Photo by Hickling Images
Sioux Falls Stampede  vs. Muskegon Lumberjacks 
Muskegon earned the weekend split with Sioux Falls thanks to a 4-3 victory on Saturday night. Keenan Suthers scored the only goal of the first period to put his team up 1-0. Matt Steeves then doubled the lead early in the second before Sioux Falls scored three straight goals courtesy of Max Johnson, Matthew Quercia and Jason O’Neill to go up 3-2 heading into the third period. Casey Gilling tied the game two minutes into the final frame before Will Smith registered the game-winner for Muskegon about five minutes later. Adam Brizgala evened his record to 2-2-0-0 by stopping 21 shots. The Lumberjacks now sit alone in third place in the Eastern Conference.
Omaha Lancers  vs. Bloomington 
After falling 3-2 on Friday night, the Lancers responded with a 3-2 victory of their own to split the weekend set with the Thunder. Connor Marshall’s third goal of the season gave Omaha a 1-0 lead after one period of play. Jake Durflinger then tied the game about three minutes into the second period, but the Lancers responded thanks to Marshall’s second of the game as well as Erlends Klavins’ second of the year to gain a 3-2 advantage heading into the third period. Despite an early tally from Wyatt Kalynuk in the final frame, the Lancers were able to hang on and take the 3-2 win. Jacob Acton earned the first victory of his USHL career by making 25 saves. Omaha is once more back to .500 at 6-6-0-0.
Waterloo Black Hawks  vs. Dubuque Fighting Saints  (SO)
In a back-and-forth, entertaining second game of the weekend home-and-home, Waterloo swept the weekend over in-state rival Dubuque courtesy of a 5-4 shootout victory. Both teams scored once in the opening frame – Garrett Klee for Waterloo and Patrick Kudla for Dubuque – to make it 1-1 heading into the second period. After Dallas Gerads gave the Fighting Saints a 2-1 lead, Waterloo responded with three goals in eight minutes from Ace Cowans, Nick Swaney and Shane Bowers to take a 4-2 lead after 40 minutes of play. Dubuque then scored twice in the final three minutes with goals from Jacob Hamacher and David Brumm to make it a 4-4 game and send the game to overtime. After a scoreless overtime period, the teams headed to a shootout, where Swaney scored the only goal to give the Black Hawks the 5-4 victory. Severi Isokangas turned 29 of 33 shots aside as well as all the Dubuque attempts in the shootout. Waterloo now sits alone atop the Western Conference thanks to picking up five out of a possible six points in their last three games.
Tri-City Storm  vs. Fargo Force  (SO)
Fargo was another team that was able to split their weekend series courtesy of a 3-2 shootout victory over the defending Clark Cup champions. Despite being outshot 11-4 in the opening period, Christiano Versich scored the only goal of the period to give Fargo a 1-0 lead heading into the second. Danny DiGrande registered the only goal of the middle frame to make it a 1-1 game after 40 minutes of play. The Storm then took a 2-1 lead 36 seconds into the third period thanks to an Alex Limoges goal assisted by Wyatt Bongiovanni. That goal extended Limgoes’ goal streak to six and point streak to seven, while Bongiovanni now sports a five-game point streak. Jack Adams then scored his eighth goal of the season, tied for most in the league, and the two teams headed to extra time. Neither team was able to score in overtime, so the game went to a shootout, where both Adams and Grant Meyer scored for the Force to give their team the victory. Matthew Murray made 31 saves to bump his record to 5-4-0-0.
Lincoln Stars  vs. Green Bay Gamblers  (OT)
The Gamblers picked up the weekend sweep of the Stars thanks to a 3-2 overtime victory. Lincoln’s Henry Bowlby got his team on the board first late in the opening period, and the Stars held a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes. Chris Grando then scored his third goal of the weekend and fourth of the season to make it a 1-1 game heading into the third period. After Casey Mittelstadt gave Green Bay a 2-1 advantage early in the third, Luka Maver’s first goal of the season tied the game at two to send the teams to overtime. At 4:17 of extra time, Jared Spooner scored his sixth goal of the season to give his team the 3-2 win. David Hrenak picked up the victory between the pipes for the Gamblers by stopping 41 of 43 Lincoln shots. Green Bay now sits all alone in second place in the Eastern Conference with 16 points thanks to three straight victories.
Cedar Rapids RoughRiders  vs. Sioux City Musketeeers  (SO)
In the fourth game of the night that needed extra time, the Musketeers knocked off the RoughRiders 4-3 in a shootout to go 2-0-0-0 on the weekend. Brian Rigali scored 47 seconds into the game to give Sioux City a 1-0 lead, a score that would stand until Phillip Knies tallied his fourth of the season 27 seconds into the middle frame to make it a 2-0 game. Austin Martinsen scored late in the second to cut the lead to 2-1 heading into the third period, where Marc McLaughlin scored the first goal of his USHL career about four minutes into the frame to even the score at two. Five minutes later, Brady Ferner gave Sioux City a 3-2 lead, but the RoughRiders responded again, this time with a Jason Polin tally, the first of his USHL career, to make it a 3-3 game and send it into overtime. After a scoreless seven minutes, the teams headed to a shootout. After McLaughlin and Kristian Pospisil both scored in the shootout to send it to extra rounds, Connor McMenamin’s goal in the fourth round gave the Musketeers the victory. Matiss Kivlenieks made 24 saves through 67 minutes as well as three of four attempts in the shootout to earn the victory. Sioux City has now won three straight games and sits in second place in the Western Conference.
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.