding goal in the shootout to lead the Stars to a 3-2 shootout win over the Sioux City Musketeers. He notched an assist in Saturday’s 3-2 loss to the Fargo Force and added another assist in Sunday’s 5-0 shutout over Des Moines. LaDue is currently riding a four-game point streak, amassing three goals and two assists over that span, and is third on the team in points (32) and second in assists (22).
Connor Girard, G, Dubuque Fighting Saints: The Edina, MN native was a perfect 3-0-0 with a .952 save percentage, 1.29 goals against average, and one shutout over the weekend. Friday night, he turned aside 35 shots and then stopped all eight attempts in the shootout to lead the Fighting Saints to a 4-3 shootout win over the Muskegon Lumberjacks. Saturday, the 19-year-old turned out a 23-save performance as Dubuque upended Team USA by a 3-1 margin. He blocked all 23 shots he faced to backstop the Fighting Saints to a 5-0 shutout on Sunday against Team USA and collect his first USHL career shutout. Girard has won six of his last seven starts, allowing just nine goals in those six wins. He is now third amongst USHL goaltenders with a 2.23 GAA and tied for tenth with a .904 SV%.
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)