Saponari, Oesterle, Vienneau named USHL Players of the Week

By League Press Release

Photo: Atlanta Thrashers prospect Vinny Saponari was named USHL Offensive Player of the Week (photo courtesy of GoTerriers.com)

The United States Hockey League today announced the weekly award winners for the third week of the 2010-11 USHL regular season. 

Congratulations to forward Vinny Saponari of the Dubuque Fighting Saints, named CCM Offensive Player of the Week; defenseman Jordan Oesterle of the Sioux Falls Stampede, selected as CCM Defensive Player of the Week; and Joel Vienneau of the Muskegon Lumberjacks who earned honors as the Reebok USHL Goaltender of the Week.

Saponari tallied six points (2g, 4a) and a plus-four rating to help the Fighting Saints capture two victories during the weekend.  He scored the team’s first goal and last goal, plus assisted on the game-winning goal, in the 7-4 win over Des Moines on Friday.  The 20-year-old then had his second three-point game of the weekend when he helped setup all three third-period goals by Dubuque in the 6-4 win against Waterloo on Saturday.  Saponari is a native of Powder Springs, Georgia and is one of the assistant captains for the Saints.

Oesterle posted three points (1g, 2a) and a plus-four rating in two wins for the Stampede.  The 18-year-old defenseman earned his first USHL point with an assist on Friday, plus added an empty net goal to seal the 5-3 win over Team USA.  He finished with a game high plus-three rating.  Oesterle then assisted on the team’s first goal in the 4-1 win against Chicago on Saturday and helped the squad limit their opponents to just 16 shots on goal.  The native of Dearborn Heights, Michigan is playing in his first USHL season.   

Vienneau earned his first USHL victory by stopping all 19 shots he faced in the 6-0 shutout vs. Sioux City on Friday, which was also the first win in the League for the expansion Muskegon Lumberjacks.  The next evening, the 18-year-old goaltender had a 33-save effort in a 2-1 loss in which Fargo scored with just three seconds remaining in regulation to earn the victory.  Vienneau is a native of Hearst, Ontario and has started all five games for the Lumberjacks during his first USHL season. 

Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates ninth season as the nation’s only Tier I junior hockey league in 2010-11.  With 250 players from 2009-10 committed to NCAA Division I schools and 35 NHL Entry Draft picks on League rosters last season, the USHL is the nation’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent.  For more information, visit us on the web at www.USHL.com.