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FONTAINE AND RUIKKA NAMED USHL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

By Chicago Steel, 11/26/19, 11:00AM CST

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The forward and defenseman helped Chicago to a two-game sweep of Madison Nov. 22 & 23

GENEVA, ILLINOIS — Two members of the Chicago Steel were named Players of the Week for their respective positions, the United States Hockey League announced Tuesday. Forward Gunnarwolfe Fontaine and defenseman Uula Ruikka were selected for their standout performances in back-to-back victories over the Madison Capitols on Friday, November 22 and Saturday, November 23.

Fontaine’s Forward of the Week award is his first this season. The honor is the second of the year for Ruikka after he was named USHL Defenseman of the Week on Nov. 12.  The selections mark the 2nd and 3rd times this season that a Steel player has earned Forward of the Week and Defenseman of the Week, respectively.

Fontaine, a native of East Greenwich, R.I., netted a goal and added two helpers in Friday’s 11-5 victory over the Capitols, then notched another multi-point outing with a marker and an assist on Saturday, a 7-4 win. The 5-foot-9, 174-pound forward is committed to Northeastern University and is tied for eighth in the league this season with 19 points (10G, 9A) through 18 games.

Head Coach Greg Moore shared his thoughts on the second-year forward.

“Gunnarwolfe has matured in a lot of areas of his game and he is a go-to guy at big moments of games. Because of his habits, details and hard work during the weekdays, it allows him to shine on the weekend,” said Moore.

The Providence College commit, Ruikka, posted two assists in the Friday win and followed up that performance with a career-best three-point evening (3A) in the 7-4 victory the next night. In 18 games played this season, the blueliner has a career-high 17 points (3G, 14A) which ranks second among USHL defensemen.

Associate Coach Brock Sheahan, whose main responsibility is developing Steel blueliners, was excited to learn that Ruikka earned Defenseman of the Week honors for the second time in three weeks.

“We are extremely happy for Uula to receive this recognition from the league once again. Uula continues to put the work in every day at the rink and that consistent effort during the week is leading to his individual success on the weekend,” said Sheahan.

Fontaine and Ruikka helped the Steel extend their season-best win streak to seven games over the weekend as the team has started the season with a 14-3-1-0 record (29 pts) through 18 games this year.

Chicago is back in action this weekend for a home-and-home series against the Muskegon Lumberjacks starting on Friday with a 6:05 pm puck drop at Fox Valley Ice Arena. The team is hosting Turtle Races presented by Hickory Knolls Discovery Center in addition to a Raising Cane’s Kids Day for Friday’s matchup.

Chicago Steel games may be heard on Mixlr at http://mixlr.com/chicago-steel/ (AUDIO) and video may be streamed on available devices through HockeyTV at www.hockeytv.com (VIDEO).

Chicago Steel Upcoming Games:

Friday, November 29 vs. Muskegon Lumberjacks 6:05 pm (Turtle Races presented by Hickory Knolls Discovery Center, Raising Cane’s Kids Day)

Saturday, November 30 at Muskegon Lumberjacks 6:05 pm

Friday, December 6 vs. Cedar Rapids RoughRiders 7:05 pm (Steel in Space)

For more information and to purchase Steel tickets, call 855-51-STEEL or visit ChicagoSteelHockeyTeam.com.

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