CHICAGO, IL - The United States Hockey League (USHL) announced Tuesday the Forward, Defenseman, and Goaltender of the Week for Week 21 of the 2019-20 season. The USHL leading scorer, Chicago Steel forward Mathieu De St. Phalle, earned his first career Forward of the Week award while Tri-City Storm defenseman Mitchell Miller and Omaha Lancers goaltender Kyle McLellan were each awarded their third weekly honors of the season. 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.
Mathieu De St. Phalle walked away with his first Forward of the Week honor of his USHL career after racking up seven points (4-3-7) in a three-game Steel sweep of the weekend. The University of Wisconsin commit kicked off the weekend with an assist on the second goal of the game as the Steel went on to best the Des Moines Buccaneers on the road, 4-2. On Saturday night and Sunday afternoon, De St. Phalle collected a pair of goals in each game as Chicago got the best of USA Hockey National Team Development Program (NTDP) in Chicago as the Steel outscored Team USA 14-9 in a high-scoring set of games. On Saturday night, De St. Phalle picked up the first Chicago goal of the night and capped off the win with an empty-net goal with 30 seconds remaining in a 6-4 win. Less than 24 hours later, the Glencoe, Ill. native notched the second and eighth Steel goals of the game in an offensive outburst as Chicago extended their USHL-leading point total to 69 points (34-7-1-0) in a 10-3 win on Sunday afternoon. De St. Phalle’s seven-point weekend vaulted him to the USHL scoring lead as he improved his campaign total to 51 points (25-26-51) through 42 games. He and four of his teammates – Gunnarwolfe Fontaine, Sean Farrell, Sam Colangelo, and Brendan Brisson – account for five of the top-seven USHL scoring leaders at this point of the season. De St. Phalle also joins fellow forwards Fontaine (Week 9), Colangelo (Week 15) and Brisson (Week 8 & Week 17) as Steel forwards to earn a USHL Weekly Award this season. This season is on track to De St. Phalle’s best in his four-year tenure in the league as the forward has already hit a new career-high for goals (25, previously a combined 13 last season) and is tied for his career-high in points (51, same combined total as 2019-20) and is nearing last season’s combined total of 38 assists with 26 in the 2019-20 season. The forward joined the Steel early last season after spending the back half of 2017-18, and beginning of 2018-19 season, with the Omaha Lancers after being acquired from the Sioux City Musketeers. De St. Phalle has appeared in 162 USHL regular-season games and has a career total of 129 points (44-85-129).
“USHL Defenseman of the Week” is not unfamiliar territory for Tri-City Storm defenseman Mitchell Miller, who been given that title in three of the last five weeks. His third award of the season came after accumulating five points (1-4-5) in a weekend road sweep of the Madison Capitols. Miller kicked in a trio of assists in Saturday night’s 5-2 win, including on the opening goal of the game as well as the two insurance goals for the Storm. The University of North Dakota commit went on to add a goal and an assist on Sunday afternoon in a 5-0 win. In the five weeks of three USHL Defenseman of the Week awards (Week 17 & Week 18), Miller has points in five of six games (2-10-12), all five were multi-point games. This season, the Sylvania, Ohio native has racked up 30 points (7-23-30) through 38 games as the Storm are currently third in the Western Conference (22-15-3-2, 49 points), 11 points behind the Conference-leading Waterloo Black Hawks. Thirty points slots Miller in a three-way tie for second place among blueliners in the USHL scoring race, just four points back of the leader. Miller’s breakout season has him primed to hear his name called in the first three rounds this summer during the 2020 NHL Draft. NHL Central Scouting had the defenseman ranked as a B skater on both the Preliminary and Updated lists before ranking him #48 among North American Skaters in the Midterm Rankings in mid-January.
Like Miller, McLellan’s USHL Goaltender of the Week award is nothing new as the Mercyhurst University commit collected his third such honor (Week 14 & Week 15) of the 2019-20 season. McLellan’s accolade comes off a road sweep of the Fargo Force as the netminder allowed just one of the 63 shots he faced to get by him. In a 4-1 win on Friday night, McLellan had a shutout going into the final 20 minutes of regulation, and a 4-0 Omaha lead, before Fargo finally got a shot by him with less than five minutes to play. Twenty-four hours later, the Fenton, Mis. native picked up his third shutout of the season in a 33-save whitewashing of the Force in a 3-0 win. This season, McLellan has amassed a 14-5-3-1 record with 2.16 goals-against average and 0.918 save percentage. Both his goals-against average and save percentage are second overall in the USHL while his 14 wins have him fifth in the league. McLellan has won his last six appearances and hasn’t lost in regulation since December 14 with an 11-0-0-1 record in his last 13 appearances.
McClellan and the Lancers continue their push to the postseason with a back-to-back battle against in-state rival, Tri-City Storm on Friday and Saturday.