RALSTON, NE - The United States Hockey League announced the Forward, Defenseman, and Goaltender of the Week for Week 20 of the 2018-19 season. Lancers goaltender and New Jersey Devils prospect Akira Schmid was recognized as Goaltender of the Week for the first time, Chicago Steel forward Nick Abruzzese earned his second weekly honor of the season, Tri-City Storm defenseman Ronnie Attard was named Defenseman of the Week for the third time this year.
Schmid picked up a 16-save shutout in relief of Jon Mor on Friday vs Sioux City. Schmid then helped the Lancers in the shootout against the Musketeers standing tall going 3-3 in the shootout. The shutout on Friday was his first of his USHL Career.
“I try to keep getting better to help my team,” Schmid said. “I am happy I played well enough to be named the USHL Goaltender of the week, but most importantly that our team earned 3 wins this weekend.”
The next night, he stopped 43 of the 45 shots he faced against the Des Moines Buccaneers, in addition to stopping both attempts he saw in the shootout, to help extend Omaha's winning streak to four games.
“We are working hard in every practice and work on the little details,” Schmid said. “We stick to our game plan and we have a lot of fun as a group.”
Thanks to his performance over the weekend, the Swiss netminder now sits with a 7-7-1-0 record to go along with a 2.28 GAA and .922 SV%, both good for second among all USHL goaltenders. He has won six of his last eight appearances dating back to Dec. 15 and has allowed only two goals or fewer in five of those contests.
Schmid joined the Lancers on Nov. 3 after spending time with the Corpus Christi IceRays (NAHL) and Lethbridge Hurricanes (WHL). He also represented his home country of Switzerland during both the 2018 and 2019 World Junior Championships.
“He has been terrific for us since coming back from the World Junior Championship,” Head Coach David Wilkie said. “We are happy for him and he has a big future ahead of him in the game for sure.”
Before coming to North America, Schmid played for Langnau in Switzerland. Following the 2017-18 season, he was drafted in the fifth round, 136th overall by the New Jersey Devils in the 2018 NHL Draft.
The Lancers return to the ice on Friday, February 15th to face off against the Sioux City Musketeers at Ralston Arena. Puck drop is at 7:35 pm. Listen live all season long on the Lancers flagship station The Mighty KOIL News Talk 1290 AM radio or view the game via HockeyTV.com.