The United States Hockey League (USHL) announced Tuesday that Jo Lemay has been named the Defenseman of the Week for Week 3 of the 2021-22 season.
Lemay scored a power-play goal and added three assists in two games this week for Lincoln, helping them sweep the Sioux Falls Stampede this past weekend.
“I felt pretty good, but I think we did better as a team, so that helped me," Lemay said. "The forwards scored a lot of goals and we all played good enough to get the two wins.”
The 19-year-old defenseman's focus on his team’s success rather than his own individual accolade is one of the reasons why Lemay was voted as an alternate captain before the 2021-22 regular season began.
"Jo’s a very selfless young man and wants to serve his teammates and help them be better,” Stars head coach Rocky Russo said. "Whenever you receive an individual award in a team sport, it’s the result of team success. Jo realizes that it’s a team award and he’s the first one to defer to the rest of his teammates."
Still, wasn’t it a good feeling for Jo to get his first USHL goal on Saturday out of the way?
“For sure, it’s a little bit of a relief,” Lemay said. "I wasn’t thinking about it too much. I knew it was coming and then it happened. It was a big goal for our team and that’s what’s important.”
It certainly was a big goal. Lemay’s marker served as the eventual game-winner in a game where the Stars were outplayed at various points.
However, Lincoln rallied around Cameron Whitehead’s 32-save performance and came away with two points, completing the weekend sweep.
“We’re pretty excited,” Lemay said. "I like the progression we had over the weekend and we’re on the right path to winning more games and finding more success. Now, we know what it’s like to play on the road and I think it motivates you when playing in front of fans that aren’t yours.”
With his breakout performance this past weekend, the sky is truly the limit for the 119th overall selection in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft (Washington Capitals).
“He’s really figuring out and this is a big step from the previous league he played in,” Russo said. "He’s a young player that is uber-talented but also has a lot in his game to continue to work on and grow.”
"That’s really exciting when you watch a player like him because he is so special but you also see how much he can continue to improve on his game."