The United States Hockey League today announced the CCM and Reebok player awards for the 26th week of the 2012-13 USHL regular season.
Award winners include Jake Guentzel of the Sioux City Musketeers, who has been named CCM Forward of the Week; Niklas Nevalainen from the Dubuque Fighting Saints selected as CCM Defenseman of the Week; and Charlie Lindgren of the Sioux Falls Stampede, earning honors as Reebok Goaltender of the Week.
Jake Guentzel, F, Sioux City Musketeers: The Woodbury MN, native had a stellar week, totaling nine points (3g, 6a) with a plus-eight on-ice rating in three games played. His biggest game came on Tuesday when he equaled a season high by scoring five points (2g, 3a) while finishing with a plus-four on-ice rating in the Musketeers’ 7-4 victory over the Tri-City Storm. On Friday in Green Bay, Guentzel assisted on the lone Musketeer goal in a 2-1 loss to the Gamblers. He rounded out the week with a three-point performance (1g, 2a) in Sioux City’s 7-2 win over the Des Moines Buccaneers. Guentzel is currently riding a 15-game point streak, totaling 30 points (10g, 20a) over that span, which is half of season total of 60 points (22g, 38a) that he has put up in 54 games this year. The 18-year-old ranks him ninth overall in USHL scoring while being in the top 10 in both goals (T-9th) and assists (T-7th).
Niklas Nevalainen, D, Dubuque Fighting Saints: The Finland native tallied a goal and an assist over the weekend and earned a plus-five on-ice rating in three games. He also was a part of a penalty killing unit that killed off eight of nine opponent power plays. Friday night in Cedar Rapids, he recorded a plus-two on-ice rating and helped kill off both RoughRider penalties in Dubuque’s 4-2 win. On Saturday, he found the score sheet for the first time in five games with a goal and an assist in the Fighting Saints’ 4-1 win over the Waterloo Black Hawks. His goal proved to be the game-winner and he tied a game high with a plus-four on-ice rating. Nevalainen recorded a plus-one on-ice rating and helped hold Team USA scoreless on all four of their power play chances in a 4-3 win on Sunday. The 19-year-old has produced 29 points on the year (5g, 24a), ranking ninth overall among USHL defensemen, and is second in the League with a plus-45 on-ice rating.
Charlie Lindgren, G, Sioux Falls Stampede: The second-year netminder went 3-0-0, recording a 1.66 goals-against average and .935 save percentage in three games played. He turned aside 16 shots in the Stampede’s 2-1 win over the Tri-City Storm on Wednesday which was the 40th victory of his USHL career. He came back with another solid performance on Friday, stopping 31 shots in a 2-1 win over the Lincoln Stars. It was his 32nd win of the season, setting a new Stampede single-season record. He capped off his three-game week with a 26-save performance in a 6-3 win over the Tri-City Storm on Saturday. The 19-year-old from Lakeville, MN is 9-1-0 over his last 10 starts and has allowed just one goal in five of those contests. He is first amongst League goaltenders with 33 wins and ranks fifth with a 2.68 GAA. It is the fourth time this season he has captured the weekly goaltender honor in the USHL.
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)