The United States Hockey League today announced the CCM and Reebok player awards for the eighth week of the 2013-14 USHL regular season.
Winners include Tyler Vesel of the Omaha Lancers and John Ernsting of the Chicago Steel, named co-recipients of CCM Forward of the Week; Tucker Poolman of the Omaha Lancers and Luc Snuggerud of the Muskegon Lumberjacks, chosen as co-recipients of CCM Defenseman of the Week; and Cole Bruns of the Omaha Lancers, earning honors as Reebok Goaltender of the Week.
Tyler Vesel, F, Omaha Lancers: The Rochester, Minnesota native led Omaha to a pair of road victories over the weekend, recording five points (2g, 3a) and posting a plus-three rating. Friday night, he dished out an assist in the 5-2 win over the Tri-City Storm. The next night, the University of Nebraska-Omaha commit tallied a pair of goals in the third period, including the game-winner, and handed two more assists in the 5-2 victory over the Lincoln Stars. Vesel, 19, is currently riding a five-game point streak, amassing nine points (5g, 4a) and a plus-eight rating over that span. He leads all USHL players with 14 goals and is tied for the League lead with a plus-19 rating.
John Ernsting, F, Chicago Steel: The 18-year-old recorded his first USHL hat trick in Friday’s 6-3 win over the Green Bay Gamblers. With his team trailing 3-2 in the third period, the Naperville, Illinois native scored three consecutive goals, a natural hat trick, in a span of 12:38 to lead the Steel to their fourth straight victory. His first two goals were at even strength, with the third coming on the power play. The Dartmouth College commit had scored two goals over 13 previous games this season. He now leads the team in scoring with nine points (5g, 4a) in 15 games played this season.
Tucker Poolman, D, Omaha Lancers: The Winnipeg Jets draft pick recorded five assists and registered a plus-three on-ice rating over two wins this weekend. On Friday, the 20-year-old assisted on his team’s first three goals, including the game-winner, in a 5-2 win over Tri-City. Saturday in Lincoln, he added two more assists in another 5-2 win. The East Grand Forks, North Dakota native and University of North Dakota commit also helped the Lancers kill all seven penalties they took on the weekend. Poolman is tied for second among USHL defensemen in scoring, totaling 11 points (3g, 8a) in 14 games. He is also tied for eighth overall in the League with a plus-10 rating.
Luc Snuggerud, D, Muskegon Lumberjacks: The Eden Prairie, Minnesota native made the most out of his USHL call-up, recording three points (1g, 2a) and a plus-three rating over three games last week. During his USHL debut on Wednesday, he scored his first USHL goal and added an assist in the 6-5 win over the Cedar Rapids Roughriders. He added two more assists, and tied a game-high plus-two on-ice rating, in Friday’s 3-2 overtime loss to the Dubuque Fighting Saints. The 18-year-old defenseman then posted a plus-one rating and helped to successfully kill all five opponent power plays in the 3-1 win on Saturday, the team’s first win in four tries against Dubuque this season.
Cole Bruns, G, Omaha Lancers: The goaltender had another stellar weekend, posting a 2-0-0 record with a 2.00 goals-against average and .917 save percentage in a pair of road games for the Lancers. He turned out a 29-save performance in Friday’s 5-2 win over Tri-City, and then blocked 15 shots he faced in Saturday’s 5-2 win against rival Lincoln. His win on Saturday was his eighth of the season, tying for the USHL lead and equaling his win total from last season. He has posted a 3-0-1 record over his last four road games. The 19-year-old from Prairie Grove, Illinois currently ranks second in the USHL with a .932 SV% while ranking third in the League with a 1.82 GAA.
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)