Photo by Hickling Images
MUSKEGON LUMBERJACKS  at TEAM USA (U17) 
The Lumberjacks jumped out to a 2-0 lead through one period of play. Marc Del Gaizo's second of the season opened the scoring after a beautiful setup by Collin Adams. Adams then doubled the Muskegon lead on a penalty shot less than five minutes later. It was the New York Islanders prospect's 29th career multi-point game with the two-point effort, and he is now tied for second in USHL scoring with 30 points (16G, 14A). After a scoreless middle frame, Mattias Samuelsson cut the Lumberjacks lead in half at 8:51 of the third period, but Jack McNeely sealed the Muskegon victory thanks to an empty net goal with just 20 seconds remaining. Keith Petruzzelli made 26 saves in the win and now leads all rookie goaltenders with a .912 SV%. Muskegon now sits in fourth place in the Eastern Conference standings with 34 points (16-11-2-0).
WATERLOO BLACK HAWKS  at BLOOMINGTON THUNDER 
The force was strong with the Thunder on Star Wars Night inside U.S. Cellular Coliseum, as they knocked off the Waterloo Black Hawks 8-2. Zach Mirageas scored the first goal of his USHL career with a blast from the point to give Bloomington a 1-0 lead less than three minutes into the game. Not 30 seconds later, Ace Cowans, who was the overtime hero the other night for Waterloo, tied the game at one with his fifth tally of the season. The Thunder then responded with goals from Ethan Somoza and Vladislav Dzhioshvili to take a 3-1 advantage into the second period. Bloomington tacked on four more goals in the middle frame, courtesy of Somoza, Charlie Raith, and two from Mitchell Chaffee. Tarek Baker and Emil Ohrvall scored for their respective teams in the third period. Baker, Somoza, Dzhioshvili, Chaffee, Mitchell Mattson and Alec Mehr all tallied multiple points in the win, and Logan Halladay made 27 saves to earn his 30th career USHL win between the pipes.
DUBUQUE FIGHTING SAINTS  at CEDAR RAPIDS ROUGHRIDERS 
The Fighting Saints moved to 7-3-0-0 in their last 10 games and are now alone in second place in the Eastern Conference following a 8-0 road shutout of in-state rival Cedar Rapids. Goals from Zach Solow, Cole Guttman and two from Colin Theisen put Dubuque up 4-0 through one period of play. Solow also added three assists to extend his point streak to 15 games. The Northeastern commit is now tied for second in USHL scoring. Taylor Brierley made it a 5-0 game midway through the second period, and Theisen completed the hat trick late in the frame to ballon the lead to 6-0. Theisen is now tied for fourth in USHL goals scored with 13. Jacob Hamacher tallied twice in the third period to complete the scoring. Six different Fighting Saints registered multi-point efforts, including three players who tallied at least three points (Theisen, Solow and Casey Staum). With a 22-save performance in net, Jaxon Castor earned his fifth career USHL shutout. He is now tied for first in the USHL with four shutouts this season.
GREEN BAY GAMBLERS  at CHICAGO STEEL 
A pair of Jack Badini shorthanded goals just 11 seconds apart were the difference in the game as the Chicago Steel defeated the Green Bay Gamblers 3-2 at Fox Valley Ice Arena. At 15:09 of the first period, Badini scored the first of his two goals on the night, with assists to Marc Johnstone and Wyatt Aamodt. At 15:20, the Harvard commit doubled Chicago's lead with another shorthanded maker, with the lone assist coming to Johnstone. He is now tied for fourth in the USHL with 13 goals. Dante Palecco scored with just nine seconds remaining in the frame to cut the lead to 2-1 heading into the second period. After a scoreless middle frame, Brannon McManus gave the Steel a two-goal advantage once again about midway through the third. It was the University of Minnesota commit's seventh goal of the season and first as a member of the Steel since being acquired from the Omaha Lancers. Brody Stevens made it a 3-2 game late in regulation, but the Steel were able to hang on for their 20th win of the season and third straight victory. Ales Stezka made 34 saves on 36 shots and is now 11-3-0-2 on the season.
OMAHA LANCERS  at DES MOINES BUCCANEERS  OT
Des Moines is now alone in second place in the Western Conference thanks to a 5-4 overtime win over the Omaha Lancers. The Buccaneers held a 2-1 advantage through one period thanks to two goals from David Keefer. Greg Printz found the back of the net for the Lancers in the opening frame. Printz then tied the game just 26 seconds into the middle period, but Chase Ellingson's second of the season gave Des Moines a 3-2 advantage heading into the third. Tommy Parrottino doubled the Buccaneers lead at 6:49 of the final frame, but goals by Omaha's Cole Gallant and Pierce Crawford tied the game and sent the teams to overtime. Gallant's goal was his first of the season, while Crawford reached double digits with his 10th tally on the year. 2:36 into overtime, Kobe Roth found the back of the net for the eighth time this season to give Des Moines the win. Roth also added an assist, and Jan Ruzicka made 20 saves to move to 10-4-1-1 on the season.
SIOUX FALLS STAMPEDE  at FARGO FORCE 
The Force have now picked up a point in each of their last five contests thanks to a 2-1 home win over the Sioux Falls Stampede. They scored the only goal of the first period courtesy of Shane McMahan. The Stampede evened the score late in the second period with Jason O'Neill's 12th goal of the season. Most of the final frame remained tied as well until McMahan's second of the game and seventh of the season with just 1:20 remaining gave Fargo the 2-1 lead, which they would hold onto for the last 80 seconds of the game to move to 14-11-2-1 on the season. Matt Murray made 25 saves in the win and has now won three of his last four starts. The University of Massachusetts commit is now 13-8-1-0 on the season.
SIOUX CITY MUSKETEERS  at LINCOLN STARS 
The Musketeers held their four-point advantage atop the Western Conference with a 3-2 road victory over the Lincoln Stars. After a scoreless opening period that saw the two teams put up 10 shots each, Connor McMenamin tallied on the power play to give the visitors a 1-0 advantage early in the second. Brandon Schultz evened the score 11 minutes later, but Connor Ford's sixth of the season with just under three minutes to play in the period gave the Musketeers a 2-1 lead heading into the third period. Ethen Frank scored his fourth goal in his last three games 2:25 into the third to make it a 2-2 game, but Solag Bakich put home the game-winner for Sioux City with just 1:03 remaining in the game. Matiss Kivlenieks made 30 saves for his league-leading 16th victory of the season. He also leads the league in GAA (1.74) and is tied for second in SV% (.935).