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Predators prospect Zach Stepan named USHL co-CCM Forward of the Week


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Thanks to the Predators PR department for passing along this press release from the USHL’s Waterloo Black Hawks:

Waterloo, Iowa–For the second consecutive week, the United States Hockey League has recognized a Waterloo Black Hawk for being among its top players, selecting Zach Stepan for the co-CCM Forward of the Week Award.

The Ohio State recruit helped the Hawks to four victories in six days, running the club’s winning streak to six consecutive games and moving Waterloo into third place in the USHL Western Conference.  Tuesday night in Green Bay, Stepan scored two goals and assisted on a third during a 7-4 victory against the Gamblers.  On the road again Friday, his assist on a Taylor Cammarata goal early in the second period gave the Hawks their first lead, before a shootout tally ultimately decided the 4-3 contest with the Dubuque Fighting Saints.  The weekend continued Saturday with another goal and two assists from Stepan as the Hawks topped the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders, 5-2.  The Hastings, Minnesota, native left the fans at Young Arena with a little extra excitement Sunday, as his two goals capped a 7-1 win against the Des Moines Buccaneers in the Hawks’ regular season home finale.  All totaled, Stepan tallied five goals, four assists, and a +6 plus/minus rating.

Stepan shared the CCM Forward of the Week Award with Alex Iafallo of the Fargo Force.  Last week, the league chose the Hawks’ Ian McCoshen as the CCM Defenseman of the Week and Cal Petersen as the Reebok Goaltender of the Week.  Waterloo players have now claimed all or a share of a USHL weekly award on 15 occasions in 2012/13.

Stepan was also the CCM Forward of the Week on January 7th and shared the honor on two previous occasions, November 26th and October 29th.  His two goals on Sunday pushed him into a tie with Mike Szmatula of the Dubuque Fighting Saints for third in league scoring.  With two regular season games remaining, both have recorded 76 points.  Only Stepan’s linemates, Cammarata and Justin Kloos, have more points in league play this season.  A draft pick of the Nashville Predators, Stepan’s 32 goals include nine game-winners, the most in the USHL.

The Black Hawks complete the regular season with road games on Saturday and Sunday versus the Indiana Ice.  Waterloo will meet either the Sioux Falls Stampede or Fargo Force in the first round of the USHL playoffs.  Details regarding specific game dates and locations will be announced after the Hawks’ opponent has officially been determined.  For the latest information, visit waterlooblackhawks.com.”