Sam Warning, a Gophers recruit playing for Cedar Rapids, had the best goal in the USHL the first week in February. A poll on the USHL web site says so.
Warning's goal, which can be seen by going to www.ushl.com, came in the RoughRiders' 4-0 over Des Moines. The 5-9, 175 forward gets past not one, not two, but three players to get to the net and score.
He is from Chesterfield, Mo. -- think suburban St. Louis -- and has 13 goals and 11 assists for 24 points in 35 games. His play of the week goal received 40 percent of the votes (197 to be precise) in a field of five candidates.
Warning has committed to the U, but did not sign in the fall. He may sign in the spring, his father said, so he can work out this summer with his future teammates. And, if there is an unexpected departure, maybe come in next fall. But the more likely scenario is joining the Gophers in 2012-13.
He has a little bit of grit, too. He has 53 penalty minutes, second most on the team. Cedar Rapids is second in the Eastern Conference of the USHL with a record of 26 wins, eight losses and five overtime losses.
OMAHA DUO THRIVING
Seth Ambroz and Ben Marshall, two players who signed with the U last fall, have led Omaha (25-10-5) to first place in the Western Conference.
Ambroz, a power forward, has 17 goals and 16 assists for a team-leading 33 points in 36 games. He probably misses his center from last season, Erik Haula, a freshman center for the Gophers.
Marshall, a defenseman, is second among USHL with a plus-24 rating. He has five goals and 15 assists for 20 points in 37 games.
OTHER USHL NOTES
* Before becoming Nebraska Omaha's coach last season, Dean Blais coached the Fargo Force. And now he keeps going back to his old team for players. The latest is defenseman Brian Cooper, 17, of Anchorage, Alaska. The 5-9, 180 Cooper has 10 goals and 13 assists for 23 points in 36 games. He has a plus-11 rating.
Blais already had commitments from goalie Ryan Massa and forward Tanner Lane of the Force.
* Adam Wilcox, a former South St. Paul goalie who has signed with Minnesota, is putting up good numbers at Green Bay. He has a 13-4-1 record with a 2.25 goals-against average and a .921 save percentage.
HAULA 5TH IN ROOKIE SCORING
The top five freshmen scorers in the WCHA with three weekends of the regular-season left:
Jason Zucker, Denver 18-13--31 ... Speedy winger who is a WIld second-round draft pick
Mark Zengerle, Wisconsin 5-29-34 ... Badgers found him in Salmon Arm, team in Br. Columbia Hockey League
J.T. Brown, UMD 9-16-25 ... One of top threats on Bulldogs not named Connolly
Cam Reid, St. Cloud State 8-15-23 ... Has four game-winners for Huskies, one in overtime
Erik Haula, Gophers 5-15-20 ... Native of Pori, Finland, had two goals last weekend, also Wild draftee