Photo by Hickling Images
TEAM USA (U17)  at YOUNGSTOWN PHANTOMS 
Youngstown is now just one point away from clinching the fourth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with a 4-2 victory over the U17s. After Team USA's Josh Maniscalco opened the scoring 2:34 into the game, Austin Pooley tied the game at one goal apiece with his 20th goal of the season. It remained a 1-1 game until about midway through the second period, when Pooley and Alex Esposito gave the Phantoms a 3-1 with goals just 2:14 apart. Youngstown took that 3-1 lead into the final 20 minutes of play, but Mattias Samuelsson cut the lead to 3-2 four minutes into the third. Despite a late push from the U17s, the only other goal in the game was an Evan Wisocky empty-net tally, giving Youngstown the 4-2 victory. Pierce Crawford dished out a pair of assists and Ivan Kulbakov stopped 18 of the 20 shots he faced for his 29th victory of the season.
TRI-CITY STORM  at CEDAR RAPIDS ROUGHRIDERS 
After a scoreless opening period, Robert Arrak's third goal of the season gave Cedar Rapids a 1-0 lead 2:36 into the second. Tri-City responded with three goals of their own in the middle 20 minutes courtesy of Ronnie Attard, Chase Pilawski and Logan Drevitch to take a 3-1 lead into the third period. Most of the third period was scoreless until Denver commit Adam Goodsir tallied an empty-net tally late in the game to put the Storm up 4-1 and complete the scoring. Wyllum Deveaux dished out a pair of assists and Harrison Feeney picked up the first win of his USHL career between the pipes with a 27-save performance.
MUSKEGON LUMBERJACKS  at CHICAGO STEEL 
Muskegon remains tied with Dubuque for the second seed and the Eastern Conference and home-ice advantage in the first round of the Clark Cup Playoffs thanks to a 5-2 road victory over the Chicago Steel. Six minutes into the opening period, Florida native Mark Cheremeta, playing in only his second career USHL game, found the back of the net for his first career USHL goal to put the Lumberjacks up 1-0. Two minutes later, Jake Jaremko scored for the Steel to tie the game and one, and the score remained 1-1 heading into the second period. Just seven seconds into the middle frame, Tyler Gratton gave the Steel their second lead of the game at 2-1, but Anthony Del Gaizo scored his ninth goal of the season at 12:09 of the second to make it a 2-2 game after 40 minutes of play. Del Gaizo and Matt Steeves scored 41 seconds apart early in the third, and Del Gaizo completed the hat trick later in the frame. The UMass commit now has 11 goals on the season. Marc Del Gaizo dished out a pair of assists and Keith Petruzzelli stopped 36 of the 38 shots he faced, including a save of the year candidate in the third period, for his 22nd win of the season.
DUBUQUE FIGHTING SAINTS  at MADISON CAPITOLS 
For the second time in as many games, Dubuque scored four unanswered goals in the third period, this time to come back and defeat Madison 6-3 at Alliant Energy Center. The Capitols' Kamil Sadlocha opened the scoring less than three minutes into the game before goals from Zach Solow and Austin Rueschhoff made it a 2-1 game in favor of the Fighting Saints. Madison responded with tallies from Noah Weber and Billy Jerry later in the frame, and the Capitols took a 3-2 lead into the first intermission. Following a scoreless second period, Cole Guttman picked up a natural hat trick in the span of 8:45 to give him 27 goals and three hat tricks on the season. Scott Corbett added an empty net goal with just 69 seconds remaining to complete the scoring and give Dubuque a 6-3 win. Dallas Gerads picked up the primary assist on all three of Guttman's goals, Colin Theisen and Jacob Hamacher had two assists each and Evan Fear stopped all 17 shots he faced in relief for his second victory in his last three starts.
SIOUX CITY MUSKETEERS  at SIOUX FALLS STAMPEDE 
Sioux Falls welcomed the Anderson Cup Champions to the PREMIER Center and walked away with a 2-1 victory over Sioux City. It was a scoreless game until Josh Passolt gave the Stampede a 1-0 lead with just over five minutes to play in the first period. It remained a 1-0 game until five and a half minutes into the second period, when Philip Knies found the back of the net for the 21st time this season to even the game at one goal apiece. Just 54 seconds later, Sioux Falls regained the lead, this time at 2-1, thanks to Boston Bruins prospect Jack Becker's 16th goal of the year. The Stampede were able to hang on in the third period to pick up the 2-1 victory. Jeremy Swayman stopped 25 of the 26 Musketeers shots he faced for his seventh win of the year.
FARGO FORCE  at WATERLOO BLACK HAWKS 
The battle for the third seed in the Western Conference playoffs remains up for grabs thanks to Waterloo's 6-2 win over Fargo. The Black Hawks held a 3-0 lead through 20 minutes of play thanks to a pair of goals from Nick Swaney as well as Kevin Charyszyn's 30th goal of the year. Charyszyn is just the fourth player this season to reach the 30-goal plateau. Blake Lizotte picked up the only tally of the middle frame, courtesy of a power play goal, to cut the Waterloo lead to 3-1 heading into the third period. The Black Hawks scored three more times in the final frame, as Garrett Wait, Shane Bowers and Bailey Conger all found the back of the net in the span of 4:20 to put their team ahead 6-1. Lizotte completed the scoring with his 19th goal of the year and second of the game with just over five minutes to play. Wait and Hank Sorensen had two assists each and Alex Limoges picked up three helpers, giving him 24 points (8G, 16A) in his 18 games with Waterloo. Robbie Beydoun made 16 saves on 18 Fargo shots for his ninth win in his last 10 starts between the pipes.
OMAHA LANCERS  at LINCOLN STARS 
Omaha picked up four unanswered goals, including a trio of tallies in the third period, to knock off in-state rival Lincoln 5-2 in the first of two games between the teams this weekend. After a scoreless first period, the Lancers and Stars traded a pair of goals in the middle 20 minutes of play. Gustaf Westlund and Christian Krygier scored for Lincoln, while Filip Suchy and Zak Galambos found the back of the net for Omaha. The Lancers then exploded for three goals in the third period, courtesy of Galambos, Jack Randl and Connor Marshall to pick up the 5-2 victory. Ben Lown dished out three assists, Noah Cates picked up a pair of helpers and Ryan Keane was strong in goal, stopping 28 of the 30 Lincoln shots he faced for the second win of his USHL career.
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.