Photo by Hickling Images
TRI-CITY STORM  at TEAM USA (U18) 
Joey Cassetti tallied his first goal of the season 6:14 into the game to open the scoring and give Team USA a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes. Grant Mismash doubled the lead on the power play early in the second, and it was 2-0 heading into the final frame. Linus Weissbach finished off a beautiful passing play to cut the lead in half, but Team USA responded with a shorthanded goal from Sean Dhooghe and an empty-netter from Scott Reedy to make it a 4-1 game. Josiah Slavin scored for the Storm with just 27 seconds remaining to complete the scoring. The Erie, CO native has now tallied in back-to-back games. Quinn Hughes dished out two assists and continues to lead Team USA in scoring, while Adam Scheel stopped 16 of the 18 shots he faced for his third victory of the year.
SIOUX FALLS STAMPEDE  at YOUNGSTOWN PHANTOMS 
The Stampede returned back to the .500 mark with a 3-1 road victory over the Youngstown Phantoms. All the scoring in the game occurred in the first period. Sioux Falls jumped out to a 2-0 lead courtesy of Eric MacAdams and Jack Doremus. Two minutes later, Eric Esposito notched his eighth goal of the year to cut the lead in half to 2-1, but less than two minutes after Esposito's tally, Doremus scored his second goal of the period to regain the two-goal advantage for Sioux Falls and complete the scoring. The Phantoms outshot the Stampede 28-23 in the game, and both team's penalty killing units were perfect, finishing a combined 8/8 in the game. Jeremy Swayman made 27 saves on 28 shots in the win.
DUBUQUE FIGHTING SAINTS  at MUSKEGON LUMBERJACKS  SO
38 seconds into the game, Muskegon's Matt Steeves scored his 11th goal of the season to open the scoring. Two minutes later, Mikael Hakkarainen doubled the lead, and Andrei Svechnikov made it a 3-0 game less than 90 seconds after that. Collin Adams picked up an assist on Svechnikov's goal for his 100th career USHL point. Colin Theisen earned his team-leading 19th goal of the season to make it a 3-1 game heading into the second period. After a scoreless middle frame, Quinn Preston scored his eighth of the season, a power play tally, to make it 3-2 with just 4:36 remaining in regulation. A minute and a half later, Theisen notched his second of the game and 20th of the season, second among all USHL players, to tie the game and send the teams to overtime. Zach Solow picked up his league-leading 30th assist of the season on the goal, while Cole Guttman earned the other helper to extend his point streak to 12 games. After a scoreless overtime period, Svechnikov scored the only goal of the shootout to give the Lumberjacks the 4-3 victory. Keith Petruzzelli made 24 saves, in addition to all three Dubuque attempts in the shootout. Muskegon is now just one point shy of the Fighting Saints for second place in the Eastern Conference standings.
CEDAR RAPIDS ROUGHRIDERS  at CHICAGO STEEL 
Chicago jumped out to a 2-0 lead through one period thanks to goals from Reggie Lutz and Jack Badini. Badini's tally was his team-leading 17th of the season. Steven Agriogianis cut the lead in half with just 10 seconds remaining int the second, and it was a 2-1 game heading into the final 20 minutes. Chicago scored three times in the third, courtesy of Baker Shore, Walker Duehr and Jake Jaremko to complete the scoring and earn a 5-1 victory. Peter Thome, making his first appearance in two weeks, was outstanding, stopping 26 of the 27 shots he faced. The Steel maintain a two-point advantage atop the USHL standings and a three-point advantage atop the Eastern Conference.
BLOOMINGTON THUNDER  at GREEN BAY GAMBLERS 
In a battle of teams trying to inch closer to playoff position in the Eastern Conference, the Green Bay Gamblers scored a trio of third period goals to knock off the Bloomington Thunder 5-2 at Resch Center. The Thunder's Vladislav Dzhioshvili opened the scoring six minutes into the game, but the Gamblers responded with tallies from Josh Kosack and Chris Grando to take a 2-1 lead into the second period. Griffin Lunn scored his third of the season, the only goal of the period, to tie the game at two heading into the final 20 minutes. Dante Palecco scored at 4:46 and 11:44 of the third period to give Green Bay a 4-2 lead, and Jared Spooner's 12th of the season into an empty Bloomington net completed the scoring. Spooner dished out two assists, while Connor Mackey tallied four helpers in the win. The Minnesota State University, Mankato commit leads all USHL defensemen in scoring with 29 points (3G, 26A). David Hrenak made 24 saves in the victory to move Green Bay two points ahead of Bloomington in the Eastern Conference standings.
DES MOINES BUCCANEERS  at SIOUX CITY MUSKETEERS 
Sioux City maintained a four-point lead atop the Western Conference with a 3-0 home shutout of the Des Moines Buccaneers, who fell into a tie for third place in the standings with the loss. Goals from Marcel Godbout and Sampo Ranta gave the Musketeers a 2-0 lead through 20 minutes of play. Late in the second period, Eeli Tolvanen scored his 17th goal of the season to complete the scoring. Tolvanen also added an assist in the win, while Matiss Kivlenieks stopped all 30 shots he faced for his second shutout and league-leading 20th victory of the season. The Minnesota State University, Mankato commit also leads the USHL in both GAA (1.73) and SV% (.938).
OMAHA LANCERS  at WATERLOO BLACK HAWKS 
The Black Hawks scored twice in every period to knock off the Omaha Lancers 5-2 at Young Arena and sit in a tie for third place in the Western Conference standings. The teams traded goals twice in the opening period to make it a 2-2 game heading into the second. Jackson Cates and Garrett Wait found the back of the net for Waterloo, while Josh DeLuca and Emilio Pettersen scored for Omaha. DeLuca's goal was the first of his USHL career. Shane Bowers and Grant Gabriele tallied in the second period to make it 4-2, while Cates and Nick Swaney scored in the third to secure the victory. Sam Craggs dished out two assists in his Black Hawks debut, Chicago Blackhawks prospect Jake Ryczek tallied a pair of helpers, and Robbie Beydoun made 14 saves in the win.
FARGO FORCE  at LINCOLN STARS 
Fargo maintained sole possession of second place in the Western Conference with a 6-2 victory over the Lincoln Stars in the third straight meeting between the two teams. After the Stars' Justin Richards opened the scoring just 12 seconds into the game, Evan Dougherty and Hank Crone scored for the Force to give the visitors a 2-1 lead heading into the second period. Jack Adams and Cody Haiskanen found the back of the net in the middle frame to extend the lead to 4-2 through 40 minutes, and Lukas Kalble and Clayton Phillips scored in the third. Gustaf Westlund tallied his fifth of the season for Lincoln in the final 20 minutes. Crone and Blake Lizotte dished out two assists each, and Matthew Murray stopped 20 of the 22 shots he faced for his 18th victory of the season.
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.