Youngstown's Pietila and Fowler, Sioux City's Slukynsky take home USHL's final regular-season weekly honors
Grant Slukynsky finishes regular season with six-point weekend while Jacob Fowler earns his sixth Goaltender of the Week honor
The USHL announced its Players of the Week Monday evening for Week 30. Sioux City forward Grant Slukynsky, Youngstown defenseman Chase Pietila and Youngstown goaltender Jacob Fowler took home the respective honors.
It’s the sixth weekly honor of the season for Fowler — the most among USHL netminders — and the first for both Slukynsky and Pietila. It’s also the seventh time this season a team has had multiple players honored in the same week.
Slukynsky had quite the finish to the regular season with a six-point weekend. The Sioux City captain scored twice on Friday and added two assists in the Musketeers’ 5-3 win over Omaha. Slukynsky followed it up with another goal and an assist on Saturday in the regular-season finale.
That’s 2️⃣ for Slu @Grantsluky17 pic.twitter.com/Pio6JRddIv— Sioux City Musketeers (@Musketeerhockey) April 22, 2023
The Sioux City captain played in 61 games and finished the regular season with a career-high 21 goals and 48 points. This is Slukynsky’s third full USHL season.
He was a key member of Sioux City’s Clark Cup championship run last spring and with the playoffs starting up Monday night, the Musketeers are looking to go on another run.
"We've got a great group of leaders and several of them were on the Clark Cup team last year. And that experience is huge this time of year," Sioux City head coach Jason Kersner told The Rink Live Sunday afternoon. "There's no such thing as an easy series and we know it's going to be a huge challenge. But we're ready to embrace it."
While the first round gets underway Monday night, the Youngstown Phantoms will be watching from the sidelines as Youngstown earned a bye.
The Phantoms closed out the regular season with a pair of home wins over the NTDP, securing the second bye in the Eastern Conference. Fowler and Pietila both played a key role.
PHANTOMS WWWIN!!!— Youngstown Phantoms (@YtownPhantoms) April 23, 2023
Final Score: Phantoms 5, Team USA (U17) 1
WE'LL SEE YOU IN THE SECOND ROUND OF THE CLARK CUP PLAYOFFS pic.twitter.com/pKbAdi9VwU
Fowler extended his personal win streak to six with a pair of wins over Team USA. The Boston College commit stopped 48 of the 50 shots fired his way in a 3-1 and 5-1 win.
Fowler finished the regular season with a USHL-best .921 save percentage, 2.28 GAA and his five shutouts were tied with Lincoln’s Cameron Whitehead for the league lead. Fowler's 27 wins were also the most among USHL goaltenders.
Rounding out the group is Pietila, who had two assists Saturday night. The Michigan Tech commit has a career-high seven goals and 36 points through 60 games.
Similar to Slukynsky, this is also Pietila's third full USHL season.
Youngstown (38-19-4-1) finished second in the Eastern Conference with 81 points, two behind Chicago. The Phantoms also finished with a league-leading 23 home wins, which is also a franchise record.