Saturday marked the penultimate day of USHL games at the 2017 USHL Fall Classic, and there was no slow down in the amount of exciting moments and storylines throughout the day. Below are five takeaways from day 4 of the 2017 USHL Fall Classic.
Goodsir Gets Fourth Hat Trick of Fall Classic
For the fourth straight day at the 2017 USHL Fall Classic, a player netted a hat trick. Today's three-goal scorer was Adam Goodsir of the Tri-City Storm. The University of Denver commit scored a trio of 5-on-3 power play goals in the Storm's 6-3 victory over the Muskegon Lumberjacks. Goodsir was selected to the USHL All-Rookie First Team last season, and if he continues this type of trajectory, Tri-City fans could be in for a special season from #12. Marc Del Gaizo picked up a pair of goals in the loss for Muskegon.
Flying Aces Balance on Display
The Central Illinois Flying Aces knocked off the Madison Capitols 3-2 on Saturday afternoon, thanks to strong offense from their veterans and newcomers up and down the lineup. Michigan commit Calen Kiefiuk, Will Garin and Regan Cavnagh all found the back of the net for Central Illinois in the victory. It wasn't just the veterans getting in on the offense, however, as Mike Callahan, Nikita Sokolov, Maxim Andreev and Drew Elser all added assists in the win. First-year head coach Mike Watt has to be excited for the upcoming season knowing he has players up and down the lineup, regardless of how much USHL experience they have, who can contribute on a nightly basis.
U18s Usurp Omaha
For the second time in two games at the 2017 USHL Fall Classic, Team USA's U18 squad looked strong once again in their 5-1 victory over the Omaha Lancers. Nine different players picked up at least one point, including 2018 NHL Draft prospects Bode Wilde and Oliver Wahlstrom, who recorded a goal and assist each in the win. Drew DeRidder stopped 23 of 24 shots in the victory and looks primed for a solid second season in junior hockey, after spending last year with the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders.
Phantoms Power Past Fighting Saints
A four-goal second period led the Youngstown Phantoms to a 6-3 victory over the Dubuque Fighting Saints. Gueorgui Feduolov scored twice for Youngstown, and both Dalton Hunter and Curtis Hall added a goal and an assist each. Hall looks ready for a breakout season, a year after he put up 21 points )7G, 14A) in 59 games as a 16-year-old. The Yale commit looks big, strong, fast, and will be one of the leaders for a Phantoms team that is trying to get back to the Clark Cup Playoffs for the second straight season.
Dugan Does Work
After winning the 2017 Clark Cup, the Chicago Steel are not looking to rebuild this year, but reload and become the first team since Omaha in 1993 & 1994 to repeat as Clark Cup champions. Based on what they've shown so far in the preseason, especially in the Fall Classic, that appears to be the case. In a 5-3 victory over Des Moines last night, Jack Dugan scored twice, and looks to be one of the key offensive pieces for the Steel this season. Chicago traded up to select the Rochester, NY native with the second overall in the 2017 USHL Phase II Draft, and based on the preseason he's having so far, that investment looks like it's going to pay off. Dugan has three points (2G, 1A) in four preseason contests this year and will look to carry over that success to the regular season.
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 16th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2017-18. 30 or more players from the USHL have been selected in five 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.