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Chicago's Macklin Celebrini, pair of Force take home USHL Player of the Week honors

Macklin Celebrini continues his torrid stretch while Fargo's Matej Marinov remains unbeaten in regulation

Celebrini POTW.jpg
Chicago's Macklin Celebrini recorded his second hat trick and five-point game (3-2-5) of the season Saturday in Des Moines. Celebrini was named the USHL Forward of the Week after his seven-point (4-3-7) weekend. The rookie forward leads the USHL in goals (28), points (54) and is averaging 1.59 points per game.
Contributed / Chicago Steel

The USHL announced its Players of the Week Monday evening. Chicago forward Macklin Celebrini, Fargo defenseman Joe Palodichuk and Fargo goaltender Matej Marinov took home the respective honors for Week 20.

It’s the third weekly honor of the season for both Celebrini and Marinov and the second for Palodichuk. It’s also the fourth time this season a team has had multiple players selected.

Celebrini, who many consider one of the top 2024 NHL Draft prospects, is on a tear as of late. The British Columbia native racked up seven points (4-3-7) this weekend between Chicago’s wins in Omaha and Des Moines.

Celebrini recorded his second hat trick and five-point game (3-2-5) of the season Saturday night in Des Moines.

The Boston University commit now leads the USHL in points (54), goals (28) and is averaging a staggering 1.59 points per game. Celebrini is also second in the league with 11 power-play goals and has 18 points (11-7-18) over his last 10 games.


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The committee upheld a ruling that Egor Barabanov didn’t play in 50% of the team’s games, a requirement for player postseason eligibility in ice hockey. He had a 10-game stint with Sioux Falls.

As for Palodichuk, the Wisconsin commitment had a strong weekend in Fargo’s sweep of Sioux City. The left-shot defenseman found the back of the net on Friday and also added two assists in Fargo’s 7-1 win.

"Joe just continues to have a strong year for us and had a really good weekend," Fargo head coach Nick Oliver said. "I just think he's continued to develop and round his game out as a two-way defenseman, and I thought that was on display against a good Sioux City team.

"He picked his spot to join the play offensively and he made some plays in our own end."

Palodichuk finished the weekend a plus-4 and leads Fargo defensemen with six goals and 26 points in 34 games. As a team the Force are on a six-game point streak (5-0-1-0) and are 8-1-1-0 in their last 10.

Fargo continues to lead the USHL with a .744 win percentage and the play between the pipes is a big reason why.

Marinov won both of his starts this weekend and turned aside 54 of the 58 shots fired his way. The Quinnipiac commit is still undefeated in regulation this season (16-0-0-2) and his 2.08 GAA and .925 save percentage both lead the USHL.

"He just continues to impress," Oliver said. "His competitiveness and his consistency continue to stand out and although I don't think either game was perfect in his estimation, he gave us a chance and made some timely saves.

"Even in the 7-1 game on Friday. He made some big saves early that kept the score where it was and allowed us to build a lead. So just another strong weekend for Matej."


Fargo Force goaltender Matej Marinov (33) plays the puck behind his net against the Sioux City Musketeers on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2023 at Scheels Arena in Fargo.
Rob Beer / The Rink Live

Jordan McAlpine is a junior and prospects reporter for The Rink Live.
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