Photo by Hickling Images
TEAM USA (U17)  at BLOOMINGTON THUNDER 
Bloomington has now picked up points in each of their last five games thanks to a 4-1 victory over the U17s at U.S. Cellular Coliseum. Alec Mehr found the back of the net for the only goal of the first period, giving the Thunder a 1-0 lead through 20 minutes of play. It was the Brown University commit's 12th goal of the season and he has now scored in back-to-back games. The Thunder then doubled their lead three minutes into period two with Wyatt Kalynuk's sixth goal and 30th point of the season before Jonathan Gruden's third goal of the weekend got the U17s on the board with just over four minutes left in the second. Bloomington responded quickly, getting a Vladislav Dzhioshvili tally just two minutes later to regain a two-goal advantage heading into the final frame. Bloomington native Brady Smith found the back of the net late in the third to extend the lead to 4-1 and complete the scoring. Logan Halladay stopped 19 of the 20 shots he faced and also dished out an assist en route to his 12th win of the year between the pipes.
SIOUX FALLS STAMPEDE  at FARGO FORCE 
With their 5-2 victory over Sioux Falls, Fargo is now just one point out of the third spot in the Western Conference standings. The Stampede were in control early, getting goals from Paul DeNaples and Jaxon Nelson to take a 2-0 lead just nine minutes into the game. The Force responded early in the middle frame, as Hank Crone and Mark Senden found the back of the net just 20 seconds apart to tie the game two minutes into the second. With just under three minutes remaining in the period, Shane McMahan extended the lead to 3-2 thanks to a beautiful pass from Mitchell Chaffee. Blake Lizotte scored a highlight-reel goal late in the third to make it a 4-2 game, and Crone added an empty net-goal two about three minutes later for his second goal and third point of the night. Cody Haiskanen dished out three assists in the win, and Matthew Murray stopped 16 of the 18 shots he faced for his fifth victory in his last six starts.
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.