Madison Capitols goaltender earns weekly honors for fourth time in his USHL career
The United States Hockey League announced the Forward, Defenseman and Goaltender of the Week for Week 15 of the 2017-18 season. Chicago Steel forward Blake McLaughlin and Muskegon Lumberjacks defenseman Bray Crowder earned their first USHL weekly honors, while Madison Capitols goaltender Dryden McKay picked up his fourth career USHL Goaltender of the Week award. McLaughlin had seven points in three games over the weekend, including a hat trick and five points on Sunday, Crowder scored a goal both Friday and Saturday en route to a four-point weekend and McKay stopped 86 of the 88 shots he faced over two games, including a 55-save performance on Friday, to extend his winning streak to four games. The USHL is America’s only Tier 1 junior hockey league, and continues to lead the world in the advancement of Division I college hockey athletes.
Forward: Blake McLaughlin - Chicago Steel
3 GP: 3 goals, 4 assists, +7 rating
McLaughlin exploded for seven points in three games for Chicago over the weekend. He dished out an assist on both Friday and Saturday night before filling the stat sheet with five points on Sunday, as he picked up his first USHL hat trick and added a pair of helpers to help the Steel take down the Sioux City Musketeers 7-2. The University of Minnesota commit has now recorded nine points (5G, 4A) in his last five games and is tied for second in USHL scoring with 32 points (14G, 18A) through 25 games. He has also been a consistent scorer for Chicago this season, as he has earned at least one point in 16 of the 25 games he's played in 2017-18. McLaughlin is in his first full season in the USHL after played in 11 regular season games and one Clark Cup Playoffs game in 2016-17. Earlier this year, he was named to USA Hockey's Ivan Hlinka Team, the CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game, the U.S. Junior Select Team for the World Junior A Challenge and the 2018 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game, and was recently listed as a B-rated skater on the latest NHL Central Scouting Players to Watch List. McLaughlin previously played for Grand Rapids (USHS) and was selected sixth overall by Chicago in the 2016 USHL Phase I Draft.
Defenseman: Bray Crowder - Muskegon Lumberjacks
2 GP: 2 goals, 2 assists, +6 rating
Crowder helped the Lumberjacks to a pair of victories over the Green Bay Gamblers over the weekend, scoring the opening goal of the game in a 5-3 win on Friday before picking up the game-winning tally and dishing out a pair of assists in Muskegon's 5-2 triumph on Saturday. The Whitefish, ON native has now earned at least one point in three of his last four games and now sits third among current Lumberjacks defensemen with nine points (5G, 4A) through 28 games. The uncommitted blueliner is in his first USHL season and previously played for the Amarillo Bulls (NAHL), Johnstown Tomahawks (NAHL), Welland Jr. Canadians (GOJHL), Buffalo Jr. Sabres (OJHL) and Don Mills Flyers (GTMMHL).
Goaltender: Dryden McKay - Madison Capitols
2-0-0-0, 1.00 GAA, .977 SV%
McKay was spectacular in his two starts over the weekend, as he stopped 55 shots on Friday before making 31 saves on Saturday while only allowing one goal in each of those appearances. His 86-save weekend helped extend his personal winning streak to four games dating back to Jan. 5 and helped Madison moved to 7-2-0-1 in their last 10 games. The Minnesota State commit now sits fourth among all USHL goaltenders in wins (12) and 10th in SV% (.912). His stats are especially impressive considering he leads the league with 852 shots against, more than 150 more shots faced than any other goaltender in the USHL. This is McKay's fourth career weekly award, and second award this season as he was named USHL Goaltender of the Week on Jan. 9, 2017, Jan. 23, 2017 and Oct. 30, 2017. He previously played for the Green Bay Gamblers (USHL), Corpus Christi Ice Rays (NAHL), Springfield Jr. Blues (NAHL) and Chicago Young Americans (HPHL).
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 16th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2017-18. 30 or more players from the USHL have been selected in five consecutive NHL Drafts, and more than 400 players on team rosters last season committed to NCAA Division I schools, further establishing the USHL as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent.