The United States Hockey League (USHL) group of alumni playing NCAA Division I hockey this season again factored heavily in the second weekend of Conference playoff action.
Check out how the second weekend of the Playoffs played out, as well as the upcoming schedule for each of the six NCAA DI conferences below.
Quarterfinals: AIC defeats Bentley (2-0)
Brian Rigali (Sioux City Musketeers, 2015-17) picks up a pair of assists as AIC wins Game 1, 5-2.
AIC moves on to the Semifinals thanks in part to goals from Austen Long (Chicago Steel / Lincoln Stars / Omaha Lancers / Tri-City Storm, 2014-19), Chris Dodero (Chicago Steel / Muskegon Lumberjacks / Lincoln Stars / Des Moines Buccaneers, 2012-15) and Rigali.
Quarterfinals: RIT defeats Sacred Heart (2-1)
Dan Willett (Madison Capitols / Lincoln Stars / Bloomington Thunder / Muskegon Lumberjacks, 2012-17) picks up the game’s lone goal, an overtime winner, and Sacred Heart netminder Justin Robbins (Chicago Steel, 2016-19) finishes with 25 saves.
Neil Shea (Chicago Steel / Cedar Rapids RoughRiders, 2017-19) set up the game-winning and insurance goals in a two-point night (0-2-2) while Dante Palecco (Muskegon Lumberjacks / Green Bay Gamblers, 2014-17) and Adam Tisdale (Dubuque Fighting Saints, 2017-18) scored the first and second goals of the night respectively and Robbins made 17 save to even the series.
Willett scores again for RIT while Jake Hamacher (Dubuque Fighting Saints, 2016-17) adds an assist in the series win while Austin Magera (Chicago Steel / Lincoln Stars, 2017-18) scores the lone Sacred Heart goal, assisted by Todd Goehring (Chicago Steel, 2016-18).
Quarterfinals: Mercyhurst defeats Canisius (2-0)
Dante Sheriff (Muskegon Lumberjacks / Fargo Force, 2017-18) picks up an assist on the game-winner in a double overtime thriller, 2-1 winner in Game 1 after Austin Heidemann (Green Bay Gamblers / Sioux Falls Stampede / Sioux City Musketeers, 2018-20) opened the Mercyhurst scoring with a second period goal assisted by Garrett Dahm (Youngstown Phantoms, 2019-20) and Rylee St. Onge (Des Moines Buccaneers, 2018-19) and Cooper Haar (Dubuque Fighting Saints, 2018-19) registered an assist on the lone Canisius goal. Kyle McClellan (Omaha Lancers, 2019-20) turns aside 32 shots, including 13 in the first overtime frame to lead Mercyhurst to the win.
St. Onge (2-0-2) and McClellan (29 saves) were pivotal for Mercyhurst in the series-clinching game while Jonathan Bendorf (Tri-City Storm, 2016-17) scored the third goal for the Lakers.
Quarterfinals: Air Force defeats Army (2-0)
Blake Bride (Sioux Falls Stampede, 2018-19) and Luke Robinson (Dubuque Fighting Saints, 2018-20) score for Air Force in a Game 1 overtime win.
Army fell in overtime for a second-straight night despite Thomas Farrell (Youngstown Phantoms, 2018-19) picking up a point in the contest.
Semifinals: Mercyhurst vs. AIC
Friday, March 18 (4:05 p.m. EST)
Semifinals: Air Force vs. RIT
Friday, March 18 (7:35 p.m. EST)
Championship: Saturday, March 19 (7:35 p.m. EST)
Semifinal: Michigan defeats Notre Dame (1-0)
Michigan opened and closed the game’s scoring with the two-headed monster of Matthew Beniers (USA Hockey NTDP, 2019-21) and Brendan Brisson (Chicago Steel / Green Bay Gamblers, 2018-20) as Beniers picked up the first goal of the game and Brisson found the eventual game-winning goal. Jacob Truscott (USA Hockey NTDP, 2018-20) picked up the secondary assist on the game-winning goal and Erik Portillo (Dubuque Fighting Saints, 2019-20) made 19 saves in the win. Notre Dame’s lone goal came from a trio of USHL alumni as Jack Adams (Fargo Force, 2015-17) found the twine with helpers going to Adam Karshik (Chicago Steel, 2015-17) and Justin Janicke (USA Hockey NTDP, 2019-21).
Semifinal: Minnesota defeats Penn State (1-0)
Ben Meyers (Fargo Force, 2016-19) was the lone player for either side to pick up multiple points (1-1-2) as he and Golden Gophers advanced to the Big Ten Championship thanks to additional goals from Jackson LaCombe (Chicago Steel, 2018-19) and Sammy Walker (Sioux City Musketeers / Lincoln Stars, 2016-18). Tyler Paquette (Des Moines Buccaneers / Green Bay Gamblers, 2017-20) picked up one of Penn States goals and a total of nine USHL alumni added assists in the game.
Championship: Michigan vs. Minnesota
Saturday, March 19 (8:00 p.m. CST)
Quarterfinals: Quinnipiac defeats St. Lawrence (2-0)
Ty Smilanic (USA Hockey NTDP, 2018-20) picks up the eventual game-winning goal in the second period for Quinnipiac and Jordan Steinmetz (Sioux City Musketeers, 2018-19) tallied the lone goal for St. Lawrence in Game 1.
Zach Metsa (Youngstown Phantoms / Central Illinois Flying Aces / Sioux Falls Stampede / Waterloo Black Hawks, 2014-16 & 2017-18) assisted on a double overtime series-clinching goal and Skyler Brind’Amour (USA Hockey NTDP, 2016-17) adds a goal and assist in the Game 2 win.
Quarterfinals: Clarkson defeats Union (2-0)
Ayrton Martino (Omaha Lancers, 2020-21) was the overtime hero for Clarkson as he found the game winner just 95 seconds into the extra frame for his second point of the game (1-1-2) and Noah Beck (Fargo Force, 2019-20) scores the first of the game for Clarkson, assisted by Martino.
Lukas Kalble (Fargo Force, 2016-17) pots the game-winning goal in overtime, his second of the contest, with Kaelan Taylor (Dubuque Fighting Saints, 2018-20) adding the assist while Anthony Callin (Madison Capitols, 2015-18) adds two helpers in the contest and fellow USHL alumni Michael Underwood (Green Bay Gamblers, 2017-18) and Tommy Pasanen (Sioux City Musketeers, 2018-20) tally goals of their own.
Quarterfinals: Colgate defeats Cornell (2-1)
Matthew Stienburg (Sioux City Musketeers, 2018-19) scores and Ian Shane (Chicago Steel, 2019-21) turns aside 16 saves for Cornell as the Big Red take Game 1, 3-1.
Nick Anderson (Sioux Falls Stampede, 2019-20) registers a pair of assists and Ross Mitton (Fargo Force / Omaha Lancers / Lincoln Stars, 2017-20) scores as Colgate levels the series with a Game 2 win.
Mitton scores the game-winning goal to complete the Colgate series comeback with a 2-1 Game 3 win.
Quarterfinals: Harvard defeats RPI (2-1)
Harvard completed a thrilling comeback, spurred entirely by USHL alumni, down 3-0 with less than four minutes to play as Marshall Rifai (Des Moines Buccaneers / USA Hockey NTDP, 2017-18), Ryan Siedem (Central Illinois Flying Aces / Fargo Force / USA Hockey NTDP, 2017-19 & 2020-21) and Matthew Coronato (Chicago Steel, 2019-21) each score to force overtime, with Alex Laferriere (Des Moines Buccaneers, 2018-21) and John Farinacci (Muskegon Lumberjacks / USA Hockey NTDP (2017-19 & 2020-21) each picking up a pair of assists along with Nick Abruzzese (Chicago Steel, 2017-19) and Henry Thrun (USA Hockey NTDP / Dubuque Fighting Saints, 2017-19 & 2020-21) each assisting on the game-tying goal with 15 seconds remaining in overtime. Casey Dornbach (Lincoln Stars, 2016-18) and Thrun then picked up assists on the goal in the extra frame.
Game 2 was RPI’s chance to mount a comeback as the team was down 2-0 before scoring a trio of goals to take a lead into the final minutes of play. Abruzzese forced overtime with a Harvard game-tying goal with under three minutes to play, but RPI’s John Beaton (Youngstown Phantoms, 2019-20) found the overtime winner to force Game 3. Zach Dubinsky (Lincoln Stars / Omaha Lancers, 2017-19 & 2020-21) and Jakub Lacka (Central Illinois Flying Aces, 2017-18) also scored for RPI in the series-tying Game 2.
Farinacci, Dornbach and Coronato all score for Harvard, who never trailed in Game 3, as the Crimson moved on to the Semifinals with a 3-1 win.
Semifinals: Colgate vs. Quinnipiac
Friday, March 18 (4:05 p.m. EST)
Semifinals: Harvard vs. Clarkson
Friday, March 18 (7:35 p.m. EST)
Championship: Saturday, March 19 (TBD)
Opening Round: Boston College defeats New Hampshire 4-3 (OT)
Marc McLaughlin (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders, 2016-18) and Marshall Warren (USA Hockey NTDP, 2017-19) pick up multi-point games as McLaughlin scored twice (2-1-3) and Warren picked up a pair of assists (0-2-2) including McLauglin’s overtime winner as Boston College moves on to the Quarterfinals despite a hat trick from University of New Hampshire’s Tyler Ward (Tri-City Storm, 2017-18).
Opening Round: Providence defeats Vermont 2-1
Brett Berard (USA Hockey NTDP, 2018-20) and Cody Monds (Fargo Force, 2020-21) provide the offense for Providence and Jaxson Stauber (Sioux Falls Stampede, 2017-20) makes 17 saves in the Opening Round win while Joel Maatta (Sioux City Musketeers, 2019-21) scores for Vermont and Gabriel Carriere (Waterloo Black Hawks, 2019-20) made 38 saves in the loss.
Opening Round: Merrimack defeats Maine 6-2
FIlip Forsmark (Tri-City Storm, 2017-19) registers a trio of points (1-2-3) and Liam Walsh (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders, 2015-19) picks up a pair (1-1-2) as Merrimack moves on to the Quarterfinals despite University of Maine getting goals from USHL alumni Lynden Breen (Central Illinois Flying Aces / Fargo Force, 2017-20) and Matthew Fawcett (Sioux City Musketeers, 2016-18).
Quarterfinals: Massachusetts defeats Providence (1-0)
Massachusetts is led to a Quarterfinals win by a four-point night (2-2-4) from Josh Lopina (Lincoln Stars, 2018-20), a trio of assists (0-3-3) from Ryan Ufko (Chicago Steel, 2019-21), a goal and assist (1-1-2) from Captain Bobby Trivigno (Waterloo Black Hawks, 2017-18) and a goal from Cal Kiefiuk (Central Illinois Flying Aces / Bloomington Thunder, 2016-19) despite Riley Duran (Youngstown Phantoms, 2018-19 & 2020-21) and Matt Koopman (Waterloo Black Hawks, 2017-19) finding the net for Providence.
Quarterfinals: Northeastern defeats Boston College (1-0)
Gunnarwolfe Fontaine (Chicago Steel, 2018-20), Justin Hryckowian (Sioux City Musketeers / Cedar Rapids RoughRiders, 2019-21) and Sam Colangelo (Chicago Steel, 2018-20) all score for Northeastern, and goals from Drew Helleson (USA Hockey NTDP, 2017-19) and Warren for Boston College cuts the deficit to 3-2 but the Huskies would hold on and advance to the Semifinals.
Quarterfinals: Connecticut defeats Boston University (1-0)
Vladislav Firstov (Waterloo Black Hawks, 2018-19) and Chase Bradley (Omaha Lancers / Sioux City Musketeers, 2018-21) score for Connecticut in a 3-1 win as the lone Boston University goal comes from a trio of USHL alumni as Domenick Fensore (USA Hockey NTDP, 2017-19) tallied a powerplay with assists coming from Jay O’Brien (Youngstown Phantoms, 2016-18) and Robert Mastrosimone (Chicago Steel, 2017-19).
Quarterfinals: Massachusetts-Lowell defeats Merrimack (1-0)
Semifinals: Connecticut vs. Northeastern
Friday, March 18 (4:00 p.m. EST)
Semifinals: Massachusetts-Lowell vs. Massachusetts
Friday, March 18 (7:30 p.m. EST)
Championship: Saturday, March 19 (7:00 p.m. EST)
Quarterfinals: Western Michigan defeats Nebraska-Omaha (2-0)
Ethen Frank (Lincoln Stars, 2014-17) scores and Josh Passolt (Sioux Falls Stampede, 2015-17) adds a pair of assists as Brandon Bussi (Muskegon Lumberjacks, 2018-19) turns aside 29 saves and adds an assist for himself in Western Michigan’s Game 1 win.
Western Michigan closes out the Quarterfinal series with a 5-4 overtime win as Frank picks up his second assist of the game (0-2-2) in the extra frame winner after Ronnie Attard (Tri-City Storm, 2016-19) picked up three points (1-2-3), Max Sasson (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders / Waterloo Black Hawks / Muskegon Lumberjacks, 2017-21) scored a goal and added an assist (1-1-2) and Jason Polin (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders, 2016-19) added a goal in regulation.
Quarterfinals: Minnesota Duluth defeats St. Cloud State (2-0)
Koby Bender (Muskegon Lumberjacks / Chicago Steel, 2015-17) registers a hat trick in a four-point game (3-1-4) while Noah Cates (Omaha Lancers, 2015-18) adds a trio of points (1-2-3) and Owen Gallatin (USA Hockey NTDP / Fargo Force, 2018-21) picks up a pair of assists (0-2-2) for Minnesota Duluth.
Cates made it five points (3-2-5) in the two game series with a pair of goals (2-0-2), including the overtime tally, to send Minnesota Duluth to the Semifinals. Kobe Roth (Des Moines Buccaneers, 2015-17) and Casey Gilling (Muskegon Lumberjacks, 2014-15 & 2016-17) while Dominic James (Lincoln Stars, 2018-21) added a regulation goal. Despite the loss, Nick Perbix (Omaha Lancers, 2017-18) scored a pair of goals (2-0-2) for St. Cloud State.
Quarterfinals: North Dakota defeats Colorado (2-0)
USA Hockey NTDP teammates (2018-20) Jake Sanderson and Tyler Kleven each score for North Dakota while Jake Schmaltz (Green Bay Gamblers / Chicago Steel, 2018-21) picks up a pair of assists and Zach Driscoll (Omaha Lancers, 2014-15 & 2017-18) makes 15 saves in a North Dakota Game 1 win.
Matteo Costantini (Sioux City Musketeers, 2020-21) opened the scoring and Riese Gaber (Dubuque Fighting Saints, 2018-20) closed it for North Dakota, sandwiching a Stanley Cooley (Lincoln Stars, 2020-21) tally for Colorado, and Driscoll turns away 29 shots to send North Dakota to the Semifinals.
Quarterfinals: Denver defeats Miami (2-0)
McKade Webster (Green Bay Gamblers, 2017-20) scores and adds an assist in a Game 1 win for Denver.
A combined six points from Cole Guttman (Dubuque Fighting Saints / USA Hockey NTDP, 2015-18) and Carter Mazur (Tri-City Storm / USA Hockey NTDP, 2018-21) leads Denver to the Semifinals as Guttman led the game with four points (2-2-4).
Semifinals: Minnesota Duluth vs. Denver
Friday, March 18 (4:07 p.m. CST)
Semifinals: Western Michigan vs. North Dakota
Friday, March 18 (7:37 p.m. CST)
Championship: Saturday, March 19 (7:38 p.m. CST)
Semifinal: Bemidji State defeats Michigan Tech (1-0)
Bemidji State rolls to a 5-2 Semifinal win as Elias Rosen (Tri-City Storm, 2018-19) picks up a pair of assists, Will Zmolek (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders, 2017-19) adds a helper and Mattias Sholl (Youngstown Phantoms, 2020-21) turns aside 26 saves. On the Michigan Tech side, Trenton Bliss (Green Bay Gamblers, 2016-18) had a two-point night (1-1-2) and Tommy Parrottino (Youngstown Phantoms / Des Moines Buccaneers / USA Hockey NTDP, 2015-18) added a goal.
Semifinal: Minnesota State defeats Northern Michigan (1-0)
Minnesota State was backed by a 20-save performance from Dryden McKay (Madison Capitols / Green Bay Gamblers, 2015-18) while Julian Napravnik (Des Moines Buccaneers, 2016-18) picked up three points (1-2-3) and Andy Carroll (Green Bay Gamblers, 2017-18), Nathan Smith (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders, 2017-19) and Ondrej Pavel (Fargo Force, 2018-20) all chipped in a pair of points. Additionally, Wyatt Aamodt (Chicago Steel / Lincoln Stars, 2015-18), Ryan Sandelin (Sioux City Musketeers / Bloomington Thunder, 2015-17) and Will Hillman (Youngstown Phantoms, 2020-21) all picked up a goal in the contest.
Championship: Bemidji State vs. Minnesota State
Saturday, March 19 (6:07 p.m. CST)