The United States Hockey League announced the Forward, Defenseman and Goaltender of the Week for Week 1 of the 2018-19 season. A pair of Des Moines Buccaneers - forward Matt Brown and defenseman Connor Senken - and Cedar Rapids RoughRiders goaltender Blake Pietila earned the first USHL weekly awards of the season. Brown recorded seven points in two games over the weekend at the Dick's Sporting Goods USHL Fall Classic, including a hat trick and six-point game on Friday. Senken scored a goal in each of Des Moines' games at the Fall Classic and added an assist on Thursday. Pietila helped the RoughRiders to three of a possible four points at the Fall Classic, stopping 51 of the 55 shots he faced in two 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.
Goaltender: Blake Pietila - Cedar Rapids RoughRiders
1-0-1-0, 1.98 GAA, .927 SV%
Pietila had the most consistent, productive weekend of any USHL goaltender during the first weekend of the regular season. He stopped 23 of the 26 shots he faced on Thursday to help Cedar Rapids earn a point in their overtime loss to Fargo on Thursday. He was even better on Friday against the Lincoln Stars, making 28 saves on 29 shots to get the RoughRiders their first victory of the season and propel them to three of a possible four points over the weekend. This could be the start of a big year for the Michigan Tech commit, who played in 32 games with Cedar Rapids a year ago, finishing with a 3.03 GAA and .903 SV%. Pietila played for Little Caesars and Compuware prior to his time in the USHL.
photo credit - Hickling Images