Photo by Hickling Images
DUBUQUE FIGHTING SAINTS  at TEAM USA (U18) 
It was an eventful opening period between Dubuque and the U18s, as both teams scored twice in the frame. Quinn Preston and Zach Solow tallied for the Fighting Saints, while Evan Barratt and Brady Tkachuk found the back of the net for Team USA. Solow's goal gave him his league-leading 56th point of the season. The U18s struck twice in the middle 20 minutes courtesy of Nate Knoepke and Scott Reedy to take a 4-2 lead into the third period. Josh Norris's 10th goal on the season extended the advantage to 5-2 and completed the scoring. Nine different Team USA players dished out an assist, and Dylan St. Cyr stopped 17 of the 19 shots he faced for his 12th victory of the season.
SIOUX FALLS STAMPEDE  at CHICAGO STEEL  OT
Chicago stretched their lead atop the Eastern Conference to four points thanks to a 4-3 overtime victory over the Sioux Falls Stampede at Fox Valley Ice Arena. The Steel jumped out to a 3-0 lead through 20 minutes thanks to goals from Jake Jaremko, Mitch Lewandowski and Brannon McManus. Jaremko's tally was his 15th of the season and gave him goals in four straight games. After a scoreless second period, the Stampede scored three times in the final frame courtesy of Josh Passolt and two from Boston Bruins prospect Jack Becker , sending the teams to overtime. Three minutes into the extra frame, Jaremko scored his second of the game and 16th of the season to give Chicago the overtime victory. Graham Lllibridge, Ben Mirageas and Eduards Tralmaks dished out two assists each, and Dayton Rasmussen made 30 saves on 33 shots to move to 4-2-0-0 with the Steel and 16-14-0-2 overall.
DES MOINES BUCCANEERS  at FARGO FORCE 
Des Moines is now three points ahead of Fargo for the third spot in the Western Conference standings with a 3-2 win over the Force at Scheels Arena. Isaac Johnson's 12th of the season was the only goal of the first period, giving the Buccaneers a 1-0 lead through 20 minutes. David Keefer doubled the lead with a great shot four minutes into period two, and Des Moines held a 2-0 advantage heading into the final 20 minutes. After Johnson's second of the game made it a 3-0 game, Clayton Phillips and Hank Crone scored for Fargo 2:07 apart to cut the lead to 3-2. Despite a late final push by the Force, Des Moines was able to hang on for the 3-2 win. Braden Costello had two helpers, giving him three points (1G, 2A) in his first two USHL games, and Jan Ruzicka stopped 33 of the 35 shots he faced for his eighth victory in his last 10 starts between the pipes.
CEDAR RAPIDS ROUGHRIDERS  at GREEN BAY GAMBLERS 
Green Bay remains in the hunt for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with a 4-1 win over Cedar Rapids. Zac Robbins' ninth goal of the season was the only tally of the opening 20 minutes. The RoughRiders held that 1-0 lead into the third period, but the Gamblers responded with four goals in the final frame, courtesy of two from Casey Mittelstadt, playing in his first game with Green Bay since Nov. 12, Dante Palecco and Josh Kosack. Mittelstadt also dished out an assist in the win, and Connor Mackey had two helpers, bringing his total to 37, most among USHL defensemen. Maksim Zhukov made 23 saves on 24 Cedar Rapids shots for his third straight win in goal.
WATERLOO BLACK HAWKS  at MADISON CAPITOLS 
Waterloo remains just three points out of the top spot in the USHL with a 4-2 road victory in Madison over the Capitols. The Black Hawks had a solid first period but found themselves down 1-0 through 20 minutes thanks to a goal from Madison's Billy Jerry, giving him points in three straight games. Waterloo then exploded with three goals in the middle frame, two coming from Alex Limoges and one coming from Shane Bowers, to take a 3-1 lead into the third. After Vincent de Mey cut the lead to 3-2, Ben Copeland tallied his fifth of the year to extend the Black Hawks lead to 4-2 and complete the scoring. Both Limoges and Bowers also picked up an assists in the win, giving Limoges eight points (4G, 4A) in his last three games and 19 points (7G, 12A) in 12 games with the Black Hawks. Bowers dished out two helpers to extend is point streak to six games, with 10 points (2G, 8A) in that span. Peter Thome made 28 saves on 30 Capitols shots to move to 8-2-0-0 with Waterloo.
YOUNGSTOWN PHANTOMS  at OMAHA LANCERS 
Youngstown remains five points ahead of Green Bay for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with a 4-1 win in Omaha. The Phantoms held a 2-0 lead after the first period thanks to goals from Tommy Apap and former Lancers forward Pierce Crawford. Chase Gresock picked up the only tally of the second, extending the Youngstown advantage to 3-0. Evan Wisocky made it a 4-0 game 8:45 into the final 20 minutes, and Noah LaLonde found the back of the net just five seconds later to get Omaha on the board and complete the scoring. Ivan Kulbakov moved to 26-13-0-3 on the season with a 15-save performance.
TEAM USA (U17)  at SIOUX CITY MUSKETEERS 
Sioux City remains atop the USHL standings by two points with a 2-1 victory over the U17s at Tyson Events Center. The Musketeers jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead through one period of play thanks to goals from Eeli Tolvanen and Solag Bakich just 59 seconds apart. Nine minutes into period two, Jake Goldowski's fifth goal of the season made it a 2-1 game heading into the final frame. Despite outshooting the U17s 19-2 in the third period, the Musketeers were unable to find the back of the net, but were able to hang on for the 2-1 win. Matiss Kivlenieks made 15 saves on 16 shots for his 11th victory in his last 12 starts.
MUSKEGON LUMBERJACKS  at TRI-CITY STORM 
It was a record night for Muskegon, who had two players pick up hat tricks in a 9-1 win over Tri-City, the most goals the Lumberjacks have scored in a game in two years. Austin Albrecht tallied his first goal as a Lumberjack 12 minutes into the opening period to make it a 1-0 game through 20 minutes of play. He then added two more in the middle frame to complete the hat trick, part of a five-goal second period for Muskegon. Austin Alger also scored in the middle frame, and Mikael Hakkarainen found the back of the net twice. Hakkarainen completed his own hat trick, the second hat trick of the game for the Lumberjacks, just 29 seconds into the third period. Collin Adams and Andrei Svechnikov also scored for Muskegon in the final frame. Nicholas Nardella was the lone goal scorer for Tri-City. Svechnikov and Casey Gilling had two assists each, and Keith Petruzzelli made 18 saves on 19 shots for his 19th victory of the season.
BLOOMINGTON THUNDER  at LINCOLN STARS 
The Thunder have now picked up a point in six straight games with a 2-1 win over Lincoln. After a scoreless opening period, Collin Peters scored the only goal of the middle frame as he picked up his second of the year with just 45 seconds to play in the second. Six minutes into the third, August Von Ungern-Sternberg tied the game with his 11th tally of the season, and Jake Durflinger picked up the game-winner with just 2:36 to play in the game. Zach Mirageas dished out the lone assist for Bloomington in the win, and Logan Halladay stopped 31 of the 32 shots he faced for his second straight victory.
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.