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Wisconsin hockey recruiting: Brock Boeser, Matthew Freytag move to USHL

Brock Boeser made an instant impact in the USHL over the weekend, notching a goal and an assist in his first two games for Sioux City.

Matt Christians

With the calendar flipping over to March and many hockey teams finishing off playoff runs, now is probably a good time to update the status of a few Wisconsin hockey recruits.

Starting with Minnesota high schools, future Badgers Brock Boeser and Matthew Freytag saw their seasons come to a close last week.

Boeser and Burnsville high school were eliminated by Bloomington Jefferson in the section semifinals. A 6-foot, 185-pound forward, Boeser led Burnsville in scoring as junior with 23 goals and 50 points in 26 games.

Freytag's Wayzata squad was also eliminated in the section semifinals, falling to Benilde-St. Margaret's in a 2-1 thriller. Freytag, who missed most of the fall Elite League season with a back injury, finished the high school season with 13 goals and 27 points in 27 games.

While both players would love to be advancing to the state tournament this week, a consolation was getting invitations to play in the USHL over the weekend. Boeser (Sioux City Musketeers) and Freytag (Tri-City Storm) each made their USHL debuts Friday. Freytag was scoreless in two games, while Boeser notched a goal on Friday and an assist on Saturday.

One recruit who did advance to a state tournament this week is Tony Stillwell from Notre Dame Academy. The junior defenseman helped the Tritons advance to Madison once again by defeating fellow Wisconsin recruit Matt Berkovitz and Ashwaubenon on Saturday.

The slick-skating Stillwell has 44 points in 25 games this season. Top-ranked NDA will face Eau Claire Memorial in the state quarterfinals Thursday afternoon at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum at the Alliant Energy Center.

With Ashwaubenon's loss, Berkovitz's high school career is now over. The senior blueliner finished with 11 goals and 41 points in 27 games for the Jaguars. While Berkovitz could play some USHL games with the Chicago Steel down the stretch, it's more likely he gets ready for the USA Hockey Tier 1 tournament by practicing and playing with Team Wisconsin the next few weeks.

Moving to the United States Hockey League, 2015 forward recruit Seamus Malone had a three-point weekend for the Dubuque Fighting Saints. Malone's 18 goals are second on the club while his 37 points are tied for the team lead.

Ryan Wagner and Jack Dougherty -- both members of Wisconsin's 2014 recruiting class -- have been solid contributors for the U.S. NTDP U-18 team recently. Wagner had two goals and an assist while Dougherty had two assists as Team USA was able to win the 2014 Five Nations Tournament in Dmitrov, Russia early last month.

The U18's have also picked up a few wins over college teams recently. They defeated Michigan State on Saturday and also knocked off Bowling Green two weeks ago, thanks in part to a goal and an assist from Wagner.

The Badgers have also been well represented on the U.S. NTDP U17 team with center Luke Kunin and goaltender Luke Opilka. Kunin had two goals and Opilka had a 2.01 goals-against average as the American's won the 2014 Under-17 Five Nations Tournament in Sundsvall, Sweden in early February.

Recent Wisconsin commit Cameron Hughes continues to tear up the Alberta Junior Hockey League. The 17-year-old center has 21 goals and 57 points in 52 games this season for the Spruce Grove Saints. Hughes' 1.1 point per game average is tied for eighth in the AJHL this season.

2014 forward recruit Adam Rockwood had a big weekend for the Coquitlam Express with a goal and five assists in two games. For the season, Rockwood leads the BCHL in assists with 61 and is fifth in the league in points with 74 in 57 games.

Another BCHL'er who had a big weekend was Matt Ustaski with the Langley Rivermen. The 6-foot-6, 225-pound center had two goals and an assist Thursday night and added another goal on Friday. For the season, Ustaski leads the Rivermen with 29 goals and is second in points with 48 in 54 games this year.

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