Photo by Hickling Images
YOUNGSTOWN PHANTOMS  at CHICAGO STEEL 
Youngstown picked up the weekend sweep of Chicago with a dominant 5-1 victory at Fox Valley Ice Arena. Austin Pooley's team-leading 14th goal of the year was the only tally of the opening period. The Phantoms then scored three times in the second period, courtesy of Max Ellis, Nicolas Werbik and Michael Karow, to blow the game open and take a 4-0 lead into the third period. Alex Esposito tallied in the final frame for Youngstown along with Chicago's Jack Badini, who scored in both games over the weekend. Eric Esposito dished out a pair of assists, and Ivan Kulbakov stopped 23 of the 24 shots he faced for his fourth win in his last five starts.
MADISON CAPITOLS  at DES MOINES BUCCANEERS 
The game was scoreless until late in the first period, when Christopher Berger found the back of the net with just 30 seconds remaining in the frame to put Des Moines up 1-0 heading into the second. Scooter Brickey, Mario Ferraro and Matt Hudie all tallied in the middle frame to make it a 4-0 Buccaneers advantage. 12 seconds into the final 20 minutes, Vincent de Mey got the Capitols on the board, but Julian Napravnik scored twice in 21 seconds late in the period to complete the scoring and give Des Moines the victory. Tommy Parrottino had three assists, Matt Jones dished out a pair of helpers, and Nick MacNab continued his stellar play between the pipes, turning all but one of the 25 shots he saw aside for his eighth win of the season.
CEDAR RAPIDS ROUGHRIDERS  at DUBUQUE FIGHTING SAINTS  OT
The RoughRiders traveled to face the USHL-leading Fighting Saints and came away with a 4-3 overtime victory. Taylor Brierley picked up the only goal of the first period, and it was a 1-0 Dubuque lead after 20 minutes. Cedar Rapids responded with two goals in the second period from Bobby Hampton and Riese Zmolek to take a 2-1 advantage into the third period. Zach Solow tied the game midway through the frame and, thanks to an assist in the game, has three straight two-point games. Dalton Messina regained the lead for the RoughRiders about three minutes later, but Jacob Hamacher tied the game at three with just 1:29 left in regulation to send the teams to overtime. With just 0.9 seconds remaining in the extra session, Zmolek scored his second goal of the game to give Cedar Rapids the 4-3 victory. He also added an assist in the win and now has four points (2G, 2A) in his last two games. Drew DeRidder made 31 saves for his fourth victory in his last six starts.
BLOOMINGTON THUNDER  at FARGO FORCE 
Fargo is now 7-3-0-0 in their last 10 games thanks to a weekend sweep of the Bloomington Thunder, capped off by a 3-2 victory at Scheels Arena on Saturday. Midway through the opening period, Calen Kiefiuk's beautiful backhand shot found the back of the net, and the Thunder took a 1-0 lead into the middle frame. Jack Adams' league-leading 25th goal of the season tied the game five minutes into the second, but Vladislav Dzhioshvili regained the lead for Bloomington just two minutes later, and it was a 2-1 Thunder advantage going into the third. The Force scored the only two goals of the third period to earn the 3-2 win. Martin Sundberg tied the game about nine minutes into the period, and Hank Crone tallied the game winner with just under four minutes to play in the game. Matthew Murray earned his 20th victory over the season with a 23-save performance.
MUSKEGON LUMBERJACKS  at GREEN BAY GAMBLERS 
The Lumberjacks earned the weekend road split with the Gamblers thanks to a 4-2 victory at Resch Center. After Chris Grando scored the only goal of the first period to put Green Bay up 1-0, Muskegon scored the first three goals of the second, courtesy of Mikael Hakkarainen and two from Travis Mitchell, his first two goals of the season. Jared Spooner cut the lead to 3-2 late in the frame, but Casey Gilling scored the only goal of the third period to secure the victory for the Lumberjacks. Garrett Van Wyhe had two assists, and Adam Brizgala made 26 saves in a win that kept Muskegon in a tie for third place in the Eastern Conference standings.
LINCOLN STARS  at OMAHA LANCERS 
Lincoln remains a single point out of the top-half of the Western Conference thanks to a 4-2 victory in Omaha and a split of the home-and-home weekend set with the Lancers. Alex Green's first goal of his USHL career was the only tally of the first period to put Lincoln up 1-0. Ethen Frank scored his 14th goal of the season on a breakaway to double the Stars' advantage through 40 minutes of play. Dominick Mersch's beautiful shot stretched the lead to 3-0 before Ben Lown got Omaha on the board. Mike Gillespie made it 4-1 with 47 seconds left, and Emilio Pettersen scored 20 seconds later to complete the scoring. Josef Korenar made 31 saves on 33 shots for his seventh victory of the season.
TRI-CITY STORM  at WATERLOO BLACK HAWKS 
Waterloo is now tied atop the Western Conference standings with a 5-1 victory over Tri-City. The Black Hawks held a 2-0 lead midway through the second period thanks to goals from Kevin Charyszyn and Jackson Cates. Linus Weissbach's 14th goal of the season cut that lead in half, but Bailey Conger responded about 90 seconds later to give Waterloo a 3-1 lead through 40 minutes. Charyszyn's second goal of the game made it 4-1, and Nick Swaney completed the scoring with his 16th goal of the season and 100th point of his USHL career. Robbie Beydoun picked up his 20th victory of the season with a 21-save performance.
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.