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USHL WEEKLY: Week 1

09/28/2016, 6:45pm CDT
By USHL

USHL alumni news, team recaps and weekend previews.

 

NHL News

 

Thomas Vanek (Sioux Falls Stampede) is currently playing in the World Cup Final with Team Europe. The Detroit Red Wings forward has one assist in prelim games. Johnny Gaudreau (Dubuque Fighting Saints) led Team North America in scoring with four points and two goals in three games. Auston Matthews (Team USA) scored three points, while Jack Eichel added two in the tournament. Joe Pavelski (Waterloo Black Hawks) led Team USA in scoring with two points and one goal. John Gibson (Team USA) went 1-0-0 with a .932 SV% for Team North America.

 

 

Bloomington Thunder

 

Last’s Week Record: 0-1-0

Overall Record: 0-1-0-0 (0 PTS, T-7th in East)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 9/30 vs. Chicago, Saturday, 10/1 vs. Cedar Rapids

 

The Thunder dropped their only game of the season falling 7-3 to the Muskegon Lumberjacks. Despite the loss, there were some positive signs from the Thunder, who advanced all the way to the Eastern Conference Final last season. Swedish rookie defenseman Erik Ullman had two points (1 G, 1 A) over the weekend, and USHL veterans Jake Durflinger and William Fallstrom scored their first goals of the season on Saturday night. Bloomington will look to rebound this upcoming weekend as they host a pair of games against Eastern Conference rivals Chicago and Cedar Rapids.

 

 

Cedar Rapids RoughRiders

 

Last Week’s Record: 0-0-1

Overall Record: 0-0-1 (1 PT, 6th in East)

Upcoming Games: Friday 9/30 vs. Sioux Falls, Saturday, 10/1 at Bloomington

 

The RoughRiders were the only team in the USHL to pick up a single point over the weekend as they were edged 2-1 in overtime by Eastern Conference rival Dubuque in the opening game of the season for both teams. Sam Sternschein picked up his first tally of the year in the game. Zac Robbins also got on the scoresheet for the first time this season as he assisted on Sternschein’s goal. Goaltender Zack Larocque was solid between the pipes in his first outing, stopping 27 of 29 Dubuque shots to earn his team a point in the standings. The RoughRiders will host Western Conference opponent Sioux Falls at the stable on Friday night before heading to Bloomington to take on the Thunder on Saturday evening.

 

 

Chicago Steel

 

Last Week’s Record: 1-0-0

Overall Record: 1-0-0 (T-2nd in East)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 9/30 at Bloomington, Saturday, 10/1 vs. Dubuque

 

It was a very successful first game of the season for the Steel as they shutout the Green Bay Gamblers, a playoff team from last season, 4-0 on Saturday at Fox Valley Ice Arena. Greg Printz had two goals on the night, and the Steel also picked up tallies from Johnny Walker and veteran Jake Jaremko. The defense also jumped into the scoring, as first year blueliner Wyatt Aamodt earned a pair of assists in the shutout victory. Ales Stezka was outstanding in goal, stopping all 24 shots he faced for the second shutout of his career, a performance that earned him CCM USHL Goaltender of the Week honors. The Steel will look to build on their season opening win this weekend with a pair of games against Eastern Conference rivals – Friday at Bloomington and Saturday vs. Dubuque

 

 

Des Moines Buccaneers

 

Last Week’s Record: 1-0-0

Overall Record: 1-0-0 (T-2nd in West)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 9/30 at Lincoln, Saturday, 10/1 vs. Omaha

 

The Buccaneers also picked up their first victory of the season on opening night, dispatching of in-state rival Waterloo 3-1 on Saturday at Buccaneer Arena. Chris Beger, Erik Holmstrom and Kobe Roth all scored their first goals of the season in the win. Collin Rutherford had two assists and veteran goaltender Jan Ruzicka stopped 35 of 36 shots he faced to get his first win of the year. Special teams were key in the win as Des Moines went 1/2 on the power play while killing off all five Waterloo opportunities with the man advantage. The Bucs will head to Lincoln to take on the Stars on Friday before heading home to host the Omaha Lancers on Saturday.

 

 

Dubuque Fighting Saints

 

Last Week’s Record: 1-0-0

Overall Record: 1-0-0 (2 PTS, T-2nd in East)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 9/30 vs. Green Bay, Saturday, 10/1 at Chicago

 

The Fighting Saints earned an exhilarating opening night victory thanks to a Jacob Semik overtime goal that gave Dubuque a 2-1 victory at Eastern Conference rival Cedar Rapids on Saturday. Regen Cavanagh scored the other Saints goal in the win. Returning netminder Jaxon Castor stopped 27 of 28 RoughRiders shots, including a couple of highlight reel saves, to give his team the opening night victory. The Saints look to go for wins two and three over the weekend as they welcome Green Bay to the Mystique Ice Center on Friday before traveling to Chicago on Saturday to take on the Steel at Fox Valley Ice Arena.

 

 

Fargo Force

 

Last Week’s Record: 1-0-0

Overall Record: 1-0-0 (2 PTS, T-2nd in West)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 9/30 vs. Waterloo, Saturday, 10/1 at Sioux City

 

The Force also picked up a victory in their opening game of the season as they picked up a 7-4 road victory over the Omaha Lancers at Ralston Arena. Both Jack Adams and CCM USHL Defenseman of the Week Clayton Phillips scored twice in the win. CCM USHL Forward of the Week and Blake Lizotte tallied five assists, including three primary helpers. Matthew Murray turned 26 Omaha shots aside to get his first victory of the year. Fargo will host Waterloo on Friday before traveling to Sioux City to take on the Musketeers on Saturday night.

 

 

Green Bay Gamblers

 

Last Week’s Record: 1-1-0

Overall Record: 1-1-1 (2 PTS, T-2nd in East)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 9/30 at Dubuque

 

Green Bay was one of the four USHL teams to play twice on opening weekend. The Gamblers split their pair of games, defeating in-state rival Madison 3-2 on Friday before falling 4-0 to the Chicago Steel on Saturday. CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game MVP Casey Mittlestadt scored his first USHL goal of the year in the win over the Capitols. John Leonard and Jason Dhooghe also scored to help give Green Bay the victory. Maksim Zhukov, a Russian rookie netminder, stopped 25 shots to get his first win of the year. The Gamblers will only play once this weekend as they will head to Dubuque to battle with the Fighting Saints on Friday night.

 

 

Lincoln Stars

 

Last Week’s Record: 0-1-0

Overall Record: 0-1-0 (0 PTS, T-6th in West)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 9/30 vs. Des Moines, Saturday 10/1 at Tri-City

 

The Stars put up a good fight on Friday night before ultimately falling 3-1 to the defending Clark Cup champion Tri-City Storm. Chayse Primeau scored the only goal of the game for Lincoln, a beautiful shorthanded tally in the third period. Despite the loss, Cayden Primeau was solid in goal for Chris Hartsburg’s team, as he stopped 28 of 31 shots. Lincoln will look to rebound with a pair of games over the weekend – at home against the Des Moines Buccaneers on Friday night and at Tri-City on Saturday night.

 

 

Madison Capitols

 

Last Week’s Record: 0-1-0

Overall Record: 0-1-0 (0 PTS, T-7th in East)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 9/30 at Omaha

 

The Capitols played well despite a 3-2 loss to the Green Bay Gamblers on Friday. USHL veteran Marcel Godbout and Wisconsin native Mick Messner were the goal scorers for the Capitols. Eugene Fadyeyev and Cole Hults also picked up their first points of the season while Daniel Lebedeff played well, stopping 31 Green Bay shots. Madison will suit up only once this weekend as they will travel to Omaha on Friday to face off with the Lancers at Ralston Arena.

 

 

Muskegon Lumberjacks

 

Last Week’s Record: 1-1-0

Overall Record: 1-1-0 (2 PTS, T-2nd in East)

Upcoming Games: Saturday, 10/1 vs. Team USA

 

After a loss to Team USA in the season opener, the Lumberjacks responded in a big way on Saturday night, taking down the Bloomington Thunder 7-3 on the road. Logan Drevitch and Zach Berzolla tallied two goals each while Matt Steeves, Casey Gilling and Scooter Brickey all picked up their first tallies of the year. Derek Daschke and Aleksi Halme earned a pair of assists each, and Quinnipiac commit Keith Petruzzelli made 28 saves to give John Lafontaine his first win as head coach in Muskegon. The Lumberjacks only game this upcoming weekend will be a rematch with Team USA at L.C. Walker Arena on Saturday.

 

 

Omaha Lancers

 

Last Week’s Record: 0-2-0

Overall Record: 0-2-0 (T-6th in West)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 9/30 vs. Madison, Saturday, 10/1 vs. Des Moines

 

The Lancers were competitive in both of their games over the weekend, ultimately falling 7-4 to Fargo on Friday and 2-1 to the Sioux City Musketeers on Saturday. On Friday, both Pierce Crawford and Austin Alger scored twice for the Lancers. One of Alger’s tallies, a beautiful between-the-legs finish on a rebound opportunity, was featured as the #5 play on SportsCenter’s Top 10. Erlends Klavins picked up the opening goal on Saturday. The Lancers will look to rebound with a pair of weekend tilts at Ralston Arena. The Madison Captiols will come to town on Friday before the Des Moines Buccaneers head in on Saturday.

 

 

Sioux City Musketeers

 

Last Week’s Record: 1-0-0

Overall Record: 1-0-0 (2 PTS, T-2nd in West)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 9/30 at Tri-City, Saturday, 10/1 vs. Fargo

 

Sioux City got the season off on the right foot, starting with a 2-1 victory over the Omaha Lancers on Saturday night. Veteran Jackson Keane had two points (1 G, 1 A) in the win while Penn State commit Connor McMenamin scored the other Sioux City goal, his first career USHL goal in his first career USHL game. Defensemen Brady Ferner and Keegan Mantaro also earned their first points of the season with an assist each. In goal, it was Matiss Kivlenieks who earned the victory by stopping 20 of the 21 shots he faced for his first USHL victory. Sioux City will face a pair of Western Conference opponents this weekend as they head to Tri-City for a date with the Storm on Friday before returning home on Saturday to host the Fargo Force.

 

 

Sioux Falls Stampede

 

Last Week’s Record: 1-0-0

Overall Record: 1-0-0 (2 PTS, T-2nd in West)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 9/30 at Cedar Rapids, Saturday, 10/1 vs. Waterloo

 

The Denny Sanford PREMIER Center was rocking on Saturday night as 9,014 Stampede fans packed it in to watch Sioux Falls knock off the defending Clark Cup champion Tri-City Storm 3-2 by way of the shootout. The Stampede held leads of 1-0 and 2-1 thanks to goals by Eric MacAdams and Jeff O’Neill, but the Storm answered back each time to send the game to a shootout. Matthew Quercia tallied the first shootout goal for Sioux Falls before MacAdams scored a beautiful goal to seal the win for the Stampede. Former Pikes Peak Miners netminder Jeremy Swayman had one of the best performances of the weekend in goal as he turned aside 48 of 50 Storm shots to give his team the victory. Sioux Falls will head to Cedar Rapids on Friday before coming home on Saturday to host the Waterloo Black Hawks.

 

 

Team USA

 

Last Week’s Record: 2-0-0

Overall Record: 2-0-0 (4 PTS, 1st in East)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 9/30 vs. Youngstown, Saturday, 10/1 vs. Youngstown, Saturday, 10/1 at Muskegon

 

Team USA got off to the best start of any team in the league over the weekend as they played twice and won twice.  The U17s hosted Muskegon in the season opener on Friday night and walked away with a very convincing 7-2 victory thanks to six different goal scorers – Spencer Stastney, Oliver Wahlstrom, Patrick Giles, Jake Pivonka, Bode Wilde and Joel Farabee, who scored twice. Jack DeBoer and Jake Wise had two assists each and Keegan Karki made 29 saves to get the win. On Saturday, the U18s hosted the Youngstown Phantoms and walked away with a 5-3 victory. Brady Tkachuk, Josh Norris, Jacob Tortora, Evan Barratt and Graham Slaggert were the goal scorers in the win. Max Gildon added a pair of assists while Dylan St. Cyr turned away 23 Phantoms shots to keep Team USA’s record unblemished. They will host Youngstown against on Friday before a rematch with a double-header on Saturday.

 

 

Tri-City Storm

 

Last Week’s Record: 1-0-1

Overall Record: 1-0-1 (3 PTS, 1st in West)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 9/30 vs. Sioux City, Saturday 10/1 vs. Lincoln

 

The defending Clark Cup champions managed to pick up at least a point in both of their games over the weekend, which is especially impressive since both of those games were played away from Kearney, NE. The Storm picked up a 3-1 win over the Lincoln Stars on Friday before falling 3-2 in the shootout to the Sioux Falls Stampede on Saturday. Linus Weissbach, Monte Graham and Joe Cipollone found the back of the net in the win over Lincoln while Dayton Rasmussen made 27 saves to start Tri-City’s season off on the right foot. The Storm then overcame deficits of 1-0 and 2-1 to Sioux Falls to force extra time and pick up a point in the standings thanks to tallies from Paul Washe and Wyllum Deveaux. The Storm will host a pair of games this weekend. They will raise the 2016 Clark Cup championship banner before their game against Sioux City on Friday. They will then host the Lincoln Stars for a rematch on Saturday.

 

 

Waterloo Black Hawks

 

Last Week’s Record: 0-1-0

Overall Record: 0-1-0 (0 PTS, T-6th in West)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 9/30 at Fargo, Saturday, 10/1 at Sioux Falls

 

Waterloo dropped their only game of opening weekend as they fell 3-1 to the Des Moines Buccaneers at Buccaneer Arena. Unfortunately, the Black Hawks ran into a hot goaltender as Jan Ruzicka stopped 34 shots and helped kill all five Waterloo power plays. Emil Ohrvall scored the lone Black Hawks goal. Nick Swaney also tallied his first point of the season with an assist on the Ohrvall goal. Severi Isokangas started in his first USHL game and stopped 16 shots. Waterloo will play a pair of road games against fellow Western Conference teams over the weekend – at Fargo on Friday and at Sioux Falls on Saturday.

 

 

Youngstown Phantoms

 

Last Week’s Record: 0-1-0

Overall Record: 0-1-0 (T-7th in East)

Upcoming Games: Friday, 9/30 at Team USA, Saturday, 10/1 at Team USA

 

Despite a 5-3 loss to Team USA on Saturday, there were plenty of positives for the Youngstown Phantoms. Chase Gresock tallied a goal and added an assist, Austin Pooley and Coale Norris both scored their first goals of the season, and new goaltender Darion Hanson stopped 30 shots. The Phantoms will again travel to Plymouth this weekend and look to rebound as they will face Team USA for games both Friday and Saturday.

 

 

Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 15th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2016-17.  30 or more players from the USHL have been selected in four consecutive NHL Drafts,  and more than 400 players on team rosters last season committed to NCAA Division I schools, further establishing the USHL as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent.

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Tag(s): Recaps