Photo by Hickling Images
Below are five takeaways from Friday's USHL games:
5. Ellis, Peeters, Phantoms Extend Streaks
The Youngstown Phantoms are now winners of six straight games and sit alone atop the Eastern Conference thanks to an impressive 5-3 road victory over the Sioux Falls Stampede. Tommy Parrottino found the back of the net twice in the win, while Matthew Thomson, Julian Kislin and Matthew Barry also scored in a game that saw six different lead changes. In addition to the big win, Max Ellis extend his point streak to nine games with an assist on Parrottino's first goal. The Notre Dame commit continues to sport the longest active point streak in the USHL, with 12 points (5G, 7A) in those contests. Wouter Peeters has now won five straight starts in goal for the Phantoms with his 21-save performance.
4. Bucs Bust Out
The Des Moines Buccaneers came into the weekend looking to keep pace in the competitive Western Conference and did just that, tripling up the Sioux City Musketeers 9-3 at Buccaneer Arena. Des Moines scored three times in the first period, four times in the middle frame and twice in the final 20 minutes. Chase Ellingson and Luke Manning both scored twice, while Marshall Rifai, Braden Costello, Julian Napravnik, Erik Urbank and Nicolas Werbik also lit the lamp int the victory. The Buccaneers also had six players register multiple-point efforts: Ellingson (2G, 1A), Manning (2G, 0A), Napravnik (1G, 1A), Urbank (1G, 1A), Colin Ugbekile (0G, 3A) and Marcus Dickerson (0G, 2A). Christian Stoever picked up his first USHL win in goal by stopping 19 of the 22 Musketeers shots he faced.
3. Saints Soar Past Capitols
Another team that saw an offensive outburst on Friday night was the Dubuque Fighting Saints, who took down the Madison Capitols at the Mystique Ice Center by a score of 7-1. After Alec Broetzman scored on a beautiful two-on-one to open the scoring and give Madison a 1-0, the Fighting Saints responded by scoring the next seven goals of the game. Quinn Preston tied the game with a slick shorthanded goal, his first of two tallies, with just under two minutes remaining in the first period and Dubuque never looked back, scoring five times in the second period and once in the third. Dalton Hunter scored his first goal as a member of the Fighting Saints, Jake Hale picked up his first USHL goal, and Logan Pietila, Scott Corbett and Jonatan Asplund also found the back of the net for Dubuque. Pietila added a pair of helpers and Cole Weaver stopped 19 of the 20 shots he faced to move to 3-1-0-0 on the season.
2. Lancers Knock off Storm
The Omaha Lancers went into the Viaero Center to face an in-state rival and one of the best teams in the USHL in the Tri-City Storm, and the visitors walked out with a 3-1 victory and their fifth straight victory. As is the case with most games the Storm have played this year, it was a low-scoring affair, with neither team able to find the back of the net through the first 40 minutes of play. Tri-City opened the scoring less than three minutes into the third period with an Adam Goodsir shorthanded tally, but the Lancers responded in a huge way, scoring three times in the final 14:23 of the game to earn the victory. Mick Kohler tied the game on the power play three minutes after Goodsir's goal, Cam Reagan gave Omaha the lead with just over two minutes to play and Ethan Price added an empty-net tally to seal the win. Vinny Purpura was stellar in goal, stopped 26 of the 27 Tri-City shots he faced for his third straight victory.
1. Perfect Pietila
The Cedar Rapids RoughRiders welcomed Eastern Conference rival Chicago to The Stable on Friday night and took down the Steel by a score of 2-0. The story of the game was Blake Pietila, who stopped all 25 Chicago shots he faced for his first career USHL shutout. The Michigan Tech commit also moved over the .500 mark with the victory, as he now sports a 4-3-0-1 record on the season. Jordan Timmons opened the scoring less than five minutes into the game and the RoughRiders were able to make that goal hold up until the UConn commit added an empty-net goal, his second tally of the game and sixth goal of the season, to seal the victory for Cedar Rapids.
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.