Green Bay Gamblers Win Clark Cup
Wednesday May 23, 2012
The Green Bay Gamblers celebrate after winning the USHL Clark Cup championship. (photo by Marshall Art Photography)
Waterloo Black Hawks 2 @ Green Bay Gamblers 5
It was fast-paced first period as the action went up and down with quality chances for both teams. Green Bay had a 13-7 shot advantage with a couple of those coming off the stick of Alex Broadhurst who had two prime opportunities but Waterloo goaltender Stephon Williams turned away the USHL’s leading playoff scorer each time. Defenseman Eddie Wittchow drew a reaction from the crowd when his shot from the blueline hit the crossbar behind Gamblers goaltender Ryan McKay, but did not find its way into the net. The game remained scoreless until Green Bay defenseman Max Hartner picked up a loose puck following a scramble and fired a slap shot over the blocker side of Williams. It was the first USHL career playoff goal for Hartner who had scored just one goal in 38 regular season games this season.
Midway through the second period, Waterloo would even the score when Mitch Witek fed defense partner Alex Barron who fired in a slap shot past a sprawling McKay. It was the third goal of the postseason for Barron. The Gamblers wouldn’t take long to respond as Sam Herr sprung loose on a breakaway and slipped one past the Waterloo goaltender. It was the third goal of the series for Herr and his seventh of the postseason. Less than two minutes later, Ville Jarvelainen made it a two-goal lead when he re-directed a Peter Maric shot. It was the second playoff goal for Jarvelainen.
In the third period, Green Bay added to the lead when Nolan LaPorte took a feed from Broadhurst and ripped a shot past Williams to make it 4-1. It was the fourth goal of the playoffs for LaPorte and his second in as many games. A few minutes later, Waterloo pulled the goaltender in favor of the extra attacker on a power play, but Broadhurst made a big steal just outside his own zone and fired his ninth goal of the postseason into the empty net. Jamie Hill scored a goal late for the Black Hawks but the night belonged to the Gamblers.
Ryan McKay made 22 saves for his ninth win of the 2012 playoffs and his 15th USHL career postseason victory. Sam Herr was named the 2012 USHL Clark Cup MVP after finishing with 16 points (7g, 9a) and a plus-13 rating in 12 games.
A total of 7,007 fans were in attendance at the Resch Center in Green Bay for Game Five.
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 10th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2011-12. With 28 picks during the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, 13 NHL draftees on its rosters this season, and over 250 players already committed to NCAA Division I schools this season, the USHL is emerging as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent. For more information, visit us on the web at www.USHL.com or visit the League’s multiple social media platforms, including Facebook (www.facebook.com/ushlhockey), twitter (www.twitter.com/ushl), and YouTube (www.youtube.com/ushlinteractive). Fans can also watch USHL action online all season long, live or on-demand via FASTHockey (ushl.fasthockey.com)
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