A recap of Friday night action in the USHL.
Sioux City Musketeers 6 @ Team USA 9
Luke Kirwan scored a pair of goals as Team USA earned their 20th home win of the season. Team USA’s Under-17 squad jumped out early as Jack Roslovic and Colin White scored 28 seconds apart midway through the first and Matthew Tkachuk tallied just before the opening period expired to make it 3-0. Christian Fischer extended the lead early in the second before Sioux City came alive with three tallies of their own. Brock Boeser and Cedric Lacroix scored 31 seconds apart and then Jared Thomas added a goal two minutes later. Ryan Wagner would respond in short order for Team USA as he netted a goal 21 seconds after the three-goal run for the Musketeers. Adam Johnson scored just over a minute into the third before Kirwan tallied a few moments later. Bobo Carpenter and Adam Johnson scored just over a minute apart to tie the game for Sioux City, but Team USA took over from there as Charles McAvoy put them ahead, Kirwan tallied his second of the night, and then Brendan Warren sealed it with an empty netter in the final moments. Despite the win, Team USA was eliminated from playoff contention as Muskegon is two points ahead of them and holds the tiebreaker in the head-to-head series in the regular season.
Green Bay Gamblers 4 @ Indiana Ice 2
Jared Rutledge made 29 saves to help the Gamblers earn their fourth victory over their last five contests and keep their playoff hopes alive heading into Saturday’s finale. Ryan Siroky put Green Bay up less than seven minutes into the game, but Scott Conway responded a little more than a minute later with his 32nd of the year for Indiana. Anthony Walsh put Green Bay back on top midway through the opening frame. Nick Schmaltz extended the lead early in the second with his fifth goal over the last five games. Alex Talcott brought the Ice within a goal later in the period. Matt Weis would seal the win for Green Bay with his 40th USHL career goal midway through the third and Rutledge stopped all 13 shots he faced in the final period.
Dubuque Fighting Saints 1 @ Youngstown Phantoms 3
Sean Romeo made 38 saves to lead the Phantoms to the victory and help snap a five-game losing streak. Defenseman Steven Ruggiero started the scoring in the first period for Youngstown with his first USHL career goal. The lead was extended in the second as Zach Evancho scored just over three minutes into the period and Kyle Connor added his 31st of the season midway through the frame. Dubuque would get on the board midway through the final period on the 25th USHL career goal for Karson Kuhlman, but it wouldn’t be enough as Romeo backstopped the Phantoms to the victory.
Omaha Lancers 3 @ Fargo Force 2 (SO)
Defenseman Tucker Poolman scored in regulation and the shootout to lead the Lancers to the victory and snap a three-game winless skid (0-1-2). Tyler Hynes, the former Lancers player, put Fargo on the scoreboard less than four minutes into the game with his 20th goal of the season. Poolman would respond less than three minutes later as he tallied his 15th goal of the year. After a scoreless second, Anthony Angello put Omaha on top with six minutes to play in regulation. Fargo made a late charge by pulling their goaltender in favor of the extra attacker and Hunter Warner netted the equalizer with 38 seconds remaining to push the game to overtime. Following a scoreless overtime session, Jake Randolph and Poolman converted in the shootout for the Lancers to earn the victory. Hayden Hawkey made 25 saves and stopped both Fargo shootout attempts to pick up the win. Fargo goaltender Mathias Israelsson had 47 saves in the loss, including 20 in the first period.
Tri-City Storm 2 @ Des Moines Buccaneers 5
Danny Elser scored four goals to lead the Buccaneers to their 20th victory of the season and snap a seven-game losing streak. Elser started things early as he scored just under four minutes into the game and added a second tally a little more than three minutes later. Dan Labosky would get Tri-City on the scoreboard late in the period, but Patrick Grasso would respond for the Bucs just 52 seconds later to make it 3-1. Cody Milan had the lone tally of the second period to bring the Storm within a goal. Elser completed his first USHL hat trick midway through the third and then added his fourth tally with an empty netter in the final moments. Ryan Ruck made 29 saves to earn the win for Des Moines while Hayden Lavigne had 41 stops in the loss for the Storm.
Waterloo Black Hawks 5 @ Cedar Rapids RoughRiders 1
Five different players netted a goal as the Black Hawks earned their USHL-leading 43rd victory of the season and clinched at least a share of the Anderson Cup title. Andrew Poturalski got Cedar Rapids on the scoreboard just before the first period expired with his 40th USHL career goal. Waterloo then capitalized on the power play in the second as Peter Krieger netted his 25th of the season and defenseman Brandon Montour added his 14th. It was all Waterloo in the third period also as Patrick Russell scored his fourth goal over the last five games and defenseman Mark Friedman tallied his 10th of the year. Derek Pratt closed out the win with an empty netter in the closing seconds. The Black Hawks outshot Cedar Rapids 34-16 and goaltender Cal Petersen made 15 saves to earn the victory.
Sioux Falls Stampede 4 @ Lincoln Stars 6
Hunter Anderson had a USHL career high three-point night (1g, 2a) to lead the Stars to victory and help snap a three-game winless skid (0-2-1). Anderson started the scoring midway through the first, Christian Lampasso scored 1:35 later, and Blake Christensen tallied 58 seconds after that to make it a 3-0 lead. Sioux Falls responded with two goals in 24 seconds midway through the middle period as Dakota Joshua and Chad Duchesne scored, but Brandon Smith scored his 21st of the season just before the period expired to make it 4-2 in favor of the Stars. Tony Calderone scored his 24th of the season early in the third for Sioux Falls, but John Simonson netted his 28th for the Stars and defenseman Zach Frye extended the lead with his ninth tally of the year. Nolan Gluchowski scored a goal midway through the period for Sioux Falls but it wouldn’t be enough as the Stars held on for the victory. Michael Bitzer made 29 saves for Lincoln to post his 40th USHL career victory.
Muskegon Lumberjacks 3 @ Chicago Steel 1
Eric Schierhorn made 30 saves to lead the Lumberjacks to their 30th win of the season and keep them in the race for the final playoff spot. Matt Iacopelli scored his 41st goal of the season just four minutes into the game and then Jack Rowe tallied his fourth goal over his last three games late in the period for Muskegon. John Schilling got Chicago on the scoreboard late in the second, but it wouldn’t be enough as Trevor Morbeck added a late empty net goal and Schierhorn blanked Chicago the rest of the way. It was the 20th victory of the season for Schierhorn who has won each of his last three starts. The loss eliminated Chicago from playoff contention.
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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