Nathan Smith, Cedar Rapids RoughRiders (courtesy Hickling Images)
Below is a recap of Wednesday's USHL game:
With their 5-1 win over Madison last night, the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders are now 9-1-0-0 in their last 10 games and sit just one point back of second place in the Eastern Conference standings. The RoughRiders jumped out to a 3-0 lead through 20 minutes of play, thanks to goals from Liam Walsh, Nathan Smith and Ethan Wolthers, and Smith added his second goal of the game with just over two minutes to play in the second period to extend Cedar Rapids' lead to 4-0 after 40 minutes. Joe Hankinson's fifth goal of the season made it a 5-0 game just under four minutes into the final frame, ad Skylar Gutierrez broke the shutout to get Madison on the board and complete the scoring with just 36 seconds remaining in regulation. Grant Silianoff and Jason Polin both dished out a pair of assists, and Blake Pietila made 20 saves on 21 shots for his seventh victory in his last eight starts.
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 17th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2018-19. The USHL had a record 45 players selected at the 2018 NHL Draft, more than any junior league in the world, 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.