The United States Hockey League today announced the CCM and Reebok player awards for the ninth week of the 2013-14 USHL regular season.
Winners include Jack Eichel of Team USA, named CCM Forward of the Week; Chad Duchesne of the Sioux Falls Stampede, selected as CCM Defenseman of the Week; David Jacobson of the Sioux Falls Stampede and Chris Birdsall of the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders, sharing honors as Reebok Goaltender of the Week.
Jack Eichel, F, Team USA: Committed to Boston University, the forward had a monster weekend, recording seven points (3g, 4a) and plus-four on-ice rating as Team USA’s Under-18 squad earned a weekend sweep of the Green Bay Gamblers. Friday night, he notched his second hat trick in less than a month (10/20 vs. Muskegon) and dished out a pair of assists in an 8-5 win. He scored his three goals in three different ways – power play, shorthanded, even strength – and the five-point night set a USHL career high. The 17-year-old from North Chelmsford, Massachusetts added two more assists in Saturday’s 4-0 shutout of the Gamblers. Eichel has produced multi-point efforts in five of his seven USHL games this season and is currently tied for the team lead with 17 points (9g, 8a).
Chad Duchesne, D, Sioux Falls Stampede: The 18-year-old defenseman scored three points (2g, 1a) as the Stampede earned three of four points in the standings over the weekend. He handed out an assist and was a part of a penalty killing unit that was a perfect 7-for-7 in the 4-3 shootout loss to the Waterloo Black Hawks on Friday night. On Saturday, he scored two goals in the first period, including the game-winner, while helping the Stampede post their first shutout of the season in the 6-0 victory vs. the Tri-City Storm. The native of Inverary, Ontario has collected 10 points (3g, 7a) over 17 games this season and currently ranks fourth in scoring among USHL defensemen. Two of the three goals this season for the Northeastern University commit have been game-winners.
David Jacobson, G, Sioux Falls Stampede: A native of Los Angeles, California, the goaltender posted a 1-0-1 record with a 1.44 goals against average and .950 save percentage over two weekend starts. He made 39 saves before stopping 9-of-12 attempts in a marathon shootout of Friday’s 4-3 loss to Waterloo. He bounced back on Saturday, stopping all 18 shots he saw in the 6-0 win over the Tri-City Storm to pick up his first USHL career shutout. Jacobson currently ranks fourth in the USHL with a 2.19 GAA and is tied for second amongst League goaltenders with eight wins. The 19-year-old has won four of his last five starts, posting a 1.18 GAA and .959 SV% over that span.
Chris Birdsall, G, Cedar Rapids RoughRiders: The second-year netminder recorded a pair of wins while posting a 1.44 GAA and .941 SV% as the RoughRiders extended their home winning streak to six games. He stopped 31 shots, including 16 in the first period, plus turned aside 7-of-8 attempts in the shootout of Friday’s 3-2 win over the Fargo Force. The Glen Rock, New Jersey native, who celebrates his 17th birthday next week, then made 17 saves in Saturday’s 4-1 victory over the rival Dubuque Fighting Saints. The Boston College commit has compiled a 5-1-1 record this season with four of those wins coming in his last five starts.
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)