In a weekend that saw the Rivermen go a perfect 3-0 and open up a bigger lead atop the BCHL’s Mainland division, assistant captain Matt Ustaski earned some personal recognition as well being named the league’s Player of the Week with four goals and two assists, including two game winners, one of them coming in overtime Friday night in Chilliwack.
It’s a well-deserved honour for the 19-year old forward who has been perhaps the most consistent offensive performer for the Riv this season. While he may not have strung together long point streaks, you will be hard pressed to find a weekend where he hasn’t picked up at least a point or two. The Chicago-area native now has 20 goals and 14 assists in 42 games, and is one of only two Riv skaters (along with Jakob Reichert) to have played in every single game so far this season.
But perhaps Ustaski’s biggest asset has been his work on the draw. It’s a statistic the BCHL does not keep, but there is no question Ustaski is near or above the 70% range in the faceoff circle. It’s a skill that heading into the playoffs will become even more critical, and no doubt was also noticed by the University of Wisconsin as he committed to become a Badger next season.
Ustaski currently sits first on the team in goals, second in points, and tied for ninth in the league in goals scored. The big man also sits tied for the league lead in shorthanded goals with four. But as you hear him say, he’s more happy the team is having the success they are, especially at this point in the year.