The United States Hockey League (USHL) announced Tuesday the Forward, Defenseman, and Goaltender of the Week for Week 15 of the 2019-20 season. For the second week in a row, Omaha Lancers goaltender Kyle McClellan took home Goalie of the Week honors. The Lancers also made it two weeks in-a-row with the USHL Defenseman of the Week, this time with Nash Nienhuis taking home the award. Upfront, it was Chicago Steel forward Sam Colangelo winning USHL Forward of the Week with an outdoor hat trick at the USHL Frosty Cup. The USHL is America's only Tier I junior hockey league and continues to lead the world in the advancement of Division I college hockey athletes.
Nienhuis was awarded his first USHL Defenseman of the Week award after putting up six points (0-6-6) in a three-game stretch. The defenseman started the week with a three-assist (0-3-3) performance on New Year's Eve in a 6-4 win over the Sioux City Musketeers. Nienhuis then registered two assists (0-2-2) on January 3 and one assist (0-1-1) on January 5, helping the Lancers pick up a pair of wins in a home-and-home split with the Lincoln Stars. The Sarina, Ontario native is currently on a four-game point streak (1-7-8) and has eight points in nine games since being acquired by the Lancers from the Muskegon Lumberjacks. Nienhuis registered nine points (0-9-9) in 17 games with Muskegon this season. In all this season, Nienhuis has recorded a new USHL season-high in points (17) and assists (16) and is just one goal away from tying his previous season-high in goals (2). This is the second-week in-a-row the Lancers have won the Defenseman of the Week award after Zach Plucinski came away with the award last week.
McClellan backed up his USHL Goalie of the Week award last week with a trio of wins and his second Goalie of the Week honor of his USHL career. The Mercyhurst University commit allowed just four goals in three games last week, stopping 56 shots along the way. McClellan started the week with a 27-save performance in a 6-4 win over the Sioux City Musketeers, coming on in relief of teammate Jakub Dobes and facing a 2-1 deficit just 6:08 into the game. A few nights later, McClellan turned aside 24 shots for a 4-2 win over the Lincoln Stars. McClellan again came on in a relief appearance on January 5, playing the back half of a come-from-behind 4-3 overtime win over the Stars. When McClellan entered Sunday's game, the Lancers trailed 3-1 with 30:23 to play in regulation. Omaha scored three unanswered goals, including the overtime winner, to cap off a perfect three-win week. McClellan is just the third goalie to win the weekly award multiple times this season (Logan Stein and Christian Stoever) and the first to win in back-to-back weeks. It was the third Goalie of the Week win for the Lancers, which leads the USHL this season. Dobes previously won the award in Week 9.
The Lancers are back in action against the Fargo Force this weekend at Ralston Arena. Puck drop for both Friday and Saturday is at 7:05 PM. Saturday is Star Wars night. Tickets are available to call 402-344-PUCK or on Lancers.com. All of the weekend action can be heard on HockeyTV.