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Ferraro Named USHL/CCM Co-Defenseman of the Week

March 13, 2017 - United States Hockey League (USHL) - Des Moines Buccaneers News Release

Des Moines Buccaneer defenseman Mario Ferraro has been named USHL/CCM Co-Defensemen of the Week, along with Waterloo's Jake Ryczek, for his play in Week 25 of USHL action.

Ferraro, a King City, ON native, picked up an assist on Friday night as Des Moines fell at home to Sioux City 4-2 and had a goal and a power play assist in the Buccaneers' 4-3 road victory over Omaha. He finished the weekend with a goal, 3 points, 4 shots on goal, 2 penalty minutes and a +1 rating.

We asked Ferraro how it feels to be given the distinction by the USHL media. "It feels great, especially at this time of year when we're driving towards the playoffs and we are trying to play consistent as individuals and as a team," admits Ferraro.

Ferraro (8-28-36 in 51 GP) is second on the Buccaneers in points with 36 and leads the team with 28 assists. Ferraro has made a lot of noise on the power play as he leads Des Moines with 16 power play points which is second in the league amongst defenseman. Ferraro leads all rookies in assists, power play assists (14), and power play points. Ferraro's 36 points are third amongst USHL rookies and second amongst defensemen and he and Ryczek are the only defensemen in the league with 8 goals on the season. Ferraro is also just as strong on the defensive half of the rink as no one has a better +/- ranking in a Buccaneer uniform this season at +11.

"The great thing about Mario is you know what you're going to get every single night. You know that he's going to compete unconditionally, you know that he's going to do everything he can to advance the game plan and he's going to be hard to play against," compliments Des Moines Buccaneer Assistant Coach Nate Weossner. "That's just what he's gonna do. It's no surprise; every single night he's just Mario." Ferraro is one of just three Buccaneers, along with David Keefer and Colin Ugbekile, to play in all 51 regular season games for Des Moines.

Ferraro participated in the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in Sioux Falls, SD on January 10th where he picked up an assist in Team West's 4-0 victory. He is committed to the University of Massachusetts Amherst and is in his first year of draft eligibility this summer for the 55th annual NHL Draft on June 23rd and 24th at the United Center in Chicago, IL. The NHL Central Scouting midterm rankings have him listed as #107 among North American skaters and in an NHL mock draft Bill Placzek has the St. Louis Blues selecting Ferraro early in the 5th round of the draft.

Was there any extra motivation or any particular reason that Ferraro felt he played so well this past weekend? We asked him just that. "Just the fact that we're battling it out to not only make the playoffs but also get as high in the standings as possible," Ferraro concludes. "Our entire team knows what's at stake, we're all skating, competing and working extra hard to get to our goal."

This is the second time Ferraro has been awarded this distinction as he won the award outright on November 21st for his action in Week 9 where he also had a one goal, two assist and +1 performance that weekend in a home-and-home series with the Lincoln Stars. Ferraro and the Buccaneers are back in action this weekend on the road against the Fargo Force. Des Moines' next home game is Saturday, March 25th and the evening is Wine, Women and Hockey Night; for tickets call 278-2827.

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