A recap of Saturday night action in the USHL.
Tri-City Storm 0 @ Indiana Ice 6
Jason Pawloski faced just 15 shots but stopped them all to post his third shutout of the season and give the Ice their fifth straight win. Patrick Newell started things for the Ice midway through the first when he scored his 10th of the season. Indiana then exploded for five goals in the second period. Dwyer Tschantz netted his 15th of the season, followed by a tally for defenseman Vince Pedrie less than a minute later. Brian Pinho then scored consecutive goals before defenseman Ryan Mantha netted his first goal since being acquired by the team. The Ice have shutout their opponents in three of their last four games.
Chicago Steel 8 @ Muskegon Lumberjacks 2
John Ernsting netted a pair of goals as the Steel scored eight goals for the second straight night on the way to their third consecutive road win. Robbie Payne started things for Chicago ten minutes into the contest with his 13th of the season, but Mason Jobst responded for Muskegon with his second goal in as many nights Ernsting would score in the final minute of the opening frame to make it 2-1 heading into intermission. Chicago took over in the second with four goals. C.J. Smith scored 40 seconds in and both John Schilling and Mason Bergh tallied their third goals of the weekend. Ernsting then tallied his seconf o the night. Victor Bjorkung and Brendon Kearney extended the lead in the third before Matt Iacopellin added a late tally for Muskegon, his eighth goal over his last eight games. Muskegon did out-shoot the Steel 51-24 but goaltender Chris Nell made a USHL career high 49 saves to collect his 20th career victory for the Steel.
Waterloo Black Hawks 3 @ Sioux City Musketeers 4 (SO)
A three-goal third period helped the Musketeers force overtime and eventually claim a shootout victory for their fourth straight win. Waterloo took control early as Patrick Russell scored just over three minutes into the game and Tim Lappin netted a goal a little more than two minutes later to make it 2-0. Russell scored again in the second period to extend the Waterloo lead. Sioux City came alive in the third as Jake Montgomery scored his 15th of the season, defenseman Neal Pionk tallied his first of the year, and Waltteri Hopponen netted his third goal over the last four games to force overtime. After the scoreless extra session, Hopponen and Joel L’Esperance converted their shootout attempts while Collin Olson stopped 4-of-5 Waterloo shots to go along with this 26 saves to earn the win.
Youngstown Phantoms 4 @ Des Moines Buccaneers 3 (OT)
Josh Melnick scored just over a minute into overtime to help the Phantoms snap a three-game losing streak. Des Moines struck first as Oskar Norlov scored just over four minutes into the contest, his second goal in as many nights. Trey Bradley would tie the contest only 21 seconds before the second period expired. Youngstown then jumped out early in the third period as defenseman Tommy Parran scored and Kyle Connor netted his 20th of the season just 1:27 later. Des Moines would then take advantage of power play opportunities later in the period to tie the game as Ryan Galt scored and Jack Jenkins netted his third goal over the last five games with less than two minutes remaining to force overtime. Melnick then played hero as he scored 1:09 into the overtime session to lead the Phantoms to victory. Youngstown out-shot Des Moines 42-17 for contest. Goaltender Ryan Ruck made 38 saves in the loss.
Lincoln Stars 3 @ Fargo Force 2 (OT)
For the 14th time this season, the Lincoln Stars had a game go past regulation and this time Brandon Smith was the hero as he scored the winner in overtime. Christian Cakebread got Fargo on the scoreboard less than six minutes into the game, but John Simonson would tie it a few minutes with his fourth goal over the last five games. The teams traded goals again in the second as J.M. Piotrowski gave Fargo the temporary lead before Thomas Carey tied it again three minutes later. Following a scoreless third period, the game went to overtime where Smith tallied the winner with less than two minutes to go. Michael Bitzer made 36 saves to earn the win for Lincoln.
Dubuque Fighting Saints 4 @ Cedar Rapids RoughRiders 5 (SO)
Frederik Tiffels converted in the ninth round of the shootout to give the RoughRiders their fourth straight victory. Dubuque took a 2-0 lead when Max McHugh and Dylan Gambrell scored just 27 seconds apart in the first period. Dylan McLaughlin responded just over a minute later for Cedar Rapids, but the lead would again be two goals when Brett Boeing netted his seventh goal of the season. The wild first period continued as defenseman Mark Auk scored to pull the Riders back to within a goal. Clark Kuster had the lone goal of the second period to tie the game, and the Riders would then take the lead as Andrew Poturalski scored just 17 seconds into the third period. McHugh then tallied his second of the night to tie the game and force overtime. After the scoreless five-minute session, the teams went to a marathon shootout that last nine rounds. McLaughlin, Alec Marsh, Charlie Curti, and Tiffels each converted their attempts to lead Cedar Rapids to victory.
Green Bay Gamblers 0 @ Sioux Falls Stampede 3
Art Brey stopped all 31 shots he faced for his third shutout of the season to lead the Stampede to their 25th victory. After no scoring in the first period, Dakota Joshua got Sioux Falls on the scoreboard with his 10th goal of the season midway through the second. C.J. Franklin then made it a 2-0 lead later in the period when he tallied the 46th goal of his career with the Stampede. Tony Calderone closed out the scoring six minutes into the third period with his 45th USHL career goal. Green Bay came out firing in the third period, but Brey would make 18 of his 31 saves in the frame on the way to his sixth USHL career shutout.
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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