LAST TIME OUT: The U17s split a series against the team's most familiar foe this season, the Muskegon Lumberjacks. The Lumberjacks earned a decisive 9-4 win over the U17s before Team USA rebounded with a 5-4 shootout victory. Isaac Howard (Hudson, Wis.) and Rutger McGroarty (Lincoln, Neb.) Provided the made shots in the shootout and Dylan Silverstein (Calabasas, Calif.) stopped 33 of the 37 shots he faced to earn the W in goal.

The U18s notched two more Kroger College Series wins, blanking the Milwaukee School of Engineering Raiders by a 5-0 final at USA Hockey Arena before going on the road to Adrian and collecting an 11-2 win over the Bulldogs in the teams' fourth matchup of the season. 

GET TO THE POINT(S): Isaac Howard is racking up goals and assists in his first season with the NTDP, and is nearing his 40th point. The 5-9 forward, who has 19 goals and 38 points through 24 contests, ranks tied for eighth among USHL skaters in goal-scoring with 11 tallies in league play. 

In addition, Rutger McGroarty notched his 30th point in the U17s' 9-4 loss to Muskegon last Friday, becoming the second skater on the team to hit 30 points behind Howard. 

STREAKING AND SCORING: U17 forward Frank Nazar III (Mount Clemens, Mich.) has tallied a point in four straight contests, including a goal and an assist while playing up with the U18s. In the four-game stretch, Nazar has notched four goals and five points, and sits tied for third in overall scoring on the U17 squad.

GOALS, GOALS, GOALS: The U17s have outscored opponents, 139-94, through 23 contests this season, averaging exactly six goals a game. The U17s are 8-2-0 when scoring four goals or more in a game. The U17s best period is the middle frame where the team outscores nearly 2-1 (57-30). 

WE'RE GOING STREAKING: The U.S. National Under-18 Team enters the weekend having won nine straight decisions, dating back to January 3’s 5-2 win over the Youngstown Phantoms. The U18s have outscored their opponents by a combined 62-18 margin during that stretch, which includes six wins over NCAA competition. Overall, the team has won 13 of their last 14 going back to a 5-4 shootout win over Air Force Academy on December 12.

POWER PLAY PESTS: U18 forward Liam Gilmartin (Falls Church, Va.) comes into the weekend trio having racked up nine points (2g-7a) over his last four games. The 6-foot-2 skater recorded a career-high five points (1g-4a) in Sunday's 11-2 win over Adrian College. Both of Gilmartin's goals in that period have come on the man advantage. Defenseman Ty Gallagher (Clarkston, Mich.) was also recently inserted into the power-play unit and has responded with five points (3g-2a) over his last three games, with two power-play markers.

KING DUKE: Forward Dylan Duke (Strongsville, Ohio) has hit his scoring stride of late as he has found the back of the net in seven consecutive games, tallying 10 total goals over that span. Duke has potted the team's first goal of the game in four of those seven contests. The Unviersity of Michigan commit has now moved into sole possession of the team lead in points with 31 (17g-14a) through 26 games played.

SATURDAY BLOODY SATURDAY: The Under-18 Team is 17-1-0 in games played on any day but Saturday this season. On Saturdays, the team is just 3-4-0 but will get a chance to even up their record this weekend at Covelli Centre in Youngstown. 

WELCOME TO THE SQUAD: The NTDP has added a quartet of players that will get an extended look with their respective teams. The Under-18 Team has added a trio of forwards, including Owen McLaughlin (Spring City, Pa.), who previously appeared in a pair of games this season. Matthew McGroarty (Westport, Conn.), a Quinnipiac University commit, and Nick Roukounakis (Pembroke, Mass.), headed to Boston University, also join the U18s. The Under-17 Team added blueliner Ryan Healey (Hull, Mass.), who currently plays for Boston Advantage 16U in Massachusetts and will be attending Harvard University.

TERRIFIC 23: Twenty members of the 2020-21 U.S. National Under-18 Team and three former NTDP players were named to the National Hockey League Central Scouting's first rankings ahead of the 2021 NHL Entry Draft. All 20 age-eligible U18 skaters for the draft were rated on the opening list.

NTDP IN THE NHL: NTDP alums have been making waves early in the new NHL season. Former forward Jack Hughes (New Jersey Devils / NTDP 2017-19) has three goals and seven points in his first five games for the Devils. It took Hughes 12 games to reach the seven point mark last season, indicating a high-production second year in the League for the young forward. Patrick Kane (Chicago Blackhawks / NTDP 2004-06) is also off to a stellar start in his 13th season with the Chicago Blackhawks, notching seven points in six games. 

Goaltender Hunter Miska (Colorado Avalanche / NTDP 2011-13) earned his first NHL start in net for the Avs last Thursday, stopping 23 of the 26 shots he faced in a 4-2 loss to the Los Angeles Kings.