A recap of Friday night action in the USHL.
Cedar Rapids RoughRiders 2 @ Indiana Ice 4
Four different players scored and goaltender Jason Pawloski made 23 saves to lead the Ice to their 17th win of the season, most in the Eastern Conference. Following a scoreless first period, Scott Conway put Indiana on the board less than a minute into the second frame, his team-leading 15th goal of the season. Defenseman Michael Preston then made it a 2-0 lead midway through the period. Alec Marsch cut the lead in half less than a minute into the third with his eighth of the season. Defenseman Josh Jacobs put Indiana back up by two midway through the period, but Judd Peterson potted his 12th of the year a little more than three minutes later. It wouldn’t be enough however as Alex Talcott sealed the victory for the Ice with an empty netter. Pawloski collected his 15th win of the season
Chicago Steel 4 @ Youngstown Phantoms 1
Mason Bergh netted a pair to lead Chicago to their fifth win over their last six games. Bergh started things off in the first period with this third goal of the season. Josh Nenadal tied it for the Phantoms seven minutes into the second, but C.J. Smith put Chicago back up less than two minutes later with his seventh goal over his last seven games. After goaltender Chris Nell stopped a Youngstown penalty shot midway through the third period, Robbie Payne made it 3-1 in favor of the Steel less than a minute later. Bergh would close out the night with an empty netter in the final moments. Nell made a total of 35 saves to earn his 10th win of the season.
Muskegon Lumberjacks 0 @ Sioux City Musketeers 3
Collin Olson stopped all 29 shots he faced for his sixth USHL career shutout to lead the Musketeers to their 20th win of the season. Austin Adduono netted a shorthanded goal just over five minutes into the contest. Sioux City added two more in the second as Walterri Hopponen scored his fifth of the season and Zach Glienke netted his first USHL goal. Olson was making just his second start for the Musketeers and made 16 of his 29 saves in the third period alone.
Tri-City Storm 5 @ Sioux Falls Stampede 1
Ryan McMurphy netted a pair of goals as the Storm made it consecutive victories over the Stampede and won for the fourth time in their last five games. McMurphy started things off just under eight minutes into the first period, and Christian Horn made it 2-0 only 28 seconds later, his fifth goal over his last five games. Kyle Eastman extended the lead early in the second and Chase Berger made it 4-0 early in the third. Keith Burchett would get the Stampede on the scoreboard a little more than eight minutes into the period, but McMurphy responded with his second of the night less than two minutes later to close out the scoring. Goaltender Jacob Johansson made 31 saves to earn his fourth straight victory.
Des Moines Buccaneers 3 @ Omaha Lancers 2
The first USHL goal for R.J. Burns proved to be the game-winner as the Buccaneers snapped a seven-game winless streak on the road (0-6-1). Matt Nelson struck first for Omaha midway through the first period with his fifth goal of the season. The second period belonged to the Bucs as Danny Elser scored early in the frame and Ruslan Rakhmatov netted a goal just before the period expired. Anthony Angello tied the contest less than eight minutes into the final period, but Burns netted the winner four minutes later to give the Bucs the victory. Goaltender Ryan Ruck made 37 saves to pick up his third win over his last four starts.
Fargo Force 3 @ Waterloo Black Hawks 4 (SO)
Liam Pecararo converted the deciding shootout tally to give the Black Hawks their League-leading 13th home win of the season. The game was nearly scoreless through two periods, but John Baiocco got Fargo on the scoreboard with only 1:59 remaining in the second. Both teams came alive offensively in the third period as Waterloo defenseman Brandon Montour extended his point streak to six games with seventh goal of the season and Drew Melanson netted his third goal over the last four games less than four minutes later for the Hawks. The Force then got a pair of their own as Mikey Eyssimont scored twice in a span of 2:52 to give his team the lead. Defenseman Mark Friedman would force overtime with a late power play goal. The game went to a shootout after a scoreless overtime session and it took six rounds to decide it. Peter Krieger, Blake Winiecki, and Pecararo converted for Waterloo and give the team their sixth straight win. Goaltender Mathias Israelsson made 28 saves and stopped 4-of-6 Fargo shooters to record the victory. Force goalie Brendan Jensen made a USHL season high 58 saves in the loss.
Lincoln Stars 0 @ Dubuque Fighting Saints 3
Benjamin Johansson stopped all 23 shots he faced during his first USHL start to help the Saints snap a four-game losing streak. Both Johansson and Lincoln goaltender Jacob Nehama were stellar throughout the first 40 minutes as neither surrendered a goal. Dubuque took over in the third as Shane Kavanagh broke the scoreless tie less than three minutes into the frame. Seamus Malone then scored his 10th of the season, a shorthanded tally, midway through the period and Shane Eiserman closed it out with an empty net goal.
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 12th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2013-14. A record 32 players were chosen in the 2013 NHL Draft and more than 300 players on team rosters last season have committed to NCAA Division I schools, further establishing the USHL 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 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 all season long, live or on-demand via FASTHockey (ushl.fasthockey.com).
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