Photo by Hickling Images
Below are five takeaways from Saturday's USHL games:
1. Another Day, Another Hat Trick
Adam Tisdale has played 10 games this season for the Dubuque Fighting Saints, but none have been quite as special as Saturday night. Dubuque fell to Central Illinois 6-5 in a wild, exciting contest that needed overtime, but the Clarkson commit turned in a memorable performance, recording a hat trick and adding an assist. The goals were the first of his USHL career. He now has tallied six points (3G, 3A) on the season, good to now sit in the top-five in team scoring. The Fighting Saints may have lost on Saturday night, but Tisdale had a night he most cetainly won't forget.
2. Stars Storm Back
Sioux Falls traveled to Lincoln to take on the Stars on Saturday night, and through the first 20 minutes, the Stampede seemed to be in control of the contest. The visitors lead 3-0 after one period of play thanks to goals from Adam Dawe, Kevin Conley and Calgary Flames prospect Mitchell Mattson, but Lincoln did not waiver, mounting a furious comeback over the final 40 minutes to come out with a 5-4 overtime victory. The Stars scored twice in the second period, courtesy of Dominick Mersch and Paul Cotter, to turn a 3-0 hole into a manageable 3-2 deficit heading into the final frame. Atte Tuliara scored his first USHL goal to tie the game and Casey Dornbach gave Lincoln the lead five minutes into the third, but Nolan Walker found the back of the net for the Stampede with just 30 seconds remaining in regulation to send the game to overtime. Early in the extra frame, Cotter added his second goal of the game and fourth of the season to give Lincoln the victory and move the Stars back over .500. Fans were treated to quite a game in the Ice Box last night.
3. Flying Aces Find a Way
The most exciting game of the night, arguably, featured the Central Illinois Flying Aces and Dubuque Fighting Saints. It was a back-and-forth contest that featured seven lead changes and overtime before Central Illinois finally earned the victory in the extra period. The Flying Aces lead 2-0 eight minutes into the game, but a power play goal from Chayse Primeau made it a 2-1 affair heading into the second period. Dubuque then took a 3-2 lead 8:21 into the middle frame after a goal from Scott Corbett and the first of the night from Adam Tisdale. Wojciech Stachowiak's first of his USHL career evened the contest at 3 with just over two minutes to play in the period before Tisdale's second goal gave Dubuque a 4-3 lead heading into the third period. Tyler Madden made it 4-4 12:16 into the final frame, but Tisdale found the back of the net just 46 seconds later to complete the hat trick and give his team a 5-4 lead. That lead wouldn't last long, as Stachowiak's second of the game tied the score at five, sending the teams to overtime. The overtime was as exciting and back-and-forth as regulation. Dubuque came down on a two-on-one rush and hit the crossbar and Flying Aces rushed the other way, where Stachowiak fed Charlie Raith for the overtime winner. This game was certainly one of the most exciting USHL contests that has been played all season.
4. Madison Making Moves
The Madison Capitols have been playing extremely well as of late. They extended their winning streak to three games and are tied for fourth in the Eastern Conference with a 3-1 victory and weekend sweep of the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders. After Cedar Rapids took a 1-0 lead four minutes into the contest, Madison scored the next three goals, one in the first period and two in the final frame, to walk away with the 3-1 win. Cade Borchardt tied the game with five minutes remaining in the first, Ludwig Stenlund gave the Capitols the lead midway through the third after a scoreless middle frame and Alec Broetzman added an empty-net goal to seal the victory. Broetzman has been on a tear lately, scoring in five straight games, with eight points (4G, 4A) over that span. Joey Lamoreaux was outstanding as well, stopping 35 of the 36 shots he faced for his first USHL victory. It was an all-around team victory for Madison, who currently sports the longest active winning streak in the USHL.
5. Tri-City Turns the Table
Tri-City fell 1-0 to Waterloo on Friday night, but the Storm exacted some revenge on the Black Hawks on Saturday, walking out of the Viaero Center with a 1-0 victory of their own and a split of a weekend series between two of the top three teams in the Western Conference standings. The only goal of the game was scored midway through the opening period, thanks to a beautiful shot from Tyler Ward. The goal was the Denver commit's third tally of the season and his second point in three games. Detroit Red Wings prospect Filip Larsson was, once again, outstanding between the pipes. The Swedish netminder stopped all 29 shots he faced for his eighth victory and second shutout of the season. His numbers continue to be outstanding, as he currently leads the USHL with both a 1.41 GAA and .948 SV%. This was as even of a weekend series as possible between the Storm and Black Hawks.
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.