California Rubber

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San Jose native, Jr. Sharks alum Fernandez cops weekly USHL honors


The USHL announced Tuesday that Lincoln Stars blueliner Antonio Fernandez is the USHL Defenseman of the Week.

Fernandez picked up four points (goal, three assists) last week, helping the Stars to a pair of wins.

The College of the Holy Cross commit registered a trio of points (goal, two assists) last Thursday, beginning with a second-period assist. Fernandez was then critical in the late-game comeback as he scored the game-tying goal with just 71 seconds remaining in regulation and then picked up his second assist of the game less than a minute into overtime of the 7-6 win over the Fargo Force. Two nights later, Fernandez and Lincoln picked up a 4-0 win over the Sioux City Musketeers as Fernandez recorded a third assist on the weekend.

Thursday’s three-point night tied his career-high and his points in both appearances last week extended his current point streak to eight games (five goals, six assists, 11 points).

The San Jose native and Jr. Sharks alum now has 22 points (11 goals, 11 assists) in 43 games this season and is one of only four defensemen in the USHL this season with 10 or more goals.

“It’s definitely something I’m proud of earning,” Fernandez said. “When our team is playing like this and finding success, it helps me play better. Everybody in that locker room has helped me get to this point.”

Stars head coach Rocky Russo coached Fernandez for 18 games in the NAHL with the Amarillo Bulls last season and is proud of the young defenseman’s development so far in the USHL.

“His work ethic, compete level and priorities are all fantastic,” Russo said. “He’s playing with a lot of confidence, which has been the biggest piece to his puzzle. Knowing when he has the opportunity to jump down and get pucks paired with his lethal shot has resulted in him finding the back of the net quite a bit for us this year.”

The Stars have won four in a row and have collected points in their last five outings, establishing belief in the organization with 19 games left in the regular season.

“Hockey is a lot more fun when everyone is having a great time,” Fernandez noted. “We’re trying to use this momentum for another big weekend coming up and down the road into playoffs.”

— With files from Lincoln Stars Staff

(March 2, 2022)

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