The United States Hockey League today announced the weekly award winners for the third week of the 2009-10 USHL regular season.
Congratulations to Matt Leitner of the Fargo Force, named Reebok Offensive Player of the Week; Chad Ruhwedel of the Sioux Falls Stampede, selected as CCM Defensive Player of the Week; and Willie Yanakeff of the Sioux City Musketeers, who earned honors as the USHL Goaltender of the Week.
Leitner registered seven points (4g, 3a) and a plus-two rating as the Force claimed two victories over the weekend. The forward scored two goals in the first period on Friday night while also assisting on the game-winning overtime goal in the 6-5 victory over Tri-City. The following evening, the native of Los Alamitos, California scored two power play goals and assisted on two other goals as the Force handed the Omaha Lancers a 5-2 loss. Leitner is playing in his third USHL season and was the League’s highest returning scorer from 2008-09 in which he scored 57 points (14g, 43a) in 56 games.
Ruhwedel recorded three points (1g, 2a) and a plus-two rating in helping Sioux Falls remain unbeaten in regulation this season (4-0-2) and on top of the West Division standings. The Stampede captain scored his first career USHL goal and dished out two assists in the 9-1 win vs. Waterloo on Friday. The San Diego, California native was held scoreless on Saturday but helped kill all five Green Bay power plays in the 3-2 shootout loss. The second-year USHL defenseman is currently tied for the League lead with a plus-seven rating.
Yanakeff earned his first victory of the season when he stopped 40 shots in the 2-1 victory vs. the Team USA Under-18 squad on Saturday. Despite being outshot 41-17, Yanakeff guided the Musketeers to their second victory of weekend. The Jerome, Michigan native is currently leading all USHL goaltenders with a .928 save percentage and ranks sixth with a 2.28 goals against average. Playing in his first USHL season, Yanakeff is committed to Michigan State University following his USHL career.
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 31st season of junior hockey in 2009-10. With over 140 players already committed to NCAA Division I schools and 13 NHL Entry Draft picks currently on League rosters, the USHL is the nation’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent. For more information, visit us on the web at www.USHL.com.